Article: Impact of Great Spiritual Books- Part One
I concluded yesterday’s lesson on “Thinking Spiritually” by talking about practical ways of cultivating this critical discipline.
One of the nine ways highlighted has to do with reading spiritual books and interacting with godly thinkers. This immediately awakened memories of some of the great books that have shaped my thinking through the past quarter of a century.
Apart from entire books or portions of the Bible like Job, the Psalms, the Gospels and Epistles that helped shape my worldview during my early days prior to conversion, I read a book addressing the problem of suffering. It really helped answer some of the profound questions I was confronted with as I wrestled with cancer at the age of 21. It was titled: *“Have Atheists Proved There Is No God”* by _Thomas B. Warren_. It describes the world God created as a vale-of-soul-making and how God created an environment that allowed human beings to exercise their free will with good and evil co-existing at an equidistance. Otherwise, we would be robots with no choice but to believe in God.
*“Humility”* by _Andrew Murray_ was a profound book that enabled me to discover the beauty of this virtue early on in my walk with God. It portrayed the humility of Christ as a sign of strength, not one of weakness as is often perceived by society.
Studying a series of books on characters like King David, Jonathan, Barnabas, etc endeared me to many great Biblical characters – which remains one of my favorite ways of studying the Bible till date. I was able to identify supporting roles as my area of strength – being a Jonathan to a David, a Barnabas to a Paul, a John Mark to Peter, etc.
*”Evidence that demands a verdict”* by _Josh McDowell_ prepared me to answer questions on apologetics and the reliability of the Bible.
*“Knowing God”* by _J.I. Parker_ helped stretch my vision of God to an entirely new level. It was a real delight of a study.
*“Be still my soul”* by Sam Laing_ deeply refreshed my walk with God at a time of great need. *“Trusting God”* by _Jerry Bridges_ helped me walk through what I believe was one of the most defining moments in my journey – when I left the full-time ministry. It was accompanied by *“Maybe its time to Laugh Again”* by _Charles Swindoll_ – a study of the book of Philippians that helped restore my zest for life and a sense of gratitude and adventure.
I could go on and on…
I am deeply indebted to these and many other great authors of books that have defined who I am today.
What about you? What spiritual books have profoundly shaped your thinking and the outcome of your life?
(2 Timothy 4:11-12: Acts 17:28; Acts 18:24-25)