Top Five Books

Top Five Books April 13, 2012

A reader asked me to post my Top Five favorite, most influential, book list.

What is yours?

Here is my list:

Martin Buber, I and Thou
Augustine, Confessions
Dante, Divine Comedy
John Bunyan, Pilgrim’s Progress
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Discipleship
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  • Kel Hahn

    Dallas Willard, Renovation of the Heart
    C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce
    Robert Louis Wilken, The Spirit of Early Christian Thought
    Robert Mulholland, Shaped By the Word
    Henry Blackaby, Experiencing God (workbook)

  • Eluros Aabye

    Off-hand:

    1. Works of Love, Soren Kierkegaard
    2. Either/Or, Soren Kierkegaard
    3. The Problem of Pain, CS Lewis
    4. Politics, Aristotle
    5. Concluding Unscientific Postscript, Soren Kierkegaard

    Okay, I admit it. I read a lot of Kierkegaard. Apologies et cetera.

  • Steve, Winnipeg, Canada

    I assume we’re not counting the Good Book.

    1) Mere Christianity, C S Lewis. I read this just before becoming a Christian.

    2) The Cost of Discipleship, Bonhoeffer. My heart aches when I reread this.

    3) My Utmost For His Highest, Oswald Chambers. I used to read it every day.

    4) The Institutes of the Christian Religion, Calvin. I just showed my hand with this.

    5) I can’t decide…

  • Tom

    Top 5 influencial Books
    1. Religious Affections by Jonathan Edwards
    2. The Spiritual Secrets of Hudson Taylor
    3. Institues of the Christian Religion by John Calvin
    4. The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
    5. The Freedom of Simplicity by Richard Foster

  • scotmcknight

    Steve, that’s OK … Calvin’s Institutes counts for three or four books …

  • Jeff Martin

    Dr. McKnight, if you can interpret what Augustine was saying in chapters 10 and 11 of the Confessions I will grant you it should be an influential book. But I would say that I pray and hope that it would be no ones most influential book – Augustine has a horrible view on sex, he makes no sense in chapters 10 and 11, and besides CHapter 6 it was just okay, easily the most overrated Christian book in history

  • Tim Marsh

    ‘I and Thou’ is incredible! Glad to see it on your list, along with Bonhoeffer.

    Tom, I agree that Freedom of Simplicity has been influential for me. It is an underrated and underappreciated work in Christian circles – maybe because of the subject matter???

  • Ron Fay

    1. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
    2. Silence by Shuzako Endo
    3. Euthyphro by Plato
    4. New Testament Theology by G. B. Caird
    5. John Adams by David McCullough

  • (I would love to see a pic of your official reading chair, Scot! 🙂 )

    In no particular order:

    The Seven Habits, Covey
    Man’s Search for Meaning, Frankl
    Orthodoxy, GK Chesterton
    The Problem of Pain, Lewis
    NT and People of God/Jesus and Victory of God/Resurrection of Son of God, Wright

  • 1) BODY POLITICS – John Howard Yoder
    2) NEW COLLECTED POEMS – Wendell Berry
    3) RULE OF ST. BENEDICT
    4) THE TECHNOLOGICAL SOCIETY – Jacques Ellul
    5) AFTER VIRTUE – Alasdair MacIntyre

  • ER…

    Gerhard Lohfink’s DOES GOD NEED THE CHURCH? needs to be on my list as well… Can’t decide what to drop though.

  • Kyle

    Eluros, as you share part of your name with him, it’s more than appropriate. No Fear and Trembling?

  • 1. Resident Aliens by Stanley Hauerwas/Will Willimon
    2. The Prophetic Imagination by Walter Brueggemann
    3. Being As Communion by John Zizioulas (complex)
    4. The Crucified God by Jurgen Moltmann
    5. The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

    (Hon. Mention: The Seven Storey Mountain by Thomas Merton & The Imitation of Christ by Thomas A’Kempis)

  • Joey Elliott

    Through Gates of Splendor – Elisabeth Elliot
    Desiring God – John Piper
    Mere Christianity – CS Lewis
    Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger – Ronald Sider
    The Pursuit of God – AW Tozer

  • Kristin

    Mere Christianity – CS Lewis
    The Magnificent Defeat – Frederick Buechner
    Scandal of the Evangelical Mind – Mark Noll
    As For Me and My House – Walter Wangerin
    A Generous Orthodoxy – Brian McLaren

    and I am super embarrased there is not a female author on my list! For shame.

