A Christian's Library:

Where Christians can talk among themselves, and about those Godless atheists.

A Christian's Library:

Postby Og3 » Sun Oct 18, 2015 10:27 pm

In my opinion, for what it's worth, a Christian should arm himself or herself with the truth. We are given very martial imagery with respect to defense of the Christian faith, even from Paul, who didn't even pick up a stone to kill Stephen, but instead merely watched the cloaks of those who did.

In order to be armed for verbal combat, we must be well-read. For that purpose and towards that end, I would like to offer some titles that I fell every Christian should own and read:

1. The Bible. I recommend a translation that is clear to you and through which God speaks to you, whether it be KJV, Vulgate, Douay-Rheims, NASB, NIV, or "The Message." In fact, I recommend comparison between versions, for clarity.

2. G. K. Chesterton's The Everlasting Man. In it, he presents two ideas: That Mankind if different from every other creature, and that Jesus Christ is different from every other man. Wonderfully clever, easily accessible, and solid food for contemplation.

3. G. K. Chesterton's Orthodoxy. Chesterton introduces this book by asking us to imagine an explorer who thought he had landed on a new and remote country, and promptly claimed it for God and King, only to discover that he had landed at Brighton Beach, and that his novel find was centuries old to everyone else. This, he says, is how he came to Orthodoxy.

4. C. S. Lewis' Mere Christianity. If you take away the bells, books, and candles, what is left? Lewis here attempts to express the simple core of all Christian belief, in a way that demystifies and simplifies, while still holding firmly to the solid doctrines. Must Read.

5. C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters. Imagine the communications which the unseen tempters use in their campaign against mankind. If we were to crack their enigma machines, what secrets might we learn about how to avoid and to overcome temptation? Lewis gives us here a looking-glass view of the world as seen from below. Not for the faint of heart. This book has given more than a few people the eerie feeling of being watched.

6. C.S. Lewis' God in the Dock. In this book, drawn from a series of radio addresses, Lewis undertakes a defense of God against the unfair accusations of the world. Worth reading twice; you'll miss lots the first time.

7. C.S. Lewis' Till We Have Faces. In Lewis' most mature work, written in conjunction with the woman who would later be his wife, Lewis retells the myth of Psyche and Cupid, but in a compelling and fresh way. We see a difficult and convoluted life, told as an accusation against the gods, leading us to a startling revelation about the application of our justice to God. (no, I don't get a commission on Lewis' works).

8. C.S. Lewis' Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength. Under the guise of a typical 1940s/1950s science fiction story, Lewis makes us question our far-flung aspirations as a species, while at the same time making us examine the fall of man in a new light. First Dr. Elwin Ransom visits the planets; then the planets visit him. Worth many reads, as there are gems within gems in these books.

9. Anything else by C.S. Lewis.

10. The Innocence of Father Brown, by G.K. Chesterton, also a BBC TV series. Father Brown, a simply innocent Parish Priest, uses logic and his Christian faith to solve crimes and to redeem both the criminals and the victims. In one story, he remarks to an imposter, "I knew that you were not a priest when you said that you rejected logic." Insightful, clever, and heartwarming.

11. Anything else by G. K. Chesterton.

12. Know What You Believe, by Paul E. Little. Little here presents the differences between Christian denominations, in a manner suitable for the non-theologian. Do you know the difference between con-substantiation, tran-substantiation, or non-substantiation? Do you know which denominations believe which ones, and why? Little explains, in layman's terms.

13. The Pursuit of God, by A.W. Tozer.

14. My Confession, by Lev, Count Tolstoy (aka Leo Tolstoi, and other variants). Author of War and Peace, Anna Karenina, and others. Not to be confused with Lev Tolstoy the Cossack, author of Cavalry and other works. Lev, Count Tolstoy explains his de-conversion as a child, and the de-conversions of his siblings and peers. He then recounts his intellectual crisis, in which he found that he did not know the meaning of life, despite having taught his philosophies to others. In the end, he found the answers by coming full circle back to Christian Faith.

15. More Than A Carpenter, by Josh McDowell. While somewhat simplistic, McDowell presents a basic defense of the Christian Faith.

16. Commentary on the Whole Bible, by Matthew Henry. Henry, an 18th century Presbyterian minister and scholar, composed a detailed commentary, verse by verse, explaining difficult passages and helping to resolve odd Biblical questions.
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Re: A Christian's Library:

Postby mitchellmckain » Sun Oct 18, 2015 10:36 pm

Let's see... I have read 1,3,4,8,9, and 15.

