Books That Have Changed Your Life

Last Thursday, I had the privilege of spending a wonderful luncheon with a group of believing faculty and staff at The Ohio State University. What made the luncheon wonderful was not simply the good food from our Faculty Club buffet line. Nor was it simply the charming personalities around the table. It was rather hearing from one another about books that had been formative in our spiritual journeys.  With the organizers permission, I am sharing the list* (to which I contributed a few titles). I’ve added Amazon links so you can learn more about any titles that sound interesting.

Title, Author(s)

Four Portraits, One Jesus, Mark Strauss

Names of God, Mary Foxwell Loeks

Women at Southern: A Walk Through Psalms, Jaye Martin, Alyssa Caudill, and Sharon Beougher (link is to a blog with ordering information, one of our staff contributed to this book)

Tales of the Kingdom, David and Karen Mains

Tales of Resistance, David and Karen Mains

Tales of Restoration, David and Karen Mains

Death by Suburb, David L. Goetz

The Parable of Joy, Michael Card

How to Know God Exists, Ray Comfort

Origins, Ariel Roth

The Radical Disciple, John Stott

Praying the Psalms, Thomas Merton

The Robe, Lloyd C. Douglas

The Insanity of God, Nik Ripken and Gregg Lewis

The Cost of Discipleship, Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The Cross of Christ, John Stott

Knowing God, J. I. Packer

Life Together, Dietrich Bonhoffer

Daring to Draw Near, John White

Life of the Beloved, Henri J. M. Nouwen

The 5 Love Languages, Gary Chapman

Christianity: The Faith that Makes Sense, Dennis McCallum

The Question of God, Dr. Armand M. Nicholi, Jr.

A Skeptic’s Search for God, Ralph O. Muncaster

One of the delights in such times is what you learn about people by the books they share. For one person, it is the chronicle of their seminary journey. For another, their journey to faith. For a third, it is their love for prayer. With another, it was the story of books read aloud to children and grandchildren that had drawn a family into the common narrative of the kingdom.

The other delight of course is having your attention called to books that you might want to read. The Robe is one of those classics I’ve never read. Death by Suburb sounds like it explores the realities we’ve lived with for the last 25 years in suburban Columbus. The Question of God is a book I own but haven’t read that is going to get moved onto the TBR pile.

This is one of the simplest things to organize. You just invite a group of friends to lunch (or brownies, as we did last January, described in my post “Books and Brownies“) and talk about the books that have meant the most to you or shaped your life. It might be that you could gather people around different themes (like “books I’d take on a vacation”, or books I hated as a kid and wouldn’t be without as an adult”).

(Books on this list are not endorsed by the Fellowship of Christian Faculty and Staff or The Ohio State University but simply by those recommending the books!)

What books have changed your life?

*Thanks go to Paul Post for typing up and posting the list!

2 thoughts on “Books That Have Changed Your Life

  1. I love book lists. I’ve only read 4 on this one. And of those, I just finished reading 1 of them a couple weeks ago: The Robe, Lloyd C. Douglas. I’d never even heard of it until a friend recently lent it to me. It is fiction from the 1940’s. While historically and biblically accurate, it weaves a fascinating fiction story of the Roman soldier who was in charge of the group of soldiers at the cross of Christ. He ends up becoming a Christian after a period of investigation and careful thought. It really made the years directly after the cross come to life. And emphasized/reinforced for me that faith is always hard. Meaning that there will never be total evidence, and we must exercise faith. Believing that someone rose from the dead was just as difficult then as now.

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