Adams, Jay. The Biblical View of Self-Esteem, Self-Love, Self-Image.
The church has been deluged with self-esteem counseling. The author examines this approach and compares it with the Biblical concept. He argues that the focus on self-esteem is altering the true Gospel message.
Alcorn, Randy. Heaven.
I consider this book indispensable for Christians. It is solidly Biblical in its approach and written in a way that keeps you coming back for more. It attempts to answer the question, “What is heaven really like?” and does so beautifully. While reading it, I kept wondering why I would ever want to stay here when an eternity in the presence of my Creator and Savior awaits. Heaven never seemed to real before. It’s a testimony to this book that it stirs within the mind and heart an insatiable desire to experience that which is to come.
Billingsley, Lloyd. The Seductive Image: A Christian Critique of the World of Film.
Written from the perspective of a Christian screenwriter.
Bulkley, Ed. Why Christians Can’t Trust Psychology.
The best overall explanation of misdirected Christian counseling. Using the technique of switching back and forth between narrative and analysis, Bulkley keeps the reader’s attention on the practical problems associated with the adoption of secular humanistic psychology into Christian counseling. Don’t miss this one!!
Downing, David C. The Most Reluctant Convert: C.S. Lewis’s Journey to Faith.
This book confines itself to the years prior to Lewis’s conversion, taking the reader step-by-step through Lewis’s stages of belief until he emerges into the Christian faith. The value of the book is its illumination of how someone of Lewis’s keen intellect could eventually embrace Christianity. Indeed, it shows that Christianity was the only belief that could fully satisfy his intellectual questioning.
Finney, Charles. Autobiography.
Fascinating account of the most influential revivalist of the nineteenth century. I would argue that Finney has been the most effective evangelist in American history. A must-read for anyone concerned with the effective presentation of the Gospel message.
Finney, Charles. Systematic Theology.
Finney was not successful just because of presentation style. Behind his presentation was a theology that promoted true accountability and repentance from sin, as well as the belief that man can obey God and walk in holiness. This invaluable work may be a difficult read for many, primarily because of the nineteenth-century language, but I can never read even a page or two without being deeply impressed with truth and inspired to be all that God wants me to be. Try it–you may be amazed how the Spirit can work through Finney’s thoughts.
Godawa, Brian. Hollywood Worldviews: Watching Films with Wisdom and Discernment.
An excellent Biblical critique explaining the balance between withdrawal from movies and unthinking acceptance of everything Hollywood foists upon the public. Its strength is its use of specific examples of movies throughout the book—revealing how one can dissect their philosophies and discern whether they have something valuable to offer.
Johnson, Phillip. Reason in the Balance: The Case Against Naturalism in Science, Law, & Education
Charles Colson commented on this book, “In a brilliant analysis, he shows how Darwinist assumptions underlie current controversies in ethics, law, education and public policy.” I can add nothing to that comment, but I certainly can confirm its accuracy.
Kilpatrick, William Kirk. The Emperor’s New Clothes: The Naked Truth About the New Psychology.
The most revealing and fascination part of this book is the author’s account of a Carl Rogers-led support/encounter group and the selfishness it engendered.
Kilpatrick, William Kirk. Psychological Seduction: The Failure of Modern Psychology.
Seminal work on a Biblical critique of modern psychology. The author is a psychology professor, so he knows the profession from the inside.
Lewis, C.S. The Great Divorce.
Imaginative story of a busload of people from hell who take a journey to heaven. Superb at revealing man’s rationalizations for his sins.
Lewis, C.S. The Pilgrim’s Regress.
This was Lewis’s first Christian work. It is a remake of Pilgrim’s Progress with the philosophies of the twentieth century critiqued along the way. I like it.
Lewis, C.S. The Screwtape Letters.
Classic story of a junior devil receiving advice from his senior on how to lead people astray. No one should go through life without reading this.
Martindale, Wayne, Jerry Root, and Linda Washington, eds. The Soul of C.S. Lewis: A Meditative Journey through Twenty-Six of His Best-Loved Writings.
This is an excellent book to use for daily devotionals. It draws from Lewis’s works, both those that are well-known such as The Chronicles of Narnia and The Screwtape Letters, to those that only Lewis afficionados are familiar with. The short daily meditations by the editors are worthy of the author that inspired them.
Milton, Joyce. The Road to Malpsychia: Humanistic Psychology and Our Discontents.
The best treatment I have seen of the history of humanistic psychology and its effects on our culture today. Milton offers biographical information and the basic beliefs of Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers, in particular. This is a must-read for anyone who wants to grasp how psychology and education have changed over time, and how they have merged to form what the author calls “malpsychia.”
Noebel, David A. Understanding the Times: The Story of the Biblical Christian, Marxist/Leninist, and Secular Humanist Worldviews.
Excellent evaluation of many academic disciplines from a Biblical perspective. Rather massive, but well worth it.
Playfair, William L. The Useful Lie.
A medical doctor takes on the recovery industry. Playfair shows how the entire Twelve-Step Approach and the Codependency movement are antibiblical.
Richardson, Don. Eternity in Their Hearts.
Evidences of the knowledge of God in peoples of many cultures around the world, none of whom had any direct contact with the Gospel message.
Schlossberg, Herbert. Idols for Destruction.
Biblical analysis of the various idols men set up in modern society. Heavy reading at times, but full of insight.
Schlossberg, Herbert, and Marvin Olasky. Turning Point: A Christian Worldview Declaration.
Concise treatment of the battle between the humanistic and Biblical worldviews. A good starter book for those who need to be introduced to the subject.
Teachout, Terry, ed. Ghosts on the Roof: Selected Journalism of Whittaker Chambers, 1931-1959.
The best of Chambers’s journalistic works, including his imaginative critique of the Yalta Conference in “Ghosts on the Roof,” a C.S. Lewis-like description of Satan’s deceptions in “The Devil,” and a masterful analysis of Ayn Rand’s philosophy in “Big Sister is Watching You.”
Torrey, E. Fuller. Freudian Fraud: The Malignant Effect of Freud’s Theory on American Thought and Culture.
Exactly what the title suggests. Fuller is a psychologist who examines the roots and the effects of Freudianism and concludes that it has changed the twentieth century for the worse. The author does not claim to be a Christian, so his critique may be particularly valuable for those who reject a Biblical analysis.
Veith, Gene Edward, Jr. Postmodern Times: A Christian Guide to Contemporary Thought and Culture.
Insightful description and critique of a society without absolutes.
Young, William. The Shack.
This is, as the cliché goes, an absolute page-turner. The writing it top-rate. The opening chapters, which tell of a terrible family tragedy, grip you from the start. Then a note comes from God inviting Mack Philips, who has lost his youngest daughter to a murderer, to return to the scene of the crime. Once he does, the whole tenor of the book changes. Young leads us from the details of everyday life into a world where spiritual realities overwhelm the senses. Along the way, Mack argues with God (portrayed quite creatively by the author), has to learn what forgiveness and relationship are all about, and emerges a transformed person. The book is not formulaic; it is designed to make the reader think. Readers may disagree with some doctrinal points or the author’s portrayals of God, but any disagreements I had were merely quibbles in comparison with the truths that come alive is these pages. Character, plot, style–they all come together here realistically (even in the fantasy-like portions) and persuasively. If a book points people to the essence of the Christian faith and does so in a manner that makes one think anew about the nature of the God-man relationship, it is worth the time to read it.