The LORD has gifted many people, by grace, to equip people (minister or layperson) to fight the good fight of faith in their various callings. Though He does this primarily (and most importantly) through the local church, He works through other means as well. This layperson has had some of the most significant influence through reading a good book. Not just The Good Book (66 good books that are essential and necessary to the Christian Faith to be exact) but books written toward educating people on the various applications of that Faith. In my journey of “fides quaerens intellectum” (The term that St. Anselm of Canterbury used in describing an “Active faith and love of God seeking understanding”) these three books have been some of the most influential.
1. Reasons For Faith by K. Scott Oliphint
In this book, Dr. Oliphint (with Paul’s worldview presented in Colossians in mind, particularly 2:2-8) surveys the history of philosophical thought, from ancient to modern, and demonstrates the philosophical bankruptcy in each system of thought. He also examines the Christian theologians and apologists of the Church, and how their thought has contributed to us in ways that we take for granted. In and among all of this, Dr. Oliphint presents what he calls “philosophical good news”, and encourages those of us in Christ in Him we have “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge”.
2. In Christ Alone by Sinclair B. Ferguson
In this book, Sinclair Ferguson walks through the scriptures, and demonstrates that the central theme is Christ. He walks us through the biblical doctrine Union with Christ, by grace, what it means to be “abide in Him”, and the importance of understanding that “without Him, you can do nothing”. The chapters are very short, and the books works very well as a devotional.
3. “The Infallible Word” edited by N.B. Stonehouse and Paul Woolley
This book is a compilation of essays from gifted theologians in the 20th century on the doctrine of Scripture. The essays have to do with Scripture’s attestation, authority, transmission, and relevancy; scriptural preaching; and Scripture and Nature (Yes, trees, plants, animals etc.). This book is one of those volumes that demonstrate how the skepticism that surrounds the scripture is anything but new. In fact, the particular essay written by 2oth Century apologist, Cornelius Van Til, traces the question back to the Garden of Eden. This is an important work for any and every student of the Faith.