Redeemer Presbyterian Church

Renewing the city socially, spiritually and culturally

Summer reading list

Nonfiction books | Beach books | Classic picks for the family

 


Nine nonfiction Christian books 

(picks by Tim Keller)

 

On the Bible

The Historical Reliability of the Gospels

Craig Blomberg

Buy
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

In My Place Condemned He Stood

J.I.Packer and Mark Dever

Buy
This volume assembles several older essays by J.I . Packer. They are classics and had a profound influence on my understanding of Jesus’ death.  

 

The Cross of Christ

John Stott

Buy
This volume along with the Packer book will give you a very complete and Biblically rich understanding of the cross.  

 

On the resurrection

Surprised by Hope

N.T. Wright

Buy

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

Turning Points: Decisive Moments in the History of Christianity

Mark Noll

Buy

This is may be 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 circa A.D. 1000, the Reformation, the Great Awakening, etc.).

 

 

On faith and culture

Culture-Making: Recovering our Creative Calling

Andy Crouch

Buy

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.

 
   

Till We Have Built Jerusalem

Philip Bess

Buy

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.

 

 

Devotional

The Letters of John Newton or Cardiphonia: The Utterance of the Heart 

John Newton

Buy

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.”

 

 

General

Mere Christianity

C.S. Lewis

Buy

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 C.S. Lewis classics: The Screwtape Letters or The Great Divorce, or even The Chronicles of Narnia.

 

 


Beach Books

(Picks by Kathy Keller)

 

Series picks to keep you busy at the beach (mostly secular fiction — except Lewis, Tolkien, and Chesterton — but nothing offensive).

 

The Complete Aubrey/Maturin Novels

Patrick O'Brian

Buy

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.  

 

The Amelia Peabody Series

Elizabeth Peters

Buy
Archeology, mystery, romance, womens’ rights and quite a lot of information about the early years of excavation in Egypt. Set in 1885-1920.  

 

Miles Vorkosigan Adventures Series

Lois McMaster Bujold

Buy

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.

 

 

Classic English mysteries Buy
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.  

 

A Mary Russell Mystery Series

Laurie. R. King

Buy
This series feaures the retired Sherlock Holmes and his young wife. The first in the series is The Beekeeper’s Apprentice.  

 

Legendary Lymond Chronicles

Dorothy Dunnett

Buy
For fans of historical novels. 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.  

 

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

J.R.R. Tolkien

Buy
If you just don’t think The Lord of the Rings 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

 

Teens

The Robe

Lloyd C. Douglas

Buy

Captain Courageous

Rudyard Kipling

Buy

Anne of Green Gables series

Lucy Maud Montgomery

Buy

The Bronze Bow

Elizabeth George Speare

Buy

The Hiding Place

Corrie ten Boom

Buy

Treasure Island

Robert Louis Stevenson

Buy

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

Mildred Taylor

Buy

 

Children

Summer of the Monkeys

Wilson Rawls

Buy

The Mixed File of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

E.L. Konigsburg

Buy

The Cricket in Times Square

George Selden

Buy

The Chronicles of Narnia

C.S. Lewis

Buy

Twenty and Ten

Claire Huchet Bishop

Buy

The Cay

Theodore Taylor

Buy

Treasure in an Oatmeal Box

Ken Gire

Buy

Stone Fox

John Reynolds Gardiner

Buy

The Day of the Blizzard

Marietta D. Moskin

Buy

Blue Willow

Doris Gates

Buy

Treasures of the Snow

Patricia St. John

Buy

 

Resource for various age groups

Honey for Child’s Heart

Gladys Hunt

Buy
This book is a great resource of books for different age groups  

 

Parents

Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture

Mary E. DeMuth

Buy

How and When to Talk to Your Kids about Sex

Stanton Jones

Buy

Grace Based Parenting

Tim Kimmel

Buy

Parenting with Love and Logic

Cline and Fay

Buy

How Children Raise Parents

Dan Allender

Buy

The Price of Privilege

Madeleine Levine

Buy