50 Best Christian Books Ever

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Floyd Johnson | Forum Activity | Posted: Sat, Apr 26 2014 1:24 AM

I just discovered this chronophobic list of best Christian books ever written:  

http://www.ministrybestpractices.com/2014/04/the-50-best-christian-books-ever-written.html 

However, since a vast majority of the books come from the past 100 years, I think the list has some serious flaws.  What books should be on this list?

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Apr 26 2014 1:44 AM

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/01/spiritual-classics-christian_n_989623.html
25 Books every Christian Should Read

On the Incarnation, Athanasius
Confessions, Augustine
The Sayings of the Desert Fathers, Various
The Rule of St. Benedict, Benedict Of Nursia
The Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri
The Cloud of Unknowing, Anonymous
Revelations of Divine Love, Julian of Norwich
The Imitation of Christ, Thomas à Kempis
The Philokalia, Various
Institutes of the Christian Religion, John Calvin
The Interior Castle, Teresa of Avila
Dark Night of the Soul, John of the Cross
Pensées, Blaise Pascal
The Pilgrim's Progress, John Bunyan
The Practice of the Presence of God, Brother Lawrence
A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life, William Law
The Way of a Pilgrim, Unknown Author
The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoevsky
Orthodoxy, GK Chesterton
Poetry, Gerard Manley Hopkins
The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
A Testament of Devotion, Thomas R. Kelly
The Seven Storey Mountain, Thomas Merton
Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis
The Return of the Prodigal Son, Henri Nouwenn

=====================

I would personally add:

Passion of Christ, Passion of the World by Boff, Leonardo
Barlaam and Ioasaph by John Damascene
The Hymns of Prudentius by Prudentius
St. Ephrem the Syrian: Hymns On Paradise by St. Ephrem
On the Life of Christ: Kontakia by Romanus, Saint Romanos the Melodist
Markings by Dag Hammarskjold
Night by Elie Weisel

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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HJ. van der Wal | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Apr 26 2014 2:20 AM

MJ. Smith:

25 Books every Christian Should Read

http://topics.logos.com/Renovar%C3%A9_Reading_List

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Apr 26 2014 2:29 AM

H.-J.van der Wal:
http://topics.logos.com/Renovar%C3%A9_Reading_List

Looks like it needs updating with more Logos links. Embarrassed

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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HJ. van der Wal | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Apr 26 2014 2:38 AM

MJ. Smith:

Looks like it needs updating with more Logos links.

Looks like Logos needs to publish more christian classics... Smile

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Apr 26 2014 2:57 AM

Of the original list, these are the only ones I'd keep:

I'd add all the ones from the Huffington Post list, plus Markings and Night that MJ already mentioned.

In addition, I would add:

Also if some more recent ones are wanted to replace the ones I'd weeded out:

  • Spirituality and the Gentle Life – Adrian Van Kaam
  • Celebration of Discipline – Richard Foster
  • Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home – Richard Foster
  • How Should We Then Live? – Francis Schaeffer (logosres:cwfs;ref=VolumePage.V_5,_p_79) (came with Schaeffer's Complete Works, appears to be no longer available)
  • How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth – Gordon Fee (logosres:h2rbblworth) (BUY)
  • Life of the Beloved – Henri Nouwen
  • The Inner Voice of Love – Henri Nouwen
  • Holy the Firm – Annie Dillard
  • The Contemplative Pastor – Eugene Peterson (logosres:ldlib17) (BUY)
  • An Offering of Uncles – Robert Farrar Capon
  • The Supper of the Lamb – Robert Farrar Capon

And some great fiction, not thematically Christian but by Christians (except Golding), and with deep Christian overtones:

  • The Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The Power and the Glory – Graham Greene
  • The Book of the Dun Cow – Walter Wangerin
  • The Lord of the Flies – William Golding
  • The Complete Stories – Flannery O’Connor
  • The Princess and the Goblin – George Macdonald

And I think I should add (due to their reputation or specific recommendations from people I trust), though I haven't read them yet:

Finally, more lists of great Christian books:

http://www.goodreads.com/list/tag/christian 

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Bruce Dunning | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Apr 26 2014 5:05 AM

Great list Rosie. There are a few books on that list that I have not read that have caught my attention. Thanks.

