Life's busy, read it when you're ready!

Create a free account to save articles for later, keep track of past articles you’ve read, and receive exclusive access to all RP resources.

Search thousands of RP articles

Articles, news, and reviews that celebrate God's truth.

Get Articles Delivered!

Articles, news, and reviews that celebrate God's truth. delivered direct to your Inbox!


5 of the most impactful books you’ve read?

There’s nothing quite like a good question to get a great discussion going. So we’re starting a new column called “Ask RP” where we are hoping – you guessed it! – that you’ll send in your best queries, and we’ll see if we can get someone to give them the answers they deserve. We hope to answer at least one question each issue.

To start things off, we answered a question of our own manufacture: What are 5 of the most impactful books you’ve read outside of the Bible? The key here is most impactful as these are not neccesarily anyone’s own personal Top 5, but at one point these titles hit us with particular punch.

We pitched it to the five editorial staff, and here’s how they answered.



New Morning Mercies
by Paul David Tripp

Probably my favorite devotional, New Morning Mercies consistently reminds me that life is about God’s kingdom… not mine.

Mom Enough
by Rachel Jankovic et al

This collection of short, encouraging blog posts on “missional motherhood” had a place of honor beside the rocking chair when my kids were small. (And the e-book can be had for free at

Sometimes a Light Surprises
by Jamie Langston Turner

Thoughtful and well-written, this was an inspiring example of what Christian fiction can be, with interestingly complex characters and a plot that isn’t trite.

When Faith Is Forbidden
by Todd Nettleton

These stories of persecuted Christians stuck with me and gave me, as a Western Christian, a lot to ponder.

The Power of Generosity
by Dave Toycen

I’ve always had a soft spot for World Vision, and this book by the organization’s long-time Canadian president touched me – and reminded me that generosity, in all its different aspects, is key to so many parts of our lives as Christians.



God & Government
by Charles Colson

Through true stories of Christians in politics, Colson demonstrates that Christ’s lordship over all isn’t something Christians have to bring about, but rather rely on… and proclaim too, even in the public square.

by Randy Alcorn

Before this I had some vague notion of heaven as a place where we’d sing for eternity. I didn’t like singing very much, so that wasn’t enticing. Alcorn got me to better understand what it means to enjoy God forever, and has me looking forward to Heaven.

Death by Living
by N.D. Wilson

This might not be the book you’d give someone suffering burnout but Wilson’s message, that life is meant to be spent, was an encouragement when our small kids weren’t allowing for much sleep at night.

Love that Dog
by Sharon Creech

The Bible has poetry so I should appreciate poetry. But I didn’t until this book. In each chapter the grade-school boy narrator shares a different style of poem he had to write for school. He doesn’t like poetry (we were on the same side!) but as he continues making them, his poems help him deal with a deep grief he couldn’t express any other way.

God’s Smuggler
by Brother Andrew

A Dutchman saw the need for Bibles behind the Iron Curtain, and succeeded as smuggler only through God’s ongoing miraculous interventions. We all rely on God constantly, but Andrew understood it better, and so, in trust, relied on God more.



The Air We Breathe: How we all came to believe in freedom, kindness, progress, and equality
by Glen Scrivener

It’s quite common for the secular world to bash Christianity and blame religion for all the world’s problems. I found this book really helpful in dismantling those arguments with history proving that the teachings of Jesus Christ have shaped the values that we hold to today.

Christian Mind
by Harry Blamires

I read this while working a job that was very secular, and I found the ideas of not only living but thinking “Christianly” quite convicting. Blamires calls Christians to develop a “Christian mind” characterized by a commitment to truth, a recognition of the authority of Scripture, and a discerning approach to contemporary thought and culture.

Them Before Us: Why we need a global children’s rights movement
by Katy Faust

I found Faust’s boldness impactful, especially in her challenge to the IVF industry, particularly regarding Christian parents who, while meaning well in wanting to bring children into the world, may not fully grasp the serious ethical concerns surrounding IVF.

