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 Post subject: Drafting "100 Books Every Christian Should Read"
PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:31 pm 
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Johannes suggested on Water Dog's "re-education" thread that I do a thread here in Celestial on this, so here it is.

Let me start with my "definitely" list. The draft of my post explaining how I'm compiling this list is below, but in short: I'm trying to capture the wisdom, breadth, and diversity of the Christian tradition. There's a limit of one book per author (though a few authors may have both an authorship and an "edited by" or a co-authorship).

1. After the New Testament: A Reader in Early Christianity edited and compiled by Bart D. Ehrman (100-300; 2014)
2. On the Incarnation by Athanasius (c. 318)
3. Confessions by Augustine (c. 398)
4. On Loving God by Bernard of Clairvaux (c. 1128)
5. Aquinas's Shorter Summa: Saint Thomas's Own Concise Version of His Summa Theologica by Thomas Aquinas (1274); or, Summa Theologica (1274) if you're really ambitious
6. The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri (1320)
7. Revelations of Divine Love by Julian of Norwich (1395)
8. The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis (1427)
9. The Bondage of the Will by Martin Luther (1525)
10. A Little Book on the Christian Life by John Calvin (1539); or, Institutes of the Christian Religion (2 Vols.) (1536) if you're ambitious
11. Interior Castle by Teresa of Avila (1588)
12. Paradise Lost by John Milton (1667)
13. The Souls of Purgatory by Ursula de Jesús (d. 1668)
14. Pensées by Blaise Pascal (1669)
15. The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan (1678)
16. The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence (1691)
17. Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz: Selected Writings by Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (d. 1695), edited and translated by Pamela Kirk Rappaport (2005)
18. A Plain Account of Christian Perfection by John Wesley (1738)
19. The Religious Affections by Jonathan Edwards (also his short “Personal Narrative,” available online) (1746)
20. The Life, Experience, and Gospel Labours of the Rt. Rev. Richard Allen by Richard Allen (1793)
21. Religious Experience and Journal of Mrs. Jarena Lee, Giving an Account of Her Call to Preach the Gospel by Jarena Lee (1836)
22. The Way of Life by Charles Hodge (c. 1841)
23. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky (1880)
24. The Greatness of Christ and Other Sermons by Alexander Crummell (1882)
25. All of Grace by Charles Spurgeon (1886)
26. Popular Christianity by Catherine Booth (1887)
27. True Stories of the Miracles of Azusa Street and Beyond by Tommy Welchel and Michelle Griffith (1906-1909 / 2013)
28. Orthodoxy by G. K. Chesterton (1908)
29. This Is That: The Experiences, Sermons and Writings of Aimee Semple McPherson by Aimee Semple McPherson (1921)
30. Pandita Ramabai: The Story of Her Life by Helen S. Dyer (d. 1922 / 2004)
31. The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1937)
32. The Pursuit of God by A. W. Tozer (1948)
33. The Seven Storey Mountain by Thomas Merton (1948)
34. Jesus and the Disinherited by Howard Thurman (1949)
35. The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien (1949)
36. Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis (1952) (personally, I think Till We Have Faces is C. S. Lewis' best work)
37. The Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee (1957)
38. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engel (1962)
39. Silence by Shusaku Endo (1966)
40. The Trumpet of Conscience by Martin Luther King, Jr. (1967)
41. Knowing God by J. I. Packer (1973)
42. Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster (1978)
43. How to Read the Bible for All It's Worth by Gordon D. Fee and Douglas Stuart (1982)
44. The Holiness of God by R. C. Sproul (1985)
45. Desiring God by John Piper (1986)
46. The Historic Reliability of the Gospels by Craig Blomberg (1987)
47. Another Gospel: Cults, Alternative Religions, and the New Age Movement by Ruth A. Tucker (1989)
48. Boundaries: Where to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life by Henry Cloud and John Townsend (1992)
49. The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen (1992)
50. Giving Birth: Reclaiming the Biblical Metaphor for Pastoral Practice by Margaret L. Hammer (1994)
51. The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate by Gary Chapman (1995)
52. Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin by Cornelius Plantinga, Jr. (1996)
53. You Are Special by Max Lucado (1997)
54. Rachel’s Tears: The Spiritual Journey of Columbine Martyr Rachel Joy Scott by Darrell Scott, Beth Nimmo, & Steve Rabey (1999)
55. Discovering the Bible in the Non-Biblical World by Pui-Lan Kwok (2003)
56. Discovering Biblical Equality: Complementarity Without Hierarchy edited by Rebecca Merrill Groothuis, Ronald W. Pierce, & Gordon D. Fee (2004)
57. The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others by Scot McKnight
58. The Language of God by Francis Collins (2006)
59. The Shack by William Paul Young (2007)
60. Crazy Love by Francis Chan (2008)
61. The Reason for God by Tim Keller (2008)
62. Surprised by Hope by N. T. Wright (2008)
63. Jesus Girls: True Stories of Growing Up Female & Evangelical edited by Hannah Faith Notess (2009)
64. When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor by Brian Fikkert and Steve Corbett (2009)
65. The Gift of Years: Growing Older Gracefully by Joan Chittister (2010)
66. Hope Abundant: Third World & Indigenous Women's Theology edited by Pui-Lan Kwok (2010)
67. Walking From East to West: God in the Shadows by Ravi Zacharias (2010)
68. The Cross and the Lynching Tree by James H. Cone (2013)
69. Disunity in Christ by Christena Cleveland (2013)
70. In the Company of the Poor by Paul Farmer & Gustavo Gutierrez (2013)
71. The Story of Christianity (2. Vols) by Justo L. Gonzalez
72. The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It by Peter Enns (2015)
73. Prophetic Lament by Soong-Chan Rah (2015)
74. Rescuing the Gospel from Cowboys by Richard Twiss (2015)
75. Lessons from the East: Finding the Future of Western Christianity in the Global Church by Bob Roberts, Jr. (2016)
76. The Next Worship: Glorifying God in a Diverse World by Sandra Maria Van Opstal (2016)
77. Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church by Rachel Held Evans (2016)

