Best Books: Christianity and Religion

There are some books below that are on the wrong list, but I think I got most of them in the right spot. As always, I haven’t read these books and am not recommending them, per se (though if it has a link attached to it, I have read it and you can follow that link to my review). The books I recommend can be found HERE. These are just lists of “best of”s that I have found on the internet and compiled into giant lists of books that I would like to read. You are welcome to peruse them and use them, but I can’t vouch for any of the titles until I, too, have read them. There is some history, theology, self-help, even fiction.

I am a Christian, so the first list of books below is unabashedly inside that world view. If you are not a Christian and you would like to read books about Christianity as a religion, you might want to start elsewhere (though there are bound to be several books here that would be interesting reads, I’m sure). Many of these books presuppose Christianity. (And most of them seem to be in a certain vein of Christianity. I would have liked more breadth, but I couldn’t find that list anywhere. If you have suggestions of more reading from more orthodox and/or more Eastern branches of Christianity, please comment below.) Following this list is a list of books on religion, which does include some books on Christianity, but many of those books are written from outside the particular worldview. And there are books from inside other worldviews, too. Lots of them.

CHRISTIANITY

  • The Broken Way, Ann Voskamp,UNINVITED
  • Uninvited, Lysa TerKeurst
  • Jesus Calling, Sarah Young
  • Wild at Heart, John Eldridge
  • The 5 Love Languages, Dr. Gary Chapman
  • The Love Dare, Stephen and Alex Kendrick
  • Her Mother’s Hope, Francine Rivers
  • Choosing to See, Mary Beth Chapman
  • Outlive Your Life, Max Lucado
  • 90 Minutes in Heaven, Don Piper
  • Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis
  • Bonhoeffer, Eric Metaxas
  • Heaven, Randy Alcorn
  • Here I Stand, Roland H. Sainton
  • William Tyndale, David Daniell
  • Jonathan Edwards, Iaian H. Murray
  • The Forgotten Spurgoen, Iaian H. MurrayCONFESSIONS
  • Jonathan Edwards, George M. Marsden
  • Confessions, Saint Augustine
  • To the Golden Shore, Courtney Anderson
  • John G. Paton, John Paton
  • Spiritual Secret, Hudson Taylor
  • A Chance to Die, Elizabeth Elliot
  • Knowing God, J.I. Packer
  • A Quest for Godliness, J.I. Packer
  • The Death of Death, John Owen
  • Glory Road, Anthony Carter
  • Religious Affections, Johnathan Edwards
  • Basic Christianity, John Stott
  • The Cross of Christ, John R.W. Stott
  • Redemption Accomplished and Applied, John Murray
  • Overcoming Sin and Temptation, John Owen
  • The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment, Jeremiah BurroughsPILGRIM'S PROGRESS
  • Lecture to My Students, Spurgeon
  • The Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan
  • The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis
  • The Space Trilogy, C.S. Lewis
  • Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • How to Read the Bible, James L. Kugel
  • A History of Christianity, Diarmaid McCulloch
  • Augustine of Hippo, Peter Brown
  • War and Remembrance, Herman Woulk
  • The Five Books of Moses, Robert Alter
  • On Genesis, Augustine
  • Paradise Lost, John Milton
  • The Bible According to Mark Twain, Mark Twain
  • The Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri
  • Revelations of Divine Love, Julian of Norwich
  • Waiting on God, Simone WeilWAITING ON GOD
  • The Anathema, David Jones
  • Confessions of St. Augustine
  • An Ecclesiastical History of the English People, Venerable Bede
  • The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Edward Gibbon
  • The Culture of Protestantism in Early Modern Scotland, Margo Todd
  • The Church in Africa, 1450-1950, Adrian Hastings
  • The Church of the East, Christoph Baumer
  • The Cult of the Saints, Peter Brown
  • Mother of God, Miri Rubin
  • Mohawk Saint, Allan Greer
  • Between Heaven and Earth, Robert Orsi
  • The New Oxford Annotated Bible
  • The Jewish Study Bible
  • The Green Bible, NRSV
  • Bible Illuminated, Forlaget
  • The Woman’s Bible, Elizabeth Cady StantonTHE WOMAN'S BIBLE
  • The Cloud of Unknowing, Anonymous
  • Moral Man and Immoral Society, Reinhold Neibur
  • The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • On Christian Theology, Rowan Williams
