Top Ten List of Influential Books- Part Two

Nov 19, 2014

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Since 1983, I have kept a list of the books that I read every year. It is a pretty long list since I have averaged reading 40-50 books a year. I recently went back through the list and picked out ten books that have influenced my thinking over the last 30 years. I encourage you to check them out and let me know if they have an impact on you as well.

6. The Dream Giver: Following Your God-Given Destiny– Bruce Wilkinson and David & Heather Kopp

This is a book that I have read multiple times. I have also given away numerous copies to other people. The authors start with a parable about Ordinary, who dares to leave his home in the Land of Familiar to pursue his Big Dream. It is only through the help of the Dream Giver (God) that Ordinary is able to experience his destiny. Wilkinson reminds the reader that they all have a God-given dream locked inside of them. He challenges them to pursue that dream and live the life that God created them to live.

7. The War of Art– Steven Pressfield

This is an absolute must read book for anyone who has ever wanted to start a blog, write a book, start a business, or do anything else worthwhile. Pressfield describes the fight that everyone goes through to overcome Resistance to finish what they have started. Pressfield is a brilliant novelist but this is a gritty, in-your-face book to help someone push through whatever is holding them back. This is one of those books that I go back to periodically when I feel Resistance breathing down my neck.

8. The Grace of God– Andy Stanley

Andy is the senior pastor of Atlanta’s North Point Church and one of the great pastors and leaders in our generation. He is an amazing communicator and this book is just one of his that has had an impact on me. The Grace of God traces the story of God’s grace from the Garden of Eden all the way through the Bible. We often think that grace is only a New Testament concept. In reality, grace is part of God’s nature and can be seen throughout all of history.

Here is a quote from the introduction: “Grace. It’s what we crave most when our guilt is exposed. It’s the very thing we are hesitant to extend when we are confronted with the guilt of others—especially when their guilt has robbed us of something we consider valuable…When we are on the receiving end, grace is refreshing. When it is required of us, it is often disturbing. But when correctly applied, it seems to solve just about everything. This struggle is not new; it has been going on since the beginning.”

9. Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World– Michael Hyatt

If you have a blog, a business, or a message that you are trying to communicate, this is the book that you need to read. Michael Hyatt is one of the foremost experts on platform building and this book is an easy-to-read, step-by-step guide on how to create a platform that will get you noticed in the noisy world of the internet. Michael knows what he is talking about. He has one of the most popular blogs in the world. Platform is a great way to have an expert coach you through the process of getting your message out to the world.

10. Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels– J. Warner Wallace

While apologetics has never been my primary area of study, I have always appreciated how important it is. I think that Cold-Case Christianity is this generation’s Evidence That Demands a Verdict, 1: Historical Evidences for the Christian Faith. When that book came out in the 70’s, it set the standard for easy-to-use apologetic guides.

Wallace’s approach to apologetics is refreshing, interesting, and convincing. As a former homicide investigator that focused on cold-cases, Wallace knows what it takes to build a case that will hold up in court. Cold-cases are the most difficult of all because they usually have been closed for years. Wallace approaches the Gospels in the same way he investigated his cold-cases. He was originally an atheist trying to disprove the validity of the Scriptures. His meticulous investigation, however, led him to faith in Christ and a belief in the truth of the Bible.

What other book or books would you add to this list? What books have impacted your life?

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