The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness: The path to true Christian joy
by Tim Keller

A very short read, but one that packs a powerful punch and offers a refreshing perspective on humility and its role in finding true joy in the Christian life.

You’re not enough (and that’s okay)
by Allie Beth Stuckey

I would recommend this to any young Christian woman struggling with the world’s ideas of “self-love.” Stuckey challenges the pervasive notion that we must strive to be “enough” on our own. Instead, she offers a liberating perspective rooted in Christian truth and that our insufficiency is not a flaw but a gateway to reliance on God’s sufficiency.



Loving God
by Charles Colson

Right when I needed it (in university), this book hit both my heart and mind and convicted me of the paradox of the Christian life: finding self by losing self.

Just Do Something
by Kevin DeYoung

In a world so full of opportunities, this book is a much-needed kick in the pants to stop wasting your time and to move forward in faith.

The Grace and Truth Paradox
by Randy Alcorn

Alcorn put into words a truth that I saw demonstrated so powerfully in Scripture and in the lives of people that I respected the most. 100% grace and 100% truth, rather than one at the expense of the other.

The Treasure Principle
by Randy Alcorn

This book (and his other writings) convicted me at an early age to make decisions about possessions with an eternal perspective in mind.

Mission Drift
by Peter Greer

For all those who lead successful businesses and organizations, this book gives practical strategies to keep it faithful to the mission that you care so deeply about.



by Hank Hanegraaff

The “Bible Answer Man” wrote a logical, powerful defense of the historical truth of Jesus’ resurrection. Thirty years later, I can still easily recall its main points: “FEAT” reminds us of – Fatal torment, Empty tomb, Appearances of Christ, and Transformation of the lives of the resurrection’s eyewitnesses. A great apologetic tool for the layman.

An American Life
by Ronald Reagan

Outlining Reagan’s improbable rise from poverty to Hollywood to the White House, the book reminds us that good men believing in timeless principles can accomplish much that is God pleasing, even in a broken world.

Cold Case Christianity
by J. Warner Wallace

A retired police detective brings the same skills and techniques he used to solve “cold criminal cases” to examine the evidence for a historical Jesus and the accuracy of the Scriptures. While logic alone can’t bring one to faith, its application can help break down barriers to belief.

One D— Thing after Another
by William Barr

Former Attorney General Barr writes his life story, reflecting on much more than just the years he served alongside President Trump (although these chapters are fascinating). Barr brings principled insight, wisdom and practical advice to matters of faith, justice, education, capital punishment, and the legal system.

Death Comes for the Archbishop
by Willa Cather

We’re used to tales of priests’ misbehavior, but Willa Cather praises the simple, humble obedience of two French clergymen serving bravely in the American southwest in primitive conditions to God’s glory.

Enjoyed this article?

Get the best of RP delivered to your inbox every Saturday for free.

