Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Ten Books I Know You Won't Read But Should

Every week I send out a Paul's Ponderings e-mail to friends and family. It is a way I can keep people informed about what is happening in my life and shamelessly promote my writings. This week I included 10 books that I read this year that I would recommend to others, and since it took me 30 minutes to compile I thought I would share it with you as well. Don't you feel lucky?

10. The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
is a benefit to reading what the other side thinks, and since Dawkins is basically the face of atheism in the world today his book is a good one to start with.

9. The Gifts of the Jews by Thomas Cahill
Thomas Cahill
is a history writer who has written a series of books called The Hinges of History. This is the second in the series, the first being How the Irish Saved Civilization (which made the list last year). This book really focuses on how the call of Abraham changed the course of the world. The interesting thing is that Cahill is not a conservative Christian, at best I would say he is a progressive Catholic, and so he comes at Scripture from a different perspective, but still arrives at the truth - God began to do a brand new thing when He called Abraham to follow Him.

8. The Rise of Christianity by Rodney Stark
Here is a book by an university professor that takes a look at the scientific reasons why the early church grew. I will give his conclusion - Christians lived their doctrine!

7. The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience by Ronald Sider
This book was recommended to me by my cousin Angie. A great look at the damage the western church is during to herself by not living out her doctrines.

6. Common Sense, Rights of Man, and Other Essential Writings of Thomas Paine
Thomas Paine was influential in the 13 colonies declaring independence from England, and so his writings give you an understanding of what our founders were thinking when the began this great country.

5. The Reason for God by Timothy Keller
Timothy Keller is a pastor in New York City and has been asked all the tough intellectual questions skeptics throw out. This is his reasoned explanation for God that had come from a life time of ministry.

4. Justification by N. T. Wright
, along with William Lane Craig, has had a big influence on me this past year, between his books and lectures. He has helped clarify some theological issues that I have struggled with. Justification is written in response to John Piper's criticism of Wright on the doctrine of Justification.

3. Hard Questions, Real Answers by William Lane Craig
has taught me so much this year, particularly through his podcasts. In this book WLC answers 7 difficult questions about Christianity, and he does it in a very easy to understand way. This is a book that anyone can read, and I think you owe it to yourself to read.

2. Surprised by Hope by N. T. Wright
This book gave me hope. To be honest with you I have never been excited about going to heaven when I die. Once Wright clarified what the true Christian hope is all about I became excited, not only about the future, but also about the present.

1. Imminent Domain by Ben Witherington
The reason I made this #1 is because it is easy to read, it is short (83 pages), and is good theology. As Christians we get caught up in our "personal relationship with God" (whatever that means) and we forget that there is a grander story being played out around us, a story that God wants us to be a part of. This book reminds us what that story is.


SCoop said...

Thanks for the suggestions...and I probably will actually read a couple of them, so your blog is not in vain. :)

Paul said...

Hey Shane, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Always nice to know that I have a reader or two.

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