The following list provides pastor and layman with a bibliography of the best available books additional to the Bible for deepening the spiritual life. Not all these works are in the strict genre of devotional literature, and some were certainly not written with a devotional intent. But it is safe to say that all are capable of performing radical spiritual surgery on sensitive Christian hearts.
Several criteria have been employed in the selection of titles:
1. Excluded on principle are works of general religiosity (for example, books by K. Gibran), works of general mysticism (Jakob Boehme, Madame Guyon), works doctrinally objectionable (Fulton Sheen’s Life of Christ), works of a social-gospel cast (Sheldon’s In His Steps), works reflecting simply the peace-of-mind or positive-thinking mood (Peale, Blanton), and works of sweetness-and-light (Grace Livingston Hill).
2. Only in-print titles are included. Thus the reader should not expect such classics as Adolph Saphir’s The Lord’s Prayer, David McIntyre’s Prayer Life of Our Lord, or Isaac Watts’ The World to Come; it is hoped that publishing houses engaged in reprinting services will bring back these and other great devotional writings of the past.
3. Only works written in English or available in English translation are included. Many writings of Continental divines of the late sixteenth to early eighteenth century are therefore outside the scope of this list (English translations are badly needed of such works as Johann Gerhard’s Homiliae XXXVI seu meditationes breves diebus dominicis atque festis accomodatae).
4. No more than one entry is given for a single author. The list could have been extended almost indefinitely under such names as Oswald Chambers; it is assumed that readers ...1
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