Trying to find a good book to read? Let me recommend 7; 2 fiction, 5 non-fiction.
Why 7? The Bible likes that number…so so do I!
1. “The Pillars of the Earth” by Ken Follett. This is probably my favourite non-fiction. The story follows Tom, a man with a dream to build a grand cathedral, and Prior Philip a devout monk who is horrified by the corruption and greed of so many others professing Christianity. The book was BBC’s #33 in the “Big Read top 100” in 2003, was selected for Oprah’s book club in 2007 and voted the third favourite book in Germany, after Lord of the Rings and the Bible. A long read, but well worth it.
2. “Magician” by Raymond E. Feist. Feist has written so many books set in the fantasy world of Midkemia, “Magician” being the first of the Riftwar saga. The story follows Pug, an orphan apprenticed to a magician, whose world is invaded by aliens. Pug’s journey takes him all over Midkemia and even to the alien world of Kelewan as bit by bit his power increases. The story was BBC’s #89 in the “Big Read top 100” in 2003. Feist has an incredible imagination and an amazing story-telling gift. A fantastic fantasy!
3. “Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist” by John Piper. Piper helpfully discusses the importance of joy, arguing that our pursuit of joy and God’s pursuit of glory are the exact same pursuit. It is impossible to separate our pursuit of joy from God’s pursuit of spreading the Gospel and bringing glory to his name. In order to love, to do mission, to pray, to be happily married, basically in order to do anything properly as a Christian, we must pursue our joy. I don’t agree with every conclusion Piper makes and I think his readings of the limited scripture he uses is fairly basic, but his discussion is helpful!
4. “The Jesus I Never Knew” by Philip Yancey. Yancey has a unique writing style, which takes the reader on a journey with the author. He poses questions first, then spends the next few chapters seeking to answer them. In this book, he seeks to find out who the real Jesus was, rather than the clean, immacutely groomed, white Jesus holding a lamb with barely any emotion. The conclusion Yancey come to are suprising, and he isn’t afraid to ask of himself some tough questions as to how he would have reacted to Jesus, had he been in the Pharisee’s position all those years ago. This book is a simple read, but reveals a whole new level of humanity to Jesus, painting him to be an even more amazing man than we may have realized.
5. “Seven Days that Divide the World” by John Lennox. This book discusses the “science v religion” argument, focussing on the issues surrounding a literal reading of Genesis, looking at the theories of evolution, 7-day creation, etc. concluding that the argument is not “science v religion” or “evolution v creation,” but is in fact simply between naturalism and theism (i.e. whether there is a God or not). He argues evolution should not be an issue that scares Christians, for it cannot disprove God, nor does it contradict the Bible. A good introduction for some very important arguments in contemporary society.
6. “Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and its Fashionable Enemies” by David Bentley Hart. There is an extended review of this book on this blog that I wrote for my theol degree, which I suggest you read. It’s an excellent book, dispelling many inflated myths about particular historical events commonly used by Atheists against Christianity, such as the crusades, Galileo and others. Hart’s passion is evident and this book is very well source and a helpful resource in understanding popular Atheistic arguments.
7. I am currently reading – and enjoying – a book by Alister McGrath, “The Twilight of Atheism: The Rise and Fall of Disbelief in the Modern World.” The history of Atheism itself is particularly interesting to me, and McGrath tracks the rise of the New Atheist movement from the French Revolution, influencing the likes of Karl Marx and eventually Richard Dawkins. As you can probably tell, I enjoy apologetics, and though I’m halfway through this book, I can already recommend it!
Hopefully one day I can recommend my own book….and maybe someone else will be recommending mine too!!