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My friend Robert asked me to jot down a "Top Ten" list of books I would recommend, and it's taken me over a week to actually try my hand @ the task. I think I wanted to make a definitive list, which appears to be impossible, but here's the first draft I sent him. I based my categories on a list I copied years ago from Terry Glaspey's Great Books of the Christian Tradition, and have carried in my bible ever since, not even bothering to read some of the books Glaspey listed (far too much time required to blog about books I think other people should read, I assure you). I tried to limit myself to ten authors (some w/ more than 1 title listed).

Books Every Christian Should Know
  1. Confessions and City of God, St. Augustine
  2. The Imitation of Christ, Thomas a'Kempis
  3. The Practice of the Presence of God, Brother Lawrence
  4. The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoevsky
  5. Mere Christianity and The Screwtape Letters, C. S. Lewis
  6. Celebration of Discipline, Richard Foster
  7. The Cost of Discipleship, Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  8. The Resurrection of the Son of God, N. T. Wright
  9. Christian Proficiency, Martin Thornton
  10. Making Room: Recovering Hospitality as a Christian Tradition, Christine Pohl
Books Which Help Develop a Christian Worldview (assuming you believe there's such a thing as a "Christian worldview" -- please don't send me emails about this)
  1. For the Life of the World, Alexander Schmemann
  2. The Gospel in a Pluralist Society, Lesslie Newbigin
  3. The Urban Christian or A Theology as Big as the City, Ray Bakke
  4. Orthodoxy, G. K. Chesterton, or Creed or Chaos, Dorothy Sayers
  5. Knowing God, J. I. Packer
  6. The Problem of Pain, C. S. Lewis
  7. Church History in Plain Language, Bruce Shelley
  8. No Place for Truth: Or Whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology, David Wells
  9. Is There a Meaning in This Text?: The Bible, the Reader, and the Morality of Literary Knowledge, Kevin J. Vanhoozer
  10. The Reason for God and Ministries of Mercy, Timothy Keller
Books I Can't Imagine Not Recommending to Anyone and Everyone I Know
  1. The Prodigal God, Timothy keller
  2. The Ragamuffin Gospel, Brennan Manning, or Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith, Anne Lamott
  3. Brother to a Dragonfly, Will Campbell
  4. Peace Like a River, Leif Enger
  5. The Liturgy Explained and On Being Catholic, Thomas Howard
  6. The Rule of St. Benedict
  7. The Spirit of the Disciplines, Dallas Willard
  8. The Seven Storey Mountain, Thomas Merton
  9. A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving
  10. Any page of Church Dogmatics, Karl Barth
So, there. A nice distraction during a busy day. Please feel free to admonish, mock and berate me, but please add your own suggestions to the list.

Oh, and the tweeting has already begun w/ Nate weighing in: Flatland, Edwin A. Abbott.


  • At 9:23 PM, Blogger Robert E. Armidon said…

    Here's one I'll recommend, particularly for Anglo-Catholics:

    Westcott, Frank. _Catholic principles as illustrated in the doctrines, history, and organization of the American Catholic Church in the United States, commonly called the Protestant Episcopal Church_. (Milwaukee: The Young Churchman Co., 1916)


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