Seems like the obligatory post of the weekend. :-)
1. Ideas Have Consequences by Richard Weaver. This is the first book that I ever read that taught me how to think. It presented matters of history and ideas as inter-related. And it painted a picture of American social change as it dove-tailed with influential ideas.
2. The Abolition of Man by C. S. Lewis. More than a statement on education, Lewis challenges matters of character as well. It’s a rich work, despite its size. Another mention brought up my other favorite Lewis book, Til We Have Faces. It was a tough choice. But education is what I do and where my heart is. So this one won out.
3. Hegel’s Philosophy of Right by Hegel. This is how the world works today. Period. In this book you will get a picture of Marx, of Woodrow Wilson, of FDR, and of Maslow (esp. his hierarchy of need) all in one compact little package. This was the first secular book I ever read that could be counted as prophetical. It just is.
4. The Bible. Duh. My order is, by the way, insignificant.
5. The Challenge of Marxism by Klaus Bockmuehl. This is a great theological summary of Marxism and the challenge that it presents to the Christian theologian. It would also be a good recommendation to the modern “evangelical” who is tempted to swallow the social dialectic of today’s left.
6. Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia by John Gray. I picked this up a year or so ago as a number of leftist blogs were promoting it. Though the author takes a couple of notable liberties with historical matters, as a summary of the post-millennial optimism that pervades the liberal movement this one is hard to beat. Unfortunately his solution to the “problem” is to appeal to Rand, a case which he completes but which does not appear sustainable in the real world. Still, it condemns the left for their essentially religious conversation, no matter how loudly they proclaim secularism and Reason. It would make a fine companion to The Myth of Religious Neutrality: An Essay on the Hidden Role of Religious Belief in Theories, Revised Edition.
7. The Myth of Religious Neutrality: An Essay on the Hidden Role of Religious Belief in Theories, Revised Edition by Roy Clouser. Want a clear method for drawing the lines between secular and pagan? Want to understand what core principles make Christianity unique? Want to get an handle on the unknown (and unaware) religious content of “secular” conversation? This is it.
Ok. I only have seven. Not 10. I probably wouldn’t make a good preacher as my sermons would also not be predictably structured.
These books are all about one thing: The relationship, either directly or indirectly, between Christianity and the world, of God’s interaction with mankind and human rebellion against the Most High.