  • Mark Brown

    1. Odyssey/Iliad – Homer
    2. Freedom of a Christian – Luther
    3. Epitome of the Formula of Concord
    4. Crime & Punishment – Dostoevsky (Or Fathers & Sons – Turgenev)
    5. Romeo & Juliet – And yes, I’ll turn in my man card

  • Top 5 books:

    1. Brother to a Dragonfly – Will D. Campbell
    2. Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor Frankl
    3. Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
    4. Moviegoer – Walker Percy
    5. Mere Christianity – CS Lewis

    –Dayne Sherman, author of Welcome to the Fallen Paradise

  • Tim Otto

    1. Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry
    2. Does God Need the Church by Gerhard Lohfink
    3. Death and Life by Arthur C. McGill
    4. Resident Aliens by Hauerwas and Willimon
    5. Families at the Crossroads by Rodney Clapp

  • I and Thou by Martin Buber
    Exclusion and Embrace by Miroslav Volf
    The Trinity and the Kingdom by Jurgen Moltmann
    Jesus was a Feminist by Leonard Swidler
    Take This Bread by Sara Miles

    But this list changes day to day. 🙂

  • A less seminary-based list, I’m afraid (not in any order):

    1. Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
    2. Organic Church by Neil Cole
    3. Desiring God by John Piper
    4. True Discipleship by William MacDonald
    5. The Spontaneous Expansion of the Church — And the Causes Which Hinder It by Roland Allen

    Bonus book: “CT Studd: Cricketer and Pioneer” by Norman Grubb

  • Brian

    1. First Created Man, St. Symeon the New Theologian
    2. The Festal Menaion & Lenton Triodion (2 books, actually)
    3. Orthodox Spirituality, Monk Lev Gillett
    4. Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives, Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica
    5. Evangelical Is Not Enough, Thomas Howard

  • Ben Steel

    The Republic Plato
    Summa of the Summa (Aquinas) Ed. Peter Kreeft
    The Life of St. Antony St. Athanasius
    God in Search of Man Heschel
    Closing of the American Mind Bloom

  • art

    In no particular order:

    Mere Christianity by Jack
    Inspiration and Incarnation by Pete Enns
    The Origins of Biblical Monotheism by Mark Smith
    Eternal Word in Changing Worlds by Harvie Conn
    Brothers Karamazov by Dostoevsky

  • Barb

    Mere Christianity–C. S. Lewis
    Missional Church–Darrell Guder (ed)
    What’s so Amazing about Grace?–Philip Yancey
    Soul Searching–Christian Smith
    The Fifth Discipline–Peter Senge

    That was HARD and I’m sure that depending on the day of the week I might pick something different.

  • Ryan

    1. The Autobiography of Malcolm X (with Alex Haley) – a MUST read
    2. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
    3. Jesus and the Undoing of Adam by Baxter Krueger
    4. Repenting of Religion by Greg Boyd
    5. Abba’s Child by Brennan Manning

  • 1. Surprised by Hope ~ N. T. Wright
    2. God in the Dock ~ C. S. Lewis
    3. The Pursuit of God ~ A. W. Tozer
    4. The Spirit of the Disciplines ~ Dallas Willard
    5. He Speaks Softly ~ Bob Benson

  • Godel, Escher, Bach by Douglas Hofstadter
    Endless Enemies by Jonathan Kwitny
    The C Programming Language by Kernighan and Ritchie
    The Upside Down Kingdom by Donald Kraybill
    The Powers That Be by Walter Wink

  • Leah

    Winged Life, Hannah Hurnard
    I and Thou, Martin Buber
    Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl
    God’s Grandeur and Other Poems, Gerard Manley Hopkins
    Surprised By Hope, N.T. Wright

    (Thinking in Tongues: Pentacostal Contributions to Christian Philosophy, James K.A. Smith might be about to make it on the list. It’s too early to say for sure because I’m only half way through, but I have an intuition.) 🙂

  • – Surprised by Hope (N.T. Wright)
    – The Myth of Certainty: The Reflective Christian & the Risk of Commitment (Daniel Taylor)
    – Mediation of Christ (T. F. Torrance)
    – Tie for the fourth: The Mating Season (P.G. Wodehouse); A Walk in the Woods (Bill Bryson); Without Feathers (Woody Allen).