-------------

Open to suggestions on what else to add.

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"It seems to me that these women were the head (κεφάλαιον) of the church which was at Philippi." ~ John Chrysostom, Homilies on Philippians 13

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Last edited by MsJack on Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:49 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Drafting "100 Books Every Christian Should Read"
PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:32 pm 
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Maybe / Not Sure

1. The Poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins by Gerard Manley Hopkins (1889)
2. Unbroken: A World War II Story by Laura Hillenbrand (1943 / 2010)
3. The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom (1971)
4. The Helper by Catherine Marshall (1978)
5. Prophetic Imagination by Walter Brueggemann (1978)
6. Galilean Journey: The Mexican-American Promise by Virgilio P. Elizondo (1983)
7. In Memory of Her by Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza (1983)
8. The Cross of Christ by John Stott (1986)
9. The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning (1990)
10. The Discipline of Grace by Jerry Bridges (1994)
11. Stomping Out the Darkness by Neil T. Anderson & Dave Park (1994)
12. Sisters in the Wilderness: The Challenge of Womanist God-Talk by Delores S. Williams (1995) [I think it's important to have something womanist on this list, haven't decided what yet though
13. The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard (1998)
14. The Spirituality of the Cross by Gene Edward Veith, Jr. (1999)
15. The Purpose-Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? by Rick Warren (2002)
16. Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller (2003)
17. Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey (2004)
18. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant (2007)
19. Gospel Treason: Betraying the Gospel with Hidden Idols by Brad Bigney (2012)
20. Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero (2014)
21. Warrior in Pink: A Story of Cancer, Community, and the God Who Comforts by Vivian Mabuni (2014)
22. Here I Am: Faith Stories of Korean American Clergywomen edited by Grace Ji-Sun Kim (2015)
23. Oneness Embraced by Tony Evans (2015)
24. Unashamed by Christine Caine (2016)
25. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers by Various (270-303)
26. Something by Lysa TerKeust
27. Lots of other possibilities among the Classics of Western Spirituality authors

Definitely No

Anything by Kevin DeYoung
Anything by Francine Rivers

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 Post subject: Re: Drafting "100 Books Every Christian Should Read"
PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:52 pm 
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***DRAFT OF POST***

The Wisdom of the Christian Tradition: 100 Books Every Christian Should Read

Background & List Criteria

I have been working my way through Joel Patrick’s “Creating the Ultimate List: 100 Books to Read Before You Die,” and enjoying the beginnings of a broader perspective on life and the world through literature. However, this got me thinking: shouldn’t we Christians have something similar for Christian literature and study? A list of books representing the wisdom of the Christian tradition, meant to deepen our faith?

I Google’d and found many lists of recommended Christian books, but most were for fewer than 100 and not really what I was looking for in terms of breadth and diversity, so I decided to create my own list.

