I have to be honest about two things. First, I should state that I was influenced by the authors, not just the books themselves. I have since read many books by many of these men and enjoy the conversation I have with each one. Second, with the exception of John Piper, the authors on this list are dead. God has used them in a mighty way past the years he has given them on this earth. I am thankful that though they are dead, they still speak.
I first read this book while still in school at the University of Mobile and it opened up a world for me to begin to understand God in a way that I had never understood him before. I was amazed to discover that “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.” I don’t think any other single person (short of my parents) has had the level of impact on my thinking. I was blessed to hear a sermon by Dr. Piper a little later that year entitled “Doing Missions When Dying is Gain.” (you can listen to the same sermon for free here.) I have never been the same.
I read pilgrims progress when I was a child at a small Christian School in Montana. I have since read and reread it in several different modern English versions. It was through John Bunyan that I was introduced to the rich application of the scriptures. I have never read another book that so completely described the Christian journey. I think this is the book I have shared most often with others. It was once a theme for a Disciple Now and a Christian Heritage Conference Its an easy read, but spiritually challenging.
I picked up the 1936 edition of this book and read it when I was 16 years old. A speech teacher had told me about it and I set out to read it. It profoundly shaped the way I communicate and made me a different person. Dale Carnegie taught me to take a genuine interest and really care about people.
What about you? What books or people have greatly influenced your life?