Here are a few books I recommend along with brief reviews of each.
|Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen
Surrender to Loveby David Benner
I think these two book hit on an issue that a number of Evangelicals miss along the way: everything begins from a place of being loved deeply by God and that we often push away or ignore that love, even despite our best intentions or even our belief to the contrary. Only when we are loved can we then turn and love well.
|Confessionsby Augustine of Hippo
Yes, this looks intimidating, but it really isn’t for the most part. It’s quite readable and gives such a beautiful depiction of an honest man whose love for God is truly rich and who longs for spiritual transformation.
|Renovation of the Heartby Dallas Willard
I put this up with a slight caveat: I don’t agree with some of what Willard says. I find his views on the will and heart to be a bit amiss, and his understanding of how emotions are redeemed is too embroiled in the headiness of philosophy rather than psychological realities and developments, not to mention practical day-to-day life. However, this is still the most readable of Willard’s works, and Willard is a phenomenal thinker whose intellect is applied here towards spiritual development in a clear, practical manner. It provides a good introduction and push towards spiritual formation in a way that few books accomplish, and given the entitled and entertainment-driven feel to contemporary culture, his urging towards a vision and intention and means of Christlikeness is particularly relevant.
|The Deeper Journeyby Robert Mulholland Jr.
Another caveat: I don’t think Mulholland completely understands his topic, but regardless, nobody else has written anything on the false self so directly and thoroughly, or at least no one has in a understandable fashion from a truly Christian perspective, and I think an understanding of that which is so surreptitiously destructive to the Christian life could be a great help to many.
|Devotional Classicsby Richard Foster and James Bryan Smith
It’s nice to have an introduction to the corpus of classical Christian literature to get a feel for what’s out there, and this is the best I’ve found. It, too, is very readable, and it offers a wide variety of classical perspectives on the spiritual life.
|The Pursuit of God by A. W. Tozer
Tozer was one of the first Evangelical Protestants to also fall firmly into the camp of mystics and do so in a biblically sound manner. He met with and experienced God and believed wholeheartedly that that was an integral part of a Christian’s life. Of his many books, I find this to best get at his heart for the Christian’s soul.