How this list was compiled:

- By consulting other lists. These lists included the Worldview Institute Top 100 Christian Books, Jim Daly’s 10 Books Every Christian Should Read, 25 Books Every Christian Should Read (which is itself a book), 40 Books Every Christian Should Read by Stephen Altrogge at BibleStudyTools, 8 Classics Every Christian Should Read by Nicholas Davis at CCC Discover, 10 Books Every Christian Teenager Should Read by Tim Challies, 15 Books Every Christian Should Read Before Turning 30 by Frank Powell, 11 Books Every Christian Should Read Before They Turn 25 by Krish Kandiah at Christianity Today, Beliefnet’s 10 Books Every Christian Should Read This Year, Top Ten Books Every Christian Should Read by Tim Suttle, 10 Books Every Christian Should Read by Edie Wadsworth, The Best 100 Christian Books Ever Written by Frank Viola, and this response to “25 Books Every Christian Should Read” by James Emery White.

- By representing famous pastors, theologians, and denominational founders. If these people were able to start movements that converted thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions, we should probably be willing to learn about their lives and/or listen to at least some of what they had to say.

- By making an effort to include women and non-white Christians. Women make up more than 50% of the global Christian population and consistently pray more, attend church more, and say religion is more important in their lives when compared to men. Likewise, there are more non-white Christians in the world today than there are white Christians (so calling them “minorities” is becoming a misnomer). Lists consisting of books authored almost entirely by white European or white American males miss out on huge swaths of the wisdom of the Christian tradition. That said, since this is an English-speaking list, and we lack writings by women and non-white Christians for much of church history, there are still more white male voices than anything else.

- By asking for recommendations from friends.

- By exercising my own editorial discretion as a white Evangelical Covenant Church woman with a degree in church history.

Some parameters:

  • No Bibles or Bible translations; it should come as a given that Christians think the Bible is great and everyone should read it, and we all have wildly different opinions about which English translation is “best.” I’m not wading into that one.
  • No study Bibles. That’s nice that you love your ESV Study Bible so much that you use it as a pillow, but I’m only recommending self-contained works here.
  • No Bible commentaries. See that last point about “self-contained works.”
  • No books that have not aged well, even if they were extremely popular in their time. No Left Behind, no The Prayer of Jabez, no I Kissed Dating Good-bye, no antebellum Christian pro-slavery tracts, and so forth.
  • I have tried not to take sides on issues that traditionally divide Christians as I think it’s good for us to hear from different points of view. I have not excluded books by Calvinists because I’m not a Calvinist or books by complementarians because I’m egalitarian, I have not excluded books by Roman Catholics because I do not believe in purgatory, etc. There are a few books that assume and/or argue for Christian egalitarianism because, hey, it’s my list.
  • Only books from Christians in the major Christian traditions (Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Protestant, Anglican, Pentecostal). For example, I have a degree from Brigham Young University (long story!) and know of many excellent books by Mormon authors, but most are distinctly Mormon and lack any kind of an ecumenical character, and I feel that an in-depth study of Mormonism is beyond the scope of this list. The same goes for Christian Science, Swedenborgianism, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc.
  • Limit of one book per author. A very few authors were allowed one “edited by” and one authorship.

Finally, please know that the title of my post is a bit of a misnomer. I hate to say that every Christian should read these books. These are all great books for Christians to read, but we all have different gifts and experience God in different ways. Not every Christian is a voracious reader and not every Christian improves his or her faith through regular reading and study—and there is nothing wrong with that.

Enough said. Let there be List!

The List: 100 Books Every Christian Should Read

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My Blogs: Weighted Glory | Worlds Without End: A Mormon Studies Roundtable | Twitter


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 Post subject: Re: Drafting "100 Books Every Christian Should Read"
PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:43 pm 
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"definitely no" :two people I have never heard of.
I guess there is touch of safety there.

You have a long list of good things.

You asked other possible additions.

Crime and Punishment ,Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Man in Search of Meaning, Victor Frankel

Ethics , Bonhoffer

Crucified God, Molteman

Lilith, George Mcdonald

God in Search of Man , Abraham Heschel

Contemplative Prayer, Thomas Merton.


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 Post subject: Re: Drafting "100 Books Every Christian Should Read"
PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:18 pm 
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My goodness. There are some books there I want to read. Uh oh. :confused:

Thanks to MsJack for thoughtfully assembling such a list.

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 Post subject: Re: Drafting "100 Books Every Christian Should Read"
PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 12:23 am 
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Maksutov wrote:
My goodness. There are some books there I want to read. Uh oh. :confused:

Thanks to MsJack for thoughtfully assembling such a list.


