Good Books About Christianity

Compiled by Leslie Terrell

Standard Disclaimer: I am an ordinary lay person with no theological training. I am not a priest, a pastor, or a scholar. I am only twenty years old. This list is meant to be helpful, a starting place, but by no means of any authority other than that of an ordinary christian, which is great, but not as great as some.

Preliminary Confession: I am a die-hard fan of C.S. Lewis and this page will reflect that without scruples or shame. I am also an Episcopalian, and quite enthusiastic about it. The list will also reflect that without scruples, and with deliberate bias toward an Anglican mindset. (Why? Because I am one.)

Early Christian Traditions, by Rebecca Lyman: A book from the "New Church's Teaching Series" (Episcopal Church) about the early church and the world it was founded in. The book provides a good beginning background for understanding the time and atmosphere that Christianity rose out of, and for understanding the New Testament in context. Anything else in this series (Look for titles on by putting in Early Christian Traditions, they will come up as "also purchased".) is highly recommended, though this is the only one I've read so far.

Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis: Lewis explains his basis for a belief in God and in the Christian religion. He also expounds on basic Christian doctrines and practice. Mere Christianity is a delight to the believer and a good book for the seeker. Non believers without inclination to become Christians might find it a bit lacking, however, as they will look for holes in Lewis's arguments egged on by his statements about them. Lewis takes some disdain toward atheists as he used to be one, and thinks he was previously stupid about the whole thing. (But as we know, hindsight sees 20-20)

The Great Divorce, by C.S. Lewis: Delightful narrative speculating on the nature of hell and of purgatory. Made purgatory easier for me to swallow and shed some light on heaven as well. Short book and an easy read.

The Screwtape Letters, by C.S. Lewis: Letters written from a "senior tempter" to a younger devil during his attempts at tempting his "patient" (the human) toward Hell and becoming dinner for Wormwood and the rest of Hell. Puts to light some of the everyday temptations faced by human beings and provides a disturbing look into the mindset of evil. I recommend this book for non-believers as well because at the very least they will find it amusing, and my best hope is that they will find it enlightening.

Here and Now, Living in the Spirit, by Henri Nouwen: A book full of short essays about the Christian life and faith practices. Easy read, edifying, and divided into neat little chapters that do not take much of your time at once.

Surprised by Suffering, by R.C. Sproul: Very good book about the purpose of and understanding suffering as part of the Christian life. I do not like some of his other theology included in an appendix at the back of the book, but that's probably just me.

A Grief Observed, by C.S. Lewis: Lewis's diary he kept after the death of his wife. He never intended to have it published, but was convinced to do so when someone read it and thought it might be helpful to others. Provides comfort to those in distress knowing that great men loose their hope too.

The Narnia Chronicles, by C.S. Lewis: Great children's books that even better once you grow up enough to understand them. Allegory for earth and the story of God and man here.