Shaped What Evangelicals?

By now you have probably heard that Christianity Today has published yet another list of books that they want you to think are important. They are calling it “The top 50 books that have shaped evangelicals”. To be sure there are some milestone type works on the list that aren’t necessarily my favorites but have definitely provided “shape” to the evangelical world. There are notable classics like Packer’s Knowing God which was the first book I ever read which contained anything of eternal substance. There are also notable absences like Jerry Bridges’ The Pursuit of Holiness which is one of the best introductions to the doctrine of progressive sanctification. However any subjective list of this sort will always come up short.

What is beyond reason though is their naming Rosaland Rinker’s book Prayer:Conversing with God as the number 1 book of shaping influence since WW II. I’m no expert but I’ve never even heard of this book and I know of not a single person that would say this is the number 1 book that has shaped their life. This again shows that the substantive Christianity Today of the Carl Henry years has become an irrelevant catalogue of ideas that few if any are getting. Every now and then they get it right with a thoughtful article here and there but as they say even a broken clock is right twice a day. What would be the number 1 on your list?

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12 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by gavin brown on October 7, 2006 at 7:24 pm

    I am surprised that “Purpose Driven Church” was not on the list (seriously).

    I cant belive that John R Rice’s “Bobbed hair, bossy wives, and women preachers” didnt make it either (kiidingly).

    I’m not sure what my #1 would be, but I wouldve liked to have seen “Charismatic Chaos” on the list. This book was instrumental in helping me understand the importance of the sufficiency of scripture and the dangers of experiences that are not grounded in truth.

  2. Paul,
    The glaring omission of David Wells’, ” No Place for Truth “, is very revealing, since Wells has pulled no punches in his assessment of the downward decline of the state of Evangelicalism as personified in the pages of CT. Roger Olson reviewed ” NO Place for Truth “, in a very curt fashion and NONE of Wells books since then have been reviewed. This is astounding when you consider the critical acclaim Wells’ work has garnered.

  3. Posted by Caleb on October 9, 2006 at 8:17 pm

    I would put “The Gospel According to Jesus” as my number 1 (modern day book) or perhaps “Trusting God” by Bridges.

  4. Posted by Hayden on October 10, 2006 at 2:15 am

    Don Whitney’s “Ten Questions…” was instrumental in my Christian Growth, but a list without any MacArthur books seemed to miss one of the best writers of our time!

  5. I thought for sure “Christy” would be #1. What gives?

  6. PSL and JDM-

    Not sure if you guys noticed, but if you look closely enough you’ll discover that my avatar is actually a “Woo Pig Sooie” Whitefield. I just thought you’d be interested to know that.

  7. No we’re not interested Chris in your lack of football humility. However we would be interested in your posting an update from the conference as time allows.

  8. Being an LSU fan is humilty enough isn’t it, what with their fumbling away a golden opportunity to get back in the SEC championship race.

    As requested, I will try to provide conference updates as time permits. Pray for us a final preparations are coming together.

  9. Posted by Debbie Wimmers on October 19, 2006 at 8:30 pm

    I don’t see why no one picked Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyun

  10. Granted Debbie, Bunyan’s book is one of the all-time greats but in all fairness the list proported to be the most influential books of the last 50 years.

  11. Posted by Debbie Wimmers on October 23, 2006 at 6:59 pm

    Is that written the last 50 years or read? Bunyun, Spurgeon, Foxes’ Book of Martyrs, and Murrey on Prayer are classics that should be in any preachers’ library.

  12. Posted by Caleb on October 24, 2006 at 6:48 pm

    I forgot to mention one of my other favorites, “Evangelicalism Divided” by I Murray.

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