2023 Reading Challenge

Happy Christmas and New Year! And to celebrate the New Year, let me invite you to join in a reading challenge for 2023 — 12 books in 12 months from the earliest days of the history of the church to the early days of Pentecostalism. We've chosen 3 books from the patristic period, 3 from medieval times, 3 from the Reformation, and 3 early Pentecostal books. 

Many of the books are available for free (often in older translations) online. So I've put together some links below (along with links to physical or digital books to buy as well). For some there are lots of different versions available too. Unfortunately, for a few of the more recent books (in this case, the Pentecostal books), free versions aren't available, so there are only links to buy copies.

January — The Didache (1st century)

Here's a free online older translation. For a newer translation, I'd recommend the one by Michael Holmes (in his translation of The Apostolic Fathers). 

February — Irenaeus, On the Apostolic Preaching (a.k.a. Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching)

Here's a free online translation. (I've got the Popular Patristics translation, but it seems to be hard to get at the moment.)

March — Athanasius, Letters to Serapion on the Holy Spirit

Free translation online. Popular Patristics paperback.

April — Anselm, Why God Became Man (a.k.a. Cur Deus Homo)

Free translation online. The paperback I use is the translation in the Oxford World Classics edition of Anselm's Major Works

May — Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love (a.k.a. Showings)

Penguin Classics edition. (There is also an Oxford Classics edition.)

June — Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ

As one of the world's most widely read books, there are plenty of translations of this online and in published form. This is the paperback I tend to use.

July — Martin Luther, On the Freedom of a Christian

This new paperback translation is coming out in February from Crossway.

August — John Calvin, The Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life

Paperback edition. (If you have a copy of the Institutes, the Golden Book is included in book 3 chapters 6-10.)

September — Johann Gerhard, Sacred Meditations

Free online translation. This is the same translation in paperback form. (Other paperbacks are older translations.)

October — T.B. Barratt, In the Days of the Latter Rain

Sorry, this is the most expensive book on the list! But thankfully it does exist legally as a reprint. And here is a free online PDF.

November — Donald Gee, Concerning Spiritual Gifts

Donald Gee's books are still in copyright, but this one is still published in Kindle Format. (You don't need a Kindle to be able to read a Kindle book - you can get a kindle app for your phone or tablet, or you can read them on your computer.)

December — Donald Gee, The Fruit of the Spirit 

Again, Donald Gee's books are still in copyright, so you'll need to get it in Kindle Format (see above). 

That's the challenge: 12 books from across the history of the church in 12 months. Stay tuned for more encouragement and support on your reading journey. And if you're on Twitter, let me (@Jonathan_Black_) and Jamie Lavery (@JamieLavery_) know if you're joining the challenge.