Me too, right?! That woman does that to ya sometimes, bless her heart.......

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 Post subject: Re: Drafting "100 Books Every Christian Should Read"
PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 12:06 pm 
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An outstanding list, MsJack. There are many items here that I have not read, and you have given us much food for thought. Major kudos.

This should really be published somewhere other than this message board.

I don't have a great deal to add. I might perhaps quibble with a few choices (e.g. Spurgeon, Tolkein). Mostly, though, I'd want to push a few additional items that reflect my own prejudices, namely....

Patristics

I'd want the Letter to Diognetus to be in there somewhere. It is outmoded in parts, but it's one of those texts that is capable of speaking across the ages. Every educated Christian should read it at least one.

Clement of Alexandria, the Stromateis. Clement was one of those who was wrestling with the question of the relationship between pagan classical philosophy and the faith of Christ. His conclusions aren't always right, but you need to read him if you want to know how the issues played out.

St John Chrysostom, On the Priesthood. In the extremely unlikely event that anyone reading this is considering a vocation to the ministry, I'd recommend reading this. It's a classic of its kind.

The Anglican tradition

Anything by Rowan Williams, but Being Christian is a good start. Also his poems - Lord Williams was a poet as well as an archbishop. A truly saintly man.

The Book of Common Prayer. If I had one criticism of MsJack's list, it would be the absence of any liturgical texts. To know what it is to be a Christian, it is necessary to look at how Christians pray, both alone and in community. The BCP is the foundation stone of the Anglican tradition of public worship. I tend to avoid using it myself, as I have problems with the penitential theology that Thomas Cranmer put into it, but it remains a classic both of Christian prayer and of English literature.

John Henry Newman, Sermons. Most of Newman's writings were polemical. He spent half his life justifying why he was an Anglican and the other half justifying why he became a Roman Catholic. Boring. His sermons are where you want to go if you want a non-polemical distillation of his religious thought. Also, his poem The Dream of Gerontius.

Charles Kingsley, Hypatia. A novel about the church in the patristic period and its encounter with the pagan world. Kingsley was a masterful novelist, and this book was a personal favourite of Queen Victoria, for what that's worth. Kingsley had his own prejudices (the book is markedly anti-Catholic), but his skill as a writer and his sheer integrity as a Christian make this book worth reading.

John Robinson, Honest to God. This is dated now, but it made a lot of waves when I was growing up. It was the first book in which an Anglican bishop publicly grappled with the serious challenges of being a Christian in the modern world. You can't understand the modern Anglican Church, or indeed the place of religion in English culture, without reading this.

Hugh Montefiore, On Being a Jewish Christian. Montefiore was a Church of England bishop who came from an old, aristocratic Jewish family. Best known as an intellectual and a political activist (he tangled with Margaret Thatcher back in the day), he converted on the basis of a pure spiritual experience - he believed that he had a vision of Jesus. This little book is a unique take on his own vision of Christianity.

The spiritual life

The Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius. These are really designed for a monastic retreat, but they can be adapted to secular life. They are extremely challenging, and I'm not going to claim that I've done more than scratch the surface of them. But they're a must for anyone who wants to know what the Christian spiritual tradition is all about (and they're more accessible in that regard than the monks of the desert).


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 Post subject: Re: Drafting "100 Books Every Christian Should Read"
PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:46 pm 
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It would be wonderful if MsJack could periodically walk us through some of these titles and explain their importance. I promise to be respectful.

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 Post subject: Re: Drafting "100 Books Every Christian Should Read"
PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 2:09 pm 
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Indeed. I'd be particularly interested to hear more about the entries written by women and people of colour, as my own blind spots tend to relate to the archetypal dead white males.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 2:22 pm 
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Johannes wrote:
Indeed. I'd be particularly interested to hear more about the entries written by women and people of colour, as my own blind spots tend to relate to the archetypal dead white males.


Me too. And then some. :lol:

With the events around the Reformation recently I've been exploring that vast and gnarly subject to the best of my ability. I need another 50 years or so, I think. :lol:

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 2:33 pm 
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Ah yes, Reformation Day.... If only Dr Luther could have got his thoughts together a bit quicker, he could have timed it to coincide with Oktoberfest.

Prost, Herr Doktor!


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 2:59 pm 
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Johannes wrote:
Ah yes, Reformation Day.... If only Dr Luther could have got his thoughts together a bit quicker, he could have timed it to coincide with Oktoberfest.