The Bible is what it is all about, of course.
Orthodoxy by Chesterton is very interesting.
There are passages in the Narnia books which are priceless.

I will certainly confirm the advice to be well read, but suggest you add to the list writings from those who are critical, for example the writings of Richard Dawkins and Albert Camus.
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Re: A Christian's Library:

Postby Og3 » Sun Oct 18, 2015 10:48 pm

Please feel free to add titles or to comment on the titles mentioned.

Honorable Mention: Any book by George MacDonald, especially Phantastes.

17.) The Whimsical Christian, by Dorothy L. Sayers.

18.) Just As I Am, by Billy Graham.

19.) The Hiding Place, by Corrie Ten Boom.

20.) ... ...
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Re: A Christian's Library:

Postby Og3 » Sun Oct 18, 2015 10:56 pm

mitchellmckain wrote:Let's see... I have read 1,3,4,8,9, and 15.

The Bible is what it is all about, of course.
Orthodoxy by Chesterton is very interesting.
There are passages in the Narnia books which are priceless.

I will certainly confirm the advice to be well read, but suggest you add to the list writings from those who are critical, for example the writings of Richard Dawkins and Albert Camus.

Good advice.

My hope, however, was to construct first an armory, and then later a school for spiritual defense.

I will affirm that Albert Camus gives good insight into the existential worldview -- I had to read L'Etranger in high school French class -- and with reservations, Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis is also worth reading. These show that the Existential worldview offers no meaning to life. Before the Law is another of Kafka's works that is highly suggestive, especially in contrast to C. S. Lewis' Neoplatonism, and the Argument by Desire that Lewis presents in Mere Christianity and elsewhere.

Dawkins bores me to tears, and I have yet to force myself to read his drivel.
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Re: A Christian's Library:

Postby Og3 » Sun Oct 18, 2015 10:58 pm

BTW, good on you for reading the space trilogy. I've often thought that with the right director, That Hideous Strength would be a fantastic movie.
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Re: A Christian's Library:

Postby mitchellmckain » Mon Oct 19, 2015 12:15 am

Og3 wrote:BTW, good on you for reading the space trilogy. I've often thought that with the right director, That Hideous Strength would be a fantastic movie.

It is the book I liked least of the 3. Relative scores for me?

Out of the Silent Planet: 7
Perelandra: 4
Hideous Strength: 2

These numbers actually correspond to the number of times I have read them.

Og3 wrote:I will affirm that Albert Camus gives good insight into the existential worldview -- I had to read L'Etranger in high school French class -- and with reservations, Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis is also worth reading. These show that the Existential worldview offers no meaning to life.

Incorrect. Quite the opposite. Existentialism is all about finding meaning in life. The father of existentialism is Kierkegaard who is Christian. There is no incompatibility with Christianity. In fact existentialism was a stepping stone to Christianity for me.

Og3 wrote:Dawkins bores me to tears, and I have yet to force myself to read his drivel.

And this explains why atheists find your comments in this forum to be drivel as well. Your blindness to what is good in Dawkins severly limits your ability to say anything of value to them. How can a blind defense of Christianity interest them?
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Re: A Christian's Library:

Postby Moonwood the Hare » Mon Oct 19, 2015 12:01 pm

My list would include

Athanasius on the Incarnation.

Theologia Mystica of Dyonisius the Aeropagite

Revelations of Divine Love by Julian of Norwich

Luther's Freedom of a Christian Man

Roy Clouser's Knowing With The Heart

Chrysostom's homilies and Calvin's commentaries should be in reach of anyone preparing a sermon.
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Re: A Christian's Library:

Postby Og3 » Mon Oct 19, 2015 12:41 pm

mitchellmckain wrote:
Og3 wrote:BTW, good on you for reading the space trilogy. I've often thought that with the right director, That Hideous Strength would be a fantastic movie.

It is the book I liked least of the 3. Relative scores for me?

Out of the Silent Planet: 7
Perelandra: 4
Hideous Strength: 2

These numbers actually correspond to the number of times I have read them.

Og3 wrote:I will affirm that Albert Camus gives good insight into the existential worldview -- I had to read L'Etranger in high school French class -- and with reservations, Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis is also worth reading. These show that the Existential worldview offers no meaning to life.

