4 Great Spiritual Authors for Your Summer Reading

By Wednesday, June 15, 2016 , ,

Well, summer is in full swing, both to my relief and yet also to my chagrin. I like summer because of vacations and more flexible schedules and lighter traffic in the mornings, but on the flip side, I truly detest the scorching hot weather, the sweating, and the mosquitoes. Can’t have it all, can you? But for many people, summer is also a time to revitalize reading habits, so I’m probably going to be posting a few suggestion lists here and there. Today, let’s start with the spiritual category. 

The “Christian living” or “inspirational” genre can be a hit or miss, and many people have rightfully iffy feelings about it. There are plenty of books in this section of the bookstore that have no business there, and it’s certainly important not to let books become more paramount than the Bible. But with those disclaimers, here are a few authors who have been tremendous encouragements to me and always do their utmost to keep Scripture at the center of their writings. 

Kevin DeYoung
Impossible to say too many good things about this guy. He’s down-to-earth, straightforward, funny, and unafraid of making readers uncomfortable. He’s written many books, but I’ve only so far read The Hole in Our Holiness and Just Do Something, both of which I highly recommend. These, like many of his books, deal with practical, everyday aspects of living out the Christian faith rather than abstract, deep-thinker type concepts that you might find in Tim Keller or John Piper’s works. His tone is very conversational and approachable even when he’s talking about difficult or weighty subjects. 

Elisabeth Elliot 
I first “met” Mrs. Elliot as a young teenager, and she would become one of the most influential writers in my faith journey. Her husband, Jim Elliot, was one of the five American missionaries who were speared to death in an Ecuadorian jungle in their attempt to reach the savage Auca Indians with the gospel. Elisabeth was one of the relatives of the martyred men who stayed in Ecuador and eventually saw the Aucas accept Christ and become a civilized people. Her writings are winsome and insightful, clearly born out of many hardships that God used to shape her into a woman of wisdom and grace. She wrote for many years on topics like suffering, loneliness, singleness, trusting God, biblical manhood and womanhood, spiritual disciplines, knowing God’s will, and much more. I’m so grateful for the legacy of this sister! A few of my favorites of hers include Keep a Quiet Heart, Let Me Be A Woman, Discipline, and Passion and Purity

Ann Voskamp 
This lady has come on the Christian scene in recent years because of her book One Thousand Gifts, and though that is still the only one of hers I’ve read, I’ve been recommending it all over the place since I got it in college. Ann and her husband are Canadian farmers, parents of seven children, and live by the word “eucharisteo.” This is the Greek word for “gratitude” or “thankfulness,” and it’s the underlying theme of One Thousand Gifts. This book will help you reevaluate what gratitude looks like in everyday life and how a focus on being thankful can revolutionize your spiritual mindset. It certainly did for me and I’m so glad. 

Paul E. Miller 
Miller is perhaps best known for his book A Praying Life, also the only one of his that I’ve read, and it is phenomenal. Prayer is just hard if we’re honest, and this book doesn’t shy away from that. It addresses the struggles people have in prayer, the way prayer is portrayed and taught in the Bible, and practical ideas for prayer. Miller also honestly opens up about his own difficulties from his personal life, many of which are connected to raising a severely autistic child. The book is comforting and moving, as well as encouraging in helping one rethink a prayer life. 

What are your favorite spiritual books and authors? Have you read any of these? I’d love to hear your favorites and suggestions in this category!

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