Nine Non-fiction Christian books (picks by Tim Keller)
On the Bible:
Craig Blomberg’s The Historical Reliability of the Gospels (IVP, 2nd edition, 2008.) This makes the case that the Biblical account of Jesus is not legend but historically trustworthy. Blomberg incorporates insights from Richard Bauckham’s Jesus and the Eyewitnesses, an important work but much longer and more difficult to read.
On the Cross:
J.I.Packer and Mark Dever, In My Place Condemned He Stood (Crossway, 2007.)
This volume assembles several older essays by J.I . Packer. They are classics and had a profound influence on my understanding of Jesus’ death.
John Stott, The Cross of Christ (IVP, 2006)
This volume along with the Packer book will give you a very complete and Biblically rich understanding of the Cross.
On the Resurrection:
N.T.Wright, Surprised by Hope (HarperOne, 2008)
It’s always a little dangerous to recommend a book I haven’t read yet, but I suggest it because it is basically a shorter and more accessible summary of his bigger classic The Resurrection of the Son of God, which is wonderful but very long and academic.
On Church History:
Mark Noll, Turning Points: Decisive Moments in the History of Christianity (Baker, 2001, 2nd ed)
This is maybe the best, short, accessible overview of Christian history. It doesn’t try to survey every century, but chooses 10 major turning points (the split between the eastern and western church c.1000AD, the Reformation, the Great Awakening, etc)
On faith and culture:
Andy Crouch, Culture-Making: Recovering our Creative Calling (IVP, 2008)
This is coming up during the summer, so order it and read it before Labor Day. It’s one of the best books yet on how Christians can integrate their faith with their work.
Philip Bess, Till We Have Built Jerusalem (ISI Books, 2006.)
This is a fascinating set of essays by a Christian architect laying out a Christian vision for a ‘new urbanism,’ the belief and practice that cities are the best social arrangement for human flourishing. Bess is the Director of graduate studies at the Notre Dame School of Architecture.
John Newton, The Letters of John Newton or Cardiphonia: The Utterance of the Heart (various editions)
Either of these editions of John Newton’s letters are classics of spirituality and devotion. He was the former slave trader who was converted and became a minister and wrote the hymn ‘Amazing Grace’
C.S.Lewis, Mere Christianity (Harper, 1952)
You may not want to admit (around Redeemer) that you have never read this book—so stop being a hypocrite and read it! And if you have already read it, read one of the other big CSL classics: The Screwtape Letters or The Great Divorce or even The Narnia Chronicles.
(Picks by Kathy Keller)
Series picks to keep you busy at the beach (mostly secular fiction, except Lewis, Tolkien, and Chesterton, but nothing offensive)
1. Patrick O’Brian’s novels of the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic wars. Features the friendship of Stephen Maturin (physician) and Jack Aubrey (ship’s captain) and their adventures in exploration, seafaring, and political intrigue. Also romance and sea battles, sometimes indistinguishable… Written in the style of the period, using contemporary diaries and descriptions of battles, storms, events.
2. The Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters
(archeology, mystery, romance, womens’ rights and quite a lot of information about the early years of excavation in Egypt. Set in 1885-1920)
3. The Miles Vorkosigan series by Lois McMasters Bujold, for sci-fi fans. (However, if you haven’t read C.S. Lewis’s space trilogy [beginning with Out of the Silent Planet] make sure you get that in first.) They’re very different: Lewis will have your head spinning, and Miles is, well, unique. Be ready to explore different moral and ethical cultures through an a-Christian world.
4. Anything by Jane Austen.
5. Classic English mystery: Dorothy Sayers, Ngaio Marsh, Margery Allingham and Josephine Tey. Also, GK Chesterton’s Father Brown series of short stories, featuring Columbo’s spiritual ancestor, Father Brown.
6. Laurie R. King’s recent series featuring the retired Sherlock Holmes and his young wife. The first in the series is The Beekeeper’s Apprentice.
7. For fans of historical novels, Dorothy Dunnett’s Francis Crawford of Lymond series set in the 16th century. Unquestionably the best historical novels ever written. All have chess themed titles; the first is The Game of Kings. Hang on, it took me a while to get into them.
8. If you just don’t think the Lord of the Rings Trilogy is for you, think again. Force it down, it will change your world.
Classic Picks for the Family
By Brent Bounds, Director of Family Ministries
1. The Robe - Lloyd C. Douglas
2. Captain Courageous - Rudyard Kipling
3. Anne of Green Gables (series) - Lucy Maud Montgomery
4. The Bronze Bow - Elizabeth George Speare
5. The Hiding Place - Corrie ten Boom
6. Treasure Island - Robert Louis Stevenson
7. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry - Mildred Taylor
1. Summer of the Monkeys - Wilson Rawls
2. The Mixed File of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler - E.L. Konigsburg
3. The Cricket in Times Square - George Selden
4. Chronicles of Narnia - C.S. Lewis (obviously)
5. Twenty and Ten - Claire Huchet Bishop
6. The Cay - Theodore Taylor
7. Treasure in an Oatmeal Box - Ken Gire
8. Stone Fox - John Reynolds Gardiner
9. The Day of the Blizzard - Marietta D. Moskin
10. Blue Willow - Doris Gates
11. Treasures of the Snow - Patricia St. John
note: Honey for Child's Heart by Gladys Hunt is a great resource of books for different age groups.
1. Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture - Mary E. DeMuth
2. How and When to Talk to Your Kids about Sex - Stanton Jones
3. Grace Based Parenting - Tim Kimmel
4. Parenting with Love and Logic - Cline and Fay
5. How Children Raise Parents - Dan Allender
6. The Price of Privilege - Madeleine Levine