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  • Writer's pictureVic Bernales

Twelve Books That Have Stayed With Me

Some of you may not know that my family of origin did not have books when I was growing up. At a young age, I was more of a radio listener than a book reader. For my research, I had to go to the municipal library and ask the librarian, who was a relative, to help me find the books and articles that I needed.

For my Grade V English vocabulary assignments, I had to borrow a Webster dictionary from our neighbor. I didn't own personal books until I got converted back in college.

So I did not have the luxury of reading good books early in life. My conversion to Christ in 1987 though gave me the hunger to read my Bible and good books to help me understand it. One of the significant books I've read early in my Christian life was John Stott's "Basic Christianity." I still have a copy of it.

However, my greatest discovery of good literature out there took place when I was introduced to the Reformed faith in 1998. I started reading books on the Christian faith from a Reformed perspective. I have read books and articles by and about Augustine, Calvin, Luther, Owen, and other Reformed and Puritan authors. My Christian life was greatly enriched by these literature.

Over the years, I have also read a few novels that I really enjoyed that I keep on reading portions of them still, either via electronic or hard copy. I especially like David Morrell's trilogy ("The Brotherhood of the Rose," "The Fraternity of the Stone," and "The League of Night and Fog"). I got addicted with Morrell's novels when I was a young staff of Inter Varsity Philippines back in the 90s.

I also read and liked John Grisham's "A Time to Kill," "The Pelican Brief," and "The Testament." I know they're kinda old novels but these were published when I was beginning to like reading.

Now, if I were to list twelve (12) books that have stayed with me over the years in some way, my list would include:

1. Knowing God - J. I. Packer 2. Calvin's Doctrine on the Christian Life - Ronald S. Wallace 3. Novum Testamentum Graece - Nestle-Aland 4. The Book of Revelation - G. K. Beale 5. John Owen on the Christian Life - Sinclair B. Ferguson 6. The Fraternity of the Stone - David Morrell 7. The Confession - St. Augustine 8. The Testament - John Grisham 9. The Shadow of Christ in the Law of Moses - Vern Poythress 10. Institutes of the Christian Religion - John Calvin 11. The Pursuit of Holiness - Jerry Bridges 12. Trusting God - Jerry Bridges

I thank the Lord for giving me the appetite to read books. I have a lot of them now. I have read some of them but still many of them remain unread. Lord willing, with the remaining time I have here on earth, I hope to read or at least start to read them soon.


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