The Back Page
Will books go the way of eight-track tapes, corded telephones, and cursive handwriting?
Let us hope not. God commissioned a book be written as a reminder for Joshua (Ex 17:14), and was
himself composing another (32:32–33). The authors of scripture referred to non- canonical books as
sources for what they themselves were writing (e.g., Num 21:14; 2 Sam 1:18; 1 Ki 11:41). Joshua was to
read regularly in the book of the Law (Josh 1:8), and so was the king (Deut 17:18–20). The discovery of
the book of the Law sparked a great revival (2 Ki 22). Job wished his words were inscribed (Job 19:23);
the dead will be judged from what is written in the books, according to their deeds (Rev 20:12).
In addition to the Bible, classic Christian books include:
Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan, 1678. An extended parable of the Christian life.
Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis, 1952. The basics of our faith. Key to the conversion of Chuck Colson.
Confessions, Augustine, c. 400. His spiritual autobiography.
Knowing God, J. I. Packer, 1973. An extended study of the character of God.
Cost of Discipleship, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, 1937. The need to engage with culture, by a pastor martyred by
Orthodoxy, G. K. Chesterton, 1908. Classic of Christian apologetics. How do we make sense of this
Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri, 1320. A fictional journey through hell to heaven. Not an easy read.
The Imitation of Christ, Thomas à Kempis, c. 1420. Perhaps the most read Christian devotional book after
My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers, 1935. Devotional.
Through Gates of Splendor, Elizabeth Elliot, 1957. An early attempt to reach the Aucas.
The Chronicles of Narnia, C. S. Lewis, 1950–1956. Wonderful allegories of the Christian life, for
children and grown-up children. More than 100 million sold.