Several books continue to challenge me with the depth of their godly insights. As their number increases, they’ve placed a burden on the front page of Cerulean Sanctum. I’ve off-loaded them here and added comments. I guarantee that reading any of these will prove enlightening, challenging you to greater heights in your walk with the Lord.
A. W. Tozer
No book I have read outside the Scriptures matches the profundity of this, Tozer’s greatest work. A series of meditations on the character of God, this little book will change your life and draw you into a deeper love and appreciation of the Lord.
A. W. Tozer
I could legitimately include every book Tozer’s written in this list as I find him to be the most compelling of all 20th century Christian writers. This is his most well-known work, a look at how we can all best pursue God and know Him.
If you’ve heard the term “cheap grace,” it likely came from this book. Bonhoeffer contends that our discipleship is too small and our resulting lifestyle too compromised by the world. So deep it takes several minutes for even one page to sink in.
A blistering indictment of contemporary spiritual laxity, Ravenhill’s clarion call to the sleeping Church could not be more appropriate for today. A soul-stirring work from a modern-day prophet.
Edwards examines true faith and asks what makes for genuine conversion to Christ. Don’t read this book and look for comfort! (Several versions of this book exist. Look for one with a more modern editing of the original text. Edwards is a dense read and stumbling over antiquated writing styles won’t help one grasp the depth of the material.)
A parable? An allegory? A dream? No matter the case, Lewis’s tale of a bus trip from hell to heaven and the fates of the passengers will expand your ideas of salvation and the afterlife. Yes, heaven is a more real place than this life.
Outside of the Bible, I suspect no work of the 20th century has had more influence on contemporary Evangelicalism than this book. A perennial favorite of both theologians and the average Joe in the pew, it’s an apologetic for everyone.
Those who don’t understand Nee are stuck in their Western thinking. His uniquely Asian worldview of the book of Romans helps deepen our understanding of what should be the everyday experience of the Christian believer. And what a different life that is than what most of us experience. A must-read.
Do we live by the Spirit or are we faking? Nee explores the distinctions between the soulish man and the spiritual man and reveals how to live broken before God, the only way that connects with Him.
Christian, do you know who you are in Christ? Nee’s simple yet profound exposition of Ephesians illustrates the believer’s position in Christ better than any book I’ve read on the subject. His non-Western understanding offers a refreshing take on this most critical topic.
A startlingly fresh look at Jesus’ understanding of true discipleship, Willard’s masterwork will turn readers’ worlds upside-down. One of the bedrock works of the last 30 years, this book has influenced most of today’s most visionary Christian leaders.
The Great Evangelical Disaster
For those who don’t believe that prophecy still exists in the Church today, look no further than Schaeffer’s prophetic indictment of modern Evangelicalism and all it’s ungodly excesses. A scathing and accurate picture of what happens when Western Christianity succumbs to the world.
Few books have the nerve to claim that most Christians don’t possess a Christian worldview. Pearcey shows how Darwinism, pragmatism, and a host of other -isms are the actual foundation upon which most Christians build their lives. A Gold Medallion Book Award winner for excellence.
While not a Christian book per se, this excellent work helps Christians concerned with profligate living escape the materialistic, disposable, anti-Creator lifestyles we’ve built for ourselves as Americans. Any Christian looking to live as a true conserver and steward of what God has given should read this book.
Again, not a book likely to be found in a Christian bookstore, though author Dreher does address the necessity of a Christian worldview to the principles exemplified here. It is the rare book that I mentally reference almost daily, but this one continues to provide important fodder for Christians attempting to rediscover what is worth conserving in a culture/society in its death throes. My wife and I both agree that this book, when read, will get many Christian heads nodding in agreement. If you are conservative and feel that the current conservative movement has lost its way and wandered from God’s best, this is the book for you.
The Triumph of Christianity: How the Jesus Movement Became the World’s Largest Religion
A concise historical overview of the world that Christ and His Gospel were born into and continuing into the modern era. Packed with interesting information and many facts that contradict old-fashioned notions that were based on deficient scholarship. Almost every page contains something you won’t know about the history of the Christian Church and its spread across the globe. Absolutely essential reading for all English-speaking Christians. Really, just read it!