Eugene Cho

10 most essential books for christians

I get numerous emails from both blog readers and folks at my church asking me the following question:

What are the essential books I should be reading as a Christian?

Honestly, I have a hard time coming up with my list because it changes so often and I’m biased towards dead people.  So, I’d like to ask you for your help in putting together a list of the 10 Most Essential Books for Christians.  You don’t need to give me your entire list but what are couple books that you would absolutely include on anyone’s list?

Because there’s ten, think broadly so that we’re not just thinking about one aspect of Christianity.  We should include theology, leadership, spirituality, etc., right?  

This should be interesting.

And if you’re interested, you may also want to check a post from last year about people’s personal  influential book.

Filed under: christianity, church, Jesus, religion, , ,

67 Responses

  1. Hey Eugene, This is mostly a Catholic list, but I threw in some Orthodox, a Methodist and a Mennonite.

    The Long Loneliness By Dorothy Day
    The Kingdom of God Is Within You By Leo Tolstoy
    The Politics of Jesus By John Howard Yoder
    The Brother Karamazov By Fyodor Dostoevsky
    Binding The Strong Man By Ched Myers
    Matthew In The Margins By Warren Carter
    Jesus The Liberator By John Sobrino
    The Autobiography of The Soul By St. Therese of Lisieux
    Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor By Leonardo Boff
    Personalism By Emmanuel Mounier

    I would include some N.T. Wright but he has too many books to count. I would drop Yoder, but I kept him in for balance and old times sake. This list largely reflects my worldview, my view of history, and ideas to live a full life.

  2. Jarrod Ryder says:

    Ten is so few but anyway…

    You want ten books that encompass theology, leadership, prayer, spirituality….

    All of the above can be discovered in the Ante Nicene, Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers volumes of ancient Christian writings. These primordial texts compass the beginnings of the Church from the post apostolic period through the official canonization of the corpus of the Holy Bible at the Council of Hippo in 393 and following to the latter councils of the Church. You will get a wonderful insight into authentic worship, philisophical debate with the ancient Grecian philosophers, prayer and historical events. They are very inspirational and hold more weight in authentic Christian practice than the creations of post modernity (and even enlightenment thinking).

    That said I will mention twelve very well known works that span across the centuries and deal with many aspects of the faith…

    St Athanasius – On the Incarnation (Pure Christian theology at its finest…)

    St Ephrem the Syrian – Hymns of Paradise (Spiritual bliss – a collection of poems on Genesis)

    The Desert Fathers – Sayings of the Early Christian Monks (Spiritual wisdom and mature food)

    The way of the pilgrim – unknown (orthodox prayer life..)

    The Holy Fire – Robert Payne – A westerner gives a historical and passioniate overview of Early Church Fathers – includes historical errors but is included for its passion and as a good introduction to the history of the early Church

    Fr Seraphim Rose – Orthodoxy and the religion of the future (A modern book on comparitave religion)

    Youth of the Apocalypse and the last true rebellion by Monks John Marler and Andrew Wermuth (A cult classic! An emotive and inspirational encounter with Christianity)

    The Spiritual World of Isaac the Syrian – Hilarion Alfeyev (a profoundly deep encounter with a mystical theologian)

    The Burning Bush – Fr Lev Gillet (the Love of God)

    God’s revelation to the Human Heart – Fr Seraphim Rose
    (A nice little booklet on Christianity like an abridged version of CS Lewis Mere Christianity)

  3. Lars says:

    I would include “The Reason for God” by Tim Keller

  4. We’re talking essentials here? OK…

    If they can handle it, N.T. Wright’s “Jesus and the Victory of God” & “The Resurrection of the Son of God.” If not, “The Challenge of Jesus” & “Surprised by Hope.”

    Grace and Peace,

  5. joeland7 says:

    Nice list..but could I add the Bible?

