books that have been helpful in keeping me Christian and keeping me sane.

If I were building a church library, I’d want these as a starter kit. Also, I am obviously omitting the Bible from this list, since I figured that is a given. Sorted by category, otherwise in no particular order.

Fiction (most of which are pretty obvious, but some [hopefully] not)
Leif Enger, Peace Like a River
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
C.S. Lewis, the Space Trilogy
C.S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia (and its excellent companion, Michael Ward’s Planet Narnia, which, read alongside the Narniad, will blow your mind)
Andrew Peterson, the Wingfeather saga (the fourth book of which is still being written as of March 2012, but the other three are out, and wonderful)
Flannery O’Connor, The Violent Bear It Away
Douglas Coupland, Life After God (Mr. Coupland is emphatically not Christian, but this is a good insight into how a lot of people in our culture view spirituality)
Marilynne Robinson, Gilead
Marilynne Robinson, Housekeeping

A trio of books on basic Christianity that does not include John Stott’s Basic Christianity, but only because I haven’t read it
C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
Tim Keller, The Reason for God
N.T. Wright, Simply Christian

Big books about doctrine
John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion
Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology (and its little brother, Christian Doctrine)

Spiritual memoirs
Lauren Winner, Girl Meets God
Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz
Four Souls
Kathleen Norris, The Cloister Walk
Augustine, The Confessions

Christian life & the disciplines & church things
Tim & Kathy Keller, The Meaning of Marriage
Lauren Winner, Mudhouse Sabbath
Lauren Winner, Real Sex
Eugene Peterson, Christ Plays In Ten Thousand Places
Eugene Peterson, Eat This Book
Brad House, Community
John Piper, Desiring God
John Piper, When I Don’t Desire God
Marva J. Dawn, Keeping the Sabbath Wholly
Carolyn Custis James, When Life and Beliefs Collide
J.I. Packer, Knowing God
Athanasius, On the Incarnation
Robert Farrar Capon, The Supper of the Lamb
Donald Miller, A Million Miles In a Thousand Years
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship
John Piper, Don’t Waste Your Life

And two prayer books
Book of Common Prayer
The Valley of Vision

Got any suggestions for things I should have included?


3 thoughts on “books that have been helpful in keeping me Christian and keeping me sane.

  1. To add to the memoir category–or at least to read, if you haven’t:

    Matthew Lickona’s Swimming with Scapulars: True Confessions of a Young Catholic.

  2. Marilynne Robinson – Home
    Donald Miller – Looking for God Knows What
    JD Greear – Gospel
    TullianTchividjian – Jesus + Nothing = Everything
    John Eldredge – Fathered by God
    Ann Voskamp – One Thousand Gifts
    Laura Hillenbrand – Unbroken

  3. I forgot some

    Brennan Manning – Ragamuffin Gospel
    JK Rowling – Harry Potter
    CS Lewis – Space Trilogy
    Tim Keller – Prodigal God
    Mary Doria Russell – The Sparrow and Children of God

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