Justin Childers wrote about a question he received from a missionary candidate on his blog:
"Lisa is packing and preparing for this trip [to be a missionary in Russia] and sent me an e-mail with this question: "I'm still wresting with book choices. If you only had five non-scholarly/non-commentary books with you during the next three years what would you choose?"
He has one assumption:
Assume that you have access to the ESV Study Bible online and all Piper books online (in other words, don't include these in your list).
Here is my list of non-scholarly/non-commentary books I would take:
1. The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes This is a refreshing and encouraging read when tempted to be discouraged in ministry. It is a great delight to remember that "A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench" (Matt 12:20).
2. The Discipline of Grace by Jerry Bridges I go back to this book regularly when I am tempted to think that my acceptance before God is based on my works. This was such a category shifting book for me when I first read it that I find great delight in just browsing its pages.
3. To the Golden Shore (Biography of Adoniram Judson) by Courtney Anderson When I was in seminary, I would sneak down into the basement of the building and pick out an old copy of this book off the shelf when I started to lose my focus. The story is amazing and faith-building. I was moved every time I read it.
4. Knowing God by J.I. Packer The chapter "Sons of God" (chapter 19) is worth the price of this book- but every chapter is wonderful! This might be the one book I would choose if I could only choose one.
5. The Cross of Christ by John Stott I am listening to "The Cross of Christ" on my ipod as I work out and it is reminding me how weighty and helpful Stott's work is. It is not only encouraging, but it would serve as a helpful reference as well.