Christianity: Eight Essential Books for the Honest Seeker (versus the Hostile Scorner)

  1. The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ, by Gary R. Habermas
  2. Jesus Under Fire: Modern Scholarship Reinvents the Historical Jesus, by Michael J. Wilkins
  3. The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus, by Gary R. Habermas
  4. The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? by F. F. Bruce
  5. The Doctrines of Grace: Rediscovering the Evangelical Gospel, by James Montgomery Boice, Philip Graham Ryken, et al.
  6. I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist, by Norman L. Geisler, Frank Turek
  7. Basic Christianity, by John Stott
  8. The ESV Study Bible
  9. Delighting in the Trinity: An Introduction to the Christian Faith, byMichael Reeves and The Forgotten Trinity, by James White
  10. The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism, by Tim Keller
  11. The New Evidence That Demands A Verdict: Evidence I & II Fully Updated in One Volume To Answer The Questions Challenging Christians in the 21st Century.
  12. Messiah in Both Testaments
  13. The God Who Is There: Finding Your Place in God's Story, by D.A. Carson
  14. The Whole Story of the Bible in 16 Verses, by Chris Bruno
  15. What's Your Worldview? by James N Anderson
  16. Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels, by J. Warner Wallace
  17. Hidden in Plain View: Undesigned Coincidences in the Gospels and Acts, by Lydia McGrew
Over the course of my 45+ year journey of faith (I became a Christian in 1969), I've often been asked about why I believe in Christ. I commonly use a variation or amplification of C.S. Lewis's trilemma (Liar, Lunatic, or Lord). My amplification adds "Legend" as a preface, because if Jesus is mere myth the trilemma has no force. I used this formula in a Toastmaster's speech at work in December 2013. There is a plethora of Internet resources for skeptics. There are also a robust Internet resources for Christianity. Here are a few of my favorite Christian resources:
Comments on the above 8 books and why I recommend them:
  1. Addresses the point as to whether there was a real historical man named Jesus (The "Legend" argument)
  2. More on the above but speaks to the flawed logic of the Jesus Seminar
  3. There are many books about the resurrection of Jesus. This is but one. Christianity rises or falls on the resurrection: "But if there is no resurrection of the dead, athen not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that bhe raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and cyou are still in your sins. Then those also who dhave fallen asleep in Christ have perished.  If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied." (I Corinthians 15:13-19)
  4. This is somewhat technical but easily readable to the collegiate level student. 
  5. Addresses issues around Divine election. 
  6. Speaks to Athiesm being a faith-choice too! 
  7. Explains Christianity in a nutshell. Collegiate level reading. 
  8. Every honest seeker needs to read the Bible. The ESV is a modern translation. The study Bible has a plethora of resource articles. Comes with an on-line component. The link is to the hardbound edition.  Fancier leather bound editions are also available. 
  9. Essential reads on the the Trinity.  Essential to know: Allah is NOT the Christian God! 
  10. Because indeed we live in an Age of Skepticism!
  11. Josh McDowell classic. Answers tough questions
  12. Fred John Meldau classic. This work identifies some of the major messianic prophecies of the Old Testament and shows their New Testament fulfillment in Christ. Also can be found as The Prophets Still Speak: Messiah in Both Testaments
  13. Rivals Basic Christianity in importance. Read the excellent reviews on Amazon
  14. The theme of redemption from Genesis to Revelation
  15. Defends Christian Theism 
  16. New book along the lines of Who Moved the Stone?
  17. Just released in 2017. About the author
Lewis's trilemma:
I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronising nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. ... Now it seems to me obvious that He was neither a lunatic nor a fiend: and consequently, however strange or terrifying or unlikely it may seem, I have to accept the view that He was and is God.
Brief comments to the Atheist:
  • Atheism is not a new thing: As a matter of fact it is an ancient belief system. The Psalmist has a stark assessment of atheism: "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God." (Psalm 14:1)
  • I don’t base my faith on this particular paradigm but consider this:
    • If I am wrong about these things: There is a true God. There is a creator. God created the universe. God is triune. Jesus can be called God. Jesus was the promised Messiah fulfilling a number of prophecies. Jesus died to redeem lost sinners. He rose from the grave. He ascended into heaven (Acts 1). He is coming again. ... If I’m wrong about all of these things and: There is no God. The universe is complete chaos controlled by random chance. I have evolved from lower life forms. There is no heaven or hell (channeling John Lennon's “Imagine”). I die and that’s it!
    • For the atheist: If you are wrong. Hell for the rebels. You’ve rejected the Savior who invites you to repent and commit your way to him.
    • For me, I am risking nothing but my own credibility. I am a fool!
    • For the atheist: You risk you very own soul
On my own faith journey: I see myself on a journey (think Pilgrim’s Progress) to the heavenly city. I’m on that path. I’m hand in hand with the love of my life and we are on this journey together. At 65 ½ and 64 we know that we have limited days “in the flesh”. But the destiny for us looms large and real. We are not turning back and we are not turning aside. Like “Christian” in Pilgrim’s Progress we invite other travelers along on the journey. In John Bunyan’s work there is “Atheist” who is “a mocker of Christian, who goes the opposite way on the "King's Highway" because he boasts that he knows that God and the Celestial City do not exist” I am Christian!


  1. As many of my readers know, I am an active, avid investor. It's nearly a passion - not central to my life but part of my financial life (how I provide and will provide for myself). As an investor I need to read about investments: the Wall Street Journal, Seeking Alpha, Morning Star, and of course many books starting with The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing.

    I also read quite a bit about computing technology. Here at the office I have books on Unix, Linux, networking, C, Python (a programming language), et cetera.

    Books that advance oneself are a worthwhile investment! 20 years ago I bought a book on REXX programming (a language I no longer use and have probably largely forgotten). That one book advanced my career and garnered a promotion and a significant raise.

    One's own soul is an investment as well. The ultimate investment: "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? " (Matthew 16:26).

    The list of books in my blog post could be purchased for probably far less than $ 200 total. Some may be purchased used for a little as a penny.

    I could buy a bundle of books for a loved one or a friend, but when one buys the books for himself, the investment is more real to them.

  2. For the one who as never read the Bible, one might ask "where should I start?"

    My own suggestion is as follows: Genesis chapters 1 to 4. ; The four Gospels and Acts; Romans

    The whole should be read but you have to start somewhere!

  3. I added several more resources but the title remains "Eight .... ". For many there are good used deals and Kindle options.


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