5 Books Every Christian Should Read

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Although you won’t find these books in the Christian section of your local bookstore, they are rich with meaning and address moral quandaries.

These are beautifully-written books that will inspire you, yet they also contain strong Christian themes and values. They fall into a broad range of categories – from travel to fantasy.

If you’re looking for books containing themes such as power, fanaticism, redemption, suffering, and spiritual awakening, read on to discover five of the top books for christians.

1. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

This is a book that explores the meaning of life and purpose. It’s written simply, but the characters grapple with intense emotions and themes, such as suffering and failure.

The Alchemist is a dazzling allegory that explains that purpose and meaning can only be found inside one’s own heart – a lesson that’s integral to the message of Jesus – and that a fulfilled life is not found but rather cultivated.

The Alchemist urges the reader to reject the status quo and “wake up,” showing us that there is a reality beyond what we can perceive.

2. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

Although The Lion, the witch and the Wardrobe was written for younger audiences, if you haven’t already read it, you should.

The overarching themes of C.S. Lewis’ work are fundamentally Christian – in fact, Lewis also wrote other classic Christian works, such as Mere Christianity and The Screwtape Letters.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is the second installment in Lewis’ fantasy series The Chronicles of Narnia. It contains themes integral to a Christian way of life – such as forgiveness, compassion, rebirth, friendship, truth, and courage.

3. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

The Poisonwood Bible

The Poisonwood Bible is a beautifully written but haunting tale about the devastating consequences of unhealthy missiology and fanaticism.

It follows the life of a family – in particular, its evangelical Baptist patriarch – who takes his wife and four daughters on his mission to the Belgian Congo. His stubbornly privileged mindset in a foreign country and his refusal to understand the culture of its people prove to be the undoing of his entire family.

The Poisonwood Bible is a cautionary tale, and it’s required reading in some seminary curriculums.

4. The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

This book is the first installment in J.R.R. Tolkien’s legendary fantasy saga, The Lord of the Rings, which many consider one of the greatest literary achievements of all time.

Tolkien was a devout Roman Catholic, and his works are full of themes from Christian theology. The central theme of The Lord of the Rings trilogy is the lust for power – as well as the destruction that unhealthy obsession brings.

Other themes throughout The Fellowship of the Ring are redemption, compassion, courage, and the importance of friendship.

5. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

Gilead won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2015 – and it’s not hard to understand why.

This book is part memoir and part love letter. It is written as an autobiography of a dying pastor who dedicates his work to his son. Major Christian themes in Gilead deal with suffering, sin, and salvation as John Ames, the pastor, grapples with his illness.

Marilynne Robinson was raised as a Presbyterian. Her characters repeatedly tackle the conundrum of centering their lives on God or losing sight of Him and giving in to self-centeredness.

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