Some time ago, a coworker of mine asked me to recommend some books on the Holy Spirit. I said I’d give it some thought, but then I realized… I was stumped at first! One of the areas of my library that is weakest is on books concerning the Spirit—who he is, what he does, and how we relate to him.
Unfortunately, as I’ve looked for good books to consider, I’ve found a number of books that are trustworthy and worth considering. Today I’d like to share a few of them with you.
A word about the books chosen
First, you’ll notice that I’ve kept, more or less, to recent works. As much as I love John Owen, his works tend to be challenging to modern readers; I’d rather recommend something that’s got a shot of being read than not at all. Second, you’ll notice that the perspectives of both continuationists and cessationists are represented in this list. I’ve chosen to do this for a few reasons:
- It allows us to celebrate what we have in common. And yes, we do have some common ground despite what you might have heard.
- It allows us to learn from one another. You might find something in one of these books that makes you think, “Hey, I never thought of it that way before.” And insofar as it’s biblical, you might even be able to embrace such things.
- It allows us to practice respectful disagreement. Christian charity does not allow for paper tigers and men of straw, friends.
With that of the way, these are a few books I’d suggest reading if you want to know more about the Spirit.
7 books to read on the Holy Spirit
The Mystery of the Holy Spirit by R.C. Sproul
Sproul’s greatest strength is his ability to make virtually any theological concept or doctrine and make it accessible. This is certainly true of The Mystery of the Holy Spirit, which is one of the best all-around introductions to the Spirit you’re going to find. (You can also get Sproul’s Who is the Holy Spirit? as a free eBook at Ligonier.org).
The Holy Spirit by Sinclair Ferguson
This is one of my all-time favorite books on the Holy Spirit. Ferguson manages to mostly maintain the difficult balance of being theological and devotional in his writing, something few authors can do. It is a more involved read than Sproul’s work above, and skews a bit academic at times, but it’s well worth the effort.
Forgotten God by Francis Chan
Chan’s focus is recapturing a vision for why we need the Holy Spirit at all—why he is essential to the Christian life. There are some weaknesses to the book, certainly—as I wrote in my review, Scripture’s connection to the Spirit’s work ought to be fleshed out in greater detail—but it’s worth reading.
Who On Earth is the Holy Spirit? by Tim Chester and Chris de la Hoyde
This is probably among the most accessible introductions to the person and work of the Holy Spirit I’ve read. Chester and de la Hoyde do an excellent job answering the key questions surrounding the third person of the Trinity.
Jesus, Continued… by J.D. Greear
Greear’s provides readers with answers to the questions of who the Holy Spirit is, how we experience him in this life, and how to seek more of him in our lives. To see our relationship with the Holy Spirit as exactly that: a relationship. It’s definitely worth your time.
Engaging with the Holy Spirit by Graham Cole
Cole’s purpose here is not to offer an apologetic for the person of the Holy Spirit, but to focus on a number of key questions many believers find themselves asking as they read the Scriptures and journey through the Christian life. This kind of approach is much needed when considering how we interact with the Spirit, which makes it one of the more unique books on this list.
Father, Son and Holy Spirit by Bruce A. Ware
Ware’s book focuses on the Trinity as a whole, which is important for any meaningful discussion of the person and work of the Spirit. I don’t agree with Ware on some key issues regarding the relationship between the persons of the Trinity, but there is value in the book.