Audio Book App Recommendations


Recently, I was asked what is the “best and least expensive way to listen to audio books.” The person went on to explain, “I have such a hard time sitting down to read a physical book other than my morning devotions. However, I have no problem listening to podcasts when going to the gym…” Thankfully, if that describes your situation, there are many fine options without having to resort to an Audible subscription ($15/month).

Here’s how:

  1. First, make sure to register online for a Phoenix library ecard

  2. Next, download these free apps: 

  • Libby  (nicer controls, better selection of books)

  • Hoopla (fewer audio books; includes different titles and movies)

Basically, your Phoenix tax dollars have already purchased access to much of the Audible catalog for you. Both Libby and Hoopla apps allow you to "borrow" items (audio/video/text) for 14-30 days with your library card. You can even move between devices (phone/tablet/computer) and continue where you left off. Like physical libraries, sometimes there's a wait time for popular books. Also, you can also have child-friendly settings if your kids use the apps.

Some books I've listened to for free:

Note: There are many others available that I have not mentioned. Those below are just from the past two years when I began using these apps.

  • Christianity

    • Basic Christianity by John Stott (Libby)

    • Prayer by Tim Keller (Libby)

    • The Reason for God by Tim Keller (Libby)

    • Justified by Faith Alone by R. C. Sproul (Hoopla)

    • Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert by Rosaria Butterfield (Libby)

    • On the Incarnation by Athanasius of Alexandra  (Hoopla)

    • The Weight of Glory by C.S. Lewis (Hoopla)

    • Practice Resurrection by Eugene Peterson  (Hoopla)

    • Life Together by Bonhoeffer (Hoopla)

  • History & Biography

    • Sailing the Wine Dark Sea (Libby)

    • How the Irish Saved Civilization (Libby)

    • John Adams by McCullough (Libby)

    • Washington by Ron Chernow (Libby)

    • A Little History of the World by Gombrich (Hoopla)

    • Plutarch's Greek and Roman Lives (Hoopla)

    • Absolute Monarchs (papal history) (Hoopla)

    • Beautiful Boy (Libby)

    • A Bridge Too Far (Libby)

    • Jerusalem by Simon Montefiore (Libby)

    • Hero of the Empire (Churchill) (Libby)

    • John Chrysostom by Blackburn  (Hoopla)

  • Self-Help

    • A Random Walk Down Wallstreet (Libby)

    • Investing for Dummies

    • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Libby)

  • Science

    • The Fabric of the Cosmos by Greene (Libby)

  • Fiction

    • The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie (Libby)

    • 1984 by George Orwell (Hoopla)

    • Aesop's Fables (Hoopla)

    • Les Miserables by Hugo  (Hoopla)

Willing to pay?

Check out and for even more content.

PS: Two podcasts I recommend: 

  • Al Mohler's Briefing

  • Dan Carlin's Hardcore History series. While not exactly suitable for children, the ones on the Assyrian and Roman empires have lots of overlap with biblical history.


Pastors' Picks: (Theistic) Evolution

Here are resources addressing arguments for and against evolution, including theistic evolution, which posits God created human beings by guiding the evolutionary process.

Note: In accord with the Three Forms of Unity, I believe God created historical Adam by uniquely fashioning his form from inert dust and breathing life into him, not from pre-existing organisms. 

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Theistic Evolution: A Scientific, Philosophical, and Theological Critique. 
Edited by J. P. Moreland, Stephen C. Meyer, et al.

Featuring two dozen highly credentialed scientists, philosophers, and theologians from Europe and North America, this volume provides the most comprehensive critique of theistic evolution yet produced. It documents evidential, logical, and theological problems with theistic evolution, opening the door to scientific and theological alternatives—making the book essential reading for understanding this worldview-shaping issue.

Crossway | Amazon

Kindle Deals

Here are two excellent deals for those who enjoy digital books.

Calvin's Institutes — A modern English translation, this version is based on the edition he wrote in French (i.e., for laypeople, rather than scholars). Worthwhile, to say the least.

Redemption Accomplished and Applied by John Murray — A classic 20th century text on Christ's atoning work. 

Pastors' Picks: for New Believers

Revs. Grotenhuis and Spotts have carefully selected these books and articles to help you grow in your newfound faith. Rather than marching straight down the list, we suggest working through the first title in each category, then the second, and so forth, so that you become rounded.

*Titles available to borrow from the church library are marked (L).

Introductions to Faith & Discipleship

  • Knowing God by J. I. Packer

sanctification & Discipleship

  • A Simple Way to Pray by Martin Luther. "No book has done more to revolutionize my personal prayer life than this little book by Martin Luther. I would recommend it for every Christian’s library." — R. C. Sproul

Christian Classics

  • The Bondage of the Will by Martin Luther. "The Bondage of the Will is Martin Luther’s finest theological writing. Few works more convincingly tell us of man’s depravity and need for God’s sovereign grace." — R. C. Sproul
  • The Death of Death in the Death of Christ — by John Owen. "The best work on particular redemption, which emphasizes that Christ died for His people alone" — R. C. Sproul
  • The Valley of Vision by Arthur Bennett. "The puritans were a praying people, and this book is a collection of some of their excellent prayers. I find The Valley of Vision to be a great aid for devotions." — R. C. Sproul


  • Here I Stand by Roland Bainton — "Roland Bainton’s biography of Martin Luther is an inspiring summary of the life of the great reformer. This book will challenge you to stand firm for Christ." — R. C. Sproul

Systematic Theology

  • Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin, trans. Robert White


  • Assured by God by Burk Parsons — "I would like every believer to read Assured by God, a helpful collection of essays on the assurance of salvation." — R. C. Sproul. Learn More

Pastors' Picks: for Aspiring Elders

Pastors' Picks: for Aspiring Deacons