Books that Help You

I've made several recommendations of books and periodicals that have been helpful to me in my study of the Scripture. And I plan on posting more recommendations in the future. However, with those recommendations I'd like to offer the following advice that I found in one of the books I'd recommend:

Give God's own Word the first place in your life and then surround it with the books that help you to enjoy that Word more, books that are of a character tending to give you a deeper understanding of the ways of God with men, and you will find real edification. [H.A. Ironside, commentary on Acts 19.20; p. 453, the 1951 edition.]

And, of course, the Scripture speaks a lot about our discernment in this area:

The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments. [2Tim 4.13]

Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. [1Thes 5.21]

To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. [Isa 8.20]

These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. [Acts 17.11]

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. [1Jn 4.1]

It's like the old preacher said, "Chew up the meat and spit out the bones!" Enjoy your books, but remember that Scripture is the only perfect and infallible Book on the earth; and Scripture alone is our final authority.

And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. [2Tim 3.15-17]

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. [2Tim 2.15]