Is there a top of all time list?

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user98Luke

Puritan Board Freshman
Is there a reputable top 25/50/100 best books of all time list that is from a primarily reformed perspective? I’m done buying so many books and never being able to read them all. I just want to start over with a personal library of 50 or so must-read books and then slowly build from there as I read and choose my most favorite books. Know of any trustworthy lists or tips on where to start? And if you are giving your own personal suggestion/list, know that I already have Berkhof, Calvin, Bridge’s Christian Ministry, and Ryle’s Holiness. I’m looking for those kind of books that you can spend a lifetime reading and benefitting from. Thanks in advance.
 

Charles Johnson

Puritan Board Sophomore
There are as many such lists as there are people who like books. I personally like the analytic philosophers like Plato, the Christian platonists like Augustine and Anselm, and the continental, analytic/ramist reformed Orthodox like Polanus, Ames, Hornbeek, Mastricht, and Turretin. And in general I like the Dutch theologians. And while Aristotle and I have our disagreements, some of his ideas are essential. Calvin is nice but I don't show him any preference. He is good, but I don't find him to be superior except where rhetoric is concerned - he was a rhetorical master. But outside of the realm of theology there are plenty of books worth reading that can help us see color and beauty in the world. I surmise there are thousands of biographies worth reading, many from men we've never heard of. And literature, linguistics, and philosophy can also be quite interesting. In theology you should worry about what is sound, but in the larger world of books, what you enjoy is a consideration of similar weight. It takes many hours to read some books. Why spend those hours on something you'll despise?
 

Ethan

Puritan Board Freshman
@BayouHuguenot has a primer on reformed categories on his blog. I think that’s a great starting place for books to buy.
 

Rome2Geneva

Puritan Board Freshman
Books that I have personally benefitted from:

The Doctrine of Repentance and The Godly Man's Picture, both by Thomas Watson

Reformed Dogmatics by Herman Bavinck
 

JimmyH

Puritan Board Senior
Whatever you do, consider going Kindle or eBook format for a large part of you library. I didn't until I'd filled the place with books, and as much as I love hard copy, I've come to appreciate the eBook for the space saved.
 

user98Luke

Puritan Board Freshman
Whatever you do, consider going Kindle or eBook format for a large part of you library. I didn't until I'd filled the place with books, and as much as I love hard copy, I've come to appreciate the eBook for the space saved.
I’ve been struggling with that decision for a while!
 

Ryan&Amber2013

Puritan Board Senior
I personally like the analytic philosophers like Plato
I just listened to an overview of his beliefs. Are you sure you like his stuff? He seemed like a real wacko-jacko if what I heard was right. Ideas like having no parents raise their own children so the children will only be loyal to the state. He wanted a state-run nursery.
 

Ryan&Amber2013

Puritan Board Senior
Is there a reputable top 25/50/100 best books of all time list that is from a primarily reformed perspective? I’m done buying so many books and never being able to read them all. I just want to start over with a personal library of 50 or so must-read books and then slowly build from there as I read and choose my most favorite books. Know of any trustworthy lists or tips on where to start? And if you are giving your own personal suggestion/list, know that I already have Berkhof, Calvin, Bridge’s Christian Ministry, and Ryle’s Holiness. I’m looking for those kind of books that you can spend a lifetime reading and benefitting from. Thanks in advance.
I try to have at least one book for every category of theology, and I mainly just use them as reference at this point. Interests and desires change over the years, so I can't really pinpoint favorites. Depending on what I'm studying in the Bible, I will seek that book for reference for the day.
 

Charles Johnson

Puritan Board Sophomore
I just listened to an overview of his beliefs. Are you sure you like his stuff? He seemed like a real wacko-jacko if what I heard was right. Ideas like having no parents raise their own children so the children will only be loyal to the state. He wanted a state-run nursery.
I like that he was a monotheist, that he presents natural theology in a clear way that is among the best we get from the Greeks, that he was skilled at rhetoric, I like his concept of ideas, and I like his advancements in logic. I don't endorse his political theories for the most part.
 

