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Book Recommenations

August 16, 2009

Someone (Kelseigh, I think) talked about a blog post about book recommendations. Good idea. Here are some I would recommend

General Christianity
Reason for God Tim Keller-This is the best book out there. Period. Written by a pastor of a church in New York City. He’s a Rresbyterian too!!!!

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis The classic. Nothing more needs to be said.

The God Who is There  Francis Schaeffer

Science and Christianity
I love Jesus and I accept Evolution Denis O. Lamoureux-Don’t agree with points of his theology and he is missing some key gaps in his argument, but other wise,  some good things to say.
The Language of God Francis Collins- The book that started my path to accepting most of evolution.
Science and Faith: Friends or Foes? C. John Collins
Anything by Ken Miller

Bible History/Etc
ANYTHING by N.T. Wright-If you haven’t read any of the good bishops work, you can’t seriously say you have really thought through the historical claims of the New Testament.

Jesus and the Eyewitness by Richard Bauckham- A very technical book, but a revlotionary one in the field of the reliability of the Gospels.

Is God a Delusion? Eric Reitan One of the best things about this book is how he demonstrates that while Dawkins is an excellant scientist, his grasp of philosophy, theology and history is high school at best and blantantly cavalier at worst.

Critical Thinking
Why People Believe Weird Things-An excellant book by Shermer. Too bad more people, Christian and atheists haven’t read it.

Orthodox by GK Chesterton- It’s amazing how much Lewis actually borrowed from this guy. His mystery novels are first rate, too.

For you Fiction Lovers:
Anything by Flannery O’Connor

Anything by Walker Percy, especially if you love “philsophical” novels.

The Space Trilogy, Screwtape Letters and Till We Have Faces, by CS Lewis, bet you thought I was going to say Chronicles, didn’t you? They don’t make the top three of his works in my mind.

Anything by Charles Williams A friend of Lewis and Tolkien, his novels are very high on the weird-o-meter. That’s why I love them.
Anything by Jane Austen. Yes, I said it, Jane Austen. She is my saucy little English tart.

I’m sure there are others, but those the ones that jump out at me. I’ll try to think of more later. Feel free to post your own.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Johann permalink
    August 16, 2009 10:46 pm

    Kind of curious, since you say you have a taste for the weird – have you read Mark Twain’s Letters from the Earth?

  2. August 16, 2009 11:17 pm

    I haven’t read too much of it (although there’s a good talk about it on Google video), Bart Ehrman’s Misquoting Jesus is very interesting and well reviewed.

  3. August 16, 2009 11:50 pm

    Oh, and I don’t think it was me who suggested the post. Most of what I read these days are drawing books, and I doubt most of your audience would care much about those. Although there are a couple of nice books I read when I was with the Buddhists in Halifax.

    When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chödrön, then-abbess of the Shambhala Monestary in Nova Scotia, about applying nontheistic Buddhism to everyday life.

    Shambhala – The Sacred Path of the Warrior by the late Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, founder of the Shambhala community and the one who brought them to Halifax. Pretty essential book to his vision of Buddhism.

    I also rather liked Thunder and Ocean by David Swick, it’s a history of the Shambhala community before and after the move to Halifax. Interesting stuff.

  4. benjdm permalink
    August 16, 2009 11:58 pm

    On the pro-Christian side, I’ve read (or otherwise experienced):

    Christian Apologetics by Norman Geisler.
    The Case for a Creator by Lee Strobel
    The Story We Find Ourselves In: Stories of a New Kind of Christian by Brian McLaren
    God and the New Atheism: A Critical Response to Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens by John Haught.
    Tokens of Trust: An Introduction to Christian Belief by Rowan Williams
    Parts of the Bible both as a kid and as an adult
    Catholic religious instruction once a week for several years as a kid
    Lots of participation at Christian online forums since 2005.

    I notice there are no books making the case for Naturalism / Humanism / atheism in your list – which could be because you were concentrating on pro-theism books or could be because you haven’t read any. Have you read any?

    Of the pro-Christian books, I would rate the Geisler one highest, but none particularly high. Avoid Strobel at all costs.

  5. August 16, 2009 11:59 pm

    Trying to become a better christian ( I still have areas … Christian

  6. Jerome permalink
    August 17, 2009 1:45 am

    I’ll reiterate here my recommendation for The Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan. 25 chapters of critical thinking goodness, an examination of science as epistemology. It doesn’t cover religion directly, but examines several other types of superstitions and supernatural phenomenon with a critical eye, and walks the reader through a thorough analysis each of them.

    This passage is perhaps too often quoted, but it makes a really good point: “We’ve arranged a global civilization in which most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology. We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.”

  7. Ray S. permalink
    August 18, 2009 3:18 am

    I’ll also recommend anything by Sagan, especially ‘Demon Haunted World’. Pretty much anything by Feynman.

    I’m reading Dennet’s ‘Breaking the Spell’ now. I saw some video of a talk he gave at Reed College (haven’t seen the whole thing yet though) and some other video and he seems worth listening to.

    For biblical stuff, I’ve read about half of Ehrman’s ‘Misquoting Jesus’ and I’ve seen a good bit of video of him lecturing. he seems to know his stuff. Robert Price is entertaining, but sometimes comes off as a bit wacky.

    I haven’t read the book, but I have seen the video by Friedman ‘Who Wrote the Bible?’. Important stuff if you think the scripture is of any value.

    McDowell and Strobel are to be avoided; they’re main intent seems to be buttressing the faith of the gullible. There’s nothing scholarly in their output.

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