  • Oops…tie for fourth and fifth, I guess.

  • My five (+!) most influential books:
    1. Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
    2. Brian McLaren, A New Kind of Christianity
    3. James Fowler, Stages of Faith
    4. Edwin Friedman, From Generation to Generation
    5. Peter Rollins, Insurrection
    (6. Dale Allison, Jesus of Nazareth: Millenarian Prophet)

    Paradigm changers all.

  • I’ll limit myself in this list to contemporary books…

    1. True Spirituality, Francis Schaeffer
    2. Through Gates of Splendor, by Elisabeth Eliot
    3. The Contemplative Pastor, Eugene Peterson
    4. Worship Old and New, Robert Webber
    5. The Pentateuch as Narrative, John Sailhamer

  • Steve Kolk

    My top 5 most influential books are:
    1. The Bible
    2. Psychology of Redemption, by Oswald Chambers
    3. Celebration of Discipline, by Richard Foster
    4. Near Unto God, by Abraham Kuyper adapted for contemporary Christians by James C. Schaap
    5 & 6. Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion – volumes I and II.

  • Till We Have Faces, C.S. Lewis
    The Apostolic Preaching of the Cross, Leon Morris
    Life Together, Dietrich Bonhoeffer
    The Normal Christian Life, Watchman Nee
    The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoyevsky

    Probably roughly in that order.

  • Joe

    The Beginning of Wisdom – Leon Kass
    The Brothers Karamazov – Dostoyevsky
    Life Together – Bonhoeffer
    Collected Poems 1931-2004 – Czeslaw Milosz
    Genesis – Walter Brueggemann

  • discokvn

    Jesus creed
    embracing grace
    community called atonement
    intro to new testament interpretation
    interpreting the synoptic gospels

  • Nicholas Kinnier

    The Pentateuch
    Philippians
    Revelation
    Obadiah
    The Gospels

  • 1) The Inescapable Love of God by Thomas Talbott.
    2) The Coming of God by Jurgen Moltmann.
    3) Man and Woman, One in Christ by Philip B. Payne.
    4) Fear and Trembling by Soren Kierkegaard.
    5) God At War by Gregory A. Boyd.

    In no particular order, of course.

    –Nick

  • Dustin

    In no particular order, other than alphabetical…
    The Irresistible Revolution- Claiborne
    Les Miserables- Hugo
    The Powers That Be- Wink
    Sabbath- Allender
    Surprised by Hope- Wright

    (Bonus: A Community Called Atonement)

  • MattR

    If I was allowed six, I’d also include ‘I and Thou.’
    (and of course, in no particular order)

    The Upside Down Kingdom – Donald Kraybill
    Celebration of Discipline – Richard Foster
    Resident Aliens – Hauerwas/Willimon
    The Cost of Discipleship – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
    The Practice of the Presence of God – Brother Lawrence

  • tm

    Jacques Ellul – The Presence of the Kingdom
    Dietrich Bonhoeffer – Life Together
    Lesslie Newbigin – Foolishness to the Greeks
    Dorothy Day – Selected Writings
    Richard Lovelace – Dynamics of Spiritual Life

  • Johnny Kim

    Dietrich Bonhoeffer – Discipleship
    Works Of Love – Soren Kierkegaard
    Crazy Love – Francis Chan
    Don’t Waste Your Life – John Piper
    Tortured For Christ – Pastor Richard Wurmbrand

    It’s hard to have a top 5…

  • Is this the top 5 books of all time or the top 5 CHRISTIAN books of all time? Lets hope it’s the latter…

