Once, when I was an intern at Village Seven Presbyterian Church in Colorado Springs, I had the duty of teaching a mens bible study. The teacher I was taking over for? Jerry Bridges. The word "inadequate" is inadequate to describe the way I felt. Nevertheless, Jerry Bridges has been an influential author in my life, and being able to meet him on several occasions has only enhanced my appreciation for him. Here are three books I liked:
Pursuit of Holiness. I read this in the fall of 1996, it was the second book of real theology that I'd ever read. And it helped change my life. This book helped teach me what a serious christian life looked like. (not that I didn't have other good sources teaching me that...) Thirteen years later, I don't remember the specific content of the book, so much as I remember the impact it had on me. And the picture of the guy running on the front of the book.
Respectable Sins. Our small group read through this book together last year. It is very insightful, and takes the time to walk you through all sorts of sins that we don't focus on much. But the most helpful chapter for me, was towards the beginning, when he explains the proper way to apply the gospel to your life as you become more aware of you sinfulness. The point, after all, is not simply to beat yourself up for being such a sinner, but to allow the gospel to do its transforming, sanctifying work in your life.
The Bookends of the Christian Life. This is a new book, and I actually haven't read it. But I did hear the series of lectures that the book is based on. I'll give away the answer. The two bookends of the Christian life are the atoning death of Jesus, and the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit. All healthy christian living takes place by the power of these two truths. They hold everything else in place.
Note: my dad mentioned last week in conversation that Transforming Grace, by Bridges has been one of the most influential books in his life. I'll have to check that one out.