If you are not familiar with David Wells and his books, you ought to become so. Wells is research professor at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts and author of such titles as God in the Wasteland, No Place for Truth, and The Courage to be Protestant – all good reads.
In this interview with Gospel Coalition’s Ivan Mesa (posted Feb.9, 2016) Wells reveals what books have shaped him, what he’s currently writing, his favorite books, and more.
I quote two sections of the interview where – the two where Wells talks about the books that have most influenced him as a Christian. I think you will find his comments profitable. Find the rest of the interview (and more on what books he enjoys!) at the link below.
What books have most profoundly shaped how you serve and lead others for the sake of the gospel?
The gospel is the message of salvation and, as such, it’s the place where our understanding of God, sin, grace, and Christ all come into tight focus. On those subjects I drank deeply from Heinrich Heppe’s Reformed Dogmatics. This is a selection of the best in Reformed thinking from the 16th to the 19th centuries. It put me in touch with the deepest thought in the life of the church.
I love the Princetonians, especially Charles Hodge’s Systematic Theology, and some of B. B. Warfield’s writings.
J. I. Packer’s Knowing God, at a popular level, is on this same list.
What books have most helped you teach others about Jesus?
I first heard John Stott (1921–2011) when he visited the University of Cape Town on a gospel mission. At the time, I was a rebellious student who knew nothing about Christian faith. I was converted soon thereafter, and immediately read Basic Christianity, which solidified my understanding.
Two years later I moved to London and, as it turned out, was able to live with Stott in the All Souls Church rectory. What made such a deep impression on me was seeing the seamless connection between the biblical truth he preached and wrote about, and the way it was worked out in the practical setting of a church. Many other books followed, of course. Later came his The Cross of Christ and then his commentary on Romans, which is the most lucid exposition of Romans available. These books all have the ring of authenticity and they have shaped the way I see things.