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The Top Ten List of Essential Books for Your Faith

9th August 2005

Everyone — and I mean everyone — has been making top ten lists lately (even Mark Goodacre has commented on this trend!).

I believe this whole thing was started by Scott McKnight with this Top Ten Books: Spiritual Formation (August 3), Missional Formation, Jesus, Paul, New Testament Theology, Earliest Christianity, and Responding to Left Behind (Who does this guy think he is, David Letterman?!).

Then Loren Rossen III started the Top Ten Books of the Bible craze, followed by Jim West (no Genesis, c’mon!) and Ken Ristau (Leviticus as number 2? Huh?).

The New Testament types also had their go at it with top ten lists of Jesus books (Michael Bird, Sean du Toit) and Paul Books (Michael Bird). Stephen Carlson has posted a nice list for those beginning in Biblical Scholarship.

We’ve even had bibliobloggers reduce themselves to making theology lists in response to Ben Myers’s Top Ten Systematic Theologies (See Jim West’s response here). Joe Cathay can only come up with five books most of the time (see here, here, and here), but he managed a top ten Old Testament Theologies. Finally, Rick Brannan has even posted “Ten Books Laying Around My House That I Need to Start and/or Finish Reading“!

Well, I figure it is time to jump on the bandwagon! But I say, forget the Bible! Forget Jesus and Paul! Forget books written by stuffy academics or obtuse and out-dated theologians! (Who’s this Zwingli guy Jim West is always spouting off about?). Forget all this! Here is a top ten list of books that are absolutely necessary for your faith — no matter what your faith may be!

Warning: The following has a dripping sarcasm rating of 9/10. Please do not blame me if the following offends your sensibilities!

Here is the list you have been waiting for; in no particular order:

  1. Bruce Wilkinson, The Prayer of Jabez: Breaking Through to the Blessed Life. (Who would have thunk that an obscure little prayer from a neglected book in the Hebrew Bible would make anyone so much money!)
  2. Michael Drosnin, The Bible Code. (This Christian classic isn’t even written by a Christian!)
  3. Grant R. Jeffrey, The Signature Of God. (Just think of the Bible Code on steroids with some out-of-date archaeology thrown in for good measure — what can be better?)
  4. Josh McDowell, Evidence that Demands a Verdict. (My verdict: guilty of shoddy apologetics and not knowing what he’s writing about! It’s been updated; I wonder if the new version is any better?)
  5. Frank E. Peretti, This Present Darkness. (The standard demonology textbook in most churches.)
  6. Clarence Larkin, The Greatest Book on Dispensational Truth in the World. (This book is truly the king of fold-out charts!).
  7. Hal Lindsey, The Late Great Planet Earth. (I will never look at locusts or helicopters again in quite the same way. You can actually get this book together with Satan Is Alive and Well on Planet Earth. What a deal!).
  8. Edgar C Whisenant, 88 Reasons Why the Rapture is in 1988: The Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hash Ana) September, 11-12-13. (Bolder than Lindsey in that he names the date. You can also check out his The Final Shout: Rapture Report 1989. Hmmm… did it happen? Did I get “left behind”? Speaking of “Left Behind”…).
  9. Jerry Jenkins & Tim LaHaye, Left Behind: A Novel of the Earth’s Last Days. (There are a dozen books in this series now! I just can’t believe it. I gotta write me a quasi-Bible-based novel!) .
  10. Hmmm… so many to choose from. Perhaps you would like to leave a comment with a suggestion?
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