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William Gabriel | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Apr 26 2014 5:50 AM

I was just thinking what books I would include in a "portable library" for the church I attend. Knowing God is what made me think of it-I really believe every Christian should read that book!

Rosie, I read the Silmarillion about 20 years ago, and while I enjoyed it, you have to be pretty committed to Middle Earth to enjoy it. It reads like the Old Testament, but it doesn't have the advantage of being true. That said, the Creation account at the beginning is superb. It gets my heart racing because of the way Tolkien uses the idea of music through it.

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Timothy Brown | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Apr 26 2014 6:22 AM

Four more books that have stood the test of time:

  • Letters - Samuel Rutherford

  • Cardiphonia (Letters) - John Newton

  • Holiness - J. C. Ryle

  • Prayer - Ole Hallesby

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TCBlack | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Apr 26 2014 6:24 AM

What a fascinating thread!

I can't yet, consider fully what I might add to it. Nor am I familiar enough (sadly) with some of these to consider their removal in favor of something I might favor.

How I would love for Logos to monitor this for a few more days and then build the package. :-)

William Gabriel:
Rosie, I read the Silmarillion about 20 years ago, and while I enjoyed it, you have to be pretty committed to Middle Earth to enjoy it.
As a fan of all things flowing from John Ronald Reul's pen, I must agree. Great for me, but perhaps not for everyone. I would certainly include LOTR and the Hobbit though as requisite reading. And if only one: LOTR.

I would add however one book from Helmut Thielicke - "The prayer that spans the world." It is an exposition of the Lord's prayer he preached during the bombing of Stuttgart. Absolutely masterful and deeply laden with the urgency of the text brought to bear upon the hearts of the saints in their very real and horrific world.

One may also consider for inclusion Chuck Colson's "loving God".

Edit: for clarity:

  • The prayer that spans the world - Helmut Thielicke 
  • Loving God - Chuck Colson

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Apr 26 2014 6:33 AM

H.-J.van der Wal:

MJ. Smith:

Looks like it needs updating with more Logos links.

Looks like Logos needs to publish more christian classics... Smile

I noticed a handful of resources had links to the logos website, but not to the actual logos resource. It would be nice if clicking on the name of the resource would take you to the actual resource, and adding a "BUY" link to the right, which would take you to the Logos page For that resource. I would volunteer to make this change but I remain blissfully ignorant about changing wiki pages. 

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SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Apr 26 2014 6:43 AM

I would like to see John Henry Newman's novel Loss and Gain, the Summa Theologiae of St. Thomas Aquinas, G. K. Chesterton's The Everlasting Man, and some stuff by St. John of the Cross on the list.

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HJ. van der Wal | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Apr 26 2014 7:12 AM

alabama24:

I noticed a handful of resources had links to the logos website, but not to the actual logos resource. 

It's all about knowing the respective logosres links (see for example this thread). If I don't own a specific resource I just add a link to the Logos website and hope that another user will eventually put in the right logosres link.

alabama24:

It would be nice if clicking on the name of the resource would take you to the actual resource, and adding a "BUY" link to the right, which would take you to the Logos page For that resource.

If you click on the logosres link of a resource you don't own Logos 5 will open a preview window and give you the option to buy the resource on the website.

Edit: I just found out that the Android app will take you immediately to the Logos page for the resource.

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Apr 26 2014 7:48 AM

H.-J.van der Wal:
It's all about knowing the respective logosres links (see for example this thread). If I don't own a specific resource I just add a link to the Logos website and hope that another user will eventually put in the right logosres link.

