John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, knew the value of good books. He was a writer and author, as well as a man who loved to read. He often gathered together writings from the Christian classics to use in the training of Methodist preachers. A book by Philip Dodderidge touched the soul and mind of William Wilberforce, who led the fight against the slave trade in England. C.S. Lewis felt that the reading of G.K. Chesterton’s Everlasting Man assisted him in his spiritual journey. Lewis’s own book Mere Christianity has played a major role of many searching after Truth. Books have long been powerful tools in stirring the hearts and minds of many great thinkers and leaders. I have recommended the following books to students:
Why am I afraid to tell you who I am? by John Powell. An essay by a Roman Catholic brother/monk on how authentic relationship is the pathway to personal growth
Hinds’ Feet on High Places, by Hannah Hurnard; An allegory of the Christian journey
How to Read a Book, by Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren; A secular book that changed the way that I study; How to Think About the Great Ideas, by Mortimer J. Adler; An insightful exploration of the ideas that shape university culture
The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey; One of the best on organizing your personal life and becoming an effective leader as a result
The Pearl, by John Steinbeck; A tale of the destructive forces of materialism
The Great Divorce, by C. S. Lewis; This book is an allegory about a bus ride from hell to heaven. Much of the material comes from Lewis’ personal experience
Smith Wigglesworth: Apostle of Faith, by Stanley Howard Frodsham; about the healing evangelist who God used to raise the dead; or The Wigglesworth Standard, by P.J. Madden.
Beyond Popcorn, by Robert Glatzer; Movies dominate public discourse. They influence and reflect the cultural dialogue. This is a quick, practical guide to becoming a better filmgoer
The Celtic Way of Evangelism, by George G. Hunter III; An effective approach to outreach in a postmodern culture based on Scripture and the ministry of Saint Patrick
How to Read the Bible for All It’s Worth, by Gordon D. Fee & Douglas Stuart; One of the best guides to move from casual Bible reading to true Bible study and Scriptural understanding
The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, by Mark A. Noll; Our views of politics, science, and the arts reflect a flaw in our willingness to embrace Scripture’s command to “love the Lord with all your mind.” This flaw could prove fatal and Noll shows us a way to overcome it
Micheal Flaherty, President of Walden Media, wrote a column in the December 21, 2010 edition of the Wall Street Journal that describes C.S. Lewis’ view that “what you read tells a lot about you.” Click on the following link (or copy and paste it into your browser) to see it.
Think theologically. Read Scripture and good books. Let’s make readers out of future leaders.
Love is a verb,