  6. Well, after those lists, mine will seem like easy reading. All I can say in their defense is that God used these books to change my life in some way or change the way I see Him or the way I read scripture…

    Brian McLaren – A New Kind of Christian
    James Langteaux –
    Dallas Willard – The Divine Conspiracy
    Andy Comiskey – Pursuing Sexual Wholeness
    Philip Yancey – What’s So Amazing About Grace?
    Brennan Manning – Abba’s Child
    N.T. Wright – Surprised By Hope
    Scot McKnight – The Blue Parakeet
    Eugene Peterson – Eat This Book
    Anne Lamott – Traveling Mercies

  7. alliehope says:

    Wow… Great lists.

    In no particular order, here’s mine:

    Scot McKnight, The Jesus Creed
    Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship
    Miroslav Volf, Exclusion and Embrace
    Rob Bell, Jesus Wants to Save Christians
    Teresa of Avila, The Interior Castle (tough, but incredibly rewarding!)
    Richard Foster, Celebration of Discipline
    Dallas Willard, The Divine Conspiracy
    Philip Yancey, What’s So Amazing About Grace
    CS Lewis, Mere Christianity
    A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy

    If I had only 10 books on my shelf, those would be them!

  8. snc says:

    I would add:
    – Resident Aliens – Stanley Hauerwas
    – In the Name of the Father – Nouwen
    – Surprised by Hope – NT Wright
    – Tangible Kingdom – Hugh Halter

  9. Steve Rose says:

    Not necessarily in order…

    Scot McKnight’s The Blue Parakeet
    Scot McKnight’s Fasting
    Dietrich Bonhoeffer Discipleship
    Brian McLaren The Secret Message of Jesus
    CS Lewis The Problem of Pain
    Andrew Murray Humility
    Shane Claiborne Irresistible Revolution
    Gabe Kinnaman unChristian
    Francis Chan Crazy Love
    Andy Stanley Visioneering

  10. jasonsmith says:

    mere christianity – c. s. lewis
    true spirituality – francis schaeffer
    foolishness to the greeks – lesslie newbiggin
    what saint paul really said or the challenge of jesus – nt wright
    future grace or desiring god – john piper
    sacred romance – john eldredge
    everything belongs – richard rohr (For men – Adam’s Return by Rohr is awesome).

    If a young christian can read these books, they will get some of the most diverse thinking of the 20th century (I think they were all written before 2000).

    They will grasp McLaren better, because he is so heavily influenced by the first 3 and more recently by Rohr. Their foundation will get set and shaken in a few short months. Lewis, Schaeffer, and Piper set up the legal foundation of faith, Wright and Newbiggin get you thinking about covenant relationship with God and the mission of the early apostles and the need for mission(al) people in contemporary society. Eldredge and Rohr will help you fall deeper in love with the Bridegroom and discover your true self.

    Those books have all influenced me and been used by God to transform me in the last several years.

  11. guy from canada says:

    a few that have transformed me…

    mere christianity – cs lewis
    surprised by hope – nt wright
    prophetic imagination – walter brueggemann
    to know as you are known – parker j palmer
    spiritual leadership – oswald sanders
    politics of jesus – john yoder

    i also agree that although i have not read tolstoy or rhor, i have gotten snippets of those two and would add a book to this list if i had read them…

  12. Randall says:

    Wow, those are some HEAVY books.

    I’d like to put forward two “lighter” but still important (for me) books:

    Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott
    Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller

  13. BPostWest says:

    OK Eugene, I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now, and I’m finally ready to post. I’ve got a few that I couldn’t live without:

    The Next Christendom, Philip Jenkins
    The Story of Christianity, Justo Gonzalez
    Here I Stand, Roland Bainton

    Spiritual Life:
    Absolute Surrender (and) Intercessory Prayer, Andrew Murray
    Confessions, Augustine

    The Problem of Pain, C.S. Lewis
    Why Christianity Works, Christian Smith (a journal article in the Journal of Religion, but a must read nevertheless [a kind of Pascal’s Wager for the 21st century]).

    Gospel Centered Hermeneutics, Graeme Goldsworthy
    Is There Meaning in this Text?, Vanhoozer
    The Hermeneutical Spiral, Grant Osbourne

    Gilead, Marilynne Robinson

    These are all books that I refer back to repeatedly whether as a reference or supplement to my own Bible reading, or for an answer to puzzling questions from friends (Christians and non-Christians alike). I would also throw in Calvin’s Institutes and Thomas Oden’s Systematic Theology as essential reference books.

