Top Ten Christian Books

Some reading inspiration for the weekend.

A panel of judges commissioned by Church (of England) Times has just published its top 100 Christian books of all time. The top ten are:

by Saint Augustine
The Rule of Benedict
by St.Benedict
The Rule of Benedict
Summa Theologica
by Saint Thomas Aquinas
Summa Theologica
Revelations of Divine Love by Julian of Norwich
Revelations of Divine Love
by Blaise Pascal
The Pilgrim’s Progress
by John Bunyan
The Pilgrim's Progress

City of God
by Saint Augustine
City of God
The Imitation of Christ
by Thomas a. Kempis
The Imitation of Christ
Complete English Poems
by George Herbert
Complete English Poems

How many have you read? How many of these are “Mormon”? Should we have a BCC reading club for these books? It’s interesting to compare this list with the top ten books by sales. Only Dante makes both lists:

1. Mere Christianity: C. S. Lewis
2. The Screwtape Letters: C. S Lewis
3. A Grief Observed: C. S. Lewis
4. Gilead: Marilynne Robinson
5. Four Quartets: T. S. Eliot
6. Paradise Lost: John Milton
7. The Brothers Karamazov: Fyodor Dostoevsky
8. Surprised by Joy: C. S. Lewis
9. The Divine Comedy: Dante Alighieri
10. The Power and the Glory: Graham Green


  1. Great resource for further study. I was disappointed not to see Swedenborg’s Heaven and Hell on the list.

  2. These lists are always somewhat arbitrary, but I’m very happy to see both Julian of Norwich and George Herbert in the top 10, both of whom are spiritual pillars for me. To see Paradise Lost among the bestsellers is gratifying too; I hope that the people who buy it also go on to read it!

  3. Interesting lists. I’m not surprised that the 13th apostle dominates the second one.

    I misread the title of Pascal’s book. Thanks for the unintended laugh.

    My favorite Christian book not on either list is “Jesus before Christianity” (Albert Nolan). I read it in college, and its impact has stayed with me through the decades since then.

  4. I haven’t read most of these. But The Power and the Glory is one of my favorite books.

  5. Rebecca, I think you meant The Work and the Glory.

  6. Interesting…
    Slightly OT, but I’m in a group on facebook that recently had a thread to put together a list of faithful unorthodox mormon books to build a library from, Anything from Rough Stone Rolling, The Liberal Soul, to Mormon Enigma. People started chipping in with non-mormon unorthodox books as well (Rachel Held Evans) etc. I’d love to see what the BCC community could come up with as well. This is the next area of book collecting I’m focusing to feed my book addiction. I already have Letters to a Young Mormon, Book of Mormon Girl, Rough Stone Rolling, Crucible of Doubt, etc.

  7. Go back to Stapley’s annual Christmas gift guide posts for ideas, Kristine.

  8. Gilead is one of the most beautiful religious books I have ever read. If you read it, and you ever feel like stopping, hold out for the ending, which is stunning.

  9. The omission of Athanasius’s On the Incarnation and Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion from the entire top 100 is bizarre. HuffPo’s top 25 Christian spiritual classics is significantly better. Go figure.

  10. Hey, DSB:
    I’m pretty darn sure that Rebecca J isn’t the sort of person who believes that all the Work and the Glory books ought to be printed on that really thin paper they use in Bibles. “The Power and The Glory” is a Graham Greene novel, and is much more her speed. She’s even named children after favorite influential American authors.

%d bloggers like this: