Tuesday, February 08, 2005

"The Indispensables" -- A Top Ten Book List for Active Christians

New Convert? Experienced saint? Interested non-Christian? The following "Top Ten" books are for all who want a clearer understanding of what Christianity is all about. Sure, it is only one such list and anything of this sort is merely scratching the surface. Still, you gotta' start somewhere and so here are my recommendations.
1. Bible study tools. The first step to a mature faith and confident service in the cause of Jesus Christ is a thorough, but ever-growing knowledge of the Book! A detailed concordance, Greek & Hebrew helps, word studies, Bible dictionaries and atlases, commentaries that take you into the text -- these are a few of the basics. Invest in these excellent tools and grow regularly in the Word!
2. Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis. No question - this is an absolute must! And don’t miss his other classics including Abolition of Man, Miracles, and The Screwtape Letters.
3. The works of Francis Schaeffer. This is a man whose wise analysis of the modern world has made him one of the most significant figures of our time. I suggest The Church at the End of the Twentieth Century as an excellent book for “first-readers” of Schaeffer. However, his apologetic trilogy (The God Who Is There, He is There and He Is Not Silent, and Escape from Reason) are also required reading.
4. Orthodoxy by G. K. Chesterton. This timeless book makes a splendid introduction into the work of the one of the most far-sighted men of our century. Start in on GKC and you may never stop. It happened to me; I've been reading Chesterton for over 30 years.
5. Heaven: Your Real Home by Joni Eareckson Tada. The sure hope of heaven is crucial for Christians who want to make a difference for eternity. This is a great book! (By the way, an extra blessing is Joni's When God Weeps.)
6. Pro-Life Answers to Pro-Choice Arguments by Randy Alcorn. This author of best-selling Christian fiction also has to his credit perhaps the best all-around pro-life book ever. It’s recently been updated too.
7. Evidence That Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell. An engaging primer on apologetics that is as good for veteran defenders of the Faith as it is for beginners.
8. Their Blood Cries Out by Paul Marshall. Easily one of the clearest, most compelling books around for describing the state of the persecuted Church in our time. Marshall does more than wring his hands, though; he shows us how we can make a real difference.
9. Truth Twisters by Harold Berry. This is a thorough, compelling, and very readable text on the major cults in Western culture and how to effectively witness one’s Christian faith among competing truth claims.
10. How Now Shall We Live? by Chuck Colson & Nancy Pearcey. The authors deal with important concepts of how our ideas about the world shape the way we ourselves live. With perceptive and hard-hitting exhortations, Colson & Pearcey have written a great prescription for what ails the West.