  14. D C Cramer says:

    The Complete Works of John Wesley.

    The Original Revolution by John Howard Yoder (ditto Politics of Jesus as well).

    Maybe, Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger by Ron Sider.

    Just to mix it up, For the Time Being by Annie Dillard.

    And to add some fiction to the mix, Silence by Shusaku Endo (along with the Russian novels mentioned above).

  15. mark says:

    anything Yoder & Hauerwas

  16. Suprised by Hope, NT Wright
    Resident Aliens, Hauerwas and Willimon
    What’s So Amazing About Grace, Yancy
    Celebration of Discipline, Foster
    The Gospel in a Pluralist Society, Newbigin
    Knowing God, Packer
    Eat This Book, Peterson
    Evangelical Theology, Barth
    Confessions, Augustine

    and, of course, the Bible 🙂

  17. Sarah says:

    The Bible
    Mere Christianity, Lewis
    The Cost of Discipleship, Bonhoeffer
    To Know As We Are Know, Parker Palmer
    Life Together, Bonhoeffer
    Hinds Feet in High Places, Hurnard
    My Utmost for His Highest, Chambers
    Theirs Is the Kingdom, Lupton
    The Irresistible Revolution, Claiborne
    Let Your Life Speak, Parker Palmer

    I love seeing what everyone is listing! There are a few I haven’t read in the list and I’m excited to read those now.

  18. eugenecho says:

    @everyone: the Bible is a given.
    so no need to at that to the list.

    Wow. Some incredible books and some interesting topics. Couple on my list are mentioned but others not yet. I’ll share my list next week after I tweak couple.

  19. Wow, these lists are incredible. I love how I can get a sense for each person’s experience with God by the list of books that they connected with. I’ve read virtually nothing on Tyler M’s list – I can’t wait to see what I’m missing!

    I’d like to add a couple remarkable books that haven’t been listed yet:
    – A Life of Jesus by Shusaku Endo
    – The Heart of Christianity by Marcus Borg (not for everybody, but changed me forever)
    – Who wrote the Bible? by Richard Friedman

  20. Al Hsu says:

    These were formative for me:

    The Cost of Discipleship, Dietrich Bonhoeffer
    Knowing God, J. I. Packer
    The Challenge of Jesus, N. T. Wright
    Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be, Cornelius Plantinga
    Freedom of Simplicity, Richard Foster
    Families at the Crossroads, Rodney Clapp
    Return of the Prodigal Son, Henri Nouwen
    Good News About Injustice, Gary Haugen
    Let Your Life Speak, Parker Palmer
    The Gift of Being Yourself, David Benner

  21. Nourisha says:

    blue like jazz
    a woman after God’s own heart
    what’s so amazing about grace
    not even a hint, guarding your heart against lust
    knight in shining armor
    the jesus i never knew
    secrets of the vine

  22. Stephen says:

    Storehouse principle, Prayer of Jabez, Purpose driven life, Become a better you.

  23. Dean says:

    I don’t know that I could give you a list of the 10 Best Books, but I could give you a list of books that have deeply impacted my heart and soul at different points in my life for different reasons. God used them to speak deeply to me and help me through struggles and decisions and my own sin and selfishness.

    Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis
    Holy Sweat, by Tim Hansel
    Seizing Your Divine Moment, by Erwin McManus
    Things We Wish We Had Said, by Tony and Bart Campolo
    Disappointment With God, by Philip Yancey
    Proper Confidence by Lesslie Newbigen
    The Velvet Covered Brick by Howard Butt
    Ordering Your Private World by Gordon MacDonald
    A Tale of Three Kings by Gene Edwards
    Leadership & Self-Deception by the Arbinger Institute
    Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders

  24. Criss says:

    Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger- Ron Sider
    Partly Right- Tony Campolo
    New Way to be Human- Charlie Peacock
    Leaving Ruin- Jeff Berryman
    The Samurai- Shusaku Endo
    The Brothers Karamazov/ The Idiot- Fydor Dostoevsky
    The Pursuit of God- A. W. Tozer
    What’s so Amazing about Grace- Phillip Yancey
    Celebration of Discipline- Richard Foster
    The Signature of Jesus- Brennan Manning