  • JJ

    Christ and Empire – Joerg Rieger
    She Who Is – Elizabeth Johnson
    God in Creation – Jurgen Moltmann
    Jesus the Liberator – Jon Sobrino
    Christ in a Pluralistic Age – John Cobb

  • Irenaeus, Against Heresies
    Augustine, City of God
    Aquinas, Summa Theologiae (especially the Tertia Pars)
    Matthias Scheeben, Mysteries of Christianity
    Catechism of the Catholc Church

  • tom

    static – ron martoia
    the jesus i never knew – philip yancey
    in praise of slowness – carl honore
    surprised by hope – n.t. wright
    spiritual theology series – eugene peterson

  • 1. Life Together – Bonhoeffer
    2. Life of the Beloved – Nouwen
    3. Mere Christianity – Lewis
    4. Reconstruction of the Christian Revelation Claim – Hackett
    5. Dynamics of Spiritual Life – Lovelace

  • Greg C

    Confessions, Augustine
    Pensees, Pascal
    Phenomenology of Spirit, Hegel
    Being and Time, Heidegger
    Body politics, John Howard Yoder

  • RLF

    Discipleship – Bonhoeffer
    Cross of Christ – Stott
    Can Man Live Without God – Zacharias
    Simply Christian – Wright
    Robert Kennedy – Evan Thomas

  • In no particular order:

    J.R.R. Tolkien – The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
    Bonhoeffer – Ethics
    Hauerwas – A Community of Character
    Manning – Abba’s Child
    Darrell Johnson – Experiencing the Trinity

  • Glen Wagner

    Lord Of The Rings, JRR Tolkein
    Concluding Unscientific Postscript, Soren Kierkegaard
    Resurrection Of The Son Of God, NT Wright
    Systematic Theology, Wolfhart Pannenberg
    Beauty of the Infinite, David Bentley Hart
    Team Of Rivals, Doris Kearns Goodwin

    Needed 6…

  • Adam Omelianchuk

    The Sickness Unto Death by Soren Kierkegaard
    Till We Have Faces by CS Lewis
    Brothers Karamazov by Dostoevsky
    Lament for a Son by Nicholas Wolterstorff
    The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard

  • The Social Construction of Reality – Peter Berger & Thomas Luckman
    “Are Economists Basically Immoral?” and Other Essays on Economics, Ethics, and Religion by Paul Heyne – edited by Geoggrey Brennan and A. M. C. Waterman
    The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible’s Grand Narrative – Christopher Wright
    The Other Six Days: Vocation Work and Ministry in Biblical Perspective – R. Paul Stevens
    Making the Best of It: Living for Christ in the Real World – John Stackhouse

    Ask me tomorrow and the list will likely change.

  • CGC

    Okay, some of my favorites have already been listed like Kraybill, N. T. Wright, Hauerwas & Willimon, Bonhoeffer, Miroslav Volf, Phil Yancey to name a few. So here goes some others:

    1. The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen
    2. The Politics of Jesus by J. H. Yoder
    3. The Myth of Certainty by Daniel Taylor
    4. Rees Howells: Intercessor by Norman Grubb
    5. Proper Confidence: Faith, doubt, and certainty in Christian Discipleship by Lesslie Newbigin

  • 5?? only 5?? sigh… ok, well, I won’t count The Book, then. 🙂

    1. Buber – I, Thou
    2. Bonhoeffer – Life Together (since you named Discipleship)
    3. Jurgen Moltmann – The Trinity & the Kingdom
    4. One T – The Blue Parakeet (picking one, because it was such a relief 😀 )
    5. Tozer – The Pursuit of God
    5a. Miroslav Volf – The End of Memory
    5b. Edwin Friedman, From Generation to Generation (viva la differentiated!)
    5c. NT Wright – gotta pick 1? ok, After You Believe
    5d. Richard Foster, Celebration of Discipline
    5e. Hannah Hurnard, Hind’s Feet on High Places
    5f. Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
    5g. Augustine, City of God
    5h. Ken Sande, The Peacemaker
    5i. Arthur Frank, The Renewal of Generosity
    5j. J. Haidt, The Righteous Mind

    + countless women & men of God whose lives I’ve read while they were too busy to sit down and write…

  • CGC

    Most of the five I listed are game changers! If I put Taylor’s and Newbigin together, then I would add Ephraim Radner’s “The End of the Church: A Pneumatology of Christian Division in the West.”

