Saturday, March 07, 2009


this is blog post 1800
[I should have the sound track from Star Trek playing in the background here - maybe even a voice over by William Shatner]

beauty and depravity is asking for suggestions for the 10 most essential books for Christians.
What would you put on such a list? Assuming that the Bible is a given, what are the books that have had an influence on you & your thinking?
Here are ones that would be on my list [I know there are more than 10 - but It's my list & I live by grace!]:
  • Abba’s Child: Brennan Manning
  • Absolute Surrender: Andrew Murray
  • Celebration of Discipline: Richard Foster
  • Cost of Discipleship: Dietrick Bonhoeffer
  • God's Favorite House: Tenney
  • Life of the Beloved: Henri Nnouwen
  • Mere Christianity: CS Lewis
  • Missionary Methods: St. Paul’s or Ours?: Roland Allen
  • My Utmost for His Highest: Oswald Chambers
  • Off-Road Discipleship: Earl Creps
  • The Cross of Christ: John Stott
  • What’s So Amazing About Grace?: Philip Yancey

In the midst of people making suggestions, there has arisen a list of the most anti-essential books.

  • Do not read this list if you have elevated any author to the level of infallible.
  • Do not read this list if you are easily offended.
  • Do not read this list if you have no sense of humour.
  • Chill... It's not my list... It's OK to laugh at ourselves.
Here's what's on the list
  • Everyone Is Going To Hell Except Me - John MacArthur
  • There’s No ‘U’ in Ministry: A Woman’s Guide - Mark Driscoll
  • Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid - John Hagee
  • We Know Jesus Better Than You Do - The Vatican Curia
  • I’m Cool With Whatever (Featuring Enhanced Doodle Graphics) - Brian McLaren
  • This Book Looks Longer Than It Really Is - Rob Bell
  • God Wants You To Pay For My Airplane - Creflo Dollar
  • 10 Keys To The 8 Steps To The 3 Paths To The 1 Way to God (TM) - Rick Warren
& there are more in the comments


michael lewis said...

Congrats on the 1800; isn't that nearing your birth year? (Perhaps your wife's birth year; I can never keep these dates straight in my mind.)

I think that your top ten list isn't just the books on it, but rather the authors. Obviously, one would not want to weigh it down with just one author, so the obligatory Lewis, Stott, Yancey triad is limited to just one title each.

Clearly a worst ten list cannot be limited to just ten books!!

I've often been challenged by terrible christian books, if only to try to narrow my view so tightly as to see the world through a very special lens.

And can there be a list for non-christian christian books? I've read many books with great pro-god content (not religious, but moral / ethical) which make no claim to god at all. Should these be ignored?

mike said...

Non-christians books should definitely NOT be ignored. on the other hand, there are at least as many bad non-christian books as there are bad christian books.

What would you put on a must read list?

One of the worst non-christian books I have read in recent years is Richard Dawkins "The God Delusion" or as I call it "the rantings of an angry old athiest". His arguements are in the book are quite simply - lame.

michael lewis said...

It's almost like Wheel of Fortune giving up r-s-t-l-n-e for the final puzzle.

CS Lewis, the problem of pain
John Stott, baptism and fullness of the holy spirit
Phillip Yancey, ...I really can't limit this to just one...all of his books that I've read are quite good.
Melody Green, no compromise

I know this is rather vague, but it's a book titled "Prayer", and it's translated into English from Norwegian; and I cannot remember the author's name. If I can find that book in my collection in rubbermaid storage, I will let you know.

Douglas Coupland, life after god.

I know it's not 10, but it's a start.

Walking Church said...

I burnt my books on Christianity and decided to use the time to talk and walk with God.

michael lewis said...


That's rather glib.

There is positive benefit from solitary introspection. But this shouldn't be the only source of one's wisdom.

And reading a book isn't really a social activity.

Even the greatest icons of "talking and walking with God" wrote books about their adventures!

Walking Church said...

I have a library of 'Christian books' that rivals most Church buildings or even Mike's library - my conclusion is that you are right to a point. Eventually you experience soreness and dryness from your book orgy and it becomes of little comfort.

No matter how many manuals you read on how to drive a car - eventually you gotta get in the car and go for the drive to have the real deal. For some, they have gotten in the car for a joy ride, and gone back to reading books about cars. Nice life.

Too many, I am guilty, use books as idols or time fodder fillers without experiencing deeper waters of personal relationship. Isn't that is what it is all about Alfy? Hanging with God not just reading about Him.

So when Christians die and get to hang out with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit - do they dig out a book and read while being there with them. I guess some might. So why do we do that now if we really believe He is our life no less?

Prayer meetings draw fewer numbers than Bible Study groups. Another example of reading about Him is more comfortable than experiencing Him.

Hang on there Jesus...I can't be bothered asking you specific questions that you would delight in showing me the answers...let me find some books on the questions I have. I want some human to show me. His Spirit takes absolutely no delight in revealing Himself to us (I read that somewhere - not).

So, I back to the garden with Adam - who walked and talked to the Author of Life. I am sure Eve was well in the process of authoring her potential best selling book on the Apple experience while Adam was hanging out with Father God.

By the way, I am of the belief that 95% of the trash in the Christian bookstores is b*llsh*t and should be burnt. A great deal of people talking on subjects they have no clue about.

Stay best seller is out shortly. Ya right!