Pastor Doug Sauder on Christian Lit

Recommended Reading by Pastor Doug Sauder 

One of the most effective ways to grow as a Christian is to read books written by other Christians. But with so many great books out there, which ones should we read?

That’s a great question! Knowing there’s a vast amount of excellent Christian books on the shelves that will help you grow as a disciple, we asked Pastor Doug Sauder to give us a starting place by recommending some of his favorite books—novels, devotionals, theology books, and everything in between.

Now, this is not an exhaustive list by any means, and there are probably many more that should be on it, but these powerful and inspiring works of literature should get you started! The first on his list is What’s So Amazing About Grace? by Philip Yancey, one of his most favorite and recommended authors.

What’s So Amazing About Grace?
By Philip Yancey

In What's So Amazing About Grace? award-winning author Philip Yancey explores grace at street level. If grace is God's love for the undeserving, he asks, then what does it look like in action? And if Christians are its sole dispensers, then how are we doing at lavishing grace on a world that knows far more of cruelty and unforgiveness than it does of mercy?

The Pursuit of God
By A.W. Tozer

To have found God and still to pursue Him is a paradox of love, scorned indeed by the too-easily-satisfied religious person, but justified in happy experience by the children of the burning heart. Come near to the holy men and women of the past and you will soon feel the heat of their desire after God. Let A. W. Tozer’s pursuit of God spur you also into a genuine hunger and thirst to truly know God.

Soul Keeping
By John Ortberg

When is the last time you thought about the state of your soul? The health of your soul isn't just a matter of saved or unsaved. It’s the hinge on which the rest of your life hangs. It's the difference between deep, satisfied spirituality and a restless, dispassionate faith.

Including reflections from his decades-long relationship with his friend and mentor Dallas Willard, best-selling author John Ortberg presents another classic that will help you discover your soul—the most important connection to God there is—and find your way out of the spiritual shallow-lands to true divine depth.

The Emotionally Healthy Leader
By Peter Scazzero

Do you feel too overwhelmed to enjoy life, unable to sort out the demands on your time? Are you doing your best work as a leader yet not making an impact? Have you ever felt stuck, powerless to change your environment?

In The Emotionally Healthy Leader, best-selling author Peter Scazzero shows leaders how to develop a deep, inner life with Christ, examining its profound implications for surviving stress, planning and decision making, building teams, creating healthy culture, influencing others, and much more.

Hero Maker
By Dave Ferguson

Everybody wants to be a hero, but few understand the power of being a hero maker. In Hero Maker, you will learn how to bring real change to your church and community by developing the practical skills to help others reach their leadership potential.

Drawing on five powerful practices found in the ministry of Jesus, Hero Maker presents the key steps of apprenticeship that will build up other leaders and provides strategies for how you can activate gifts, help others take ownership, and develop a simple scorecard for measuring your kingdom-building progress.

Everybody’s Normal Till You Get to Know Them
By John Ortberg

Normal? Who’s normal? Not you, that’s for sure! No one you’ve ever met, either. None of us are normal according to God’s definition, and the closer we get to each other, the plainer that is. Yet for all our quirks, sins, and jagged edges, we need each other. Community is more than just a word―it is one of our most fundamental requirements. So how do flawed, abnormal people such as ourselves master the forces that can drive us apart and come together in the life-changing relationships God designed us for? In Everybody’s Normal Till You Get to Know Them, teacher and best-selling author John Ortberg zooms in on the things that make community tick.

Counterfeit Gods
By Timothy Keller

Success, true love, and the life you've always wanted. Many of us placed our faith in these things, believing they held the key to happiness, but with a sneaking suspicion they might not deliver. No wonder so many of us feel lost, alone, disenchanted, and resentful. There is only one God who can wholly satisfy our cravings—and now is the perfect time to meet Him again, or for the first time.

In Counterfeit Gods, Timothy Keller shows how a proper understanding of the Bible reveals the unvarnished truth about societal ideals and our own hearts. This powerful message cements Keller's reputation as a critical thinker and pastor, and comes at a crucial time—for both the faithful and the skeptical.

The Songs of Jesus: A Year of Daily Devotions in the Psalms
By Timothy and Kathy Keller

The Book of Psalms is known as the Bible’s songbook—Jesus knew all 150 psalms intimately and relied on them to face every situation, including his death. Two decades ago, Tim Keller began reading the entire Book of Psalms every month. The Songs of Jesus is based on his accumulated years of study, insight, and inspiration recorded in his prayer journals. Kathy Keller came to reading the psalms as a support during an extended illness. Together they have distilled the meaning of each verse, inviting readers into the vast wisdom of the psalms.

My Utmost for His Highest Daily Devotional
By Oswald Chambers

My Utmost for His Highest has sold over 13 million copies worldwide and is considered one of the most popular religious books ever written. These captivating words of wisdom from Oswald Chambers have challenged and inspired readers for more than 80 years. Oswald Chambers was a teacher and preacher whose messages cut to the heart of the gospel. His wife, Biddy, transcribed his lectures and sermons and compiled them into books, the most popular being My Utmost for His Highest. The title is taken from a thought in one of his sermons: “Shut out every consideration and keep yourself before God for this one thing only—My Utmost for His Highest.”

A Tale of Three Kings
By Gene Edwards

This best-selling tale is based on the biblical figures of David, Saul, and Absalom. For the many Christians who have experienced pain, loss, and heartache at the hands of other believers, this compelling story offers comfort, healing, and hope. Christian leaders and directors of religious movements throughout the world have recommended this simple, powerful, and beautiful story to their members and staff. You will want to join the thousands who have been profoundly touched by this incomparable story.

Bible Reading Plans

Looking for a great, five-minute read that will help you grow in your relationship with Jesus, understand the Bible and the character of God on a deeper level, and provide you with some great practical steps for daily living? Check out all of the great Bible plans available to you on YouVersion, written by our very own Calvary Devotional Team! We have a variety of plans for every member of the family.

Start today by visiting CalvaryFTL.org/Bible-Plans.

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