    Several ministers saw me with Radner’s book “The End of the Church” and began rebuking me on reading a heretical book (they did not even know what the book was about but was simply judging it by its cover – the title – Sheesh!)

  • Percival

    OK, I’m going to define “influential” as having influenced me at some point in my life. Therefore I will avoid having to list Canterbury Tales and the like.

    – Tortured for Christ, Wurmbrand
    – Survival in Auschwitch, Primo Levi
    – Your God is Too Small, Phillips
    – History of Christianity, Paul Johnson
    – Song of Ascents, E. Stanley Jones

    And one for fun.
    – Doomsday Book, Connie Willis

  • Greg C

    Revision, drop Pascal,
    Add Wes Howard-Brook, Come Out, My People.

  • 1. C.S. Lewis – The Screwtape Letters

    2. C.S. Lewis – Mere Christianity

    3. John R.W. Stott – Between Two Worlds

    4. Edwin Friedman – Generation to Generation

    5. Henri Nouwen – In the Name of Jesus

  • Nathan

    The Human Condition, Thomas Keating
    The Sayings of the Desert Fathers/Conferences of Cassian
    Jesus and the Disinherited, Howard Thurman
    Disciplines of the Spirit, Thurman
    The Creative Encounter, Thurman

    Honorable Mentions: Way of the Heart, Nouwen & The Holy Longing, Ronald Rolheiser

  • Taylor G

    Mere Christianity ~ Lewis
    The Problem of Pain ~ Lewis
    When the Game is Over It All goes Back In The Box~ Ortberg
    Death on A Friday ~ Neuhaus
    Creation Regained ~ Wolters

  • Taylor G

    It looks like I really should read Surprised by Hope judging by people’s responses.

  • I’m glad someone else mentioned Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien and Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. So now I can move on to more serious books:

    1. Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
    2. C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce
    3. The Problem of Pain, Lewis
    4. The Gospel of the Kingdom, George Eldon Ladd
    5. The Master Plan of Evangelism, Robert Coleman
    6. The Celtic Way of Evangelism, George Hunter
    7. The Normal Christian Church Life, Watchman Nee
    8. Organic Church by Neil Cole
    9. Parables of the Kingdom by Robert Farrar Capon
    10. The Sackett Brand by Louis L’Amour

    I have been positively influenced by several of Leonard Sweet and Brian McLaren, especially “A Generous Orthodoxy”. Christian Smith’s “The Bible made impossible” recently helped me fit some pieces together.

  • Luke Allison

    God at War – Greg Boyd
    The Problem of Pain/Mere Christianity – CS Lewis
    The Prophetic Imagination – Walter Brueggemann
    Wright’s Trilogy (that’s cheating, I know)
    The King Jesus Gospel – Scot Mcknight (this is not brown-nosing…I’m officially a McKnightian in my understanding of the hermeneutical path to the gospel)

    I couldn’t even begin to compile a fiction list.
    But….
    Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
    Blood Meridian/The Road – Cormac McCarthy
    The Book of the New Sun – Gene Wolfe
    Koko – Peter Straub
    Malazan Book of the Fallen – Steven Erikson (nerd central here)

  • Craig Case

    1. The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald
    2. Mere Christianity, Lewis
    3. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Twain
    4. Simply Christian, Wright
    5. Confessions, Augustine

  • Mike M

    1. Mere Christianity
    2. The Divine Conspiracy
    3. The Jesus Creed (and I’m not sucking up on that one. It is one of the few books I give to believers and non-believers alike).
    4. Into the Depths of God
    5. Either Pagan Christianity or Unchurched, depending on my mood.

