The Bible

BCL rotates recommended books periodically to keep our resource lists compact for ease of use. If you don't see your favorite book on this list, please check back periodically as it may be featured later. (Please note: This page contains affiliate links through which Beautiful Christian Life may receive a commission to help cover its operating costs.)

Getting Started

Basic Christianity by John Stott

Do you ever wish you had a short and sweet book that explained the basics of Christianity and the difference it makes in your life? Try this little gem, which comes with study questions as an added bonus! Get a handle on what Christianity is and what it means for you.

Core Christianity: Finding Yourself in God's Story by Michael Horton

The Bible is an unfolding drama of the greatest rescue mission ever: God's redemptive plan to save the world. Join Michael Horton as he winsomely explains what God is doing in the world and how you fit into the drama of redemption as his image-bearer.

The Cross of Christ by John Stott

What does the cross mean? What is its importance? How does the cross of Christ affect our lives? Join John Stott as he explains the importance of Christ's cross, its implications for your life, and why believers have held steadfastly to it as the symbol of the Christian faith. 

Delighting in the Trinity: An Introduction to the Christian Faith by Michael Reeves

What does it mean that there is "one God in three persons"? How do we relate to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit? We hear a lot about Jesus and God the Father, but what is our relationship to the Holy Spirit? Join Michael Reeves as he explores the wonderful reality of the Trinity and how we can delight in knowing God. 

God so Loved, He Gave: Entering the Movement of Divine Generosity by Kelly M. Kapic

The good news of salvation is forgiveness and righteousness freely offered to sinners, who receive this salvation by faith alone—not by deserving it. But this salvation was not without a price. Kelly Kapic explores what it means that God gave his Son and how that knowledge should affect our lives.

GOD’S BIG PICTURE by Vaughan Roberts

Have you ever wished you could make sense of the Bible? It's a big book full of ancient names, places and customs. Not only that, it's written in different genres over different time periods. How in the world is it all connected? Begin the journey of understanding God's message in his Word with Vaughan Roberts as he guides you to see the big picture of what God is communicating in the Bible.  

The Holiness of God by R. C. Sproul

It's all about holiness! The problem is that God is holy and we aren't. God is pure goodness, and he must uphold all of his attributes of love, truth, justice, and righteousness. R. C. Sproul explains why a better knowledge of God’s holiness will fill us with awe and wonder—and will help us to understand why we need to be holy through the finished work of Christ on our behalf to stand in God’s presence.

Jesus the King: Understanding the Life and Death of the Son of God by Timothy Keller

Who is Jesus anyway? Some call him a prophet, some a good moral teacher, and many say he is dead. But what does the Bible actually teach about him, and what impact does he have on our lives now? Follow Timothy Keller as he unpacks who Jesus is and how we should understand his purpose and mission as revealed in the Scriptures. The answer may surprise and shock you, but hopefully, it comforts and encourages you as well. 

Knowing Scripture by R. C. Sproul

Reading Scripture can be overwhelming. Where do you start? Is the Bible to be read as one unit or as a collection of unrelated books? R.C. Sproul provides simple, straightforward direction in studying the Scriptures. By the end, you won't just be reading words; you'll be understanding God's message. 

The Lamb of God (A 10-week Bible Study): Seeing Jesus in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy by Nancy Guthrie

Many people love the four Gospels that teach about Jesus. The stories of Abraham, David and the judges of Israel also provide an exciting read. But often people struggle with Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Why are there all these laws? What do they mean? What benefit are they for the Christian today? Experience these books anew with Nancy Guthrie as she explains how Christ Jesus is taught in these books and how they are important to the Christian life. 

Manual of Christian Doctrine by Louis Berkhof

Need a quick refresher on the doctrines of faith, grace, justification, sanctification, the work of Christ, and more? Keep this handy reference manual by your bedside or on your smart phone for ready access to essential biblical terms and doctrines on the Christian faith.

The Majesty on High: Introduction to the kingdom of God in the new testament by S. M. Baugh

If you have ever wondered what the "kingdom of God" means and the implications for the Christian life, join New Testament scholar S. M. Baugh as he explains why “the kingdom of God is not just the center of the Gospels and Acts. It is the center of all things." 

Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis

With the plethora of denominations, churches, and customs, sometimes it's difficult to see the connecting fabric of Christianity. Master writer and communicator C.S. Lewis walks you through the basic and foundational beliefs of Christianity—helping you to see the unity of the Church, despite of all its diversity.  

Walking with Jesus Through His Word: Discovering Christ in All the Scriptures by Dennis E. Johnson

Where do we first learn about Jesus in the Bible? In the Gospels in the New Testament? In the prophetical books of the Old Testament? Dennis Johnson helps explain why we find Jesus in the entire Bible—from Genesis to Revelation—since all of Scripture is about the fulfillment of God's promises to redeem his people in Christ.

What is the Gospel? (9Marks) by Greg Gilbert

The Gospel is central to Christianity, yet it's amazing to see how much Christians struggle to answer the question of what the Gospel is. Such an important message should be understood, and every Christian should be ready to share it. If you need help answering this question don't be shy. Join Greg Gilbert as he explains what the Gospel is. 

Words of Life: Scripture as the Living and Active Word of God by Timothy Ward

Have you ever wished God would speak to you? Well, he has in his Word! Timothy Ward explains that the Scriptures—sometimes erroneously perceived as dry and old—are actually a living and active Word.

Going Further

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The Crucified King: Atonement and Kingdom in Biblical and Systematic Theology by Jeremy Treat

Crucifixion and kingship are not words that go well together. Whether it was in first-century Rome or today, the idea of being publicly tortured is not the picture of a ruling victorious king. Yet Jeremy Treat explains how these two opposite concepts are reconciled in the death and life of Jesus Christ and how they bring the surprise blessing of salvation for sinners. 

The Heidelberg Catechism by Zacharias Ursinus

Have you ever wanted an orderly approach to learning about Christ that also spoke to the heart? Try using this comforting Christ-centered catechism to better understand the three "G's" of the Christian faith: humanity's guilt, God's grace in Christ, and the gratitude Christians have for all that Christ has done on their behalf.

An Introduction to the New Testament by D. A. Carson and Douglas J. Moo

Want an easy-to-read summary and history of each book of the New Testament? Look no further than this comprehensive guide to what scholars have learned about the composition of each New Testament book.

The Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin

A classic for theological studies, Calvin's Institutes are also a wonderful resource for laypeople in the Church. Enjoy the work of this reformer as he explains biblical truths about God, humanity, and many aspects of Christian life.

An Introduction to the Old Testament By Tremper Longman III and Raymond B. Dillard

Want an easy-to-read summary and history of each book of the Old Testament? Look no further than this comprehensive guide to what scholars have learned about the composition of each Old Testament book.

Romans (Lectio Continua) by J. V. Fesko

There are plenty of “technical” commentaries available, but this one, as theologian J. V. Fesko explains, is meant to help us keep the big picture of Romans in view—so that we don’t lose the forest for the trees. Being an expository commentary, it reads like a series of well-prepared, thoughtful, and organized sermons. Read this work if you want to gain a clearer understanding of Romans and what it means for us today.

The Westminster Confession of Faith

Forged in a tumultuous time of British history (seventeenth-century England), The Westminster Confession of Faith is a document outlining fundamental beliefs of the Christian faith. Arranged in easy-to-read paragraphs, this document will improve your understanding of the central truths of Scripture.