  25. Erika Haub says:

    Not necessarily a top ten, but ten to consider:

    Prophetic Imagination (Brueggeman), Compassion (Nouwen), How to Believe Again (Thielicke), Exclusion and Embrace (Volf), Jesu and the Victory of God (Wright), Mere Christianity (Lewis), Great Divorce (Lewis), Cost of Discipleship (Bonhoeffer), Why We Can’t Wait (MLK, Jr.), Divided by Faith (Emerson)

  26. Jake says:

    Two more that were big for me, but haven’t been listed are Life Together by Bonhoeffer and Reaching Out by Nouwen.

  27. Ryan says:

    Here are a few personal favorites:
    Starving Jesus – Craig Gross
    revolution – Geroge Barna
    The Barbarian Way – Erwin McManus
    The Irresistible Revolution – Shane Claiborne
    Sacred Romance – John Eldredge
    Lord, Save us from your Followers – Dan Merchant
    Peppermint Filled Pinatas – Eric Bryant
    The Prodigal God – Timothy Keller
    Mere Christianity – C.S. Lewis

  28. […] was reading Eugene Cho’s blog today and he asked what the Top 10 Christian books we have read might be. I’d have a hard time […]

  29. Pam Christensen says:

    Might not be for everyone, but these are a few that have impacted me personally:
    A Cry for Mercy-Henri Nouwen
    Messy Spirituality: God’s Annoying Love for Imperfect People-Mike Yaconelli
    The Spiritual Life-Evelyn Underhill
    Authentic Faith-Gary Thomas
    The Call-Os Guiness
    Boundaries-Cloud and Townsend
    A Guide to Prayer-Upper Room
    Captivating-John & Stasi Eldredge

  30. Tony Lin says:

    Non-Christian/Non-Religious books that will every Christian should read… it will probably offend some, shock some, and blow the minds of others.

    1. Cultural Contradictions of Motherhood by Sharon Hays
    2. The Cunning of History by Richard Rubenstein
    3. The Triumph of the Therapeutic. The Uses of Faith after Freud by Phillip Rieff
    4. The Death of Character and Culture Wars by James Davison Hunter
    5. The Conquest of America by Tzvetan Todorov and Richard Howard
    6. The Denial of Death by Ernest Becker
    7. The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcon X with Alex Haley
    8. The Protestant Ethics and the Spirit of Capitalism by Max Weber
    9. Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond
    10. Status and Sacredness by Murray Milner.

  31. J. P. says:

    It’s probably cheating, but Eugene Peterson’s book about books, Take and Read: Spiritual Reading: An Annotated List is worth considering!

  32. abramjanson says:

    “Out of Solitude” – Henri Nouwen
    “Finding God” – Larry Crabb
    “Crazy Love” – Francis Chan
    “The Ragamuffin Gospel” – Brennan Manning
    “Searching for God Knows What” – D Miller
    “Traveling Mercies” – Anne Lamott
    “The Screwtape Letters” – C.S. Lewis
    “Velvet Elvis” – Rob Bell
    “The Great Divorce” – C.S. Lewis
    “Orthodoxy” – G.K. Chesterton


  33. Michael W says:

    The Cross of Christ – John Stott (surprised nobody else has mentioned this)

    The Cost of Discipleship

    The Mission of God – Christopher Wright

    Orthodoxy – Chesterton (also surprised nobody mentioned)

    Life Together

    Simply Christian

  34. jessicaschafer says:

    Soul Making by Alan Jones
    When the Heart Waits by Sue Monk Kidd
    Sexism and God-Talk by Rosemary Radford Ruether
    Sadhana by Anthony de Mello

    Book of Hours: Love Poems to God by Rainer Maria Rilke

    Terry Pratchett!

  35. Andy M says:

    This is a hard question, given that I would suggest different books for different people depending on who they are and what they need to read.