  • Deb K

    Dallas Willard; Divine Conspiracy
    Brother Lawrence: Practicing the Presence of God
    C.S. Lewis; The Great Divorce & Chronicles of Narnia
    NT Wright; Surprised by Hope
    Bonhoeffer: Cost of Discipleship

  • Randy Barnhart

    1. Kierkegaard’s _Concluding Unscientific Postscript_
    2. Pannenberg’s _Jesus: God and Man_
    3. Yoder’s _Politics of Jesus_
    4. Stanley’s _Communicating for a Change_
    5. Irving’s _A Prayer for Owen Meany_

  • Godric
    I Told Me So
    Letters Along the Way
    Pensées
    Love the Lord With All Your Mind

  • Ralph Cann

    In no particular order:

    What’s So Amazing About Grace – Philip Yancey
    Basic Christianity – John Stott
    Mere Christianity – C. S. Lewis
    Celebration of Discipline – Richard Foster
    The Blue Parakeet – Scot McKnight

  • RJS

    Wow – these are great lists. Limiting to five favorite or most influential is impossible as there are so many. I’ll give a list that were or are influential, mostly not included above:

    Ecclesiastical History of the English People by Bede
    Journey Through Wales by Gerald of Wales
    Ecclesiastical History by Eusebius
    Against Celsus by Origen
    Confessions of St. Augustine

  • David

    1) Love Alone Is Credible/Theology of History by Hans Urs Von Balthasar
    2) The Miracle Detective by Randall Sullivan
    3) Orthodoxy by G.K Chesterton
    4) The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S Lewis
    5) Dimiter by William Peter Blatty

  • Adam

    In the order I read them:
    Don’t Waste Your Life-Piper
    Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret-Taylors
    Life Together-Bonhoeffer
    Church Dogmatics Vol 4.1-Barth
    Jesus and the Victory of God-NT Wright

  • Juniper

    In no particular order . . .

    Conversations with the Bible – Marcus Barth
    The Screwtape Letters – C.S. Lewis
    Simply Christian – N.T. Wright
    Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes – Kenneth Bailey
    Dietrich Bonhoeffer, A Biography – Eberhard Bethge

  • Juniper

    If I could choose a sixth, I would add Haley’s Autobiography of Malcolm X. I read it for the first time when I was ten and I usually keep a copy around.

  • Mike S

    Willard, Divine Conspiracy
    Wolters, Creation Regained
    Veith, God at Work
    Flannery O’Connor, Complete Works
    Lewis, Chronicles of Narnia

  • James

    On the Apostolic Preaching-Irenaeus
    Institutes-Calvin
    On the Incarnation-Athanasius
    On Prayer-Origen
    Enchiridion on Faith, Hope, and Love-Augustine

  • David

    1. Les Miserables – Victor Hugo
    2. The Kingdom of God is within You – Leo Tolstoy
    3. The Violent Bear it Away – Flannery O’Connor
    4. Resident Aliens – Hauerwas/Willimon
    5. The Sabbath – Abraham Heschel

  • Also in no particular order:

    The Lord of the Rings
    Mere Christianity (both of the above shaped my imagination and intellect in high school)
    Everything N.T. Wright has ever written (that I’ve read so far)
    Wild at Heart, Eldridge
    Grasping God’s Word by Duvall & Hays combined with How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth by Fee & Stuart

    I actually have a list like this on my blog:

    http://thesometimespreacher.blogspot.com/p/books-ive-read.html

    It’s a bit outdated because I will definitely be adding The King Jesus Gospel and Simply Jesus to it when I get around to it.

  • (not in order)

    Simply Christian, Wright
    Jesus Creed, McKnight
    Eat this Book, Peterson
    Divine Embrace, Webber
    Divine Conspiracy, Willard

  • Mystery and Manners – Flannery O’Connor
    Love Alone is Credible – Hans Urs von Balthasar
    For the Life of the Word – Alexander Schmemann
    Grace and Glory – E.L. Mascall
    The Divine Conspiracy – Dallas Willard

  • Joshua

    1. My Utmost for His Highest – Oswald Chambers (I know it’s a devotional, but it still counts in my mind)
    2. Mere Christianity – C.S. Lewis
    3. The Cost of Discipleship – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
    4. Pilgrims Progress – John Bunyan
    5. Confessions of St. Augustine (up until about book 9, if my memory serves me. After that, he loses me.)

