I don’t have much time for extra reading this semester; I’m homeschooling three children part-time (they’re in a university model school which meets three mornings/week), I’m in my final year of coursework for my School Library/Information Science degree, and I’m still a wife and mother in the midst of it all ☺.

BUT, I’m still making time to do a book study with a friend. Why? Because we’re studying a book by Jerry Bridges–one of my all-time favorite spiritual authors. I’ll be reporting soon on some more children’s book related items, but for now, here’s a brief foray into the world of grown-up books.

Jerry Bridges has a knack for communicating spiritual truth that is at once both profound and basic. There is meat to his books, material I find myself chewing on and applying to my life even as it challenges me to go back to Scripture, to study to show myself approved, and to learn more about this great God whom we serve. And yet, his books are amazingly approachable, even if you don’t have any background in the faith, if you’re a newcomer to Christianity, or simply from a different denomination which has stressed slightly different aspects. (Bridges is what I would term Reformed, but I don’t know what denomination he claims.) He has worked for the Navigators for the past 50 or so years! To me, the most distinctive aspects of his books are these:

  • grounded in Scripture–indeed, they overflow with Scripture references
  • God-focused–it all comes back to who God is rather than focusing solely on mankind

I have not read all of Bridges’ works (he’s a prolific author!). But those listed below are all well worth taking some time out of your busy schedule to peruse. Read with pen in hand and be willing to create some marginalia!

Trusting God Even When Life Hurts

My current study. Trusting God is the most prominent part of the title on my copy; I think the second half is a bit misleading. I don’t feel like life “hurts” most of the time, so I put off reading this gem until this year. This book is about trusting God. In all areas. In all situations. A reminder that God is sovereign–even over nature and nations (a timely reminder given our upcoming election season). 

Transforming Grace

Wow!! This book changed my life. Really and truly. If you’re familiar with Sonship, this book is similar but it starts with who God is, not who man is (and man’s sin–he gets to that, but he begins first with the Lord).

Disciplines of Grace

A follow-up, in a sense, to Transforming Grace. Well worth reading and a succinct look at the practical aspects of our Christian walk.

The Gospel for Real Life

This might become my high school/college graduation gift of choice. It is EXCELLENT. Even if you’ve been a Christian your entire life, you will benefit from this book. A bit of rehash from Transforming Grace in parts; it would be a terrific refresher if you’ve read TG years ago and want to revisit it in a newer form (and with new information).

The Crisis of Caring

Another misleading title, this book sounds like it’s only for those in position as care givers or perhaps those in charge of mercy ministry. Rather, it’s an exploration of Christian fellowship and the ways in which we bear one another’s burdens.

Next up on my Bridges-to-read list: Respectable Sins (mostly because I already own it ☺). Which Bridges book is your favorite?

Cover images from NavPress and Goodreads