Reformers Recommends: Books for Uni Students

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Whether you’re just starting a university degree, are close to finishing, or chose to pursue a different path after high school, now is a wonderful time to be enriching your understanding of God, the Scriptures, and the Christian Life.

The books we’ve listed here are just a small selection of the great Christian literature that’s out there, but each focuses in on a particular theme or topic that is particularly pertinent to people at this stage of life.

Don’t Waste Your Life

“Take up your cross and follow Jesus. On this road, and this road alone, life is Christ and death is gain. Life on every other road is wasted.”

Piper challenges Christians to consider: How can your life, in every area, give glory to God and submit joyfully to Jesus’ call to deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow him? How does death and pain glorify God? To what distance are we willing to go to follow him? How can we keep our eyes fixed on him in a corporate and materialistic world? This book is a confronting and encouraging read for Christians at any stage of life, but is especially helpful for students when considering the next steps of their life.

Evangelism in a Skeptical World

“God uses all our natural, mundane, and ordinary presentations as the natural means for his supernatural regenerating work. This should keep us humble about our abilities, generous to those who use different methods, and encouraged that, if God wills it, he will use our words to move someone from death to life.”

Sam Chan’s walk through the topic of ‘Evangelism’ starts with by about ‘Evangelism’ from a biblical perspective, and transitions into a multifaceted approach of how to share Jesus with friends. Evangelism in a Skeptical World goes beyond ‘Two Ways to Live’ by clearly exploring cultural lenses, storytelling as evangelism, apologetics, and evangelism in the everyday. It is an accessible read, whilst also introducing readers to creative perspectives and methods which are often ignored in evangelistic teaching. This book is a great resource for Christians at any age or stage!

Enjoying God

“Whether you pursue more of God depends on what you think of him. It depends on whether you think a relationship with God is worth pursuing.”

Enjoying God is about your relationship with God. Chester writes realistically about our struggles to love and enjoy God. He pastorally disarms the barriers that we construct which prevent us from relating to him, such as construing God as a distant and vindictive judge, or feels of guilt and shame, or a sense of dull duty. The reflection questions at the end of each chapter make this an excellent supplement to daily bible reading or for reading with a book club.

Confronting Christianity

Aren’t We Better Off without Religion? Doesn’t Christianity Denigrate Women? Doesn’t the Bible Condone Slavery?

There are just three of the questions asked of Christianity in this book – the chances are, you’ve heard all of them at some point. McLaughlin provides sensitive and biblical responses to all of these hot-topic issues, and is a helpful resource for anyone who is confronted by these questions at university or in the workplace.

The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self

“Ordinary Christians desperately need a more profound and holistic grasp of the modern and postmodern condition. It is the water we swim, the air that we breathe.”

This in-depth and provocative book is like a companion to Confronting Christianity – it helps Christians to understand the world we live in. Trueman helpfully begins his book by tracing the cultural foundations of contemporary conceptions of identity since the 18th Century, before turning to analyse the assumptions that underpin modern identity politics. A must-read for anyone interested in, challenged by, or unsure about gender and identity rhetoric.

The Goldsworthy Trilogy

What has Proverbs to do with Jesus? How can we read Revelation seriously without falling into heresy?

If you’ve ever wanted to explore how all the disparate parts of the Bible fit together, this book is for you. The Goldsworthy Trilogy models faithful biblical theology and helps demonstrate how the whole Bible, especially trickier bits, fit together and lead us to glorify God. It consists of three books: The Gospel & Kingdom outlines the broad narrative of the Old and New Testament, The Gospel and Wisdom explores the place of the Wisdom Literature in the Bible, and The Gospel in Revelation looks at the book of Revelation.


“We will still be doing theology, but are going to be doing it now in the office, the study, the workshop, and the kitchen.”

After several years of study, we all will end up working for most of our lives. As such, it’s important to have a robust theology of what work is, why it’s important, and how to do it to God’s glory. Wilson touches on all these questions and more in this short, pithy, and relatable book. An easy read that you could finish in a couple of hours, or mull over for several weeks.

For those who like a challenge:

Institutes of the Christian Religion: Calvin’s Own ‘Essentials’ Edition

“The whole sum of our wisdom...broadly consists of two parts, knowledge of God and knowledge of ourselves.”

Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion was written to help the young Reformed church clarify and systematise their understanding of biblical Christian doctrine. This recently-published edition is particularly designed to make this classic accessible today. Though written almost 500 years ago, it makes for a relevant and edifying read. Whether you choose to read it from cover to cover or select particular chapters as a reference point, the Institutes is a book which you will continue to return to again and again.