Incorrect. Quite the opposite. Existentialism is all about finding meaning in life. The father of existentialism is Kierkegaard who is Christian. There is no incompatibility with Christianity. In fact existentialism was a stepping stone to Christianity for me.
Interesting. The MOL is certainly a question worthy of further discussion.
Og3 wrote:Dawkins bores me to tears, and I have yet to force myself to read his drivel.

And this explains why atheists find your comments in this forum to be drivel as well. Your blindness to what is good in Dawkins severly limits your ability to say anything of value to them. How can a blind defense of Christianity interest them?

A valid objection, I must confess, on contemplation.

To date, I've never yet had an atheist actually recite a Dawkins argument; at best they seem to barely be able to say, "You should read Dawkins; that will show you!" But then again, no atheist was ever able to tell me what Russell argued in Why I Am Not A Christian. I wound up having to read it, and then I understood; There's no actual argument there.

All of that aside: you raise a good point. I should read Dawkins, and demonstrate what's wrong with him.
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Re: A Christian's Library:

Postby Og3 » Mon Oct 19, 2015 12:44 pm

Moonwood the Hare wrote:My list would include

Athanasius on the Incarnation.

Theologia Mystica of Dyonisius the Aeropagite

Revelations of Divine Love by Julian of Norwich

Luther's Freedom of a Christian Man

Roy Clouser's Knowing With The Heart

Chrysostom's homilies and Calvin's commentaries should be in reach of anyone preparing a sermon.

Athanasius, sometimes referred to as the father of trinitarian doctrine. Interesting...
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Re: A Christian's Library:

Postby Moonwood the Hare » Mon Oct 19, 2015 1:55 pm

On Dawkins: I think some of his science books are great. I especially like The Blind Watchmaker. The God Delusion is a bit of a rant. The most hilarious critic of the God Delusion is Andrew Rilstone.
Start here:
http://www.andrewrilstone.com/2007/04/where-dawkins-went-wrong-most-leading.html
And keep clicking newer post
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Re: A Christian's Library:

Postby Og3 » Mon Oct 19, 2015 10:51 pm

Moonwood the Hare wrote:On Dawkins: I think some of his science books are great. I especially like The Blind Watchmaker. The God Delusion is a bit of a rant. The most hilarious critic of the God Delusion is Andrew Rilstone.
Start here:
http://www.andrewrilstone.com/2007/04/where-dawkins-went-wrong-most-leading.html
And keep clicking newer post

It doesn't contain anything which I can recognise as a point of view or train of thought: it just fires off a random series of nasty remarks about Christianity and anything else which happens to come into the authors line of fire. I felt that I had spent the afternoon sipping latte in the company of one of those terribly sophisticated sixth-formers who is planning to leave home while he still knows everything.

On the strength of having laughed out loud in that short reading, I intend to go to lulu dot com and buy that man's book. I might buy two, just because.
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Re: A Christian's Library:

Postby Moonwood the Hare » Tue Oct 20, 2015 12:29 pm

Og3 wrote:Athanasius, sometimes referred to as the father of trinitarian doctrine. Interesting...

He isn't though. The term triad is first used by Tertullian and the idea of eternal generation comes from Origen. Most of Athanasius writing is directly Christological; he's certainly one of the main defenders of Nicene Orthodoxy.
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Re: A Christian's Library:

Postby Aaron » Wed Oct 21, 2015 10:36 am

Moonwood the Hare wrote:On Dawkins: I think some of his science books are great. I especially like The Blind Watchmaker. The God Delusion is a bit of a rant. The most hilarious critic of the God Delusion is Andrew Rilstone.
Start here:
http://www.andrewrilstone.com/2007/04/where-dawkins-went-wrong-most-leading.html
And keep clicking newer post

I thought the However: was great. :-)
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Re: A Christian's Library:

Postby Stacie Cook » Wed Nov 04, 2015 12:45 pm

Any thoughts on Norm Geisler? Just heard a podcast that he was on. Looks like he has quite a library himself.
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Re: A Christian's Library:

Postby Og3 » Thu Nov 05, 2015 9:35 pm

Stacie Cook wrote:Any thoughts on Norm Geisler? Just heard a podcast that he was on. Looks like he has quite a library himself.

based on his Wikipedia article, he looks like he might be interesting. In the 14-pt. schema, I think that steps 5 and 6 might need some work. But without reading his arguments, it would be hard to say.
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