I once heard it asked: “If you were going to be stranded on an island, what book would you want to have with you?” I must confess that this is a rather difficult question for me to answer. I love books and thus to choose a single title proves great difficulty. So to help alleviate my torment, I have decided to answer the question with three volumes.
1. The Bible
Not sure how much explanation I need on this one. In truth, this would be the single book I would choose if stranded on an island. One could spend all of one’s life and still not plumb the depths contained within this one cover. In some ways I almost want to purposely strand myself upon an island in order to have the entirety of my day soaking and saturating within the depths of Jesus and His Word. I would not need another book if I had but this one; however, the two books below are not only two favorites, but two which continues to challenge and change my life.
2. The Christian in Complete Armor (William Gurnall)
Written in the sixteen century, this book has been recommended by many of the epic Godly men and women throughout the last couple hundred years; and has been on many people’s “island book list.” These 700 plus pages are overflowing with insight and truth contained in Scripture. This is another volume that one could read countless times and find new truth and wisdom within. Charles Spurgeon stated that this book is “peerless and priceless; every line full of wisdom. The book has been preached over scores of times and is, in our judgment, the best thought-breeder in all our library.” David Wilkerson wrote:
Leonard Ravenhill, a very godly friend, gave me a copy of this book with these solemn words, “This book is going to revolutionize your life. It has had a profound effect on my life, and I believe you are prepared to receive its message now.” At first I put the book aside… Out of curiosity, I later scanned the first 25 pages. That is all it took to bring me to my knees. Gurnall, the pious puritan, has touched something deep within me. His were such probing, scorching, searing words that they shook my inner man. I devoured the book with great zeal… I will forever bless the day it was placed in my hands.
While in truth I have not read much of the book, I tend to get stuck on paragraph two on page one – I love the idea of being a cast away with Bible and this book in tow. To read but a page and spend the remainder of the day pondering its words and diving into related Scriptures sounds enticing.
3. Rees Howells Intercessor (Norman Grubb)
Quite unlike the above mentioned tome, this book is an easy to read biography about Rees Howells (for my book review of Grubb’s work, click here). A friend of mine wanted to read it again so I told him I would be delighted in joining him, giving fodder for conversation. Knowing the story of Howells, having read the book about a year ago, I was unprepared for the kick in the teeth this book has become again in my life. It is hard to read this excellent biography without feeling the pains of conviction and stirring within one’s soul. Every chapter leaves you breathless as the Spirit examines your life. I continually realize that while we are not to compare our lives with others – but only Jesus – when I read Howells my life is completely lacking … and thus how much more when standing against the perfection of Christ?!?! This book never ceases to inspire, encourage, challenge (ie: kick my teeth in), and bring me to the depths of Jesus Himself. Probably the best biography ever written (in my opinion), I would cherish the opportunity of rereading this grand story of a life completely and utterly at the disposal of Jesus.
Now while I state I would love to be on an island with these three books in hand, I must confess all three passionately scream at me to allow Jesus to indwell my life, get my hands dirty, and pour His life out (through mine) upon and to the world. And one can hardly do that alone on an island.