25 Books Every Christian Should Read
25 Books Every Christian Should Read’s editor Julia L. Roller presented readers with much information about these books. In each chapter a brief background was given about a book’s author. What followed was a summary of each book’s major themes. To help readers there was further guidance, and a key to excerpts selected from each selection. At the end of every chapter there was a study guide with questions.
It was recognized the Bible couldn’t be supplanted as a premiere text. So it wasn’t included as one of the books to be read. Excluded too, were works of living authors. This book was a compilation of a reflection of over 2,000 years, of saints, poets, and thinkers. It provided a profound look about faith, showcased the cost of discipleship, and was meant to be a devotional for the contemplative.
There were benefits to reading such a work. Readers would experience a renewal of the soul that would lead to a transformative life. Each book’s material was challenging, and should be read, and reread. This would certainly lead to a greater intimacy with God. People would also be blessed in their lifelong quest in knowing their Creator.
Books that stood out in the 25 entries were: Confessions - St. Augustine was noted as the first Christian spiritual autobiography; The Imitation of Christ - Thomas à Kempis offered instructions about Christian living; Dark Night of the Soul - St. John of the Cross commented on the journey of purification; The Cost of Discipleship - Dietrich Bonhoeffer elaborated on submitting to the yoke of Christ; Mere Christianity - C.S. Lewis puts controversies of the moment in proper perspective; and The Return of the Prodigal Son - Henri J.M. Nouwen demonstrated what is meant to have an affirmation of love.
These selected works that were presented chronologically were not a list of the best Christian classics. They represented various literary genres including: poetry, fiction, and biography. The contributing authors dug deep in the subject matter. These books are available free on the website of Christian Classics Ethereal Library: <www.ccel.org>.