Archive for July 7th, 2008

“There is no victory over the indwelling power of sin, and there is no pardon for the guilt of sin, but as the soul deals with the blood of Christ. All true sanctification comes through the cross.

Seek it there. Go to the cross—oh, go to the cross of Jesus. In simplicity of faith, go. With the strong corruption, go. With the burden of guilt, go, go to the cross.

You will find nothing but love there—nothing but welcome there—nothing but purity there. The precious blood of Jesus ‘cleanses us from all sin.’ And while you are kept low beneath the cross, your enemy dares not approach you, sin shall not have dominion over you, nor shall Satan, your accuser, condemn you.”

—Octavius Winslow, Morning Thoughts (January 8)

(HT:  First Importance)

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I wish I had this list when my children were younger.  I am encouraged that our children have read or are reading a good amount of these books.  This is a great resource for parents who want their chlildren to be well-grounded in their faith.  Of course, I would tweak a few recommendations here and there, but hey this guy put a lot of thought into this and I highly recommend this to parents.  Make your kids read the hard stuff! You will never regret it!

The list comes from Doctrine Matters:

(my comments are in parentheses)


1st Grade:
The Lightlings, R.C. Sproul
The King Without a Shadow, R.C. Sproul (also The Priest with Dirty Clothes)
The Child’s Story Bible, Catherine Vos  (thorough!)
The Gospel for Children, John B. Leuzarder  (one of the most thorough gospel presentations for children I have ever seen)
The Big Book of Questions and Answers About Jesus, Sinclair Ferguson

2nd Grade:
Dangerous Journey, John Bunyan, Ed. Oliver Hunkin
The Child’s Story Bible, Catherine Vos
Grandpa’s Box: Retelling the Biblical Story of Redemption, Starr Meade (great book)

3rd Grade:
Against the World, Henry Coray
The 100 Most Important Events in Christian History, A. Kenneth Curtis, et al.
Heroes of the Reformation: Life-Changing Lessons for the Young, Richard Newton
Training Hearts, Teaching Minds, Starr Meade (excellent!_

4th Grade:
Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis (box set)  (Read it myself, with my kids, they love it!)
Luther the Leader, Virgil Robinson
Ten Boys/Ten Girls Who Changed the World (box sets), Irene Howat  (four stars but I would have not included some of the boys/girls they chose)
Training Hearts, Teaching Minds, Starr Meade

5th Grade:
The Young Peacemaker: Teaching Students to Respond to Conflict God’s Way, Corlette Sande (Kit, grades 3-7)
Visible Saints: The History of a Puritan Idea, Edmund S. Morgan
Survey of the Bible, William Hendriksen
According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible, Graeme Goldsworthy

6th Grade:
Adventures Of Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe
The Hiding Place, Corrie Ten Boom
The Gospel for Real Life, Jerry Bridges  (make sure you read this one also parents)

(Interim Recommended Reading: Shelf Life: How Books Have Changed the Destinies and Desires of People and Nations, George Grant; Read Any Good Books, Sinclair B. Ferguson; and Invitation to the Classics: A Guide to Books You’ve Always Wanted to Read, Eds. Louise Cowan & Os Guinness)

7th Grade:
The Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan  (must read)
Church History Plain Language, Bruce L. Shelley
Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations, Alex & Brett Harris (must read)
Chosen by God, R.C. Sproul
The Holiness of God, R.C. Sproul

(Interim Essential Purchases: Systematic Theology, Wayne Grudem; Concise Theology, J.I. Packer; and How to Read Slowly: Reading for Comprehension, James W. Sire)

8th Grade:
Crown & Covenant Trilogy, Douglas Bond
Confessions, St. Augustine of Hippo (Ed. Henry Chadwick)
The Heidelberg Catechism: A Study Guide, G.I. Williamson
Knowing God, J.I. Packer (spectacular)

9th Grade:
The Screwtape Letters & Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis
The Peacemaker (Student Ed.), Ken Sande  (one of the most practical books ever)
Humility: The True Greatness, C.J. Mahaney
Living the Cross-Centered Life, C.J. Mahaney (four star)
Basic Christianity & Cross of Christ, John Stott

10th Grade:
The Bondage of the Will, Martin Luther
Christianity and Liberalism, J. Gresham Machen
The Sovereignty of God, Arthur W. Pink (Baker Books edition)
Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God, J.I. Packer
Pursuit of God, A.W. Tozer

11th Grade:
Hostage Lands, Douglas Bond
Reading Between The Lines, Gene Edward Veith Jr.
Jonathan Edwards: A New Biography, Iain H. Murray
The Great Exchange, Jerry Bridges
The Truth of the Cross, R.C. Sproul
The Atonement: Its Meaning and Significance, Leon Morris

