Wednesday, April 6, 2011

By the Book

Books have shaped who I am as a person. Obviously, I believe in the power of the written word, or I wouldn't be a journalist! There are many reasons why I read — for understanding, escapism or simply to bask in the presence of literary genius (I call it research!).

Without further adieu, here are 10 of my favorite books/authors (I narrowed the list from 1 million – you’re welcome!), and the reason why I feel you should read them:

10. Mere Christianity — C.S. Lewis
Everyone should read a book by C.S. Lewis, if for no other reason than to try to wrap your head around how smart this man was! It makes me sad that this kind of intellectual prowess is virtually extinct. Lewis says profound statements about the Christian faith.

9. Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God's Will – Kevin DeYoung
Read this. And then gift this to every graduate you encounter. Better yet, gift this book to everyone you meet. It’s truly a liberating read that dispels erroneous notions that we’re to wait to find out God’s will before we act or make decisions. Where is faith in that? We already know God’s will: Be Holy like Jesus, by the power of the Spirit for the Glory of God! Amen!

8. Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream — David Platt
My wonderful community group at Four Corners is wading into this book right now. Platt aims to remind Christians that the “American Dream” often runs in direct contradiction to the Gospel. We’re not to make much of ourselves, we’re to give everything to make much of Him.

7. Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions — Greg Koukl
Ever wondered how to share Christianity with a non-believer? This book is an invaluable resource for the Christian ambassador, just as the title implies.

6. The Case for Life — Scott Klusendorf
Never have I read a more articulate, logical argument for protecting the lives of the unborn. Period. I challenge you to read this book and not give credence to these scientific and philosophical arguments against abortion.

5. Atonement — Ian McEwan
Everyone should read something over his or her head. Consider it a challenge. Plus, I think this author is one of our time’s truest literary geniuses.

4. Vintage Jesus — Mark Driscoll & Gerry Breshears
Your guide to understanding Jesus as fully man and fully God. Ever had a question about Jesus? It will likely be answered in this book with sound, scriptural doctrine. As a bonus, the authors are funny and the information is presented in an understandable format.

3. The Prince of Tides — Pat Conroy
It’s a masterful novel woven together with human emotion — not to mention that Conroy is one of the most prolific southern authors of our time. You marry his characters for a season, and I always grieve the end of a Conroy book. He says simple, yet profound things that resonate in your soul.

2. A Confederacy of Dunces — John Kennedy Toole
Funniest. Book. Ever. If you don’t laugh until you cry reading this book, you’re probably not smart enough to understand its humor. It is packed FULL of hilariously witty one-liners in case you ever need to belittle someone in the most artful way imaginable.

1. The Bible — God
Read it and re-read it for as long as you’re alive. You'll never outgrow it or graduate away from its life-changing message, which is summarized in the person and work of Jesus Christ.

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