    Some that I have loved are
    Orthodoxy, and Manalive by G.K. Chesterton
    The Great Divorce and Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
    The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne
    Jesus wants to Save Christians by Rob Bell
    Serve God, Save the Planet by Matthew Sleeth
    Myth of a Christian Nation by Greg Boyd
    An Unstoppable Force by Erwin McManus
    God’s Politics by Jim Wallis
    The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning
    Our Father Abraham by Marvin Wilson
    Through Painted Deserts and Blue Like Jazz by Don Miller
    Waking the Dead by John Eldredge
    Pagan Christianity by Frank Viola and George Barna
    I know N.T. Wright would be on this list, but I haven’t gotten to read his stuff yet.
    And I know there are many more I am forgetting and more that I will love in the future.

  36. Barb says:

    If I could have only one book other than the Bible–then Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis.

  37. m@ says:

    hmmm…not going to be facetious here, but I’d throw in a few books by Nietzsche or Richard Dawkins — how are you supposed to be a light to the world if you don’t know what the world thinks about your beliefs?

    On that note: read The Art of War too. 🙂

  38. BW says:

    Some further ideas:

    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
    !0 Keys To The 8 Steps To The 3 Paths To The 1 Way to God (TM) – Rick Warren

    Forgive me, I’m feeling a little smarmy today.

  39. Dadofiandi says:

    No particular order
    Soul Cravings-mcmannus
    The importance of being foolish- brennan manning
    Jesus for president- clairborne
    the Divine conspiracy- willard
    the Jesus i never knew -yancey
    sex god – rob bell
    adventures in missing the point – campolo and mclaren
    the bible Jesus read – yancey
    irresistible revolution – clairborne

  40. dmowen says:

    Hmm, I don’t know if I’ve read 10 books on Christianity. My list would be:
    1)the Bible (One Year Bible is a manageable way to get through the whole thing- do it for a couple years and you’ll probably cover the days you skip)
    2)Mere Christianity- C.S. Lewis
    3)A Generous Orthodoxy- Brian McLauren
    4)Sophie’s World- Jostein Gaarder (a very readable history of philosophy, but contains overview of Christian thinkers)
    Understanding the historical context/worldview in Biblical times:
    The Jewish War – Josephus
    The Persian Wars- Herodotus
    Abraham- Bruce Feiler
    Relationship between church and state:
    God’s Politics – Jim Wallis
    The Mighty and the Almighty – Madeline Albright
    Warrior Politics- Robert Kaplan
    Christianity and science:
    Biology Through the Eyes of Faith- Richard Wright
    The Language of God – Francis Collins
    Blue Like Jazz – Donald Miller
    Velvet Elvis- Rob Bell

  41. alliehope says:

    Man.. how could I have forgotten Claiborne and Manning? Hmm…looks like my 10-book bookshelf might have to expand to 20. Dangit!

  42. Wow, my reading list just got way longer.

    and BW – I was seriously laughing out loud at your list. thanks.

    I don’t know about essential – but these would rank as the most personally influential books on my list.

    The Weight of Glory – C.S. Lewis
    A New Kind of Christian – Brian McLaren
    Dance of the Dissident Daughter – Sue Monk Kidd
    Traveling Mercies – Anne Lamott
    Surprised by Hope – N.T. Wright
    The Ethics of What We Eat – Singer and Mason
    How (not) to Speak of God – Peter Rollins
    Colossians Remixed – walsh and Keesmaat

  43. eugenecho says:

    @BW: nice. great friday laughs.

  44. I would include Mother Angelica’s Little Book of Life Lessons.

  45. Ben Lee says:

    Final Quest – Rick Joyner.

  46. […] most anti-essential christian books In reponse to the question about the 10 Most Essential Books (for Christians), we received some fabulous and interesting suggestions.  But the one that took […]

  47. Tom says:

    A pretty eccentric and encouraging group of readers, if you ask me :^)

    The lists reminded me of how many people and communities have influenced my life and now much I appreciate their wisdom and insight and experience, even if most of it was at a variety of distances and even if I only buy into parts of their narratives and takes now. The wonderful blessing of honest witnesses :^)

    Yes to Chesterton. 19th century Christian traditionalism can be brilliant and the enemy of most all forms of 21st century fundamentalism. Who knew? :^) One more from his best stuff: ‘Saint Francis of Assisi’ (I think the clearest and most compelling take on St. Francis I’ve run across).