  • Summa Theologiae, Davies and Leftow
  • The Thought of Thomas Aquinas, Brian Davies
  • Aquinas’s Way to God, Gaven Kerr
  • The Reality of God and the Problem of Evil, Brian Davies
  • Atheism and Theism, Smart and Haldane
  • A History of the Bible, John Barton
  • An Introduction to the New Testament, Raymond E. Brown
  • Jesus the Jew, Geza Vermes
  • The Misunderstood Jew, Amy-Jill Levine
  • Seeing the Word, Marcus Bockmuehl
  • Shorter Summa, St. Thomas Aquinas
  • The Cost of Discipleship, Dietrich BonhoefferTHE COST OF DISCIPLESHIP
  • Orthodoxy, G.K. Chesterton
  • The Life and Diary of David Brainerd
  • The Case for Faith, Lee Strobel
  • The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren
  • More Than a Carpenter, Josh McDowell
  • The Reason for God, Thomas Keller
  • A Praying Life, Paul Miller
  • Valley of Vision, Arthur Bennett
  • The Discipline of Grace, Jerry Bridges
  • Trusting God, Jerry Bridges
  • Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment, Jeremiah Burroughs
  • Spurgeon, Arnold Dallimore
  • The Message of the Old Testament, Mark Dever
  • The Message of the New Testament, Mark Dever
  • The Gospel and Personal Evangelism, Mark Dever
  • Just Do Something, Kevin DeYoung
  • What Is the Gospel?, Greg GilbertJUST DO SOMETHING
  • According to Plan, Graham Goldsworthy
  • Systematic Theology, Wayne Grudem
  • God, Marriage, and Family, Andreas Kostenberger
  • Humility, C.J. Mahaney
  • Desiring God, John Piper
  • What’s the Difference, John Piper
  • Finally Alive, John Piper
  • Love That Lasts, The Ricuccis
  • The Holiness of God, R.C. Sproul
  • Chosen by God, R.C. Sproul
  • The Cross of Christ, John Stott
  • Shepherding a Child’s Heart, Tedd Tripp
  • A Gospel Primer for Christians, Milton Vincent
  • When People Are Big and God is Small, Ed Welch
  • Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, Donald WhitneySPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES
  • The Reason for God, Tim Keller
  • The Meaning of Marriage, The Kellers
  • Jesus the King, Tim Keller
  • What Did You Expect?, Paul Tripp
  • One Way Love, Tullian Tchividjian
  • The Jesus Storybook Bible, Sally Lloyd-Jones
  • Finally Free, Heath Lambert
  • The Complete Collection of E.M. Bounds on Prayer
  • Christian Classics, Spurgeon
  • The Knowledge of the Holy, A.W. Tozer
  • The Greener Grass Conspiracy, Stephen Altrogge
  • Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands, Paul Tripp
  • What’s So Amazing About Grace?, Philip Yancey
  • The Ragamuffin Gospel, Brenden Manning
  • The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness, Tim Keller
  • Here I Stand, Martin LutherTHE FREEDOM OF SELF FORGETFULNESS
  • God’s Anointed Servant, George Whitefield
  • Through the Gates of Splendour, Elizabeth Elliot
  • Church History in Plain Language, Bruce Shelley
  • What Is the Gospel?, Greg Gilbert
  • According to Plan, Graeme Goldsworthy
  • The Holiness of God, R.C. Sproul
  • Chosen by God, R.C. Sproul
  • Jesus Among Other Gods, Ravi Zacharias
  • When Sinners Say ‘I Do,’ Dave Harvey
  • The Biggest Story, Kevin DeYoung
  • What’s Best Next, Matt Perman
  • Do More Better, Tim Challies
  • Orthodoxy, G.K. Chesteron
  • The Practice of the Presence of God, Brother Lawrence
  • Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, Jonathan Edwards
  • A Grief Observed, C.S. LewisA GRIEF OBSERVED
  • The Hiding Place, Corrie ten Boom
  • The Valley of Vision
  • Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, John Foxe
  • The Normal Christian Life, Watchman Nee
  • Institutes of the Christian Religion, John Calvin
  • Don’t Waste Your Life, John Piper
  • The Problem of Pain, C.S. Lewis
  • God’s Smuggler, Brother Andrew
  • Radical, David Platt
  • Crazy Love, Frances Chan
  • Not a Fan, Kyle Idleman
  • Jesus + Nothing = Everything, Tullian Tchividjian
  • Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret, The Taylors
  • The Jesus I Never Knew, Philip Yancey
  • Following Christ, Joseph Stowell
  • Born Again, Charles W. ColsonTHE EXPLICIT GOSPEL
  • The Explicit Gospel, Matt Chandler
  • The Resolution, Jonathan Edwards
  • A Tale of Three Kings, Gene Edwards
  • Absolute Surrender, Andrew Murray
  • Tramp for the Lord, Corrie ten Boom
  • Forgotten God, Frances Chan
  • An Arrow Pointing to Heaven, Rich Mullins
  • Counterfeit Gods, Tim Keller
  • The Cost of Discipleship, Bonhoeffer

