My Recommended Reading List


A number of years ago, a professor of mine put together a list of some of his favorite books in a variety of subject matter related to Christian faith.  I loved it.  It was an honor to be handed a list of books that had shaped this man’s life and faith.  So in the spirit of that, I offer you my list.  It may change years from now.  I may have missed some things.  But here is a list of books that have shaped me, moved me, challenged me, and encouraged me.  Enjoy.

Theology & Scripture

  • Exclusion and Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness, and Reconciliation by Miroslav Volf
  • Lamentations and the Tears of the World by Kathleen M. O’Connor
  • Trauma and Grace: Theology in a Ruptured World by Serene Jones
  • Tokens of Trust: An Introduction to Christian Belief by Rowan Williams
  • The Story of God: Wesleyan Theology & Biblical Narrative by Michael E. Lodahl
  • Relational Theology: A Contemporary Introduction edited by Karen Winslow, Thomas Jay Oord, and Brint Montgomery
  • Spiritual Theology by Simon Chan
  • Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places: A Conversation in Spiritual Theology by Eugene H. Peterson
  • Voices of Marginality: Exile and Return in Second Isaiah 40-55 and the Mexican Immigrant Experience by Gregory Lee Cuellar
  • The Prophetic Imagination by Walter Brueggemann
  • The Collected Sermons of Walter Brueggemann by Walter Brueggemann

Church History & Current Events

  • The Story of Christianity: Volume 1: The Early Church to the Reformation by Justo L. González
  • The Story of Christianity: Volume 2: The Reformation to the Present Day by Justo L. González
  • The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Fault Line between Christianity and Islam by Eliza Griswold

Christian Life & Spirituality

  • The Ancient Practices series edited by Phyllis Tickle:
    • Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the Ancient Practices by Brian McLaren
    • The Liturgical Year by Joan Chittister
    • Sabbath by Dan B. Allender
    • The Sacred Meal by Nora Gallagher
    • Fasting by Scot McKnight
    • Tithing: Test Me in This by Douglas Leblanc
    • In Constant Prayer by Robert Benson
    • The Sacred Journey by Charles Foster
  • Wisdom Distilled from the Daily: Living the Rule of St. Benedict Today by Joan Chittister
  • The Cloister Walk by Kathleen Norris
  • The Seven Storey Mountain: An Autobiography of Faith by Thomas Merton
  • No Man Is an Island by Thomas Merton
  • Markings by Dag Hammarskjold
  • The Life You Save May Be Your Own: An American Pilgrimage by Paul Elie
  • Strength to Love by Martin Luther King Jr
  • A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix by Edwin H. Friedman
  • How Postmodernism Serves (My) Faith: Questioning Truth in Language, Philosophy and Art by Crystal L. Downing
  • A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life by Donald Miller
  • Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith by Kathleen Norris
  • Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality by Donald Miller
  • Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation by Parker J. Palmer
  • The Sabbath: It’s Meaning for Modern Man by Abraham Joshua Heschel
  • Sacred Listening: Discovering the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius Loyola by James L. Wakefield
  • To Be Told: God Invites You to Coauthor Your Future by Dan B. Allender
  • The Healing Path: How the Hurts in Your Past Can Lead You to a More Abundant Life by Dan B. Allender

Worship, Art & Prayer

  • Liturgical Theology: The Church as Worshiping Community by Simon Chan
  • Celtic Daily Prayer: Prayers and Readings From the Northumbria Community
  • Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals by Shane Claiborne
  • Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation by James K.A. Smith
  • Refractions: A Journey of Faith, Art, and Culture by Makoto Fujimura
  • Mudhouse Sabbath: An Invitation to a Life of Spiritual Discipline by Lauren F. Winner
  • The Circle of Seasons: Meeting God in the Church Year by Kimberlee Conway Ireton
  • The Artist’s Rule: Nurturing Your Creative Soul with Monastic Wisdom by Christine Valters Paintner
  • To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings by John O’Donohue


  • My Name Is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok
  • Davita’s Harp by Chaim Potok
  • Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry
  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  • A Prayer for Owen Meany: A Novel by John Irving
  • Gilead: A Novel by Marilynne Robinson
  • The Complete Stories by Flannery O’Connor
  • Wise Blood by Flannery O’Connor
  • The Violent Bear It Away by Flannery O’Connor
  • Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis
  • The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
  • The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis
  • The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
  • The Heart of the Matter by Graham Greene

What are the books that have most profoundly shaped your life and faith?