I am devoting most of my non-fiction reading in 2017 to the subject of God’s love and its implications. It is something my heart has been hungry for lately, at least more consciously so. We’re all in desperate need of experiencing the love of God every millisecond of our lives, of course, even if we don’t feel we are. But as I thought about how I wanted to add some direction to some of my 2017 studies, I couldn’t think of a more spiritually edifying and personally necessary subject than the love that 1 John 4:8 says God himself is.
I’ve broken the titles down into mainly three categories: devotional, theological, inspirational/practical (“Christian living”). There is some overlap, obviously, and I didn’t have an equal number in each category, but that’s generally how I’m going about the list.
I assume only a few of my readers may be interested in this, but here is the list I’m starting out with, in the order I plan to read them:
All Loves Excelling by John Bunyan (devotional)
The Love of God: A Canonical Model by John Peckham (theological)
A Loving Life: In a World of Broken Relationships by Paul Miller (inspirational)
Charity and Its Fruits by Jonathan Edwards (devotional)
Testaments of Love by Leon Morris (theological)
God’s Love by R. C. Sproul (inspirational)
Life of the Beloved by Henri Nouwen (devotional)
You Are What You Love by James K. A. Smith (theological)
His Love Endures Forever by Garry Williams (inspirational)
The Love of God by Oswald Chambers (devotional)
Nothing Greater, Nothing Better: Theological Essays on the Love of God edited by Kevin Vanhoozer (theological)
The God Who Loves You by Peter Kreeft (inspirational)
The Love of Christ by Richard Sibbes (devotional)
The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God by D. A. Carson* (theological)
Love in Hard Places by D. A. Carson* (theological)
A Different Kind of Happiness: Discovering the Joy That Comes from Sacrificial Love by Larry Crabb (inspirational)
Heaven: A World of Love by Jonathan Edwards* (devotional)
Works of Love by Soren Kierkegaard* (theological)
Leading with Love by Alexander Strauch (inspirational)
God Loves You by Charles Spurgeon (devotional)
The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis (theological)
The God Who Loves by John MacArthur (inspirational)
In addition, I’ll be reading all along the way Gerald Bray’s systematic theology, God Is Love.
My prayer through this expedition is that God may grant me to be further strengthened with power through his Spirit in my inner being, so that Christ may dwell more richly in my heart and that I may be more greatly strengthened to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that I might be filled with all the fullness of God (Eph. 3:16-19).
Anything you think I’m missing and should add to the list?
* Denotes books I have read before and will be revisiting.