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360Stepping Stones to Success

Some years ago, George and Alec Gallup undertook an exhaustive investigation as to what makes some people more successful than others. Using the polling techniques that have made them famous, the brothers researched and wrote a book on Success. One of their conclusions: Successful people read.

 

Foundations for Constructive Conversation

George Gallup found that reading was essential because it "makes a person ready to converse… these people have a broad knowledge… and more information with which to make evaluations and decisions."

 

Gym for the Mind

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. Books are minds alive on the shelves. By taking up one of these books and opening it, we can hear the voices of people far away in time and space. By reading we can hear great people of long ago speaking to us, mind to mind, heart to heart.

 

Inspiration from Examples of Excellence

If it was announced that Martin Luther, John Calvin, Charles Spurgeon or David Livingstone was speaking at a particular church, Christians from all over the world would show up. But we need to remember that when we open up a book by one of those authors, we can hear them speak and learn from them in a greater way than you could if you just heard them at a single meeting.

 

Character Shaping

A man is known by the company he keeps. It is also true that a person's character is to a large extent developed by the books he reads. A man is known by the company his mind keeps. A book is good company.

 

Learning from the Past

"The reading of all good books is like conversation with the finest men of past centuries." Descartes.

 

Soul Food

"In books lies the soul of the whole past time." Thomas Carlyle.

 

Advantage

Mark Twain observed: "The man who does not read good books, has no advantage over the man who cannot read them."

 

Best Friend

Abraham Lincoln commented: "The things I want to know are in books; my best friend is the man who will get me a book I have not read."

 

Treasure

Walt Disney said: "There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates' loot on Treasure Island…and best of all you can enjoy these riches every day of your life."

 

Live Life to the Fullest

"In a very real sense, people who have read good literature have lived more than people who cannot, or will not, read… it is not true we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish." S.I. Hayakawa

 

Secrets for Success

"If we encounter a man of rare intellect we should ask him what books he reads." Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Truths that Transform

Charles Spurgeon counselled his students: "Master those books you have. Read them thoroughly. Bathe in them until they saturate you. Read and re-read them… digest them… a student will find that his mental constitution is more affected by one book thoroughly mastered than by 20 books he has merely skimmed."

 

Choose Wisely

Daniel Webster recommended that it is better to master a few books than to read indiscriminately. It was his contention that to master a few great writers was preferable to skimming a multitude of lesser works.

 

Tried and Tested is Better than the Current Fashion

C.S. Lewis recommended: "If one must read only the new or only the old, I would advise them to read the old. It is a good rule, after reading a new book, never to allow oneself another new one until you have read an old one in between."

 

Reject the Shallow and Superficial

Inferior books are to be rejected in an age and time when we are courted by whole libraries. No man's life is long enough to read even those which are good and great and famous. Why then should one waste one's time with lesser works when some of the greatest are available?

 

Savour the Special

Francis Bacon wrote: "Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed and some few to be chewed and digested."

 

Select the Superlative

"Read the best books first, or you may not have the chance to read them at all." Henry David Thoreau

 

Preparation for Life

"Many times the reading of a book has made the future of a man." Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Empowered

"Employ your time in improving yourself by other men's writings so that you shall come easily by what others have laboured hard for." Socrates.

 

True Discipleship

"Next to the Holy Scriptures, the greatest aide to the life of faith may be Christian biographies." A.W. Tozer.

 

Victorious Christians

"The reading of good biography forms an important part of a Christian's education. It provides him with numberless illustrations for use in his own service. He learns to assess the true worth of character, to glimpse a work goal for his own life, to decide how best to attain it, what self-denial is needed to curb unworthy aspirations and all the time he learns how God breaks into the dedicated life to bring about His own purposes." Ransome W. Cooper.

 

Those Who Changed the World

"Biography transmits personality… who can gauge the inspiration to the cause of missions of great biographies like those of William Carey, Adoniran Judson, Hudson Taylor, Charles Studd…" J. Oswald Sanders.

Impact

"History is but the lengthy shadow of great men." Emerson.

 

Enrich Your Life, Work, Family and Ministry

Those that love reading have everything within their reach. For a small price one can visit other lands and great periods of history, learn from some of the greatest minds and world shapers, grapple with great issues, learn in a space of a few hours what others grappled with, researched and studied for their whole lives.

