Five Books that Warrant a Second Read

Summer heat peaks in August, but many teachers and students plunge into a new study/work year this month. I’ve decided to start the school year reading an older book, one that has stood the test of time and still attracts readers at least ten years after publication. Here are five very different volumes that deserve a first read if you haven’t pondered them in the past, and a second read if these titles are familiar to you.

1.       Knowing God, by J. I. Packer, has been in print over 40 years and has been translated into multiple languages. This book explores God’s attributes exhaustively. If you let Packer guide you as you become more deeply acquainted with God, your newly deepened knowledge will transform your thinking and actions. Canadian author Packer serves up Scripture-laced meat for the soul.

2.       Disciplines for the Christian Life, by Donald Whitney has been inspiring readers to mature for over 15 years. Whitney motivates readers to grow in the spiritual disciplines without guilt mongering. Invest some hours in this book and be challenged to pursue discipline.

3.       In his 2007 book, Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate, Jerry Bridges dishes up some tough medicine. Read this book to take the log out of your own eye regarding sins often considered socially acceptable in Christian communities.

4.       Choosing Rest: Cultivating a Sunday Heart in a Monday World, by Sally Breedlove is a personal favorite of mine. The author draws her reader deeper and deeper into the ways of God and how he uses hurt, disappointment, suffering and unmet expectations as a gateway to rest and peace in our lives. This book is full of quotable quotes, but not simple answers. Read or reread and apply this gem from 2002.

5.       Another female author, Lois Mowday Rabey, dealt powerfully with a sadly relevant topic in her 1988 book reissued with the title, The Snare: Understanding Sexual and Emotional Entanglements. Rabey talks frankly about temptation and how to avoid entanglements. Much of what she shares has application to other types of temptation.

What older book do you plan to reread this year? Glancing over my list, I notice all my authors are North American writers. Perhaps you can expand my list to include books by authors from other countries and ethnic groups. Please add your suggestions in the comment section.

Beth Barron and her husband have worked cross-culturally for decades, first in the Middle East and now in the U.S. She teaches English to refugees and uses her writing skills to advocate for them. Beth enjoys writing, biking, vegetable gardening and connecting heart to heart with other women. She is involved in her church's External Focus ministry. She and her husband have three adult children, two daughters-in-love and three grandsons. Beth graduated from Rice University in Houston, attended Dallas Theological Seminary and is committed to life-long learning.