    Scot, Elizabeth thought you would have put down “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” as one of your top five, based on how often you reference it in class. What gives?

  • Celebration of Discipline- Richard Foster
    The Cost of Discipleship- Dietrich Bonhoeffer
    The Moral VIsion of the New Testament- Richard Hays
    The Politics of Jesus- John H. Yoder
    The End of Religion- Bruxy Cavey

  • Adam P

    Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life – Don Whitney
    Messiah in the OT – Walt Kaiser
    The Baptists – Tom Nettles
    Hermeneutical Spiral – Grant Osborne
    The Intelligent investor – Benjamin Graham

  • God in search of man – Abraham Heschel
    Man’s search for meaning – Victor Frankl
    Jesus and the Land – Gary Burge
    Godzone – Mike Riddell

  • Wayne Wachsmuth

    Dietrich Bonhoeffer – Cost of Discipleship
    Thomas Oden – After Modernity . . .What?
    Eugene Peterson – A Long Obedience in the Same Direction
    C.S. Lewis – Mere Christianity
    H.R. Niebuhr – Christ and Culture

  • fb

    if we’re talking most influential in my life (vs. literary greatness or global impact)

    the fight – john white
    desiring God – john piper (though i disagree with significant portions now)
    great revivals – colin whittaker
    abide in Christ – andrew murray
    the pursuit of God – a.w. tozer

    honorable mention:

    pilgrim’s progress – bunyan
    the chronicles of narnia – lewis
    the sacred romance – eldridge and curtis (yes, seriously)
    we would see Jesus – hession
    the saving life of Christ – thomas

  • Chad

    Love Wins – Bell
    Inspiration &Incarnation – Enns
    Surprised by Hope – Wright
    Mere Christianity – Lewis
    God’s Word in Human Words – Sparks

  • Matt Davis!

    In no particular order-

    Ethics/Doctrine/Witness 3 Vol. Systematic Theology -James McClendon
    The Jesus Way – Eugene Peterson
    American Gods – Neil Gaiman
    Resident Aliens – Stanley Hauerwas & William H. Willimon
    The Dark Tower – Stephen King

    but I would feel terrible if I did not include DA Carson, Rowan Williams, Kevin Vanhoozer, Umberto Eco, Mark Twain, William Cavanaugh, Luke Timothy Johnson, Miroslav Volf, Soren Kierkegaard, Herman Melville and John Howard Yoder as authors who were painstakingly forced to the bottom of my top twenty list.

  • Clay Knick

    Well, I’m a little late to this….

    The Wounded Healer-Henri Nouwen
    The Hiding Place-Corrie ten Boom
    Between Two Worlds-John Stott
    The Celebration of Discipline-Richard Foster
    The Cost of Discipleship-Dietrich Bonhoeffer

    I’d also have to say that Don Bloesch’s two volume Essentials of Evangelical Theology & Tom Oden’s three volume systematic theology (The Living God, The Word of Life, & Life in the Spirit) have greatly influenced me. My delight in Bloesch’s books led to a friendship that lasted almost 30 years.

  • Joni English

    The Bible
    My Heart Christ Home
    Pilgrams Progress: This book was read to me as a Child I passed it on to my Children Whom I pray will one day pass it on to thier Children.
    Joni :The Joni Erickson Story
    Dinner with a Stranger

  • Laura

    The Rest of God (Mark Buchanan) and everything else he’s written
    The Mystery of Marriage (Mike Mason)
    Listening Prayer (Leanne Payne)
    Money, Possessions, and Eternity (Randy Alcorn)
    Disposable People (Kevin Bales)

    Since The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard, Eugene Peterson’s Spiritual Theology series, GK Chesterton, and C.S. Lewis have already been mentioned, I’ve omitted them, but they pretty much comprise my top 5. Also, Wendell Berry Sex, Community, Freedom and Economy.