TheInquirer

Puritan Board Sophomore
For lifetime of benefit (books I return to often), for me it has been:

- Bavinck's Reformed Dogmatics
- Turretin's Institutes
- Van Mastricht's Theoretical-Practical Theology
- Berkhof's Systematic Theology
- Beale's commentary on Revelation (unabridged big one)
- The Crook in the Lot (Thomas Boston)
- The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment (Jeremiah Burroughs)
- City of God - Augustine

There are other study aid resources (Greek, Bible Encyclopedia's etc.) but those are the Reformed or influenced Reformed (Augustine) ones.

Others I see come up quite often in lists:

- The Economy of Covenants (Witsius)
- Calvin's Institutes
- The Marrow of Theology (Ames)

And probably the most important of all:

The Left Behind Series (Tim LaHaye) <-- ;) please don't kick me
 

Μαρτιν

Puritan Board Freshman
Augustine - confessions - his tracts about grace and city of God
Anselm - cur deus homo / meditations

Luther - babylonian captivity, table-talk, galatians, his lectures, sermons, bondage of the will
Calvin - institutes, commentaries, sermons and tracts
Brakel- A christians reasonable service
Edwards- religous affections and the end for which god created the world
Groen van prinsteren - unbelief and revolution
Kuyper- common grace, holly spirit.


And of course Mastricht, Bavinck and the above mentioned puritans.
 

reformed grit

Puritan Board Freshman
I have an old list of about 50 titles (both with and w/o book summaries) that I'm re-tweaking and will blog up in the next week or so. Some titles have already been mentioned by others here, and though I tend toward reference works (the which you too seem to prefer), I include fiction and other titles, some of which aren't Reformed - things like C.S.Lewis, Peretti, Eldridge, Lutzer... And you've likely already worked through library bare basics: a good reference study Bible, a good comprehensive concordance, a good Bible dictionary, a good 1-volume Bible commentary, a good summary of Christian doctrine (Berkhof & the Westminster Standards are excellent), and something on Bible difficulties. There are a lot of peculiar reading path choices after, like some may lean toward systematic theology tomes, Bible book commentaries, things like Kingdom of the Cults and world religions fare, pastor and self-help titles, or other genre.

um... you want a Reformed Baptist slant? I loves me some James White. And, you know, there are at least a horde and a half of worthy books on baptism alone. I like the all-in-one books that offer several views from different perspectives.

And understand, I'm one of those nutty guys who has over 100 types of Bibles alone, but I understand if you want to branch out a bit from there.

And, btw, who wants my library when I die? Because I'm looking for a candidate. Hopefully it may be a while yet, so maybe a young whippersnapper who anticipates some reading time on his hands. Or, OK, I'll let the women-folk pipe in too.
 
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De Jager

Puritan Board Sophomore
When making the decision about e-books vs hard copy, consider that someday, when Christian books are considered offensive, your purchases may disappear from your device.

As for what books to read, it has been mentioned before but please obtain a copy of Berkhof's systematic theology.
 

reformed grit

Puritan Board Freshman
When making the decision about e-books vs hard copy, consider that someday, when Christian books are considered offensive, your purchases may disappear from your device.

As for what books to read, it has been mentioned before but please obtain a copy of Berkhof's systematic theology.
I hid under a desk from nuclear bombs as a child. I remain one of the vast but shrinking baby-boomers absolutely convinced an Electro-Magnetic Pulse is going to wipe out all our electronic data in my lifetime. Of course, I was led to believe we'd be on Mars and have flying cars by now too. Don't be in a flying car when the EMP hits, unless you're right with God and very trustful of divine providence. Add a book or two about it to your library and top book lists.
 

Scottish Presbyterian

Puritan Board Freshman
A few to consider:

The Puritan Hope - Iain Murray
Concerning Scandal - James Durham
Autobiography of John G Paton
The Pilgrim's Progress - John Bunyan
The Holy War - John Bunyan
 

FivePointSpurgeonist

Puritan Board Freshman
When making the decision about e-books vs hard copy, consider that someday, when Christian books are considered offensive, your purchases may disappear from your device.

As for what books to read, it has been mentioned before but please obtain a copy of Berkhof's systi
This is exactly why I use Calibre, all my Amazon books are stored there.


If I could only keep one set of books it would be A Christian’s Reasonable Service 4 Volumes, it’s Joel Beeke’s favourite :)
 
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