Christian Century’s Essential Books

As a minister who finds “faith seeking understanding” to be a core piece of a spiritual life, I am drawn to book lists.  That or I am a nerd.  I’ll let you draw your own conclusions…

Whatever the case may be, The Christian Century periodically offers various book lists for a host of topics.  Recently, they featured a new “essential books” list which hit on two areas of interest for me–and in which I’ve done little, if any, reading:  youth ministry and evangelism.

I take that back.  I thought I hadn’t done much reading in those areas.  To my surprise, Charles Taylor’s tome A Secular Age is considered essential reading for evangelism.  That makes me feel, at one and the same time, like the smartest and trendiest pastor in the world (Reinhold Bell?).  Slogging through that book was tremendously taxing on my intellect.  Finishing it felt like quite the academic accomplishment.  I never imagined it would also connect to ministry in any direct way or that it would be heralded by any list as essential reading for ministry.  Still, I recommend it.  Well, that is if you have a couple of months (or a whole year depending on your pace) which you can devote to a book that is complex, full of intersecting and subdividing arguments, dripping with subtle nuance, and that is written by a historically-minded philosopher.  (I’ve begun a series of posts on A Secular Age, which you can find here).

If you’ve read any of the books on these lists, I’d love your feedback.  Are there any you are planning to read?  Any which you were surprised to find listed?

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2 thoughts on “Christian Century’s Essential Books

  1. Ha! I almost wrote that in there… but I chose to go with Reiny since, to my knowledge, he was the brother who served as a pastor. I honestly don’t know if H. Richard did… if he did, then H. Richard Bell is definitely what I would want to feel like

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