25 Books Every Christian Should Read

Image of the oldest edition of The Rule of St. Benedict dating back to 810 CE, an edition Pastor David got to read in 2008 while visiting St. Gallen, Switzerland.

In 2021, I will review each of the books on the list in 25 Books Every Christian Should Read: A Guide to the Essential Spiritual Classics, edited by Julia L. Roller, selected by Renovare, including Richard Foster, Dallas Willared, and Phyllis Tickle.

  1. On the Incarnation – St. Athanasius
  2. Confessions – St. Augustine
  3. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers – Various
  4. The Rule of St. Benedict – St. Benedict
  5. The Divine Comedy – Dante Alighieri
  6. The Cloud of Unknowing – Anonymous
  7. Revelations of Divine Love – Julian of Norwich
  8. The Imitation of Christ – Thomas a Kempis
  9. The Philokalia – Various
  10. Institutes of the Christian Religion – John Calvin
  11. The Interior Castle – St. Teresa of Avila
  12. Dark Night of the Soul – St. John of the Cross
  13. Pensees – Blaise Pascal
  14. The Pilgrim’s Progress – John Bunyan
  15. The Practice of the Presence of God – Brother Lawrence
  16. A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life – William Law
  17. The Way of a Pilgrim – Anonymous
  18. The Brothers Karamazov – Fyodor Dostoevsky
  19. Orthodoxy – G.K. Chesterton
  20. The Poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins
  21. The Cost of Discipleship – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  22. A Testament of Devotion – Thomas R. Kelly
  23. The Seven Storey Mountain – Thomas Merton
  24. Mere Christianity – C.S. Lewis
  25. The Return of the Prodigal Son – Henri J.M. Nouwen

As quoted from the Renovare website: “What are the 25 essen­tial books for the Chris­t­ian devo­tion­al life?  In 25 Books Every Chris­t­ian Should Read, Richard Fos­ter, Dal­las Willard, Phyl­lis Tick­le, Chris Webb, and a diverse edi­to­r­i­al board of lead­ers have iden­ti­fied the most help­ful and his­toric books for Chris­t­ian dis­ci­ple­ship and cre­at­ed a resource that helps us make the most of them. With siz­able excerpts from each book, 25 Books helps indi­vid­ual read­ers and small groups get a taste of and work through the most impor­tant books for for­ma­tion in Christ­like­ness. It is a reader’s guide for the devo­tion­al his­to­ry of the Church. From On the Incar­na­tion by St. Athana­sius to Pen­sées by Blaise Pas­cal to The Return of the Prodi­gal Son by Hen­ri Nouwen, this list and this resource will lead you on a jour­ney of dis­ci­ple­ship that few in the his­to­ry of the Church have expe­ri­enced and help you become like Jesus.”

I hope this regular feature on this blog will expand your devotional reading this year, reading more deeply into our rich faith history as followers of Jesus.