Top Ten List of Influential Books
Since 1983, I have kept a list of the books that I read every year. It is a pretty long list since I have averaged reading 40-50 books a year. I recently went back through my list and picked out ten books that have influenced my thinking over the last 30+ years. I encourage you to check them out and let me know if they have an impact on you as well. Of course, the Bible has played a major role in my life as well. I try and spend some time each day reading, meditating on, and studying the Scriptures.
1. Confessions– Augustine
I try and read Confessions every couple of years. Augustine wrote his autobiography just before 400 AD. It is widely considered to be one of the most influential books ever written just as Augustine himself is one of the most influential men to have ever lived. Augustine’s conversion was among the most dramatic in history. If you have never examined Augustine’s life or teaching, Confessions is a great place to start.
2. Mere Christianity (C.S. Lewis Signature Classics)– C. S. Lewis
This book grew out of a series of lectures that Lewis gave on BBC radio during from 1942-1944 during World War Two. A few years ago, Christianity Today Magazine placed Mere Christianity as the third most influential Christian book since 1945. Lewis was a brilliant writer and scholar but he was able to communicate clearly what he felt were the most important arguments for Christianity.
Lewis is one of my favorite authors, even though I only mentioned one of his books here. If you have never read Mere Christianity, take the time to do so but also make sure you check some of Lewis’ other books. You will not be disappointed!
Schaeffer was a theologian, philosopher and pastor. This book had a profound impact on me. Schaeffer traced through history how important it is to base our society on the absolutes standards that God has established in His word. In modern, Western society, however, most of these absolute standards have been removed. That is why relativism has become so prevalent. What is right for one is not necessarily right for another. What right does the Church, or any group for that matter, have to say what is right and what is wrong? Sadly, this view has also influenced Christian thought as well.
How Should We Then Live is even more relevant today than when it was written in 1976. Clearly, a book like this is never going to be politically correct. At the same time, Schaeffer provides a clear, reasoned, and articulate way for Christians today to understand the importance of staying true to God’s Word.
4. You The Leader– Phil Pringle
Phil Pringle is a pastor, author, communicator, and artist. He is also the leader of C3 Church Global. C3 is a church planting movement that started in Sydney, Australia in 1980. There are currently around 325 C3 Churches throughout the world. Dr. Phil knows a thing or two about leadership and this is one of the most practical leadership books that I have ever read. He starts off by talking about the importance of self-leadership. If we can’t lead ourselves, we will never be able to lead anyone else. If you are not familiar with Dr. Phil or C3 Church, check out You the Leader or any of his other books.
The problem with John Maxwell is that he has so many great leadership books. I have read most of them and they all have been helpful. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership is in a class of its own. These laws or principles that John discusses are applicable to every leader. For example, one of the laws that John discusses is the Law of Magnetism: Who You Are is Who You Attract. Effective leaders know how to attract the right kind of people to come and work with them. Ineffective leaders actually end up repelling people.
If you have never read this book, I strongly encourage you to get it. John Maxwell is one of the foremost experts on leadership. If you want your leadership to go to the next level, read John’s book and take advantage of his expertise!
To be continued…
What book or books would you add to this list?
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