    So many books worth mentioning here, but a few other books that might be particularly important for the folks trying to engage in justice and compassion ministries:

    Walter Wink’s three part series on the concept of ‘Power’ in the New Testament. ‘Naming the Powers,’ ‘Unmasking the Powers,’ and ‘Engaging the Powers.’ Best stuff I’ve seen that unpacks the way the NT witnesses understood how power works and how Christians are supposed to respond.

    Finally, though I appreciate all the ‘third way’ and ’emerging’ conversations over the past decade or so, I think the best approach I’ve run across to bridging the divides between ‘conservatives’ and ‘progressives’ (whether theologically, culturally or politically) is still the way of ‘Christian Anarchy.’

    Vernard Eller’s ‘Christian Anarchy’ and Jacques Ellul’s ‘Anarchy and Christianity’ are two books that unpack how biblical Christian faith challenges all pretentious powers and ideologies–whether they be religious or political or economic–while at the same time recognizing that we live in a very fallen world where real change comes in fits and starts.


  48. emotionally healthy church – peter scazzero
    organic church – neil cole
    blue like jazz – donald miller
    through painted deserts (aka prayer and the art of wolkswagen maintenance) – donald miller
    eugene peterson’s breakdown of lectio divina
    the lost message of jesus – steve chalke
    the irresistible revolution – shane claiborne
    my utmost for his highest – oswald chambers
    life of the beloved – henri nouwen
    in the name of jesus – henri nouwen

  49. kate says:

    A couple to add:
    Anything Mother Teresa has written
    Lewis: A Grief Observed
    Yancey: Reaching for the Invisible God
    Miller: Consuming Religion – Christian Faith and Practice in a Consumer Culture

    Also, I agree with m@ on books by strong atheists…God is Not Great by Hitchens is a good start….Nietzsche is great also if you have the time&energy.

  50. Steve says:

    Absolutely required is ‘Tortured for Christ’ by Richard Wurmbrand

    Another required read would be ‘The Master Plan of Evangelism’ by Robert Coleman. (If the church would do this instead of ‘butts in seats’ we would have a very different world)

    I am shocked nobody referenced Roland Allen, both ‘Missionary Methods: St. Paul’s or Ours?’ and ‘The Spontaneous Expansion of the Church and the Causes that Hinder it’ are phenomenal…

  51. Michelle says:

    Tortured for Christ by Richard Wurmbrand
    This One Thing I do by Robert Pierce
    Anything written by Mother Theresa
    God’s Smuggler by Brother Andrew
    Anything written by Oswald Chambers

  52. just one more says:

    by Amy Carmichael

    It is only a tiny booklet, but I was strangely moved by the humility that jumps through the few pages.

  53. 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

  54. jan owen says:

    I’ll add one: “Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership” by Ruth Haley Barton.

    Incredible, and touches on all of the above. I DARE you to read it! 🙂

  55. Maverick says:

    A New Kind of Christian McLaren
    True Spirituality – Schaeffer
    The Mark of a Christian – Schaeffer
    Beyond Identity – Dick Keyes
    Becoming Conversant With the Emerging Church – DA Carson?
    Total Truth – Pearcey and Colson
    Living Spirituality – Greg Laughery
    Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ – Piper
    Waking The Dead – Eldregde
    Mere Christianity – CS Lewis
    He Is There and He Is Not Silent – Schaeffer
    Surprised by Hope – NT Wright

    Ok, so I kept the list to twelve…

  56. drew says:

    for what it’s worth:

    Mere Christianity (Lewis)
    Generous Orthodoxy (McLaren)
    Searching for God Knows What (Miller)
    Man’s Search for Meaning (Frankl)
    Sacred Pathways (Thomas)
    Fear and Trembling (Keirkegaard)
    Life After Church (Sanders)
    Adventures in Missing the Point (Campolo/McLaren)
    Velvet Elvis (Rob Bell)
    Deliver Us From Evil (Zacharias)

  57. loupylou says:

    Anything by Watchman Nee.