Prost, Herr Doktor!


I find the Anabaptists and their heirs fascinating. I wonder why the Mormons didn't try to become more like the Hutterites. I suspect that Brigham Young liked his luxuries too much.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 3:22 pm 
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This collection of works is very important in my estimation:
Rerum Novarum (On the Condition of Labor) -- Pope Leo XIII, 1891

Quadragesimo Anno (After Forty Years) -- Pope Pius XI, 1931

Mater et Magistra (Christianity and Social Progress) -- Pope John XXIII, 1961

Pacem in Terris (Peace on Earth) -- Pope John XXIII, 1963

Gaudium et Spes (Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World) Vatican Council II, 1965

Populorum Progressio (On the Development of Peoples) -- Pope Paul VI, 1967

Octogesima Adveniens (A Call to Action) -- Pope Paul VI, 1971

Justicia in Mundo (Justice in the World) -- Synod of Bishops, 1971

Laborem Exercens (On Human Work) -- Pope John Paul II, 1981

Solicitudo Rei Socialis (On Social Concern) -- Pope John Paul II, 1987

Centesimus Annus (The Hundredth Year) -- Pope John Paul II, 1991

Deus Caritas Est (God Is Love) -- Pope Benedict XVI, 2005

Caritas in Veritate (Love in Truth) --Pope Benedict XVI, 2009

Laudato si (Environment and Climate Change) -- Pope Francis, 2017

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 3:38 pm 
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You seem to be a Catholic humanist, AC. Would that be near the mark?

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 3:51 pm 
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That's an impressive list, AC, and one which testifies to the great Roman Catholic anti-capitalist tradition (which I mean as a compliment :wink: ).

As far as papal documents are concerned, John Paul II's encyclicals were always worth reading. Even when they were infuriating, with their unbending old-time Polish Catholicism, they had deeply challenging passages that you could take away and think about and discuss for hours (Veritatis Splendor being one example that comes to mind). You could tell that he'd spent time on them personally and not merely delegated them to a secretary.

I also like the writings of St Francis de Sales, although I know them much less well than I would like.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 4:08 pm 
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Maksutov wrote:
You seem to be a Catholic humanist, AC. Would that be near the mark?
Close. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_Te ... de_Chardin His works should also be on the list.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 4:11 pm 
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I plan to publish the list at Medium.

I was actually reluctant to add Lord of the Rings as I don't think it's all that Christian, even if the writer was, but it's on so many other lists that I went along with it. Besides, I suppose the same could be said for A Wrinkle in Time, and I do think it's good to have a few really good Christian works of fiction.

Excellent suggestions, huckelberry, Johannes. Some comments on them:

  • I went with The Brothers Karamazov for Fyodor Dostoevsky, though it was a tough call between that and Crime and Punishment.
  • Likewise, I went with The Cost of Discipleship for Bonhoeffer, though again, it was hard to pick just one by him.
  • I hadn't heard of Thomas Merton before I started this project and am now fascinated by him. But, again, having to stick with just one, I went with The Seven Storey Mountain.
  • The Ehrman text has Letter to Diognetus and an excerpt from Stromateis. I'll see if I can make room for your other suggestions.

Johannes wrote:
If I had one criticism of MsJack's list, it would be the absence of any liturgical texts.

This is valid. I primarily have not worshiped in liturgical traditions (and frankly, kind of suck at prayer). But I think I can add this one. Love your other suggestions as well.

I should say that I also think my list is sadly lacking in middle ages texts. I did nearly every church history class during my extended time at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, but never anything on the middle ages; I went straight from patristics to Reformation/Renaissance. I have some recommendations in mind now.

I did a class with Soong Chan-Rah in seminary and he gave me a copy of his book, The Next Evangelicalism. It kind of opened my eyes to the tunnel vision white Christians often have when it comes to our ministries and lives. Looking at my shelves, I had to admit that most of the books on them were by white people, and began wondering why that is.

When I began looking at other lists, I was rather dismayed. The other lists I gave above yielded 301 unique book recommendations. 31 of those recommendations were books by women, though two of those were books by women about men. There were no recommended biographies or autobiographies of Christian women. There were also two books by husband-wife co-author teams. That's only around 10% of the recommended authors being women.

Even more discouraging, of the 301 books, only about 15 were by people of color, and that "high" number was only because one of the lists was by a Watchman Nee fan who recommended, like, 8 of his books. As far as I could tell, only 2 of the 301 recommended books were by women of color. I don't have a quota, I'm not looking for a 50/50 ratio, but I felt like we could do better than giving people of color less than 1% of our consideration.

