Best Christian Book: What Have You Added to Your Reading List?

Tournament Bracket

The best Christian book of ALL TIME: Confessions by Augustine! (Click for a larger image, or download a PDF for posterity.)

Thank you, Andy, for your amazing breakdown of the advanced metrics of the Best Christian Book of All Time Tournament. One of Andy’s findings was that the Tournament seedings came much closer to an ideal seeding than the most recent NCAA Men’s Basketball tournaments. (However, I do note as a proud UofL alumnus that this year, at least, the #1 overall seed justified its ranking. Go Cards! #L1C4) Perhaps this represents my in-depth understanding of ESN members’ voting tendencies — or, more likely, I was simply quite lucky.

One of the few books that well outperformed its seeding was Revelations of Divine Love by Julian of Norwich, the #11 seed in the Memoirs, Devotionals, & Spirituality bracket. I confess that I seeded Revelations where I did based on its reputation, not on a direct comparison between it and all of the other books in the bracket. Obviously, it’s held in much higher esteem by ESN members than I expected. To see what I’m missing, I plan on downloading it from the Christian Classics Ethereal Library and adding it to my reading list. 

Confession time: I have not read all 64 books included in the field. As best I can figure, I have read 28 of the selections, as well as portions of an additional 13, which means I’ve read (in part) around 64% of the 64 books under consideration. Maybe that’s good, maybe it’s not, and maybe it confirms all of your suspicions about the tournament. For the ones I’ve not read, I relied on the nominations from ESN members and outside resources.

In addition to Revelations of Divine Love, I’m adding these to my reading list as well:

  • The novels Gilead by Marilynne Robinson and Silence by Shusaku Endo (not “Shusako” as I erroneously wrote earlier)
  • Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen
  • Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion and Thomas Aquinas’s Summa Theologica, though these will likely be volumes I dip into occasionally rather than attempt to read straight through

I’d love to hear from you. How many of the books from the tournament have you read? What books have you added to your reading list as a result of the tournament? Leave your additions in the comments.

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Micheal Hickerson

The former Associate Director for the Emerging Scholars Network, Micheal lives in Cincinnati with his wife and three children and works as a web manager for a national storage and organization company. He writes about work, vocation, and finding meaning in what you do at No Small Actors.

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    D.W. Snoke commented on April 9, 2013 Reply

    I agree with almost all of the books in that group, but The Holiness of God should have been in the first rounds. I would put it at something like #30-40. It has impacted many people’s lives.

      Micheal Hickerson commented on April 9, 2013 Reply

      Another one to add to my reading list. Thank you for the recommendation. I’ve known several people deeply impacted by Tozer, but I’ve not yet read anything by him.

        D.W. Snoke commented on April 9, 2013 Reply

        Holiness of God is by R.C. Sproul, who is similar to Tozer in many ways but more recent.

          Micheal Hickerson commented on April 10, 2013 Reply

          Thanks for the correction. I was thinking of Tozer’s Knowledge of the Holy, which was in the bracket.

    Benjamin commented on April 10, 2013 Reply

    I almost didn’t vote at all, because in most match ups I hadn’t actually read both books and didn’t think it’d be fai to vote.

    But Gilead is an amazing book, definitely gotta read that. There’s a lot to appreciate about Maryilynne Robinson (even a blog named Marilynne Robinson Appreciation Society)

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