My Deserted Island Top 5 Books

When it comes out each week I enjoy listening to the podcast called “5 Minutes in Church History” by Stephen Nichols.  It is a great little clip once a week commenting on a major event, place, or person in the history of the Church, and with a busy schedule it is very nice to only be 5 minutes long. Occasionally Dr. Nichols has a guest on the show and he asks the guest the big question we all should have to answer at least once in our lives:

If you were on a deserted island what 5 books would you make sure to have there with you?  

Dr. Nichols always makes it a point to note that the Bible is already there with you, so that does not need to be in your list.  With that said, here are my top 5 choices of deserted island books in a standard countdown fashion.

5) The Heidelberg Catechism – I would need to stay theologically in tune on this island, and nothing would do the job more than this ancient catechism written 450 years ago.  If you haven’t read it, you need to.  I love it, very personal, very warm, very true.

4) The Life and Diary of David Brainerd – This may come as a surprise to some of you, but when I get discouraged I go to one place, David Brainerd’s diary.  Why?  Because I haven’t found anyone else as gut level honest with himself as he is in his diary.  It is life-giving to my soul to read the pages of a missionary struggling to love and preach to a particular people group.

3) The Works of John Piper – Taking every modern theologian into account there has been no one who has influenced me more than John Piper.  Having his works near me would be an absolute necessity.

2) John Calvin’s Institutes – Is this a surprise?  It shouldn’t be!  Haha, but really.  I love reading this, always have since the first time I picked it up.  Calvin is an astounding theologian and it amazes me each time I read parts of his magnum opus because he shows me so much of Christ.  Wouldn’t go far from this one.

1) Lord of the Rings one volume edition – I choose this as my top pick because it has for many years inspired me to keep going in my Christian life.  How so?  I see myself in each of the characters, and it has allowed me to know myself more and for that I am grateful.  Secondly, it puts the meta-narrative of redemption on full display throughout the whole of its own story, and beholding this has encouraged me to go back again and again to the real main redemptive meta-narrative found throughout Scripture, Christ.  Because of these two things I enjoy breathing deeply of the air of Middle Earth, and would want to spend much of my time immersed in this on the island.

What would yours be?

2 thoughts on “My Deserted Island Top 5 Books

  1. For me it would be:
    1)The bible (multi-translation ver.)- can’t leave home without this!
    2) Daily Readings by Thomas Keating- who is a prolific Christian writer on spirituality and the workings of the human mind. (Help keep my sanity)
    3) A Brief History of Everything by Ken Wilber- philosopher and pioneer of trans-personal psychology. This will definitely keep my mind from getting bored (lol).
    4) Desert Wisdom by Thomas Merton. This is a collection of sayings and anecdotes by the early Coptic Fathers of Egypt who literally lived in the desert regions outside Alexandria in the 4th cent. A.D. and thrived.
    5) City of God- St. Augustine. I’ve been meaning to get through this monumental work of his for years, and I guess this would be the time.

    And some sunscreen for sure. I burn easily:-)

    1. Haha, good choices sir. The Bible is already provided for you on this island, so it would seem you’ve got an open slot to choose something else!

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