Christian Theological/Philosophical Book Club discussion

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The Cafe - Open Discussion > Best/Most influential books

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message 1: by Steven (new)

Steven Kopp Just an open question for discussion. What Christian book(s) have been most influential to your thinking or in your spiritual growth? What would you suggest as a must-read to someone else? (excluding the Bible, that one is assumed)


message 2: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle Great question. I'll give it some thought.


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Any of the "The Case for,...." by Lee Strobel. I have read all the books and found them to have lots of AHA! moments.


message 4: by Wade (new)

Wade J. | 177 comments Amen, Sylvia! I love Strobel's books.


message 6: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle I'll mention The Case For Christ series as well.

That got me seriously started in theology and apologetics's. The best thing about the books is that they introduce you to numerous great Christian thinkers.
Read their books as well.
You'll see that all of them have differing theologies on some issues. Lee Strobel is a nice guy... but?! And Peter Kreeft is brilliant... but Catholic?!


message 7: by Steven (new)

Steven Kopp Knowledge of the Holy and Pursuit of God were both great.

I don't think I've ever read a complete "Case for..." book but I've read selections from a few.

It's hard to narrow the list of books down t the most influential, but here are a few of mine:

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis, especially book one, the moral argument for God.

The Cost of Discipleship by Bonhoeffer (to a lesser extent,

The Gospel in a Pluralist Society by Newbigin

Resident Aliens by Stanley Hauerwas, not because I agree with everything in it but because it shook up the way I thought about church as a "polis" and about how church related to American politics.

The list could go on... I haven't even mentioned Tim Keller!!


message 8: by David (new)

David Pulliam | 63 comments Jonathan Edwards: The End for Which God Created the World, Religious Affections

Alvin Platinga: Warranted Christian Belief

Thomas Aquinas Summa Theologica

Boethius: Consolation of Philosophy

Calvin’s Institutes -just give it a try, you’ll love it,

Tim Keller Reason for God

Kierkegaard: Practice in Christianity and Fear and Trembling

1 and 2 Samuel, Ecclesiastes, Philippians

Linda Zagzebski Virtue Epistemology

Win Corduan, Handmaid to Theology (so good for philosophers and theologians trying to work out the relation between the two)


message 9: by Steven (new)

Steven Kopp Good stuff, especially for the philosophically minded.

If you like Alvin Plantinga's Warranted Christian Belief you'll also probably like Plantinga's "Where the Conflict Really Lies" which argues that there are only surface conflicts between science and Christianity, but that there is a real conflict between science and naturalism. That book was really influential for me.


message 11: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle I've read about a thousand Christian books. Many are influential without being fully accurate (by my standards).
C.S. Lewis grabbed my attention with Mere Christianity and The Screwtape Letters. (I'm not a huge fan of his poetic theology).

Everything by Razi Zacharias is worth reading. Especially his Talks with Jesus series (hitler and Jesus, Buddha and Jesus, Oscar Wilde and Jesus)


message 12: by Muslim (new)

Muslim Alinizi (dkalinizi) Notes on Genesis by CHM Mackintosh honestly one of the best if not the best religious books I've ever read.


message 13: by Ned (new)

Ned | 206 comments Orthodoxy - Chesterton

Total Truth - Nancy Pearcey

A Christian Manifesto - Schaeffer

Darwin's Doubt - Meyer

The Last Superstition: A Refutation of the New Atheism - Feser

Making Gay Okay: How Rationalizing Homosexual Behavior Is Changing Everything - Reilly

I've read a lot of books, I've lost count. But the above were some of the best. Feser is great, because he is a modern scholastic philosopher, touching back to Aristotle and Aquinas. I like Plantinga, Craig, and Lennox, and I have read them all, but I am not a fan of theistic evolution or their friendliness toward the same. Either the word of God is authoritative or it isn't. Either creation is a miraculous historical event or it isn't.


message 14: by Wade (new)

Wade J. | 177 comments Ned ... I'm with you on the theistic evolution. I've learned a lot from WL Craig, but some of his non-philosophical views seem to pander to naturalists.


message 15: by Jake (new)

Jake Yaniak | 151 comments I would have to say the Theologia Germanica - definitely a must-read in my opinion.


message 16: by Steven (new)

Steven Kopp Ned,
Not to get off on a rabbit trail here, but to be fair most theistic evolutionists I've read, they neither deny the authority of Scripture nor the miraculousness of creation, though they do interpret both differently. Naturalism demands evolution, but evolution doesn't demand naturalism.


message 17: by Wade (new)

Wade J. | 177 comments That's an interesting comment, Steven. I tend to agree. Although I interpret scripture to lean more towards a young earth, I don't need it to be so. If the earth is indeed millions/billions of years old, Christ is still king.

On the other hand, naturalists MUST have an old earth, or their entire worldview crumbles. That would lead them right down the path of a creator.


message 18: by Ned (new)

Ned | 206 comments Yes, this is a rabbit for another thread, but I will say that the text can be made to say virtually anything through creative interpretation, even the opposite of its intended meaning. Witness the constitution.


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