Love to read? so do we!
Of course, we had to ring in with our top ten…
Here’s our list. We bet some of ours are on your top ten, too!
1. The Bible
No Christian bookshelf would be complete without at least one Bible. We have a shelf full of various editions. Here are a few that we enjoy: a Pocket Edition New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs in any version you like. It’s inexpensive and easy to carry, although the print is small and the pages can be fragile;Faithgirlz! Bibles – NIV (New International Version), cute and fun to carry; Green Bible by Harper Bibles, NRSV (New Revised Standard Version), eco paper & soy ink … and creation-care passages are marked in green; Poverty and Justice Bible by American Bibles, CEV (Contemporary English Version) with social justice passages highlighted in orange; Word in Life Bible, CEV (Contemporary English Version), not a book for carrying daily, but it offers lots of clear, lucid commentary.
2. Help Explaining the Faith
Books that explain why Christians choose to be Christian belong to a field called apologetics. One of the clearest, most insightful books of recent memory is Dinesh D’Souza’s What’s So Great About Christianity. You may also find this book of interest: Khyentse, Dzongsar Jamyang. What Makes You Not a Buddhist.
3. Help Understanding Objections
Often, how we perceive ourselves is different from the way others perceive us. Books about perceptions of Christianity, especially those held by the youth of today, can really open our eyes and help us see more clearly. We suggest: Kimball, Dan. They Like Jesus but Not The Church; Insights from Emerging Generations; Kimball, Dan. Emerging Worship; Kinnaman & Lyons. UnChristian; What a New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity; Smith. The End of the World as We Know It; Clear Directions for Bold and Innovative Ministry in a Postmodern World; Tickle. The Great Emergence; How Christianity is Changing, and Why. Webber. Listening to the Beliefs of Emerging Churches; Five Perspectives.
4. Author C. S. Lewis
No Christian bookshelf would be complete without at least one classic by C. S. Lewis. Lewis was once a non-Christian. In Surprised by Joy, he relates his spiritual journey. Mere Christianity is a well-known classic. But don’t forget The Chronicles of Narnia, satisfying for young and old alike.
5. Author John Dear, SJ
Fr. John Dear, a Jesuit priest, is an eloquent advocate for nonviolence. Some of his passages on gospel nonviolence are pure poetry. His personal favorite may be The Questions of Jesus, but we’d also suggest: God of Peace; Toward a Theology of Nonviolence; Mary of Nazareth, Prophet of Peace; and Put Down Your Sword, Answering the Gospel Call to Creative Nonviolence.
6. Author Tony Campolo
Tony Campolo’s classic Speaking My Mind: The Radical Evangelical Prophet Tackles the Tough Issues should be required reading during religious studies. He dares to take a stand on all sorts of issues, and shares deep insights and fresh, new perspectives that will leave the reader thinking long after the book has been put down.
7. Author Jimmy Carter
Former President James Earl “Jimmy” Carter’s new book on women and religion, A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence and Power, or his previous classics, including Living Faith, Sources of Strength or a personal all-time favorite that won a Grammy® (spoken-word edition), Our Endangered Values.
8. Author Thich Nhat Hanh
Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh has written two books that open a helpful dialog between Buddhists and Christians: Living Buddha, Living Christ; and Coming Home – Jesus & Buddha as Brothers.
9. Something Serious
What about a book on Liberation Theology? Gustavo Guiterrez’ A Theology of Liberation, is a classic in this regard. Or, what about an examination of poverty, in light of scripture? Try Richard Stearns’ The Hole in our Gospel. And if an inspiring biography showing faith in action against evil, look no further than Eric Metaxas’ biography, Bonhoeffer.
10. Something Fun
One of the bestsellers from one of the pop authors could provide a welcome break from all the weighty topics presented in the other nine books. Kendrick & Kendrick’s The Love Dare, for your marriage; Laurie Beth Jones’ Jesus, Life Coach, for a personal pep talk, Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life; Joel Osteen’s I Declare; Joyce Meyer’s God is Not Mad at You, if you’re convinced otherwise; and so on.
You may have a very different list. What do you feel merits inclusion here? If you were going on a sea voyage and could only pack ten books from your ‘Christian’ bookshelf section, what would they be?