Recommended Reading

This reading list is organized by subject, often identifying the specific editions of the books Dallas used, with links to versions of the books currently available. Dallas extensively studied a wide range of subjects and developed a keen insight into them and the authors who best represented them. These books contributed to his understanding of those subjects in a meaningful way.


Does God Exist?: The Debate Between Theists & Atheists

J. P. Moreland

Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 1993.

A Place for Truth: Leading Thinkers Explore Life’s Hardest Questions

Various Authors

Downers Grove, IL: IVP Books, 2010. This is a collection of talks given at Veritas Forums and edited by Dr. Willard.

Biographies/Autobiographies - Examples to Follow

The Life of St. Antony


New York: Newman, 1978.

The Confessions of St. Augustine

St. Augustine of Hippo

Many editions.

The Journal of George Fox

George Fox

Edited by Norman Penney. London: Dent, 1948. Also in various other editions.

Madame Jeanne Guyon: Her Autobiography

Jeanne Guyon

Edited by Jan Johnson. Jacksonville, FL: SeedSower Christian Publishing, 2008.

Letters by a Modern Mystic

Frank C. Laubach

Foreword by Alden H. Clark. Edited and compiled by Constance E. Padwick. Syracuse, N.Y.: New Readers Press, 1955. First published in 1937. The Association of Christian Schools International brought the book back into print in 2007 with a new Foreword by Dr. Willard (Colorado Springs, CO: Purposeful Design Publications).

See also Dr. Willard's review from Christian Spirituality.

Interior Castle

Teresa of Avila

Translated and edited by E. Allison Peers. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1961.

Contemplative Prayer

Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home

Richard J. Foster

New York, NY: HarperCollins,1992.

The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius

St. Ignatius of Loyola

Garden City, NY: Doubleday, Image Books, 1964.

When The Soul Listens

Jan Johnson

Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 1999.

The Way of the Heart

Henri Nouwen

New York: Ballantine Books, 1981.

Devotional Classics

Introduction to the Devout Life

Francis de Sales

Translated by John K. Ryan. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, Image Books, 1957.

The Practice of the Presence of God

Brother Lawrence

Many editions available.

The Rule of St. Benedict

Anthony C. Meisel

Translated by Anthony Meisel and M. L. del Mastro; Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1975.

No Cross, No Crown

William Penn

London: Philips and Fardon, 1806.

The Imitation of Christ

Thomas a Kempis

Many editions available.

Introduction to Philosophy

Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview

J.P. Moreland and William Lane Craig

Intervarsity Press, 2003. This is an excellent discussion by the finest of scholars and philosophers, who are also Christians. Good as an introduction to Philosophy and Theology for those with limited background and a desire to dig deeper. (Winner of a 2004 Gold Medallion award in the Reference category from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association.)

Introduction to Logic

Irving M. Copi

When asked for a beginner's book on logic, Dr. Willard always recommended getting an older edition of this book.

Kingdom Living and Spiritual Formation

The Imitation of Christ

Thomas a Kempis

Apart from the Bible itself, this is undoubtedly the more republished work in Christian history. Absolutely indispensable. Many editions.

The Practical Works of Richard Baxter

Richard Baxter

 Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1981. Practical advice on applying Scripture to all areas of life.

Revival Lectures

Charles Finney

Old Tappan, N.J.: Fleming H. Revell Company, n.d., 1995.

The Autobiography of Charles Finney

Charles Finney

First published in 1877. Many editions available.

Systematic Theology

Charles Finney

Several editions available. Get the unabridged if you can.

Our Favorite Sins: The Sins We Commit and How You Can Quit

Todd Hunter

Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2012. Foreword by Dallas Willard.

Invitation to the Jesus Life

Jan Johnson

Colorado Springs, CO: Navpress, 2008. This is Jan's "Curriculum for Christlikeness."   Foreword by Dallas Willard.

Man of Prayer: Selected Writings of a World Missionary

Frank C. Laubach

From "The Heritage Collection" (Within that especially Letters by a Modern Mystic and Game With Minutes.) Laubach Literacy International, 1990.  

