Suggestions for Christian Reading

FFF 9:11 (Nov 1963)

Suggestions for Christian Reading

Books are pouring from the presses today in greater numbers than ever before. Many of them (even some “best sellers”) are pernicious trash and, to borrow an expression of Charles Kingsley’s, “had better be buried forever in the dirt out of which they spring.” Let none of us defile our minds by dabbling in such filth. As someone has put it: “Why nose around among rotten apples for a possible good bite when there are whole boxes of splendid red-cheeked fruit standing alongside?”

It is not the trashy material that creates difficulty for the Christian reader. He easily recognizes its true character and need only avoid it. But when he finds himself confronted by the super-abundance of supposedly good books so readily available today, he is often bewildered. Sooner or later he discovers that, even among books advertised as sound in the faith and highly useful, there are many of so little value that he cannot afford to spend time on them. They are of the kind Spurgeon had in mind when he commented: “Plenty of paper!” — “Literally good “A literary curiosity, nothing more,”—for nothing,” — self-evident truisms …”

In recent years there has been a gratifying increase in the amount of really worth-while reading matter issuing from some presses. Included are some books on almost every subject of interest to Christian readers. Like the old masterpieces (some of which are again being made available) these can be of great value to the student of the Bible. It is a matter for great regret that they are not more generally appreciated. God has placed in the Church a teaching ministry for which all of us should be truly grateful. To fail to profit by that ministry as it is available in printed form is a serious mistake and can only mean distinct loss.

It is to give a measure of help in the selection of Christian books that a list has been prepared, portions of which will appear from month to month in Food for the Flock. It is intended especially to assist the reader in his EARLY choices. It is not a perfect list — that would be impossible. It includes only books believed to be sound in doctrine and helpful in the presentation of the subjects they deal with. An occasional questionable statement will doubtless be found in some of them, but these do not detract from their general usefulness to the careful reader. It is to be expected that he will use his critical faculty. If he fails to do so, he will receive very little benefit from what he reads or from what he listens to.

It is not expected, of course that any one will read ALL the books listed here, or even a large portion of them, One needs only to look at the list to realize that, at least for the average person, that would be impossible. Why then so many books listed? In order that all may have a fairly wide range of choice. All have not the same abilities or the same tastes; therefore it takes variety to meet the needs of all.

—The Compilers

James Gunn
F. W. Schwartz
Peter J. Pell
T. Ernest Wilson

To Help in Making Selections

The following indications are given before some titles:

1. Suggested reading for beginners.

2. Suggested first choices (under various headings) for the general reader. From these items selections might be made for the foundation of a basic library.

3. Additional recommended items.

Items having no specific indications, such as above, will prove useful as the need for them seems to arise. They are not necessarily inferior to those specially marked — in some cases may even be more desirable at last for some readers.

Abbreviations Used to Identify Some Publishers

· LB - Loizeaux Bros., New York.

· P AND I - Pickering and Inglis, Glasgow.

· Moody - Moody Press, Chicago.

· Eerd - Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, Mich.

· Zon - Zondervans, Grand Rapids, Mich.

· MM and S - Marshall, Morgan and Scott, London.

· OL - Oliphants, London.

· Fund - Fundamental Truth Publishers, Findlay, Ohio.

· Rev. - Revell, New York.

· GFP - Gospel Folio Press, Grand Rapids, Mich.

· JR - John Ritchie, Ltd., Kilmarnock, Scotland.

· Stowe - Stowe Hill Bible and Tract Depot.

· BTP - Bible Truth Publishers, Oak Park, Ill,

· Hand S - Hodder and Stoughton.

· Ban - Banner of Truth Trust.

· IVP - Intervarsity Press

· W - Walterick Publishers, Kansas City, Kan.

There are also other sources of supply, as for example: Evangel Books Ltd. 25 Hobson Avenue, Toronto 16, Canada. Hull Publishing C. 314 Notre Dame Avenue, Winnipeg, Canada.