Thinking Out Loud

October 23, 2011

Sunday Seriousness: Rich Text

Each year multiplied thousands of new Christian books are published, and even though the last few years have been rough on publishers, self-publishing and online publishing mean that there has been a net increase in the number of new titles annually.

‘Rich text’ is a computer term referring to fonts, colors, sizes, and decorations that involve more complex HTML code, but I’m using the term here to denote authors whose text is rich in meaning, Bible background and practical application.  You see, in those multiplied thousands of new titles, there is a lot of fluff that gets issued each year, resulting in little more than the elimination of hundreds of trees used to make the paper. 

You should be constantly hungry for, and seeking out, rich text.  Here are some suggestions of authors that should be on everyone’s book list.

Classic Authors:

  • Andrew Murray
  • A. W. Tozer
  • Oswald Chambers
  • Watchman Nee
  • C. S. Lewis (apologetics titles)

Contemporary Authors:

  • Philip Yancey
  • Randy Alcorn
  • Henri Nouwen
  • Gene Edwards
  • Warren Wiersbe

Recently Published Bestsellers:

  • Radical by David Platt
  • Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman
  • The Well by Mark Hall
  • Crazy Love by Francis Chan
  • Sun Stand Still by Steven Furtick

So, who would you add to the list?


  1. I love rich texts and the fact that you have to use your brain more to read it. BTW I want a bookshelf like that! :D

    Comment by Day I Started Reading — October 23, 2011 @ 2:05 pm

  2. I think N. T. Wright, Christopher J. H. Wright, and Alister McGrath would make great additions. It would be wonderful, as well, if everyone would read Roger Olson’s books; I suggest starting with The Story of Christian Theology and The Mosaic of Christian Belief.

    A good daily devotional is John Stott’s, Through the Bible, Through the Year: Daily Reflections from Genesis to Revelation.

    Comment by Jon Rising — October 23, 2011 @ 3:25 pm

    • If N.T. Wright weren’t a hardcover author fighting my paperback budget, I know for sure he would have made my original list. As I typed it, I said, “I’m sure some of my friends are going to wonder why N.T. Wright isn’t here;” but I didn’t expect the comment the comment to arrive in less than an hour!

      James MacDonald has a five year reading plan for new Christians, and Stott’s Basic Christianity is listed, and I thought I’d save that for a future post about foundational books. He also lists Stott’s The Cross of Christ.

      Another deficiency which I might as well get out of the way here, is that my Reformed friends will wonder why Spurgeon isn’t listed in the classic authors section.

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — October 23, 2011 @ 4:43 pm

  3. By the way, I’d like to state for the record that nobody is trying to sell you anything here. None of the names are links to a website named after a large river; you know the one:

    Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — October 23, 2011 @ 4:53 pm

  4. Great list! I think it might be appropriate to put John Piper on the list. No? At least for contemporary stuff.

    Comment by Rene Diebenkorn — October 25, 2011 @ 5:30 pm

    • For some people, definitely; but it’s amazing how completely unknown Piper is outside of Reformed (especially YRR) circles.

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — October 25, 2011 @ 5:39 pm

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