Here's a few of the books by WoC that I've added which I've definitely read:

The Souls in Purgatory -- Ursula de Jesus was a 17th century Afro-Peruvian donada; basically, she was a nun, except not a full nun because they wouldn't let black women be true nuns. She started life as a slave and later became a freedwoman. Her confessor encouraged her to write down her visions of purgatory, so she did. They're interesting because, in her visions, priests and white or mestizo women would come to her, begging her to pray for them and help liberate them from purgatory. Basically, her visions were an escape from a pretty sucky life situation, and in them, she was the powerful one. (So it was kind of like the movie Suckerpunch, only not terrible). At one point, she used her visions to exercise some authority in her convent. Just a fascinating case and an indomitable spirit.

Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz is amazing. She was a 17th century Mexican woman who checked herself into a convent at a young age because it was one of the only ways that a woman could be free to study. She wrote an impassioned defense of a woman's right to learn and teach. She's apparently pretty famous in Mexico (on the Mexican currency, even), but sadly, could be better known here.

Jarena Lee was the first African American woman to publish an autobiography. It's a fascinating account of facing both racism and sexism in 19th century American ministry.

Pandita Ramabai was an Indian convert to Christianity who spent her entire life fighting to improve women's status in India: lobbying for women's education and trying to liberate women from child marriage. Compilations of her work aren't as accessible as her biography, which is why that is recommended.

I have not yet read any of the books by Pui-Lan Kwok, Sandra Maria Van Opstal, Christena Cleveland, Vivian Mabuni, or Wonhee Anne Joh, but I am looking forward to it.

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 Post subject: Re: Drafting "100 Books Every Christian Should Read"
PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 4:20 pm 
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My book-club is going to be doing "Who does He say you are?" by Colleen Mitchell. Honestly, I haven't opened it yet, and it is quite recent, so it probably wouldn't make your list.

MsJack, just remember that the concept of race had not yet walloped Christianity in the early years, so you don't need to bend over backwards in that regards. We don't have any photographs of them.

I am sure that Johannes could make recommendations as of which of Desmond Tutu's books is the best.

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 Post subject: Re: Drafting "100 Books Every Christian Should Read"
PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:47 pm 
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Always Changing wrote:
MsJack, just remember that the concept of race had not yet walloped Christianity in the early years, so you don't need to bend over backwards in that regards. We don't have any photographs of them.

Oh, I know. I don't usually count the early authors as any particular race. Some of them would have had dark complexions---not "black" as we think of the term, but certainly not white.

I'll take a look at your Mitchell book.

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 Post subject: Re: Drafting "100 Books Every Christian Should Read"
PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 2:44 pm 
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Thinking of my own experience of being an exMormon who later decided to try and open the door to understand something of the rest of the Christian tradition I found Irenaeus Against Heresy very helpful. It starts slow with more than you wanted to know about 2nd century heterodox groups. It then presents a clear concise presentation of basic Christian doctrine.


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 Post subject: Re: Drafting "100 Books Every Christian Should Read"
PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 3:15 pm 
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MsJack, are you familiar with this work?

https://www.amazon.com/Village-Enlighte ... 0252068289

From the Back Cover
The Village Enlightenment in America focuses on three nineteenth-century spiritual activists who epitomized the marriage of science and religion fostered in antebellum, pre-Darwinian America by the American Enlightenment.

A theologian, writer, and apologist for the nascent Mormon movement, as well as an amateur scientist, Orson Pratt wrote Key to the Universe, or a New Theory of Its Mechanism to establish a scientific base for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Robert Hare, an inventor and ardent convert to spiritualism, used his scientific expertise to lend credence to the spiritualist movement. Phineas Parkhurst Quimby, generally considered the initiator of the American mind-cure movement, developed an overtly religious concept of science and used it to justify his system of theology.

Pratt, Hare, and Quimby all employed a potent combination of popular science and Baconianism to legitimate their new religious ideas. Using the same terms -- matter, ether, magnetic force -- to account for the behavior of particles, planetary rotation, and the influence of the Holy Ghost, these agents of the Enlightenment constructed complex systems intended to demonstrate a fundamental harmony between the physical and the metaphysical.

Through the lives and work of these three influential men, The Village Enlightenment in America opens a window to a time when science and religion, instead of seeming fundamentally at odds with each other, appeared entirely reconcilable.

...............

Hard to prioritize purchases in the Christmas season. I'm sure you understand. :wink:

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