Some Personal Favorites
Just some general, haphazard suggestions. Here we go, in no particular order, except perhaps some older works first.
If you have not read All of Grace by Charles Spurgeon, then you are cheating yourself. Few, if any, ever preached the gospel so well as Spurgeon, and this book, designed as an appeal to the lost, will warm – if not melt – the heart of any believer. This was the first book D. L. Moody selected to publish at Moody Press, and a good choice it was. Get it. Read it. Today!
Is there anything that remains to be said of Pilgrim's Progress? It is a classic - which of course means that it is a book which everyone has heard of and no one has read! This book has sold more copies than any book in history, except the Bible. Reading through it again just recently I was blessed by Bunyan's thorough "saturation" with the Bible, his great heart for the gospel, and also his fervent and painful longing for the Holy City. What a wonderful experience awaits you in this book!
If you are in love with the doctrines of grace, as I am, then you'll be even more in love with them after reading J. I. Packer's Introductory Essay to John Owen's The Death of Death in the Death of Christ. Owen's work, of course, is the still unanswered defense of definite atonement, but Packer's introduction also is a marvelous overview of what is called "Calvinism" given with compelling passion and Biblical force. Must reading in soteriology.
Every pastor should read and re-read John Murray's Redemption Accomplished and Applied. It is one of the most helpful little volumes on the work of Christ you can ever get your hands on. Read it and digest it – all of it.
To gain a right appreciation of the redemptive historical significance of the first coming of Christ and of the NT age, you must read through George Eldon Ladd's A Theology of the New Testament. This book was of immense value to me when I first came across it. It's strongest section is his treatment of the gospels with it's redemptive historical themes, but the entire volume is valuable. Required reading for preachers.
Don Carson's Exegetical Fallacies is alone in its class. This little volume, as the title implies, very painfully points out the many mistakes we are all too wont to make in our handling of the Scriptures. Must reading for all interpreters.
I was introduced to A. W. Tozer when I was 19, and he made a deep impression on me. The first two Tozer books which I read were The Pursuit of God and The Root of the Righteous. Later I also read his The Knowledge of the Holy, and now some others also. Tozer was almost a mystic with prophetic insights, and his evident passion for God, as well as his high view of God (Tozer is the most Calvinistic Arminian you'll ever read!), make these books always worthwhile reading for anyone. I wish every Christian would read these books. Highly recommended.
Anglican Bishop J. C. Ryle is one whom everyone will enjoy. His writings are insightful and warmly devotional and always profitable. His Duties of Parents is "required" reading at our church for all parents – if you are a parent get this book, and read it. And whether you are a parent or not, you will profit greatly from his many writings -- Holiness, Practical Religion, Old Paths, Five English Reformers -- all are great reading.