Tuesday, October 19, 2021

5 Books That Have Shaped My Life

I'm going to make this a quick post because I'm enjoying a warm fire and a good book.

This week someone asked me, "What are 5 books that shaped your life?" That was refreshing. Usually I'm asked questions like, "Is a hotdog a sandwich?" or "Do you like pineapple on your pizza?" But who am I kidding? I am a book lover, as in BOOK LOVER. The 5 books that have shaped my life include:

1. Allan Bloom: The Closing of the American Mind.

This book kept me from doing a doctorate in an American university which are "open minded" until you espouse a conservative conclusion. Nope. Basel was the place for me.

2. Mark Noll: Between Faith and Criticism

This is Noll's history of evangelicalism in the 20th century and the reason why I am an evangelical today and not a fundamentalist. 

3. Elton Trueblood: The Idea of a College

When I started teaching Greek at Biola College 45 years ago, I read this book and it changed my life. Of the many unforgettable statements I remember from this book, this is perhaps my favorite: "Holy shoddy is still shoddy."

4. Jacques Ellul: The Subversion of Christianity

One of the main reasons I reject Constantinian Christianity.

5. John Stott: Between Two Worlds.

Nobody taught the word more simply or more clearly than John Stott. Want to know his secret? Read this book.

I love watching things like NFL highlights on YouTube. But I am never happier than when I have a good book in my hands and a warm fireplace.