Duh. Embarrassed

I should have realized that you might not own all the available resources. Here is Discipleship: logosres:dbw04;ref=Page.p_iii 

H.-J.van der Wal:

If you click on the logosres link of a resource you don't own Logos 5 will open a preview window and give you the option to buy the resource on the website.

Edit: I just found out that the Android app will take you immediately to the Logos page for the resource.

That probably works OK. I was using my iPad. Apple doesn't allow apps to link to purchases without a 30% cut... so Logos doesn't forward those links to their site.

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NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Apr 26 2014 7:51 AM

H.-J.van der Wal:

alabama24:

It would be nice if clicking on the name of the resource would take you to the actual resource, and adding a "BUY" link to the right, which would take you to the Logos page For that resource.

If you click on the logosres link of a resource you don't own Logos 5 will open a preview window and give you the option to buy the resource on the website.

Yes, which I think is a very cool feature. Therefore I like to see logosres: links wherever possible. 

H.-J.van der Wal:
It's all about knowing the respective logosres links (...) If I don't own a specific resource I just add a link to the Logos website and hope that another user will eventually put in the right logosres link.

If a resource is available outside of a bundle in Logos or Vyrso, you'll find the logosres when you click on the (i) in the top right corner of the look-into preview. Step 1:

Step 2:

now we can safely know that the link is logosres:hbkexnt and for those who own it will open the resource in Logos, for others the in-app preview together with a link to the website:

 

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HJ. van der Wal | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Apr 26 2014 7:58 AM

alabama24:

I should have realized that you might not own all the available resources.

Not even Rosie owns all the available resources...

alabama24:

Here is Discipleship: logosres:dbw04;ref=Page.p_iii 

Thanks!

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HJ. van der Wal | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Apr 26 2014 8:06 AM

NB.Mick:

If a resource is available outside of a bundle in Logos or Vyrso, you'll find the logosres when you click on the (i) in the top right corner of the look-into preview. 

Thank you so much!

I've tried it with William Laws A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life and it works! Big Smile

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NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Apr 26 2014 10:08 AM

H.-J.van der Wal:

NB.Mick:

If a resource is available outside of a bundle in Logos or Vyrso, you'll find the logosres when you click on the (i) in the top right corner of the look-into preview. 

Thank you so much!

I've tried it with William Laws A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life and it works! Big Smile

You're welcome. I updated a bit in the list, too.

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Apr 26 2014 4:02 PM

William Gabriel:
but it doesn't have the advantage of being true

Sometimes fiction is more true than you know, not because it's literally true, but because it tells us about human nature or about God in metaphor.

William Gabriel:
That said, the Creation account at the beginning is superb. It gets my heart racing because of the way Tolkien uses the idea of music through it.

That's the only part I've read, and it made a huge impact on me theologically (the idea of God adding more harmony to even out the discord introduced by Satan is just too good not to be true as a metaphor of how God works). Maybe that's the only part I'd put on a "must read" list then. But you're probably right that even that is just for real Middle Earth fans, not totally necessary for every Christian to read.

TCBlack:
How I would love for Logos to monitor this for a few more days and then build the package. :-)

Yes

alabama24:
I noticed a handful of resources had links to the logos website, but not to the actual logos resource. It would be nice if clicking on the name of the resource would take you to the actual resource, and adding a "BUY" link to the right, which would take you to the Logos page For that resource.

I've added logosres and BUY links to the right of the ones on my list that exist in Logos, in case this combined list we are working on ever ends up as a Reading List if someone wants to do that task.

Yes, a BUY link would be helpful on the Renovare Reading List too, but I didn't have time for that.

alabama24:
I remain blissfully ignorant about changing wiki pages. 

Convenient excuse. Smile

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Apr 26 2014 4:33 PM

William Gabriel:
but it doesn't have the advantage of being true.

While I would not include Silmarillion so near the top, I also would distinguish between "true" and "factual". I personally enjoy Tolkien more for his language play than for his theology.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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