  58. Tim says:

    Books I have really enjoyed. Some duplicates from above, but a few new ones.

    1. The Brothers Karamazov – Dostoyevsky
    2. The Heart of Christianity – Borg
    3. Say to this Mountain – Ched Myers (More accessible than “Binding the Strong Man”
    4. Telling the Truth, the Gospel as Comedy, Tragedy, Fairy Tale – Frederick Buechner (also, the Alphabet of Grace, The Book of Bebb)
    5. In Search of Paul – Crossan and Reed (Also “The Birth of Christianity”, “God and Empire”)
    6. The Hauerwas Reader – Stanley Hauerwas
    7. The Selfish Gene – Richard Dawkins
    8. Leaving Church – Barbara Brown Taylor
    9. A Short History of Progress – Ronald Wright
    10. Remedial Christianity – Paul Alan Laughlin
    11. Moral Politics – George Lakoff

  59. joelbrady says:

    The Great Divorce – Lewis
    Fear and Trembling – Kierkegaard
    The Divine Conspiracy – Willard
    Coming Community – Agamben
    Exclusion and Embrace – Volf
    Anything – Merton
    Public and Private Faith – Stringfellow
    Traveling Mercies – Lamott
    Community 101 – Bilezikian
    Politics of Jesus – Yoder
    Time that Remains – Agamben

    i guess one of those is to grow on.

  60. David Lovi says:

    Ok, here are my ten (Not including the Bible, which is a given) that I would want with me on a deserted island (In no order):

    “The Pilgrim’s Progress” By: Bunyan
    “Mornings and Evenings” By: Spurgeon
    “The Cross” By: Lloyd-Jones
    “Confessions” By: Augustine
    “The Suffering Savior” By: Krummacher
    “Biography of George Whitefield(two vol)”By: Dallimore
    “Works of Jonathan Edwards(two vol)” By: Edwards
    “The Bondage of the Will” By: Luther
    “Institutes of the Christian Religion” By: Calvin
    “Scaling the Secular City” By: Moreland

  61. Bryan says:

    This was one of my favorites that I have not seen on anyone’s list: The Holiness of God by R. C. Sproul.

  62. Kacie says:

    I had to laugh as I compared the responses that you get on your blogs about books to the recent post on Beth Moore’s blog in which she asked her readers what their favorite fiction was. Oh my gosh… there were probably hundreds of women that answered Francine Rivers.

    I was embarassed by my gender.

    Please… a little intelligent literature here, people??

  63. Julie says:

    The Everlasting Man by G.K. Chesterton

    Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis

    The Challenge of Jesus by N.T. Wright

    (Apparently I like folks who go by their first two initials…)

    The Mind of the Maker by Dorothy Sayers

  64. Geoff says:

    A Generous Orthodoxy by Brian McLaren

    The Narnia Series by C.S Lewis

    How (not) To Speak Of God – Peter Rollins

    and to split violently from the emerging crew the above tends to outline

    The Cross and The Switchblade – David Wilkerson (regardless of his more recent crazy comments)

  65. Jeff M says:

    Lots of great books that have been posted … Here are my top that I don’t believe have been listed:

    God is at Work by Ken Eldred

    Walking with the Poor by Bryant Meyer

    Beyond Charity by John Perkins

    Compassion,Justice and the Christian Life by Bob Lupton

    Taking Our Cities for God by John Dawson

    Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

    The Calvary Road by Roy Hession

    The Heavenly Man by Brother Yun

    Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders

  66. Tracy says:

    One Blood by Ken Ham

  67. […]  In essence, “what are the must reads?”  And so couple weeks ago, I asked YOU for your recommendations and there were some fascinating contributions.  In a comical way, it also spurred on a spontaneous […]

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stuff, connect, info

One Day’s Wages

My Instagram

Back safely from Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan. Thanks for your prayers. 
I have numerous stories to share but for now, the following came up in every conversation with Iraqi/Syrian refugees:

1 Have tea with us. Or coffee. Or juice. Or something with lots of sugar in it. Or better yet, all of the above.
2 We want peace. We want security. 
3 We hate ISIS. 
4 We just want to go home.
5 Please don't forget us.

