Best Christian Books Ever

For me, Christian books have played a huge role in my growth as a Christian.  The first time I ever went to a Christian camp they had a bookstall and I spent plenty of time browsing.  I ended up buying a book called “See it God’s Way” which was a collection of articles about ethical issues.  Even at age 13 the intersection of theology and politics was getting my attention – it still does.

So without further ado this post and next week’s are devoted to the 10 best Christian books I have ever read, counting down from 10 to 1.  It is quite an eclectic bunch, a mixture of some academic works and some popular ones.  I’ve included links to Amazon, so you can read other people’s reviews if you want to.

10. The 5 Love Languages – Gary Chapman

I blogged about this book last week.

9.  Inspiration and Incarnation – Peter Enns

This is the only book in my top 10 that I read for the first time in the last decade.  In fact I read it just a few months ago.  It’s a book about the theological implications of modern archaeology and ancient history.  Essentially he says that perhaps our ideas about the bible being wholly true and without error are not actually in line with the bible itself.  It’s a brilliant eye opener to how we should think about the bible, and how the bible thinks about the bible.  For the entire 25 years that I have been reading the bible I have never understood how and why the New Testament authors used the Old Testament the way that they did.  After this book I got it.  Even more interesting was that the book was so controversial that it split his seminary in half (Westminster Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania) and it ended up costing him his job.

8.  Darwin on Trial – Phillip E Johnson

If you have ever worried about the fact that Genesis is at odds with what the rest of the planet believes about evolution this is the book that will put your mind at ease.  Johnson is a law professor who took a sabbatical from teaching to write this book.  Essentially he shows that rather than being a theory that is based on a whole bunch of evidence as you might think, evolution comes about as a result of a prior commitment to a naturalist philosophy.  In other words, when you decide that there is no God who can do things that interrupt the universe, you then end up with the only theory that exists.  When the naturalist glasses come off, evolution is an emperor with no clothes.  The book is only a critique of evolution – it does not seek to justify the scientific bona fides of Genesis or anything like that.  For my views on Genesis click here.

7.  Operation World – Phillip Johnstone and Jason Mandryk

This is a very strange choice of book.  Operation World is an encyclopaedia that goes country by country through the whole world detailing the state of the church, and in particular the evangelical church, everywhere.

If you simply pose the question, “What is God doing on planet earth today?” then this is the book that answers that question.  It has gone through several versions.  The answer to the question, is that God is pouring out His Spirit in unprecedented way, and is doing it on 3 regions in particular – East Asia, South America and Sub-Saharan Africa.

I remember when I first bought the 6th edition in 1994 I read the global summary that talked about the massive harvest that is being won across the world at the moment.  Upon reading that I was swept with emotion and teared up!  It was a strange and unexpected reaction – I’m kinda embarrassed to share it here – but that’s how inspired I was at learning the staggering scale of what God is doing around the world.

6.  You Can Make a Difference – Tony Campolo

This is a book written for young people by one of the gurus of youth ministry.  Campolo has written a heap of books, many targeted at young adults.  When I was at high school these books were absolutely inspiring for me.  I had an unconventional start to my Christian life in that I came to faith through the student led Christian group at my high school and they were my church.  I didn’t really have a youth leader, youth pastor or senior pastor.  And if you asked me at age 17 who discipled me the answer would be, “Tony Campolo”.

Books such as ‘You Can Make a Differenc’e taught me that being a Christian should make your life extraordinary.  It should make your life an adventure that nothing else can compare with.  Campolo tells story after story of people he has met and events that God has brought across his path.  He is an inspiration who imparted a spirit of adventure into me.

Next week – 5 through 1.

John

2 Responses to “Best Christian Books Ever”

  1. I found “The Case for a Creator” by Lee Strobel very inspiring, talking to experts who happen to be Christian, and the science they reveal, hidden by “evolutionists”. I found the censorship of the scientific institution disturbing. Glad you put a book about this on the list; more Christians need to read more and swallow less.

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