10 Must-Read Books of the last 40 years
These are the books that, in our estimation, have been seminal for new mindsets in the advance of Christ’s kingdom over the last 40 years. This list is in no particular order, nonetheless, if no other book is read the must read is DeVern Fromke’s, The Ultimate Intention.
Worldview, Apologetics & Epistemology
How Should We Then Live? The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture by Francis A. Schaeffer
A comprehensive and incisive analysis of Western culture, interpreting its ideas and demonstrating its Christian roots and decline. If you are desirous of understanding the intellectual and cultural decline of the West and the answers, all of Schaeffer’s works are still foundational after 30 years.
The Universe Next Door: A Basic Worldview Catalog, 5th Edition, by James W. Sire
In a world of ever-increasing plurality and inclusivity, Sire provides a unique resource for understanding the variety of worldview’s on offer and their implications. For more than 30 years The Universe Next Door has provided a clear and concise introduction to theism, deism, naturalism, Marxism, nihilism, existentialism, New Age, postmodernism and, in the newest edition, Islam. This book is integral to better understanding the significance of Christian theism amidst the marketplace of ideas in contemporary culture that compete for the allegiance of minds and hearts.
Van Til’s Apologetic by Greg L. Bahnsen
It has been said that Van Til was the equivalent in Christian epistemology as Kant was for philosophical epistemology. He was a Princeton University trained philosopher and Princeton Seminary trained theologian and a founder of Westminster Seminary. His development of transcendental or presuppositional apologetics is a breakthrough in the Gospel’s apologetical task. As a student of Van Til, Bahnsen’s work is both masterful and brilliantly analytical.
Politics, Justice & Law
Theonomy in Christian Ethics by Greg Bahnsen
Bahnsen’s work was a breakthrough in clarifying the relationship between Law and Gospel, showing the ethical continuity between the two and the universal relevance of God’s law for social relationships—for justice and the equitable governance of human society. This book is foundational to the rebuilding of Christian culture.
Philosophy of History & Eschatology
The Ultimate Intention by DeVern Fromke
Fromke shows how God’s salvific purpose is rooted in the eternal counsels of the triune God. God the Father is revealed as the centre-point for Christ’s saving work, not humanity. Fromke’s corrective saves us from a man-centred self-serving gospel and its inevitable cult of therapy. If no other book is read from this list, this is the one—an absolute must read!
That You May Prosper: Dominion by Covenant by Ray R. Sutton (Author)
Sutton in this ignored, but seminal, work unpacks the 5-fold covenant structure from the book of Deuteronomy, showing how the covenant applies in the four covenantal spheres of the individual, family, church, and state. A ground-breaking book that equips the church for spiritual and societal transformation.
The Days of Vengeance: An Exposition of the Book of Revelation by David Chilton
Chilton’s commentary on Revelation is ground-breaking. Applying the 5-fold covenant structure to its outline, he demonstrates how Revelation, in the tradition of the OT prophets, served as a covenant lawsuit against apostate Israel. He argues persuasively for a preterist interpretation and a pre AD 90 date, the prophecy preparing for imminent judgement in the Fall of Jerusalem of AD 70. I cannot recommend this book more highly—it will save you from “last days madness”!
The Feast of Tabernacles: The Hope of the Church by George Warnock (Author)
This book was the seminal message of the Latter Rain revival, which impacted the Pentecostal church worldwide, and then flowed into the Charismatic Renewal. It shows the prophetic significance of the Feast of Tabernacles: the victorious future of the church, its ultimate unity and maturity as the Body of Christ, and a final worldwide ingathering.
Church Renewal & Reformation
The Normal Christian Church Life by Watchman Nee (Author)
During the 1930s, in China, Watchman Nee pioneered an extensive church movement based on the function of apostles and elders. His pioneering work, encapsulated in this book, is the shape of the future. If you are committed to church reformation, this is a mandatory read!
The Problem of Wineskins: Church Structure in Technological Age by Howard A. Snyder (Author)
A seminal work from 1970s that helped spawn the current quest for a more fluid and authentic expression of church. You are not fully equipped without reading this trailblazing work.