Articles, Book Reviews

Great books to give any grad

School is nearly done, and for some young men and women, this is the last classroom work they'll be doing. But that doesn't mean they are done with studying. God has a whole great big world for them to explore, and a command to follow to "be fruitful and multiply," and to make the most of both they'll have a lot of learning yet to do. What follows are a few book suggestions intended to help with that ongoing process. These are the sort of reads that, if given a chance, will hook almost anybody. Some of our kids might be less than interested in reading now that they've graduated, and that's okay. Maybe they'll come across a great mentor, or listen to some good podcasts or the Bible as they go for a jog. Learning doesn't just happen through reading. But reading is a way to learn from some of the very best teachers. And all five of these titles are instructive indeed...and accessible. If you want to help your son or daughter make the transition from learning as it was fed to them by their teachers to learning that is self-driven, then you won't come across better starter books than these. All five are more serious books, meant to help the reader think God's thoughts after Him. A couple are particularly readable, at just a hundred or so pages. Two more are commentaries that work great as daily devotionals. And the last is a book that I wish I had read a long time ago, about life as a gift from God that is meant to be spent. If you do gift one of these, take a moment to explain to the graduate why this book is worth their time. It doesn't need to be more than a sentence or two, but that pitch will greatly increase the odds that they actually do open it up and dive in. The Christian Counselor's Commentary on Proverbs by Jay Adams 1997 / 231 pages While the title might have you thinking it is just for Christian counselors this would make a great gift for anyone. But why is this a good gift for grads in particular? As young men and women step out from under the protective shadow of their high school teachers, they aren’t supposed to go it alone. And what better mentor could they find than Lady Wisdom (Prov. 1:20-21)? So this is recommended because it is an exceptional tool for understanding and applying the wisdom of Proverbs. What Adams gives us here is a commentary that can be read as a devotional. It includes the complete text of Proverbs on the top half of the page, and a verse-by-verse commentary on the bottom. I've used this on my own, and also used it at dinner with the family to quickly get a feel for two or three proverbs. I could scan Adams' brief explanations even as the kids were still cleaning off their plates, and then read and discuss the passage with everyone. Proverbs is a unique book in that it should be read only a few verses at a time because there is so much packed into each verse, and Adams is such an insightful guide! Commentary on John by R.C. Sproul 2009 / 414 pages Remember the last time you were doing an essay for your bible study group and you understood almost all of the passage, but were confused about one verse... only to discover that was the only verse your commentary didn't address? I've had that happen repeatedly, but it doesn't happen with Sproul – he actually explains the verses you need help with. Another great feature here is that Dr. Sproul has included the whole text of John, leading each of his chapters with the passage he's going to explain. That means your graduate can throw just this one book into their backpack when they want to bring something along to do a little lunch-time bible study. While we don't normally think of commentaries as a front to back read, this is so engaging it could and should be. Sproul pairs insight with anecdote to craft a commentary that could also be used as a great daily devotional read. Sproul has written a number of commentaries, and while I’ve only read two – Acts is the other – I'm confident you could buy full sets, and give each of the grads you know a different one. Then if any of the recipients marry (as does happen now and again) the couple won't have a duplicate, but instead two different Sproul commentaries. Wouldn't that be fun? Death by Living: Life is meant to be spent by N.D. Wilson 2013 / 190 pages This is almost poetry, but the good sort. It is highly readable, explaining how the going might well get tough. It shares to the young Christian that it is the normal state of things to have sleepless nights, baby spit-up on your shoulder, overflowing honey-do lists, neglected household chores because you were helping at some church event, and so on. And it’s okay. Because, as the subtitle says, life is meant to be spent – God gave us our lives to live them out. A strangely but profoundly comforting book, and one that issues a challenge as well. Wilson's Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl is also fantastic. Just Do Something by Kevin DeYoung 2009 / 150 pages This quick read packs a mighty kick to the rear to use the talents God has given us, and not act tentatively, too afraid to make a mistake. This will be a fantastic gift to anyone who is having some difficulties trying to figure out what they should do next. I’ve given this out at least a half dozen times and gotten a lot of thank-yous from recipients who appreciated both the clarity and the boot to the backside. The Grace and Truth Paradox by Randy Alcorn 2003 / 92 pages Imagine if this Sunday the service ended right after the reading of the Ten Commandments. You’ve just been confronted with the Truth that you’ve offended God with your many sins and deserve eternal punishment… and then that’s it, the service is over. Wouldn’t that be dreadful? In The Grace and Truth Paradox, Randy Alcorn notes that this is what Christians do too often – we present the world a graceless Truth. Or, if we remember to be Gracious, we do so by minimizing the Truth. For example, some graceless Christians are eager to shout out the Truth about homosexuality. But if that Truth is presented without Grace then instead of prompting homosexuals to ask us to Whom they can turn for help, they are sure to run from us. Other Christians, determined to act with more Grace, do so by downplaying the sinfulness of homosexuality – Truth is sacrificed. Once again, instead of leading homosexuals to repentance, our interactions with the world lead to the furtherance of sin. Alcorn’s little book packs a huge wallop and would be of great benefit not only to graduates but their parents too. It really is a book everyone should read as we all have problems, one way or the other, in presenting a “Graceful Truth.” Alcorn also has a larger, but every bit as important book, called Heaven, that would also make for a great grad gift....