There are definitely some books on the list below that would challenge your world view, whatever that is, since it includes texts that span various world religions and even anti-religions, so-to-speak. I don’t necessarily recommend that everyone read this widely, when it comes to their world view. I think it’s okay for some people—maybe all people—to bolster their own faith, instead. Questioning isn’t bad, but it’s not healthy for all people at all times to sink themselves into hundreds of books that counter their belief system. So proceed with caution—and curiosity—especially since I have vetted very few of these books. In other words, I have read almost none of them. Some of them, I’m sure, are offensive to huge swaths of modern humanity. (Many of them, though, are just historical.) Some, I bet, are even offensive to me. But I love learning. Love it! So I am curious about the religions of people and of historical people, though I am firmly grounded in my own. (Note: there are even books on here that I will be passing up as I get to them, should I determine at the time that they would be an unhealthy read, just like when I come across an especially challenging fiction book in the wrong season. I don’t have anything to prove.)

RELIGION

  • History of the Church in England, J.R.H. MoormanTHE INDESTRUCTIBLE JEWS
  • The Indestructible Jews, Max Dimont
  • Ye Shall Be As Gods, Erich Fromm
  • The Dance of Time, Michael Judge
  • Gautama Buddha, Betty Kelen
  • The Great Transformation, Helen Armstrong
  • The Roots of Hinduism, Asko Parpola
  • The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis
  • The Alchemist, Paolo Coelho
  • Siddhartha, Herman Hesse
  • God Has a Dream, Desmond Tutu
  • Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor E. Frankl
  • The Seven Storey Mountain, Thomas Merton
  • The Powers That Be, Walter Wink
  • Don’t Be Sad
  • Love Wins, Rob BellLOVE WINS
  • The Art of Happiness in a Troubled World, Dalai Lama
  • You Can If You Think You Can, Normal Vincent Peale
  • The Celestine Prophecy, James Redfield
  • Present Over Perfect, Shauna Niequist
  • Red Shift, Alan Garner
  • The Viking Way, Neil Price
  • Soul Hunters, Rane Willerslev
  • The Annotated Collected Poems, Edward Thomas
  • Yoga for the Three Stages of Life, Srivatsa Ramaswami
  • Light on Life, B.K. Iyengar
  • Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, Shunryu Suzuki
  • The Life of Milarepa, Lobsang P. Lhalungpa
  • Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism, Chogyam Trungpa
  • The Bodhicaryvatara, Santideva
  • One Robe, One Bowl, RyokanONE ROBE ONE BOWL
  • Entangled Minds, Dean Radin
  • Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home, Rupert Sheldrake
  • The Aeneid, Virgil
  • The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ, Philip Pulman
  • Our Church, Roger Scruton
  • The Human Stain, Philip Roth
  • The Children Act, Ian Mcewan
  • Tractatus Theologico-Politicus, Baruch Spinoza
  • Dialogues and Natural History of Religion, David Hume
  • Society without God, Phil Zuckerman
  • Sacred and Secular, Norris and Inglehart
  • God is Back, Micklethwait and Wooldridge
  • Jesus and the Word, Rudolf Bultmann
  • The Quest of the Historical Jesus, Albert Schweitzer
  • The Shadow of the Galiliean, Gerd Theissen
  • The Birth of the Messiah, Raymond BrownTHE QUEST OF THE HISTORICAL JESUS
  • Born of a Virgin?, Andrew Lincoln
  • Why I Am Not a Christian, Bertrand Russell
  • The Miracle of Theism, John Mackie
  • Testament, Jean Meslier
  • Dialogues and Natural History of Religion, David Hume
  • In Gods We Trust, Scott Atran
  • Existentialism and Humanism, Jean-Paul Sartre
  • Western Atheism, James A. Thrower
  • Breaking the Spell, Daniel C. Dennett
  • Atheists, Nick Spencer
  • Five Dialogues, Plato
  • The Epistle of Forgiveness, Abul Ala al-Ma’arri
  • Radical Enlightenment, Jonathan Israel
  • The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • The Myth of Sisyphus, Albert CamusTHE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV
