The Francis Asbury Society

FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 01/14

Posted on | January 14, 2016 | Comments Off on FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 01/14

Scripture reading: Philippians 4:8

Leaders are Readers . . . Readers are Leaders

Do your best to come to me soon . . . and bring the books. (II Timothy 4:9,13)


Sitting in his prison cell and awaiting possible execution, one of the things the apostle Paul missed most was his books. “Bring my books,” he wrote Timothy. Life without good reading material was simply unbearable.

Like Paul, other Christian leaders for the past twenty centuries have had a love affair with books. Of course they read the Bible. But saints of God have always loved to read anything that would warm the heart, challenge the mind, and feed the soul. It is simply impossible to imagine Christian discipleship apart from books.

What about you? Are you reading? And if you are, what are you reading? Recently, a diverse group of Christians (Richard Foster, Dallas Willard, and others) put together a reading list of what they believe are the twenty-five most significant spiritual classics in history. These books have shaped the church and beyond that the world. Many of these titles and authors representing different traditions of the global church will be familiar to you. Others may not be. Why not make it a life goal to work your way through this list? Don’t get hung up over why some books were chosen and others were not. Rather, just start reading! And if you read something with which you disagree . . . good! Keep the kernel and throw out the chaff. That is what good reading is all about. Read with breadth, depth and discernment.1 Bon appétit.

On the Incarnation by St. Athanasius.

  1. The Confessions by St. Augustine.
  2. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers.
  3. The Rule of St. Benedict by St. Benedict.
  4. The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri.
  5. The Cloud of Unknowing by an unknown author.
  6. Revelations of Divine Love by Julian of Norwich.
  7. The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis.
  8. Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin.
  9. The Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila.
  10. Dark Night of the Soul by St. John of the Cross.
  11. Pensees by Blaise Pascal.
  12. The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan.
  13. The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence.
  14. A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life by William Law.
  15. The Way of a Pilgrim by an unknown author.
  16. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky.
  17. Orthodoxy by G. K. Chesterton.
  18. The Poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins.
  19. The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
  20. A Testament of Devotion by Thomas R. Kelly.
  21. The Seven Storey Mountain by Thomas Merton.
  22. Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis.
  23. The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri J. M. Nouwen.


The reading of all good books is like a conversation

with the finest people of past centuries.—René Descartes



point to ponder It’s hard to imagine Christian discipleship without the wisdom of a good book.

prayer focus The material that is filling your mind and thoughts. Will it bring you closer to the truths of God’s Word? Pray for guidance as to what you should be reading, and then . . . read!


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