Deeper Experiences of Famous Christians

James Gilchrist Lawson

Anderson, IN: Warner, 1970. [Read how this book affected Dr. Willard]

A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life

William Law

Try to get a complete edition of it.

Whole Life Transformation

Keith Meyer

Intervarsity Press, 2010. Foreword by Dr. Willard.

Humility & Absolute Surrender

Andrew Murray

Hendrickson Publishers, 2005. This is two books combined.

A Practical View of Christianity

William Wilberforce

Hendrickson Publishers, 2006.

Moral Development

Moral Development and Reality: Beyond the Theories of Kohlberg and Hoffman

John C. Gibbs

Sage Publications, 2003.

The Abolition of Man

C. S. Lewis

Many editions.


A Plain Account of Christian Perfection

John Wesley

Dr. Willard has called this the best explanation of sanctification he has ever read.

Spiritual Disciplines/Discipleship

God’s Way of Holiness

Horatius Bonar

Chicago: Moody, n.d.

Letters and Papers from Prison

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

London: Fontana, 1953.

A History of Christian Spirituality

Louis Bouyer

New York: Seabury, 1982. This three volume set will be hard to find. Single volumes may also be available.

The Spiritual Life

Edgar Sheffield Brightman

New York: Abingdon Cokesbury, 1942.

The Training of the Twelve

A.B. Bruce

Garden City, NY: Doubleday, Doran, 1928.

The Psychology of Redemption

Oswald Chambers

 London: Simpkin Marshall, 1947.

Lord, Change Me

Evelyn Carol Christenson

Wheaton, IL: Victor, 1979.

Celebration of Discipline

Richard J. Foster

New York: Harper & Row, 1978.

The Screwtape Letters with Screwtape Proposes a Toast

C.S. Lewis

New York: Macmillan, 1962.

Lives of the Saints

Various Authors

Translated with an Introduction by J. F. Webb. Baltimore, MD: Penguin, 1973.

The Betrayal of the Body

Alexander Lowen

New York: Collier, 1971.

On Cleaving Unto God

Albertus Magnus

Translated by Elizabeth Stopp. London: Mowbray, 1954,

The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification

Walter Marshall

Originallly published in 1692. Several editions available.

Spiritual Rhythms in Community: Being Together in the Presence of God

Keith Meyer

Intervarsity Press, 2012.

The Life You’ve Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People

John Ortberg

 Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2002. John has called this his "Dallas for Dummies" book.

The Body: A Study in Pauline Theology

John A. T. Robinson

London: SCM Press, 1952.

True Spirituality

Francis A. Schaeffer

Wheaton, IL: Tyndale, 1971.

The Life of the Servant

Henry Suso

Translated by James M. Clarke. Cambridge: Clarke, 1982.

Holy Living and Dying

Jeremy Taylor

Many editions. Practical directions on the use of the body for spiritual growth by a great Christian of the sixteenth century.

Alternative to Futility

Elton Trueblood

Waco, TX: Word, 1972.

Mysticism: The Nature and Development of Spiritual Consciousness

Evelyn Underhill

New York: New American Library, 1974.

Life With God: Reading the Bible for Spiritual Transformation

Richard J. Foster

San Francisco, CA: HarperOne, 2008.

Habits of a Child’s Heart: Raising Your Kids with the Spiritual Disciplines

Valerie E. Hess and Marti Watson Garlett

Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2004. An excellent resource for teaching children and teens about spiritual disciplines.

Spiritual Healing

Is The Kingdom of God Realism?

E. Stanley Jones

New York, Nashville: Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, 1940.

The Healing Light

Agnes Sanford

Many editions available.

The Four Gospels

The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

Alfred Edersheim

An excellent help in understanding the four Gospels. There are many versions, look for a "complete and unabridged" copy. is co-sponsored by the family of Dallas Willard, Dallas Willard Ministries, and FiveStone.