Suggested Reading List

Together the following books will give readers a good overview of Christian beliefs presented in the context of most contemporary arguments for and against their validity. The tones and styles of the books differ widely and I proposed that if you pick one up and find it slow, feel free to choose another from the list that engages you more. What you learn from that first book can then be supplemented by the others from this list.


SEVEN BASIC BOOKS

  • C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (Harper SanFrancisco, 2009).
    Most complete single volume to read. Gives both explanations of the beliefs of Christianity along with arguments for their validity. However, while popular in style, Lewis demands that the reader follow long sequences of logical argument. Originally talks given over the BBC in Great Britain during World War II. (227 pages)
  • Francis Spufford, Unapologetic: Why, Despite Everything, Christianity Can Still Make Surprising Emotional Sense (HarperOne, 2013).
    Funny, ironic, and very colloquial. A British writer explains why the basic beliefs of Christianity “work” emotionally and culturally to address many of the main problems and to solve many of the main puzzles of contemporary life. Good for those who live in a social context where Christian faith is almost unthinkable. (240 pages)
  • John C. Lennox, Gunning for God: Why the New Atheists are Missing the Target (Lion, 2011).
    An Oxford professor who answers a series of objections to the Christian faith. The material was crafted in debates and so has the sometimes feisty tone of someone a public disputation. Special attention given to faith and science, though he also deals with question of moral beliefs and the resurrection of Jesus. (248 pages)
  • Tim Keller, The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism (Dutton, 2008).
    First half deals with common objections to Christianity. The middle seeks to make a positive case for the rationality of belief. Finally there’s a basic treatment of the main Christian beliefs. (336 pages)
  • John Stott, Basic Christianity (Inter-Varsity, 2012).
    Begins with the evidence for Christ being the resurrected Son of God and then proceeds with a more thorough treatment of what and how to believe. Assumes belief in God and general trust in the Bible. Not the first book for most inquirers but clear and practical. (192 pages)

SELECT TOPICAL READING LIST

The following list does not include chapters dedicated to these topics in the seven books on the previous “basic” reading list. If you are working through these topics, please see the appropriate essays within those books, because they often offer the best treatments to the subjects. The following is a list of books, chapters and essays that supplement the previous “basic” reading list.

How Christianity Makes Emotional Sense


How Christianity Makes Cultural Sense


Why Christian Belief Is Rational

+ On Faith and Reason

+ Can we believe in God?

SCIENCE AND GOD

MORAL LAW AND GOD

EVIL AND GOD

CHRISTIANITY AND OTHER RELIGIONS

  • Timothy O’Connor, “Religious Pluralism”, and Robin Collins “Eastern Religions”, in Reason for the Hope Within, Michael J. Murray, ed. (Eerdmans, 1999).

+ Can we trust the bible?

+ Can we have faith in Jesus?