5 Books Every Christian Should Read
The books that a person reads can help shape his or her life. This is true for everyone, including Christians. There are some books that just seem to have a life-changing impact on people. In this list, I mention 5 books that every Christian should read. Each of these books have helped shape my life in some way, and it was difficult for me to reduce this list to just 5 books. I believe that you will be blessed by your reading of these books. I have limited the books here to one per author. There are several other books by each of these authors that I believe are incredible, but I have refrained from including more than one from any author here.
Before I start with this list, I want to point out that none of these books are as important for the Christian as the Bible. None of these books are Bible-substitutes. To treat them as such is therefore wrong-headed. These should not be read instead of the Bible, but should be read as of second importance to the Bible. We should never allow ourselves to neglect Scripture for another book, whether that book is on this list or not. With that, let's get started:
5. Evidence That Demands A Verdict
At number 5 on my list is Josh McDowell's classic book "Evidence That Demands A Verdict." If you are looking for an in-depth analysis of the case for Christianity, this book is a must-have. It is a massive volume, and addresses topics ranging from biblical criticism to the case for the existence of God and the resurrection of Jesus. Josh and his son, Sean McDowell, have recently updated the book to reflect the current debate I highly recommend grabbing a copy of this book for personal study.
This book has had a profound impact on me. When I faced a question from a skeptic that I did not have the answer to, this book was usually the first one that I grabbed.
4. Crazy Love
"Crazy Love" by Francis Chan is one of the most amazing and impactful books that I have ever read. In it, Francis Chan demonstrates how amazing God's love is and demonstrates how his readers can love God in return. The chapter names alone are enough to gather attention. The chapter titles alone will grab the attention of any reader. If you have not read this book, you are missing out on something amazing.. If you have read this book and haven't read it through a second time, you must have missed something. This is one of those books that you will read over and over again and find something new every time.
The point of this book, I think, is best summed up in the words of the author: "Do you know that nothing you do in this life will ever matter, unless it is about loving God and loving the people he has made?" Let us never forget this.
3. On Guard
William Lane Craig is perhaps the best defender of the Christian faith today. With such an amazing selection of his books to choose from, it was difficult for me to narrow down which one should make this list. I finally settled on "On Guard," because it makes the case for Christianity in a clear and accessible way. The content of this book can be grasped by the lay person with little to no theological training, yet it provides enough depth that the same person could easily defend the arguments that this book presents.
In "On Guard," Dr. Craig defends several arguments for the existence of God, including the Kalam Cosmological Argument, which the author is famous for popularizing. Dr. Craig also defends the historicity of the bodily resurrection of Jesus. This amazing book will serve you well as an introduction to apologetics or as a refresher on truth of Christianity. Regardless of the reason why you get this book, if you do not read it, you are missing out on some amazing content.
This book serves as a great introduction to Christian apologetics, but it does not cover everything. For a more in-depth look at some of the arguments that Dr. Craig offers in this book, I would recommend picking up a copy of his signature work, "Reasonable Faith." If I may make a recommendation: read "On Guard" to become acquainted with the arguments for Christianity, and follow up by reading "Reasonable Faith" to dive a little deeper. You will be happy that you did.
2. The Case For Christ
At the number 2 spot on this list is "The Case For Christ" by Lee Strobel. This is another book that I have read more than once. In this book, Strobel recounts his journey from atheism to faith in Jesus Christ. Strobel was once a skeptic who was annoyed at his wife's newfound faith in Jesus, and so set out to disprove Christianity. Instead, he wrote a book defending Christianity and recounting his journey. This book has reached millions. If I had to choose one book to recommend to a skeptic who is looking at the Christian faith, it would be this one.
If, when you finish reading this book, you would like more from Lee Strobel, just note that he has a variety of books available in the "Case For...." series. "The Case for Christ" was first, but I would also recommend "The Case for Faith" and "The Case for the Real Jesus," as well.
1. Mere Christianity
Anyone who knows me knows that "Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis had to be on this list. C.S. Lewis was an atheist who became one of the most influential Christian writers of all time. In "Mere Christianity," he lays out his case for the things that almost all Christians at almost all times have agreed on. This book has had a greater impact on my life than any other book that I have read. In fact, I have gone through it about 5 times. Each time I read it, it seems like I find something that I missed the last time that I read it. There is a reason that, when someone thinks of the non-fiction books written by C.S. Lewis, this is the first to come to mind.
This book is an excellent read for anyone who wants to know what Christians believe and why we believe the things that we do. It is not, of course, an introduction to those things that different denominations disagree over, such as infant baptism. But it does cover the things that all Christians should be able to agree on. It is truly an amazing work.
I will end this section with a quote from "Mere Christianity":
"To trust Him means, of course, trying to do all that He says. There would be no sense in saying you trusted a person if you would not take his advice. Thus if you have already handed yourself over to Him, it must follow that you are trying to obey Him. But trying in a new way, a less worried way. Not doing these things in order to be saved , but because He has begun to save you already. Not hoping to get to Heaven as a reward for your actions, but inevitably wanting to act in a certain way because a first faint gleam of Heaven is already inside you."