I was thinking lately about what books (other than the Bible of course) I would recommend for new Christians to read first after coming to Christ. Books just flowed through my mind. I began wondering all different kinds of questions about what would be too deep for new Christians and what kind of information you should understand when first entering the faith. It’s a wonder I can find time to think about this kind of stuff actually. Anyways after a little bit of daydreaming in my Freedom in American Society class along with looking through my books, here are the five books I think every Christian should to read at some point in their first two years after conversion. Actually, all Christians should read them no matter how long you have been a Christian. I am not listing them by priority necessarily. I’m just listing them as I remember them.
- Mere Christianity by: C.S. Lewis – Everyone who knows me should have known C.S. Lewis would at least make one of the five books. This book is definitely one you need to read at least two or three times for it to completely soak in. It deals with the idea of what do all Christians believe when you take away their random differences of opinions. What is the very foundation of Christian beliefs? These are the questions Lewis seeks to answer in this book. He does it from a very philosophical and logic based platform rather than simply looking at Scriptural references. He is trying to show that the Bible lines up with simply logic and that it in no way contradicts rational thinking.
- Crazy Love by: Francis Chan – This book deals with hypocritical and lukewarm faith. The main idea Chan tries to point out in his book is that we need to look at how Christ actually told us to live and start doing it. We talk about it all the time and listen to pastors tell us what the Scriptures say, but we need to finally read the Scriptures for ourselves and live it out like Christ wanted us to live. The great thing about this book is that it is very easy to understand. Chan lays out the ground work so that anyone is able to understand it.
- The Case for Faith by: Lee Strobel – Every Christian, especially when they have just entered the faith, deals with the hard questions such as “How could God be loving when there is evil and suffering in the world?” and “Since miracles contradict science, how can they be true?” Strobel takes the top eight questions most asked about the Christian faith and deals with them in a journalist manner as he interviews some of the greatest Christian minds out there. This book will definitely help those believers struggling with such questions come to peace in their faith.
- Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe by: Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears – Honestly, I never thought I would be recommending a Driscoll book simply because I have never been a fan of his filthy mouth lol, but this one is really solid and clean! Where C.S Lewis looks at Christian beliefs through philosophy and logic, Driscoll and Breshears address Christian doctrine from a theological and scriptural basis. What I mean by this is that, they spend much more time studying the Scriptures and looking at different views of different Christians.
Now I had a hard time picking out my last one. I was leaning towards Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From the American Dream by: David Platt. I have heard many, many people say it changed their lives, but I still have not been able to find the time to read it myself. This mixed with the issue that it goes hand in hand with Crazy Love, I decided to not put it on my top five list. I am sorry to disappoint you, Garrett. I still recommend it. I am going to sound like a hypocrite now, but let me explain first.
- Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist by: John Piper – I said I would probably sound like a hypocrite by picking this book as number five because I have never read it, but let me explain why I therefore picked it over Radical. I mainly did it because Radical and Crazy Love are so similar in topics. Maybe over the summer read both Desiring God and Radical and then come and switch them out. That would definitely make my Calvinist friends made though. I am just kidding. Anyways, I picked this book because in it Piper talks about God being the center of our joy. Just as his famous saying goes, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” Through this book, we can learn to make God the center of our joy and lives.