The Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow: 10 Books for New Christians

In early April, my Facebook Page I posted the following status update question:Screen shot 2010-05-27 at 10.49.16 AM

Little did I know how many suggestions I was going to get.  You can see the FULL COMMENT THREAD for yourself, but clearly there was a great deal of energy around this question.  I have tried my best to combine my own personal preferences with some of the suggestions from you all.  

I will say that I was saddened that my list is did include as many books by people of color that I would have hoped.  I have some, but none came to me as Top 10'ers. *sigh* I know they are out there, so please feel free to offer them up here for all of our edification!  In any case, here is my list of 10 Books that I would suggest for a brand new Christian.  

Let the second guessing begin . . .

#1 BIBLE: I figure this is a given, but I did get a few comments/replies saying basically that "all a person needs is a Bible." And while I agree a Bible is required for anyone exploring the Christian faith, it is NOT the only book one should read.  Still, you should get a good study bible as well as one that you could just sit and absorb.  Here are the three that I would suggest. 


#5-7 Books on THEOLOGY - These are for those who want to dig a little deeper into some theological questions and issues.

  • Christian Doctrine  by Shirley Guthrie: This book is one that many seminaries use for their theology classes so it is not quite an all-night page-turner.  But . . . it does read pretty easily and gives an in-depth explanation of some basic theological ideas.  
  • The Apostles' Creed for Today  by Justo Gonzales: This is a book written about a particular historic statement of the belief of the church.  It is short but a powerful exploration into some of the basic bounds of the faith.  The introduction written by Shirley Guthrie, who died before writing the book, is worth the cost alone. 
  • A People's History of Christianity: The Other Side of the Story  by Diana Butler Bass: Lumped a little church history into this category because this book doesn't simply give a run down of historic happenings, but gives us some insight into why these things matter and how they have impacted the faith.

#8-10 Books on LIFE and FAITH - This was the hardest category to choose from.  I certainly have my favorites and there were plenty of great suggestions.

There are so many GREAT books out there in each of these areas, feel free to add some more in the comments, check out the original status update and/or would love to see your own blogged list.

[Taken by permission from Bruce Reyes-Chow's blog. Follow Bruce on Twitter @breyeschow ]