In an effort to address my own embarrassing illiteracy and the illiteracy of other Christians, I am working with two close brothers to create a series of reading lists. Eventually, I hope to put them into the form of a small booklet for those desiring to read long and well.

As you read this post, it may take you a moment to get your bearings, so let me try to clarify on the front end. First, notice that the list follows a rotation through some key categories and sub-categories. In this project, we started by choosing some basic and overarching genres. Then, we broke each genre into sub-topics. So, the reading schedule rotates through repeatedly, creating a well-rounded diet. This format makes for an engaging, varied, enjoyable, and productive reading experience. Keep reading – the first two schedules are below.
Rotation of Categories:
1. Aged-Christian (prior to 1970)
-Personal Devotional
-Biblical Studies/Hermeneutics/Biography
2. Non-Christian (contains perspectives other than Christian)
3. Recent-Christian (1970 to present)
-Biblical Studies/Hermeneutics/Biography
4. Literature
-Classic (prior to 19th century)
-Modern (19th century to present)
Each reading session is composed of 12 works. Therefore, readers can use the lists as monthly schedules or merely as guides to follow at one’s own pace, faster or slower. Since even a handful of lists will not sufficiently contain all the works that contribute to becoming a “well-read Christian,” I will continue to post new lists as time goes on. In addition, each work is linked to more book and price information.

Also, there is also a companion bookmark containing The Basics of Marking a Book as You Read is now available here.


Reading Schedule – Session 1
1. Aged-C. – Theology: Your God is Too Small: A Guide for Believers and Skeptics Alike by J.B. Phillips
2. Non-C. – Culture/Worldview: The World is Flat: A Brief History of the 21st Century by Thomas L. Friedman
3. Recent-C. – Biblical Studies/Hermeneutics/Biography: How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth by Gordon Fee
4. Lit. – Classic: Frankenstein by Mary Wollestonecraft Shelley
5. Aged-C. – Personal Devotional: The Moritification of Sin by John Owen
6. Non-C. – Anti-Christian: The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
7. Recent-C. – Culture/Worldview: The Universe Next Door by James W. Sire
8. Reader’s Choice: You Choose!
9. Aged-C. – Biblical Studies/Hermeneutics/Biography: The Life of William Carey, Shoemaker and Missionary by George Smith
10. Non-C. – Culture/Worldview: Ideas Have Consequences by Richard Weaver
11. Recent-C. – Theology: The Cross of Christ by John Stott
12. Lit. – Modern: Night by Elie Wiesel

Reading Schedule – Session 2
1. Aged-C. – Theology: On the Incarnation by Athanasius
2. Non-C. – Anti-Christian: God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens
3. Recent-C. – Biblical Studies/Hermeneutics/Biography: The Lord and His Prayer by N.T. Wright1
4. Lit. – Classic: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass
5. Aged-C. – Personal Devotional: Heaven Taken by Storm by Thomas Watson
6. Non-C. – Culture/Worldview: Neighboring Faiths: A Christian Introduction to World Religions by Winfried Corduan
7. New-C. – Culture/Worldview: The Reason for God: Belief in God in an Age of Skepticism by Timothy Keller2
8. Reader’s Choice: You Choose!
9. Aged-C. – Biblical Studies/Hermeneutics/Biography: Humility: The Journey Toward Holiness by Andrew Murray
10. Non-C. – Anti-Christian: The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Non-Believer by Christopher Hitchens
11. Recent-C. – Theology: Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin by Cornelius Plantinga Jr.
12. Lit. – Modern: The Nine Tailors by Dorothy L. Sayers

(Credits: Wesley Price and Tanner Turley)

There you have it. If you decide to begin reading through this list, please make note of your participation in a comment below. Also feel free to express your thoughts on these reading as you progress.

*This post was originally published on April 7, 2008.

The Well-read Christian
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