CT Lists the Top 50 Books that Have Shaped Evangelicals
- Thursday, October 12, 2006
- The Stork Is Dead - Charlie W. Shedd
Shedd published his sex advice for teens in 1968 and got evangelicals talking about the topic four years before The Joy of Sex was published.
- The Late Great Planet Earth - Hal Lindsey with C. C. Carlson
In the beginning — before the Left Behind series was a sparkle in the cash registers of religious booksellers—there was The Late Great Planet Earth. It's hard to imagine that Jenkins and LaHaye would have sold 43 million copies of their bestsellers if Lindsey hadn't first sold 15 million copies of his dispensationalist hit.
- Roaring Lambs - Robert Briner
Back in the early ‘90s, when engaging the culture wasn't the "in" thing to do, Roaring Lambs inspired countless Christian artists to become artists who are Christians.
- Dare to Discipline - James Dobson
In the permissive '70s, Dobson did what he still does best—calling us to focus on the family.
- The Act of Marriage - Tim and Beverly LaHaye
The explicit marriage manual told men how to satisfy their wives.
- The Hiding Place - Corrie ten Boom with John and Elizabeth Sherrill
The staple conundrum of late-night ethics discussions in Christian college dorms—Do you lie if the Nazis knock on your door asking for the Jews you are hiding?—was a question ten Boom lived.
- Born Again - Charles W. Colson
As we now know, the metamorphosis of a Nixon administration crook into a prison evangelist wasn't just a phase.
- Christy - Catherine Marshall
A privileged city girl finds faith and a husband in rural Appalachia; its reach was expanded when it became a successful TV series.
By the time you reach number one, you might be surprised.
Many titles come and go, but many stand the test of time. This list can bring back some favorites and open new vistas for evangelism with others. Have your daily Bible feast first, then seek titles that challenge their your personal evangelism.
There is value in having someone distil the countless of titles for us, just as there is when we decide to read a book picked up as we pass a library or bookstore display. Like panning for gold, we can gather as many evangelistic nuggets as possible and put them into action. Let the Holy Spirit lead, but do read… and let yourself be challenged. We should however, leave the “schoolroom” after reading, and put the principles to use.
Heavy reader or light, we should get beyond the list as a curiosity, and appreciate its contents as a deep source to bring forth useful tools to energize our Christian witness.
Whichever title or titles you decide to read or re-read... The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? -F. F. Bruce; Out of the Saltshaker and into the World -Rebecca Manley Pippert; The Purpose Driven Life -Rick Warren; The Master Plan of Evangelism -Robert Emerson Coleman; Desiring God -John Piper; This Present Darkness -Frank Peretti; The Genesis Flood -Henry Morris and John Whitcomb; Cost of Discipleship -Dietrich Bonhoeffer; Knowing God -J. I. Packer; The God Who is There -Francis Schaeffer; Mere Christianity -C. S. Lewis; or any other… the key is to pick one and do it. Let God’s word shape you. As Christianity Today editor David Neff puts it, “The list is not just for water cooler discussions, but to immerse ourselves into the books and live it.”
Tony Rufo is a communications/ministry executive, marketing consultant, writer, and broadcaster who has over 20 years of experience working in the Christian and general markets. Tyndale House has just released his newest book, The Complete Book of Pop Music Wit & Wisdom. His other published works include media and music articles, book reviews, radio and television commercials and scripts, and evangelistic essays. True Tunes News featured his article, "The Gospel According to John, Paul, George, and Ringo--Good Time Rock 'n Roll or Religion for the Undiscerning?" In addition, he is developing radio, TV and film projects designed for evangelism and pre-evangelism in the general and Christian marketplaces. Several of these involve applications to bring new revenue streams to ministries. He has spoken in churches, schools and business meetings, and groups. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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