Please don't forget them... Father, please bless and protect these Iraqi and Syrian "refugee" children that have already endured so much. Protect their hearts and mind from unfathomable trauma. Plant seeds of hope and vision in their lives. And as we pray for them, teach us how to advocate for them. Amen. "We don't call them refugees. We call them relatives. We don't call them camps but centers. Dignity is so important." -  local Iraqi priest whose church has welcomed many "relatives" to their church's property

It's always a privilege to be invited into peoples' home for tea - even if it's a temporary tent. This is an extended Yezidi family that fled the Mosul, Iraq area because of ISIS. It's indeed true that Christians were targeted by ISIS and thatbstory muat be shared but other minority groups like the Yezidis were also targeted. Some of their heartbreaking stories included the kidnapping of their sister. They shared that their father passed away shortly of a "broken heart." The conversation was emotional but afterwards, we asked each other for permission to take photos. Once the selfies came out, the real smiles came out.

So friends: Pray for Iraq. Pray for the persecuted Church. Pray for Christians, minority groups like the Yezidis who fear they will e completely wiped out in the Middle East,, and Muslims alike who are all suffering under ISIS. Friends: I'm traveling in the Middle East this week - Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan. (Make sure you follow my pics/stories on IG stories). Specifically, I'm here representing @onedayswages to meet, learn, and listen to pastors, local leaders, NGOs, and of course directly from refugees from within these countries - including many from Syria.

For security purposes, I haven't been able to share at all but I'm now able to start sharing some photos and stories. For now, I'll be sharing numerous photos through my IG stories and will be sharing some longer written pieces in couple months when ODW launches another wave of partnerships to come alongside refugees in these areas. Four of us are traveling together also for the purpose of creating a short documentary that we hope to release early next year.

While I'm on my church sabbatical, it's truly a privilege to be able to come to these countries and to meet local pastors and indigenous leaders that tirelessly pursue peace and justice, and to hear directly from refugees. I've read so many various articles and pieces over the years and I thought I was prepared but it has been jarring, heartbreaking,  and gut wrenching. In the midst of such chaos, there's hope but there's also a lot of questions, too.

I hope you follow along as I share photos, stories, and help release this mini-documentary. Please tag friends that might be interested.

Please pray for safety, for empathy, for humility and integrity, for divine meetings. Pray that we listen well; To be present and not just be a consumer of these vulnerable stories. That's my biggest prayer.

Special thanks to @worldvisionusa and @worldrelief for hosting us on this journey. 9/11
Never forget.
And never stop working for peace.

Today, I had some gut wrenching and heart breaking conversations about war, violence, and peacemaking. Mostly, I listened. Never in my wildest imagination did I envision having these conversations on 9/11 of all days. I wish I could share more now but I hope to later after I process them for a few days.

But indeed: Never forget.
And never stop working for peace.
May it be so. Amen. Mount Rainier is simply epic. There's nothing like flying in and out of Seattle.


my tweets

  • Boom. Final fishing trip. Grateful. A nice way to end my 3 month sabbatical. #catchandrelease… || 20 hours ago
  • Christians: May we be guided by the Scriptures that remind us, "Seek first the Kingdom of God" and not, "Seek first the kingdom of America." || 21 hours ago
  • Every convo with Iraqi/Syrian refugees included: 1 Have tea with us 2 We want peace 3 We hate ISIS 4 We want to go home 5 Don't forget us || 3 days ago
  • Back safely from Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan to assess @OneDaysWages' partnerships & to film mini-documentary on refugee crisis. So many emotions. || 3 days ago
  • Pray for Mexico. For those mourning loved ones. For those fighting for life - even under rubbles. For rescue workers. Lord, in your mercy. || 3 days ago
  • Don't underestimate what God can do through you. God has a very long history of using foolish and broken people for His purposes and glory. || 6 days ago