Our Kids’ Future Library

A prominent blogger recently posted about a conversation he had with J.I. Packer about starting a basic theological library for each of his kids. You can read Packer’s top five books by clicking here. That got me thinking of not only my own experience growing up, but what books Elizabeth and I want to give our kids to start with.

Growing up, my church would give books to “kids” when they reached certain milestones. I received J.C. Ryle’s Holiness for eighth grade graduation, Louis Berkhof’s Systematic Theology for high school graduation, and John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion for college graduation. I have yet to fully get to Berkhof and Calvin, though I hope to soon. My dad also usually gives me a book at each birthday and Christmas, which is also a welcome way to build my humble little library (if you’re interested in furthering this cause, my Amazon Wish List is to the left *wink*). Recent gifts from Dad include R.C. Sproul’s A Taste of Heaven, D.A. Carson’s A Call to Spiritual Reformation, and J. Gresham Machen’s Christianity and Liberalism. My dad has always told us kids that his extensive (and even intimidating) library will be ours when the time comes for him to retire, though that could be a while, right, Dad?

All this got me thinking of how I wanted to start my kids’ (theological) libraries. I’ve quickly brainstormed a very rough top five list of books to start with (the Bible and religious “fiction” like Pilgrim’s Progress or the Chronicles of Narnia notwithstanding). In alphabetical order they are:

Calvin’s Institutes
Jonathan Edwards’ The Religious Affections
C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity
J.I. Packer’s Knowing God
Ryle’s Holiness

I’d love to hear your suggestions or your list.


4 thoughts on “Our Kids’ Future Library

  1. I will leave a shelf containing the following 10 fictional works (in no order) which will be assigned reading before age 16:The Adventures of Tom SawyerThe Adventures of Huckleberry FinnTo Kill a MockingbirdChronicles of NarniaThe Hobbit/Lord of the RingsTreasure IslandCharlotte’s WebAesop’s FablesFarenheit 451The Wind in the WillowsI’m considering making these mandatory before driving privelages are granted.


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