12th Grade:
Paradise Lost, John Milton
John Owen on the Christian Life, Sinclair B. Ferguson
Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
The Reason for God: Belief in God in an Age of Skepticism, Timothy Keller
The Apostolic Preaching of the Cross, Leon Morris

Day by Day with the Early Church Fathers, Eds. Christopher D. Hudson, J. Alan Sharrer
Day by Day with the English Puritans: Selected Readings for Daily Reflection, Ed. Randall Pederson
Heart Aflame: Daily Readings From Calvin on the Psalms, John Calvin
Help Heavenward, Octavius Winslow
How Great Thou Art, Steve Halliday
Morning and Evening, Charles H. Spurgeon
The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions, Ed. Arthur Bennett
Walking with God Day by Day 365 Daily Devotional Selections, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Pre-College Prep:
How to Stay Christian in College, J. Budziszewski
Ask Me Anything: Provocative Answers for College Students, J. Budziszewski
Think Biblically, John MacArthur
Above All Earthly Powers: Christ in a Postmodern World, David F. Wells


Middle School/Junior High –
• A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23, W. Phillip Keller
• Christian Beliefs: Twenty Basics Every Christian Should Know, Wayne Grudem
• Don’t Check Your Brains at the Door, Josh McDowell
• Growing Up Christian: Have You Taken Ownership of Your Relationship With God?, Karl Graustein & Mark Jacobsen
• More Than a Carpenter, Josh McDowell
• Passion and Purity: Learning to Bring Your Love Life Under Christ’s Control, Elisabeth Elliot
• Thoughts for Young Men, J.C. Ryle
• Understanding the Bible, John Stott
• When God Writes Your Love Story, Eric & Leslie Ludy

High School –
• A Quest for Godliness: Puritan Vision of the Christian Life, J.I. Packer
• All of Grace, Charles H. Spurgeon (Study Guide, Ch. 1-5, Ch. 6-10)
• City of God, St. Augustine of Hippo (Transl. Henry Bettenson)
• Don’t Waste Your Life, John Piper
• Francis Schaeffer Trilogy (The God Who Is There; Escape from Reason; He Is There and He Is Not Silent), Francis Schaeffer
• Hard to Believe: The High Cost and Infinite Value of Following Jesus, John MacArthur
• How Long, O Lord?, D.A. Carson
• Knowing Scripture, R.C. Sproul
• I Am Not But I Know I Am: Little Me, Infinite God, Louie Giglio (I am not a big fan of Louie)
• In Understanding Be Men, T. Hammond (IVPress, 1983)
• Lectures on Calvinism, Abraham Kuyper
• Lectures to My Students, Charles H. Spurgeon (alternate edition)
• Now, That’s A Good Question, R.C. Sproul
• The Calvinistic Concept of Culture, Henry R. Van Til
• The Case for the Real Jesus, Lee Strobel
• The Cruelty of Heresy, C. FitzSimons Allison
• The Devoted Life: An Invitation to the Puritan Classics, Ed. Kelly M. Kapic
• The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment, Tim Challies
• The Enemy Within: Straight Talk About the Power and Defeat of Sin, Kris Lundgaard (excellent)
• The Legacy of Sovereign Joy: God’s Triumphant Grace in the Lives of Augustine, Luther, and Calvin, John Piper
• The Micah Mandate: Balancing the Christian Life, George Grant
• The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict, Josh McDowell
• Turning Points: Decisive Moments in the History of Christianity, Mark A. Noll (Mark Noll has some definite limitations.  Be very discerning.  Better books on church history)
• Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, Ed. John Piper
• Redemption Accomplished and Applied, John Murray
• Your Mind Matters: The Place of the Mind in the Christian Life, John Stott & Mark A. Noll

God’s Attributes:
• Attribute of God, Arthur W. Pink (Study Guide, Ch. 1-6; Ch. 7-12)
• The Doctrine of God, Herman Bavinck
• The Doctrine of God: A Theology of Lordship, John Frame
• The Existence and Attributes of God, Stephen Charnock (very heavy)
• The Knowledge of the Holy, A.W. Tozer

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Reading the Psalms

I love reading and meditating on the Psalms.  This year all of the fighter verses we are memorizing at our church are from the Psalms (memorizing entire Psalms not just a verse here or there).  And on Wednesday evenings (summer excluded) we are considering a Psalm a week (sometimes we devote two weeks to one). So this article here was of help to me and I recommend it to you as well.

As to good commentaries on the Psalms I would recommend Steve Lawson’s two part set published by Holman and James Boice’s set on the Psalms.  Of course, a great and rich source is Spurgeons’ Treasury of David as well.

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