Canon Lore

25 Books Every Christian Should Read edited by selected members of the board of Renovaré

The best bits of a variety of spiritual classics

Eleven.  Of the 25 books presented here in summary I had previously read 11, and I still don’t consider all them must-read.  Thirteen editors, many of them authors, made up the editorial board and each offers his or her own “top five” through the course of the book.  Many of the books on these lists are not by Christian authors yet suggest Christian themes; other books appear on more than one list.  This is a readers’ book and as such I had as much fun in debating the list as I did in reading the top 25 itself; yet it is also a devotional book and is designed to be thought through and reflected upon.

Each of the books, from St Benedict to Bonhoeffer and John Calvin to John Bunyan, is presented with an introduction to the author, the book’s place in history, and a guide on how to read it.  Following the excerpt there are study questions designed for both small-group discussion and personal reflection or journaling.  The final section provides a summary of the best contemporary authors, including some of the editors, (Richard J. Foster) alongside such names as Brian McLaren, and N.T. Wright.

Only two of the featured authors are women, but that may have more to do with church history than editorial bias. I enjoyed dipping in and out of the excerpts and am looking forward to finding some of these books to read in full.

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