  • Two Cheers for Democracy, E.M. Forster
  • Adam Bede, George Eliot
  • On Humanism, Richard Norman
  • His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
  • Mengzi: With Selections from Traditional Commentaries
  • The Varieties of Scientific Experience, Carl Sagan
  • The Atheist’s Guide to Reality, Alex Rosenberg
  • God in the Age of Science?, Herman Philipse
  • A History of the Warfare of Science and Theology with Christendom, Andrew Dickson White
  • The Blind Watchmaker, Richard Dawkins
  • Endless Forms Most Beautiful, Sean B. Carroll
  • Evolution, Carl Zimmer
  • Creationism’s Trojan Horse, Forrest and Gross
  • The Devil in Dover, Lauri LeboTHE LOTUS SUTRA
  • The Lotus Sutra, Kubo and Yuyama
  • Introduction to the History of Indian Buddhism, Eugene Burnouf
  • Bones, Stones, and Buddhist Monks, Gregory Schopen
  • Words of My Perfect Teacher, Patrul Rinpoche
  • Journey to the West, Anthony C. Wu
  • Buddhism, the Basics, Cathy Cantrell
  • The First Buddhist Women, Susan Murcott
  • Call Me by My True Names, Thich Nhat Hanh
  • The Art of Living, The Dalai Lama
  • The Book of Strangers, Ian Dallas
  • The Way of Muhammad, Shaykh Abdalqadir As-Sulfi
  • The Noble Qur’an, Abdallhaq
  • Al-Muwatta of Imam Malik, Bewley and Johnson
  • The Prophet, Kahlil Gibran
  • The Islamist, Ed Husain
  • The Bookseller of Kabul, Asne SeierstadTHE ISLAMIST
  • The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini
  • Girls of Riyahd, Rajaa Alsanea
  • The Future of Islam, Wilfrid Scawen Blunt
  • Science and Islam, Ehsan Masood
  • Islam and Democracy, Fatima Mernissi
  • Inside the Gender Jihad, Amina Wadud
  • Muslims in the West, Yvonne Yazbeck
  • Islam and the Blackamerican, Sherman A. Jackson
  • Young, British and Muslim, Philip Lewis
  • The Religious Question in Modern China, Goossaert and Palmer
  • Qigong Fever, David Palmer
  • The Missionary’s Curse, Henrietta Harris
  • Zen Baggage, Bill Porter
  • Democracy’s Dharma, Richard Madsen
  • Border Lines, Danila BoyarinBORDER LINES
  • Between Muslim and Jew, Steven Wasserstrom
  • The Compunctious Poet, Ross Brann
  • Two Nations in Your Womb, Israel Jacob Yuval
  • Founder of Hasidism, Murray Jay Rossman
  • Greek Thought, Arabic Culture, Dimitri Gutas
  • Avicenna’s ‘De Anima’ in the Latin West, Dag Nikolaus Hasse
  • Maimonides in His World, Sarah Strousma
  • Constantine’s Sword, James Carroll
  • The War Against the Jews, Lucy S. Dawidowitcz
  • Trials of the Diaspora, Anthony Julius
  • A Lethal Obsession, Robert S. Wistrich
  • The World of Late Antiquity, Peter Brown
  • God: A Biography, Jack Miles
  • The Travels of Ibn Battutah
  • The Sinbad Voyage, Tim Severin
  • 4000 Years of Christmas, Count and CountTHE TRAVELS OF IBN BUTTATA
  • A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
  • The Battle for Christmas, Stephen Nissenbaum
  • Inside Kasrilevke, Sholem Aleichem
  • The Chosen, Chaim Potok
  • The Pagan Rabbi, Cynthia Ozick
  • Daniel Deronda, George Eliot
  • The Demon-Haunted World, Carl Sagan
  • In Darwin’s Shadow, Michael Shermer
  • The Coming of the Fairies, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • In Joy Still Felt, Isaac Asimov
  • Jihad, Gilles Kepel
  • What’s Really Wrong with the Middle East, Brian Whitaker
  • The Arabian Nights, Haddawy and Mahdi
  • The Cairo Trilogy, Naguib MahfouzTHE CAIRO TRILOGY
  • A Secular Age, Charles Taylor
  • Out of Revolution, Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy
  • Sacred Texts of the World, Smart and Hecht
  • A History of Western Philosophy, Bertrand Russell
  • A Journey Into Gravity and Spacetime, J.A. Wheeler
  • The Extended Phenotype, Richard Dawkins
  • The Tempest, William Shakespeare
  • The Door Marked Summer, Michael Bentine
  • The Way of Wyrd, Brian Bates
  • Fire Child, Maxine Saunders
  • The Journey of the Magi, Richard Trexler
  • Christmas: A Candid History, Bruce Forbes
  • Lugbara Religion, John Middleton