Deadlines are flocking on my schedules leaving me with so scarce time to blog. I must admit that my book giveaway is past my self-imposed deadline. But I hope a set of two books is worth the wait for those who are already asking. The winner will be taking home a copy each of The Radical Cross by A. W. Tozer and I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris.

We ought to acknowledge that books are essential to our spirituality. The Apostle Paul himself was still asking for his books even in the concluding days of his life (2 Tim. 4:13). And as I ponder upon this importance, I have just realized that the books that I read in the earliest seasons of my Christian life (at about my teens) have incalculable effects on what I am now. If you are a new believer, let me exhort you to choose very sensibly the materials that you read. These may shape you, your ministry, and your fellowship with the Godhead more than you can imagine. Let me introduce you to 10 books that I read when I was much younger.


As a student, I depended on freebies over the internet to sustain my desire for books. I received a couple of books from Moody Radio. One of which taught me about Bema Judgment and about bringing my money to heaven. Eversince reading Your Eternal Reward by Erwin Lutzer, my view on the Judgment Day and the selflessness of desiring rewards have just slightly changed.
Another gracious giver of free materials was Insight for Living, a ministry of Charles Swindoll. Swindoll is a very gifted teacher for young Christian minds. Christlikeness is so vividly presented in this Christmas gift that I received in 2000 from friends, Anna and Dol. For sanctification in new believers, The Quest for Character will be a recommendation.

The first reference material that I bought with my own money. Though already a local church youth president, I still had taken a lot of Scriptures out of context. My most persistent critic then, my pastor, had frequently emphasized my poor hermeneutics. How could I improve my hermeneutics if I didn’t even know what “hermeneutics” mean? Thank God for Kaiser and Silva’s An Introduction to Biblical Hermeneutics. I did not just learn the meaning of hermeneutics; I also learned better biblical interpretation.

Church discipline is a very unpopular theme in churches nowadays, unlike in the time of the Belgic Confession when it was still considered a mark of the true church. Jay Adams’ The Handbook of Church Discipline made me love Matthew 18 and other parts of Scripture that a lot find contradicting with love. Even excommunication can be the most loving act to a sheep acting like a goat. No other book made me a disciplinarian than this.

Argentina found My Utmost for His Highest in a Oneness Pentecostal bookstore. It appeared that someone already owned and used it but perhaps re-sold it because it was Trinitarian. So I received it on my birthday. I did not straightaway realize that it was 100x harder to understand than my previous daily reading. But Oswald Chambers’ thoughts were so brilliant that I made my perusing so slow in order to dig gold from day to day. Up to now, after 12 years, I still esteem this book to the highest among devotionals.

The Forgotten Spurgeon shaped the ambitious idealistic reformist zealot in me. It presented to me the hero I would be admiring ‘til my grave, to a man of whom this earth is not worthy. From his crash against the Hyper-Calvinists to his downgrade controversy, the prince of preachers is someone to whom I can wish to lose all knowledge that I have just to get a pinch of his pastoral skills.

I should warn that Knowing God is not an easy reading… but it is neither hard. Though J. I. Packer designed it for the scholarly, God perhaps marginally tweaked his writing style so that younger ones could also devour theology studies with more ease. For more than two decades, this book has already blessed millions of the exciting and rewarding joy of knowing God. I am glad that I am one of these multitudes.

I am surprised that I would even place I Kissed Dating Goodbye above J. I. Packer on influencing my Christian behaviour. Joshua Harris was such a popular name when we were teenagers because mainly of this book. It was not an understatement that new attitudes on love and courtship developed not just in individuals but also in youth organizations. If God will grant me a teenage child, I will definitely require him to read this book at least more than once.

Nothing shaped my view pertaining to the pulpit more than John Piper’s The Supremacy of God in Preaching, my first Piper title. Its Trinitarian formula (goal, ground, and gift) for preaching and the expository preaching examples of Jonathan Edwards and Charles Spurgeon had stuck on my mind and heart and became very handy now that I already am a preacher. If I would institute a pre-requisite to not wasting the pulpit, surely reading this small book would be one.

Honestly, God’s providence used my foolishness to make this book my first buy. As a youth leader, I was looking for a book that would help me to deal with the young people’s materialistic living. I thought Ashamed of the Gospel’s subtitle “When the Church Becomes Like The World” was the cue for my battle against materialism. Thank God because John MacArthur did not just offer a solution to an itty-bitty youth problem. He called me to faithful ministry, faithful to God and to His Word. It contains the first of my favorites from Spurgeon, “Look you, sirs, there are ages to come. If the Lord does not speedily appear, there will come another generation, and another, and all these generations will be tainted and injured if we are not faithful to God and to his truth today.”

DOUBLE your chance of winning! Like our Facebook page and you automatically get your draw entry doubled. (If you have already liked our page, your entry is automatically doubled.)

You ought to enter the draw with the right answer only once. The game closes by July 30 midnight and the winner will be announced on July 31.  ^_^

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1 Response for the "Ten Books Rid of My Teen Crooks (and Free Book Give-Away)"

  1. I liked 'I Kissed Dating Goodbye' a whole lot. The title may throw the reader off but that was not what Josh was aiming at. He was aiming at changing how we date to where it is not all about ourselves and where we have a purpose. He rejects the 'just having fun', reckless, selfish dating that our culture encourages but points us to a better, God-centered way of it. I recommend this book to people who want to get it right it relationships and know that there is something wrong in our culture.

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