Cover Story

Top 40 books

"Top 40 books" Continued...

Issue: "Top 40 Books," July 3, 1999

12. Harold Lindsell, Battle for the Bible (1976). This book caused scandal, provoked fights, and split churches, but it arrested the slide of evangelicals toward a liberal view of the Bible, establishing instead the doctrine of the inerrancy of Scripture.

13. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Spiritual Depression (1965). A master preacher and evangelist, Lloyd-Jones here writes about why there are so many joyless Christians. Answer: We do not fully understand the grace of God.

14. Adolf Koeberle, The Quest for Holiness (1936). A classic of the spiritual life, exploring how sanctification and good works really do grow out of a rigorous, Lutheran understanding of justification by faith.

15. A. W. Tozier, The Pursuit of God (1949). Evangelicals do have a legacy of spiritual depth.

16. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship (1937). Grace may be free, but it isn't cheap, as this young theologian showed both in his words and in his martyr's death at the hands of the Nazis.

17. Dorothy Sayers, The Mind of the Maker (1941). Cut from the same cloth as C. S. Lewis, Dorothy Sayers was an apologist, an imaginative writer, and a scholar whose essay on classical education has provided a model for the current renaissance in Christian education. This book shows how human creativity has its origins in nothing less than the Triune God.

18. Hans Rookmaaker, Modern Art and the Death of a Culture (1970). This friend of Francis Schaeffer showed evangelicals how to read art as a manifestation of the worldview of the artist and his times. It also encouraged Christians to find ways to express their biblical worldview.

19. Flannery O'Connor, The Violent Bear It Away (1960). The conflict between sin and grace, between the modernist and the Christian worldview, is pushed to shocking extremes in the fiction of this nice handicapped Southern lady.

20. Graham Greene, The Power and the Glory (1940). The melancholy Catholic novelist has written a masterpiece about a priest being hunted down by the anti-Christian socialists during the Mexican revolution.

21. George Orwell, 1984 (1944). The novel that alerted our imaginations to the encroachment of totalitarianism. Although 1984 came and went, the specter of Big Brother taking care of us, the technological violations of privacy, and the perversions of language were all predicted by Orwell.

22. Aldous Huxley, Brave New World (1932). This novel is even more prophetic, predicting virtual reality, hallucinogenic drugs, entertainment-mad hedonism, and genetic engineering-all to keep the population happily in line, oblivious to its enslavement.

23. Charles Williams, The Descent into Hell (1937). C. S. Lewis's friend was an odd, original, yet in the final analysis, orthodox theologian, who worked out his ideas in supernatural thrillers.

24. William Golding, Lord of the Flies (1955). This tale of schoolboys shipwrecked on a desert island, and how, without adult supervision, they revert to primitive violence is a good answer to those who do not believe in original sin. And it has a particular resonance in light of the recent killings in Littleton, Colo., and other schools across the nation.

25. Walker Percy, Lost in the Cosmos (1983). This combination of short stories, theoretical essays, and a mock self-help quiz is both an offbeat Christian apologetic and a devastating satire of America's real religion, pop-psychology.

26. Arthur Koestler, Darkness at Noon (1940). A novel about the Stalinist show trials that exposed the lies of Communism to many who once accepted them as gospel truth.

27. Michael Shaara, Killer Angels (1974). A pioneering historical novel, taking us inside the combatants at the Battle of Gettysburg.

28. Malcolm Muggeridge, Jesus Rediscovered (1969). A witty but cynical curmudgeon, whose journalistic career put him at the center of many of the century's most notable events, finds the Lord.

29. Anne Frank, The Diary of A Young Girl (1953). The magnitude of human sin expends itself against ordinary, sympathetic human beings, as this diary of a child hiding from the Nazis shows.

30. Corrie ten Boom, The Hiding Place (1983). The autobiographical account of a woman whose Christian faith led her to imprisonment in a concentration camp for helping the Jews.

31. Russell Kirk, The Conservative Mind (1953). The godfather of cultural conservatism, Kirk inspired the revival of conservative thought in America.

32. Richard M. Weaver, Ideas Have Consequences (1947). Another catalyst of the conservative revival, this book provides a still relevant critique of modernist thinking and its catastrophic results.

33. F. A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom (1944). Hayek showed how personal and political freedom was tied up with economic freedom. A prophet of the free enterprise system at a time when socialists and big-government Keynesians ruled the world of economics, he has been proven right every time.

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