I spent the other day writing down some of my favorite books.  The list, of course, is not exhaustive, as much of it came off the top of my head.  Let’s just say this:  I love everything by C.S. Lewis, Henri Nouwen, N.T. Wright, Frederick Buechner, and Gerald May, even if I’ve neglected to include them in certain areas.  They may be my top 5, no matter what they write on.  But here are some of my favorite practical works by topic.  I’ve intentionally excluded academic works.

Understanding God’s Story and Yours – The Narrative of Scripture

The True Story of the Whole World: Finding Your Place in the Biblical Drama, Michael Goheen and Craig Bartholomew

A Walk Through the Bible, Lesslie Newbigin

To Be Told, Dan Allender

Understanding Your Place in God’s Mission

The Mission of God’s People, Christopher Wright

Surprised by Hope, N.T. Wright

The Bible and Mission: Christian Witness in a Postmodern World, Richard Bauckham

The Open Secret: An Introduction to the Theology of Mission, Lesslie Newbigin

Introduction to Theology

Theology: The Basics, Alistair McGrath

Mere Christianity, CS Lewis

Understanding your Idols and the Attachments of Your Heart

Breaking the Idols of Your Heart: How to Navigate the Temptations of Life, Tremper Longman/Dan Allender

Idols of the Heart: Learning to Long for God Alone, Elyse Fitzpatrick

Counterfeit Gods, Tim Keller

The Last Addiction, Sharon Hersh

Understanding the Nature of Sin: Personal and Systemic

Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin, Cornelius Plantinga

The Seven Deadly Sins, Graham Tomlin

Exclusion and Embrace, Miroslav Volf

Hope in Troubled Times, Bob Goudzwaard

Subverting Global Myths: Theology and the Public Issues Facing Our Time, Vinoth Ramachandra


The Lord and His Prayer, N.T. Wright

With Open Hands, Henri Nouwen

Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home, Richard Foster

The Practice of the Presence of God, Brother Lawrence

Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth, Walter Brueggeman

Belief/Apologetics in a Postmodern World

Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense, N.T. Wright

The Reason for God, Tim Keller

Who Gets to Narrate the World: Contending for the Christian Story in an Age of Rivals, Robert Webber

Foolishness to the Greeks: The Gospel and Western Culture, Lesslie Newbigin

Proper Confidence, Lesslie Newbigin

Evil and the Justice of God, N.T. Wright

Understanding and Engaging Culture

Desiring the Kingdom, James KA Smith

To Change the World, James Davidson Hunter

Everyday Theology: How to Read Cultural Texts and Interpret Trends, Kevin VanHoozer

Work and Vocation

Work in the Spirit: Toward a Theology of Work, Miroslav Volf

Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation, Parker Palmer

Responsive Labor: A Theology of Work, David Jensen

The Call: Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose of Your Life, Os Guiness


The Healing Path: How the Hurts in Your Past Lead You to a More Abundant Life, Dan Allender

Stumbling Toward Faith, Renee Altson

Finding God, Larry Crabb

The Wounded Heart, Dan Allender

A Grief Observed, CS Lewis

Shattered Dreams, Larry Crabb

A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows Through Loss, Gerald Sittser

Walk On: Life, Loss, Trust, and Other Realities, John Goldingay


Safe Haven Marriage, Archibald Hart and Sharon Hart-Morris

Intimate Allies: Rediscovering God’s Design for Marriage, Dan Allender and Tremper Longman

Bring Yourself to Love, Mona Barbera

Hold Me Tight, Sue Johnson

The Intimate Mystery: Creating Strength and Beauty in Your Marriage, Dan Allender and Tremper Longman

The Mystery of Marriage, Mike Mason

Marital Betrayal

Torn Asunder: Recovering from an Extramarital Affair, Dave Carder

Shattered Vows: Hope and Healing for Women Who’ve Been Sexually Betrayed, Debra Laaser

Raising Children/Parenting

Talking to Your Kids About Sex, Mark Laaser

Parenting with Love and Logic, Foster Cline

How Children Raise Parents: The Art of Listening to Your Family, Dan Allender

Mom, I Hate My Life: Becoming Your Daughter’s Ally During the Emotional Up’s and Down’s of Adolescence, Sharon Hersh

Mom, Sex is No Big Deal: Becoming Your Daughter’s Ally in Developing a Healthy Sexuality, Sharon Hersh

Mom, I Feel Fat: Becoming Your Daughter’s Ally in Developing a Healthy Body Image, Sharon Hersh

Mom, Everyone Else Does: Becoming Your Daughter’s Ally in Responding to Peer Pressure (Sex, Drugs, Alcohol), Sharon Hersh

Understanding Yourself and Your Relationships

Bold Love, Dan Allender

Practicing the Presence of People, Mike Mason

Understanding Who You Are, Larry Crabb

The Gift of Being Yourself, David Benner

The Cry of the Soul: How our Emotions Reveal Our Deepest Questions about God, Tremper Longman/Dan Allender

The Seven Desires of Every Heart, Mark and Debra Laaser

Understanding your Sexuality

Sex and Love in the Home: A Theology of the Household, David McCarthy

Sex and the Soul of a Woman, Paula Rinehart

When Two Become One: Enhancing Sexual Intimacy in Marriage, Chris McCluskey


What’s He Really Thinking?: How to Be a Relational Genius with the Man in Your Life, Paula Rinehart

Bravehearts: Unlocking the Courage to Live with Abandon, Sharon Hersh

Redeeming Eve, Heather Webb

When Life and Beliefs Collide, Carolyn James

The Allure of Hope, Jan Meyers

Strong Women, Soft Hearts, Paula Rinehart


Healing the Masculine Soul, Gordon Dalbey

The Masculine Journey, Robert Hicks

Father and Son, Gordon Dalbey

The Silence of Adam, Larry Crabb

Christian Spirituality & Spiritual Growth

Devotional Classics, Richard Foster

Creating a Life with God: The Call of Ancient Prayer Practices, Daniel Wolpert

Surrender to Love: Discovering the Heart of Christian Spirituality, David Benner

Return of the Prodigal Son, Henri Nouwen

The Journey: A Pilgrim in the Lands of the Spirit, Alistair McGrath

Let Go, Francois Fenelon

Abba’s Child, Brennan Manning

Space for God, Don Postema

The Divine Embrace: Recovering the Passionate Spiritual Life, Robert Webber

Water from a Deep Well: Christian Spirituality from Early Martyrs to Modern Missionaries, Gerald Sittser

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