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  • Writer's pictureDexter Bersonda

Influential Books Among Reformed Pinoys


At the outset we must disclose that all information here is based on a very informal and unscientific survey based on the comments in our page. The data are collected from answers to the question: “Aside from the bible, what book has been the most influential to you?” We then defined those who are eligible to answer the question, which are those who are:

1. Reformed or reforming, which for us are simply those who subscribe to a confession or statement of faith that is either one or similar to one in this list.

2. Filipino or those living/ministering in the Philippines.

In total, there were 291 unique FB accounts who answered the question. It should be noted though that we have not checked each of these accounts for eligibility and depend on the honesty of those who joined that they fit the above requirements. Another issue is that there were many who identified more than one book. We are actually sympathetic to those who are having trouble identifying just one book. All book lovers will have trouble identifying just one. Originally, we commented that we will take the first book mentioned in these cases. However, we realized that these could add to the richness of the data, and decided to include them in the tally. So for the final tally there were 439 unique books from 291 unique accounts. Any duplicates, defined as duplicate titles from the same FB account, have been removed.

Now here are some of the results and our observations:

The top authors by % of people influenced:

1 RC Sproul (11.3%)

2 John Piper (10.3%)

3 Jerry Bridges and John Bunyan (9.3%)

4 A.W. Pink (8.9%)

5 John Owen (6.5%)

6 Charles Spurgeon (5.8%)

7 J. I. Packer and John MacArthur (5.5%)

8 Derick Parfan (4.1%)

9 Louis Berkhof (3.1%)

10 J.C. Ryle and Paul David Tripp (2.7%)

The top ten authors are ranked by the number of people they influenced. This means that if a person submitted two titles by the same author, then the person will only be counted once among those influenced by that author. A person submitting multiple books from multiple authors will be counted once for each of those authors.

Not surprisingly, RC Sproul and John Piper topped the list, with each one having the main influence for at least one out of ten of the respondents. It is also remarkable that the top ten contains a good mix of modern and older writers. There are two puritans (Bunyan and Owen) while older writers such as A.W. Pink, Charles Spurgeon and J.C. Ryle are on the top ten. We also note with pleasure that one of our local pastor-theologians, Pastor Derick Parfan of Baliwag Bible Christian Church is top 8th on the list, with one out of every twenty five reformed pinoys identifying his book Five Solas One Gospel as having the main influence next to the bible.

The top books by % of people influenced:

1. The Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan (8.25%)

2. The Attributes of God, A.W. Pink (4.81%)

3. Knowing God, J. I. Packer (4.47%)

4. Five Solas One Gospel, Derick Parfan (4.12%)

5. The Pursuit of Holiness, Jerry Bridges (3.09%)

6. All of Grace, Charles Spurgeon (2.75%)

7. The Holiness of God, RC Sproul (2.75%)

8. The Mortification of Sin, John Owen (2.75%)

9. Dangerous Calling, Paul David Tripp (2.06%)

10. Redemption Accomplished and Applied, John Murray (2.06%)

11. Systematic Theology, Louis Berkhof, Louis Berkhof (2.06%)

12. The Sovereignty of God, A.W. Pink (2.06%)

13. The Valley of Vision, Arthur Bennett (2.06%)

14. Institutes of the Christian Religion , John Calvin (1.72%)

15. Trusting God, Jerry Bridges (1.72%)

16. What is Reformed Theology?, RC Sproul (1.72%)

17. Don't Waste Your Life, John Piper (1.37%)

18. God is the Gospel, John Piper (1.37%)

19. Growing in Holiness, RC Sproul (1.37%)

20. Holiness of God, RC Sproul (1.37%)

21. The Glory of Christ, John Owen (1.37%)

22. Transforming Grace, Jerry Bridges (1.37%)

23. When I Don't Desire God, John Piper (1.37%)

24. A Body of Divinity, Thomas Watson (1.03%)

25. A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life, Mark Jones and Joel Beeke (1.03%)

26. Chosen by God, RC Sproul (1.03%)

27. Evangelism, John MacArthur (1.03%)

28. Everyone’s a Theologian, RC Sproul (1.03%)

29. Expository Thoughts on the Gospels, J.C. Ryle (1.03%)

30. Gentle and Lowly, Dane Ortlund (1.03%)

31. Grace Define & Defended, Kevin DeYoung (1.03%)

32. Holiness, J.C. Ryle (1.03%)

33. Knowing Christ Mark Jones, (1.03%)

34. Mere Christianity, CS Lewis (1.03%)

35. Morning & Evening, Charles Spurgeon (1.03%)

36. The Believer's Walk With Christ, John MacArthur (1.03%)

37. The Bruised Reed, Richard Sibbes (1.03%)

38. The Gospel According to Jesus, John MacArthur (1.03%)

39. The Pursuit of God, A.W. Tozer (1.03%)

40. The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment, Jeremiah Burroughs (1.03%)

41. The Reformed Pastor, Richard Baxter (1.03%)

42. Westminster Confession of Faith,Napoleon F. Malabuyo (1.03%)

There were a total of 228 book titles mentioned by the respondents. The list above shows 42 out of the 228 having influenced at least 1 out of 100 of reformed pinoys. The top one by a wide margin is John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, followed by A.W. Pink’s The Attributes of God, J.I. Packer’s Knowing God, and Derick Parfan’s Fives Solas One Gospel. The rest of the list are all good books, except maybe for CS Lewis’ Mere Christianity, which could be profitable but should be read with caution.

Another thing we were interested to look at is the influence of the puritans among reformed pinoys. Out of the 291 persons who submitted entries, 61 or 21% have identified a puritan book among their influence. The puritan writers mentioned were:

1. John Bunyan (9.3%)

2. John Owen (6.5%)

3. Jonathan Edwards (1.7%)

4. Richard Baxter (1.7%)

5. Thomas Watson (1.4%)

6. Jeremiah Burroughs (1%)

7. Richard Sibbes (1%)

8. John Flavel

9. Joseph Alleine

10. Ralph Venning

11. Thomas Brooks

12. Thomas Goodwin

While not technically a puritan, we included Jonathan Edwards in the list because he is considered one by Monergism and other modern writers.

Again, we would like to thank everyone who participated in this informal survey. It is heartening to know that reformed pinoys are in the company of the great saints, theologians, pastors and preachers who have recorded their wisdom in their writings. May God bless you in all your readings!


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