Words of the Wise

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wotwthumbBack in December 2011 I made an appeal that we prioritise the reading of solid Christian literature as a means towards acquiring wisdom. As Solomon instructed us, those who will be wise must walk with the wise (Proverbs 13:20). One very practical way to do so is by paying heed to the printed words of the wise.

It is difficult to fully appreciate the impact that Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press has had, not merely upon the world, but more importantly on the church for the past 500 years.

With the arrival of this invention, the words of the wise, which were for a long time spoken only to the benefit of a particular congregation or lecture hall, were now available to a much wider audience. Thankfully, I can only imagine how spiritually poorer I would be without access to the sermons of Martin Luther, the commentaries of  John Calvin, the profound writings of Jonathon Edwards and the pastoral wisdom of Richard Baxter. And the same could be said of more contemporary men such as A. W. Tozer, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, John Murray, and J. Gresham Machen!

As I said, I can only imagine such a lack, for I do, in fact, have access to the wisdom of these men through the printed page—and now through the digital page.

I have spent some time going through my library for the purpose of recommending books and authors from which I believe that I have been able to glean some wisdom. This is a small sample but it is at least a good place to begin. Here are some of my “friends.” May they too become your cherished companions on your journey to Christlikeness. My list, which is arranged according to author, is followed by similar suggestions from Christo and Neil. Let me encourage you to take the recommendations of your shepherds as a good place to start as you plan to be a better reader for the rest of your life!

Doug’s List

Christo’s List

I personally appreciate receiving a book or movie recommendation from someone whose judgement and taste I trust. It is a wonderful privilege being surrounded on the eldership by men who are readers and thinkers, and we are constantly recommending books and articles to one another.

If you are feeling convicted that God in His wisdom revealed Himself to mankind and gave us news of His special grace for our eternal benefit in the form of words (rather than sounds or images—He could have sent us an MP3 or a DVD, rather than inspiring the writing and preservation of a book!), and if consequently you are feeling stimulated to discipline yourself to be a better reader of words, then here are a few titles that you could look out for and commit yourself to enjoying in the future.

Neil’s List

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