My 30 Top Authors

So who am I reading a lot of?

Five years ago I posted an article listing all the authors I happen to have ten or more volumes by. Of course times change, and I have a lot more books in my library since then. So the list has changed in many respects. Here I will do things a bit differently, and simply list the authors I happen to have the most books from. And with each one I will provide a brief description of the writer and his work.

It would be a bit misleading however to consider these 30 authors to be my all-time favourites. Most may well be, but some other authors that I quite like I either do not have that many of their books, or they did not write that many books.

Those who know me will not be surprised to find that the great bulk of these authors are theologians, apologists and/or biblical scholars. Here are my top 30 authors then, simply placed in order by the number of their books that I happen to own (totalling 1009 volumes – comprising an eighth of my total library!):

1. Martyn Lloyd-Jones – 67

The great Welsh expository preacher is a must-have author. His many vital books include his 14-volume expository commentary on Romans, and his 8-volume work on Ephesians.

2. R. C. Sproul – 52

The Reformed preacher, teacher and theologian wrote numerous important volumes which even non-Calvinists can find great value in.

3. N. T. Wright – 50

The noted theologian and New Testament scholar is among the most prolific of the authors featured here, with new volumes seemingly appearing every month. He does both popular level works as well as serious academic and scholarly volumes.

4. D. A. Carson – 48

The noted theologian and New Testament scholar has produced a number of important commentaries and other works over the decades. He is always dependable and worth reading.

5. James Montgomery Boice – 47

The pastor and expository preacher has many great books out, including his 5-volume set of sermons on John and a 4-volume set on Romans.

6. Alister McGrath – 46

This is another prolific author who has covered many fields: theology, church history, the Reformation, science and faith, and apologetics.

7. Norman Geisler – 45

The prolific apologist and Christian philosopher has always been a tremendous help to students. His works are still of great value.

8. C. S. Lewis – 44

What can we say about this great man? His works must be in every Christian’s library. Apologetics, theology and children’s stories all flowed effortlessly from his pen.

9. J. I. Packer – 40

He of course was a champion of Puritan and Reformed thought, his works are always a must-read. Grab whatever you find by him, including his best-selling Knowing God.

10. A. W. Tozer – 39

The American pastor and devotional writer is seldom surpassed in leading us into the very throne room of God. His prophetic voice still speaks to us today.

  1. John Piper – 38

The well-known pastor and teacher is an expert in promoting the theology of Jonathan Edwards. He has penned so many vital books that are well worth picking up when you spot them.

  1. John Ankerberg – 35

Featuring him here might be slightly misleading, since the great bulk of these books are his much smaller booklets that deal with things like aspects of apologetics, the cults, the New Age Movement, and the like, most co-authored with John Weldon.

  1. Tremper Longman – 34

There are plenty of solid and worthwhile works on the Old Testament that are available from Longman.

  1. G. K. Chesterton – 33

Who can ignore the great GKC? He is probably one of my all-time favourite authors, and his Orthodoxy is probably my most loved book of his. There are many collected volumes of his works that I still would love to get.

  1. Thomas Sowell – 30

The black American economist and social commentator is another author who never disappoints. Anything he has written is well worth getting a hold of.

  1. John Stott – 29

The English theologian and commentary writer was one of the best around. Almost nothing of his works will disappoint.

  1. Charles Spurgeon – 27

The British Prince of Preachers should never be missed. His sermons and devotional writings are always excellent, and there are just so many of them to choose from.

  1. Ben Witherington – 26

This New Testament scholar has many important theological works available, including helpful commentaries on most of the NT books.

  1. Ravi Zacharias – 25

The noted Christian apologist passed away a few years ago, and sadly some scandals were exposed around then. That led many to stop selling his works, or to discard them altogether. I have kept them all, as they are still very valuable books, despite what transpired later in his life.

  1. Peter Kreeft – 25

This Catholic philosopher, theologian and apologist is a terrific writer with so many invaluable books to his name.

Image of Old Testament Theology: Israel's Gospel (Vol. 1)
Old Testament Theology: Israel's Gospel (Vol. 1) by Goldingay, John (Author) Amazon logo
  1. John Goldingay – 25

The Old Testament scholar is always a stalwart for fine work in this field. I especially cherish his 3-volume Old Testament Theology and many of his OT commentaries.

  1. Michael Brown – 24

This Messianic Jew not only has a number of books dealing with issues about Israel and the Jews and how to reach them, but books on politics, culture wars, homosexuality, and holiness and revival.

  1. Francis Schaeffer – 24

One should of course pick up anything they find by this pastor, Christian thinker and apologist. He has had a profound impact on millions of Christians worldwide.

  1. Roger Scruton – 23

The English philosopher and conservative was one of the brightest minds around until his recent passing. His works are deep and incisive, and always repay careful reading and study.

  1. Os Guinness – 23

The apologist, Christian thinker and social and cultural commentator is always reliable, cogent and incisive. A former worker with Schaeffer, his volumes are must reads.

  1. Joel Beeke – 23

This extremely prolific writer is an authority in Puritan and Reformed thought, with a number of outstanding academic and devotional volumes available.

  1. Walter Kaiser – 22

I continue to appreciate this Old Testament scholar and preacher. His works are certainly worth getting.

  1. J. P. Moreland – 22

This leading apologist and Christian philosopher is a great mind and a terrific read.

  1. Paul Copan – 22

This apologist who does a lot of work on the problematic biblical texts, especially in the Old Testament, is another author you need to be aware of.

  1. F. F. Bruce – 21

The New Testament scholar’s works have stood the test of time and include a number of fine commentaries along with some important volumes on NT theology.

There you have it. As can be seen, these authors are mainly all Protestants, but with a few notable exceptions (Chesterton and Kreeft). And at least one (Sowell) may well not be a Christian of any stripe. And sadly perhaps, they all happen to be male. And they tend to be all American or English writers. But in my library I of course have many female and non-American and non-English authors, so do not judge me too harshly just from this list!

Happy reading.

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3 Replies to “My 30 Top Authors”

  1. I see we have many interests in common despite the denominational differences, Bill. I love Norman Geisler’s work, especially that on Thomas Aquinas. J.P. Moreland is one of the greatest pro-life bioethicists writing today, C.S.Lewis and Francis Schaeffer are my personal evangelical touchstones, and Peter Kreeft’s “The Unaborted Socrates” is one of my personal favourites.

    What about Catholic authors like Robert George, John Finnis, Francis Beckwith and others?

  2. Three quick replies:
    -I do include Catholic authors here.
    -I do own books by the three writers you mention.
    -The point of this piece was simply to list the 30 authors that I happen to have the most books of.

  3. A fine and admirable list, some unknown – Walter Kaiser, Tremper Longman. I have Moreland and Copan in English. Otherwise, ten numbers on your list in Swedish.
    Schaffer (..since the 70s) Tozer, Stott, Chesterton, Kreeft, Gunniess….

    The book has not lost its value despite all the digitization, Your library is powerful (…picture?) ?

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