 

10 MOST IMPORTANT BOOKS EVER WRITTEN

 

  1. 1.The Bible

The Bible is the most translated book in all of history (the whole Bible has been translated into over 540 languages and 2,890 languages have had at least some portion of the Bible). The Bible is the number one best-selling book in all of history (over 3 billion copies). It is the most widely read book in the world. There is no question that it is the most life-changing book ever written. The most influential Bible translation in history is without doubt the 1611 King James Version. The Bible is also the most valuable book in history. A single copy of the Guttenberg Bible (printed in 1456) was sold in 1987, for over US$4 Million. One copy of William Tyndale's original printed New Testament was sold for over £1 Million. The impact of the Bible upon Western civilisation has been absolutely enormous. The Bible has inspired the greatest literature, the greatest art, the greatest achievements in architecture, the rule of law, the separation of powers, checks and balances, representative government, the sanctity of life, compassion, charity, liberty and justice. The Bible tells the Greatest True story ever told about the Greatest Man, who accomplished the most important task ever - the purchasing of our Salvation with His Blood.

 

  1. 2.The Institutes of the Christian Religion

First published in 1536, by John Calvin, The Institutes is a monumental masterpiece. The final edition of the Institutes, published in 1559, contains more than 1,000 pages in 80 chapters. The Institutes stands out as the finest textbook of Theology, Manifesto for the Protestant Faith, Handbook for Catechism, weapon against heresy and guide to Christian Discipleship. It is a systematic masterpiece which has earned itself a permanent place amongst the greatest Christian books in all of history.

 

  1. 3.The Pilgrim's Progress – From This World to That Which is to Come

Written by John Bunyan and published 1678, Pilgrim's Progress has been translated into more than 200 languages and has never been out of print for nearly 350 years. Written while Bunyan was imprisoned, Pilgrim's Progress is recognised as one of the most influential and successful best-selling books in English, in all of history.

 

  1. 4.An Enquiry Into the Obligation of Christians to Use Means for the Conversion of the Heathen

Written by William Carey, published in 1792. An Enquiry led to the founding of the Particular Calvinist Baptist Missionary Society for the Propagation of the Gospel Amongst the Heathen and launched the Modern Missionary Movement. William Carey is recognised as the Father of Modern Missions.

 

  1. 5.A Tale of Two Cities

Written by Charles Dickens, published in 1859, A Tale of Two Cities contrasts Paris before and during the French Revolution and London affected by the Great Evangelical Awakening. With sales of over 200 Million copies, A Tale of Two Cities is one of the most successful best-selling Novels of all time. The clash between Humanism and Christianity is so clear in this novel, that British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, presented a copy of this book to French President Francois Mitterand.

 

 

  1. 6.Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa

Written by Dr. David Livingstone, published in 1857, Missionary Travels became one of the most popular travel works ever published in English. With 47 illustrations, engravings, maps and portraits and the Victoria Falls fold-out front piece, Missionary Travels inspired unprecedented interest in Africa and mobilised thousands of Missionaries to Evangelise and disciple previously unreached tribes throughout the continent.

 

  1. 7.How Should We Then Live: The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture

Written by Dr. Francis Schaeffer, published in 1976, How Should We Then Live traces Western history from ancient Rome through the Reformation, the Renaissance and the devastations caused by secular humanism and evolutionism. Schaeffer warns of subtle forms of information control and psychological manipulation of the masses by unscrupulous governments.

 

  1. 8.The Gulag Archipelago

Written by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, published in 1973, The Gulag Archipelago exposed the brutal communist concentration camp system, which destroyed over 50 million lives in the Soviet Union.

 

  1. 9.What If Jesus Had Never Been Born?

Written by Dr. James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe, this landmark book tackles the most unbridled slanders and attacks against Christianity and demonstrates that everything good in this world, from morality to health, from art to economics, from science to civil liberties, would never had occurred, had Jesus Christ never lived.

 

  1. 10.Understanding the Times

Written by Dr. David Noebel, first published in 1994, Understanding the Times provides a comprehensive guide to the most popular worldviews of our day: Secular Humanism, Marxism/Leninism and the New Age movement. These worldviews are then compared to Biblical Christianity. Dr. James Kennedy described studying Understanding the Times as more valuable than a university education.

 

Visit www.christianlibertybooks.co.zafor examples of excellence in Education, Missions, Church History and for Reformation and Revival.

 

Dr. Peter Hammond

Reformation Society
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
Tel: 021-689-4480

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