Skip to content

Author’s Best Books?

We all have our favorite authors and our favorite books by them.  So, if we could recommend just one book by our favorite authors, what would they be?  Here are a few of mine:

  • John Howard Yoder – The Priestly Kingdom
  • Lesslie Newbigin – Household of God
  • Stanley Hauerwas – The Peaceable Kingdom
  • Robert Jenson – Story and Promise
  • Hans Urs von Balthasar – Love Alone is Credible
  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer – Discipleship

What are some of the one-book recomendations that you would make from your favorite authors.  And please don’t feel like you need only specify theological authors.  What are the best of your favorites?


  1. Philip wrote:

    Marilynne Robinson: Gilead
    Bonhoeffer: Letters and Papers
    O’Donovan: Common Objects of Love
    Stout: Democracy and Tradition
    Barth: Word of God and Word of Man
    Webster: Holy Scripture
    David Sedaris: Me Talk Pretty One Day (for fun)
    Jonathan Franzen: How to Be Alone (for more fun)

    Thursday, May 15, 2008 at 1:07 pm | Permalink
  2. JAKE wrote:

    Jayber Crow : Wendell Berry

    Edwin Mullhouse: The Life and Death of an American Writer 1943-1954, by Jeffrey Cartwright : Steven Millhauser

    Love in the time of Cholera: Grabriel Garcia Marquez

    Citizenship Papers : wendell berry

    Thursday, May 15, 2008 at 1:16 pm | Permalink
  3. If you leave it open like that, I just might have to throw in some In Cold Blood or something, haha

    Thursday, May 15, 2008 at 2:18 pm | Permalink
  4. Dave Bagwill wrote:

    The Border Trilogy by Cormac McCarthy
    Revelation Space by Alistair Reynolds
    The Beauty of the Infinite by you know who
    The Children’s War by J.N. Stroyer
    LOTR – Tolkien

    Many more….

    Thursday, May 15, 2008 at 2:24 pm | Permalink
  5. Ben Myers wrote:

    Pannenberg: Jesus: God and Man
    Robert Jenson: God after God
    Jüngel: God’s Being Is in Becoming
    Rowan Williams: Poems
    Balthasar: The Theology of Karl Barth

    Thursday, May 15, 2008 at 2:43 pm | Permalink
  6. J. R. R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings

    Homer, The Iliad

    Robert Jenson: The Triune Identity

    Thomas F. Torrance: The Trinitarian Faith

    R. I. Wilberforce, The Doctrine of the Holy Eucharist

    John Henry Newman, Lectures on the Doctrine of Justification

    E. L. Mascall, Christ, the Christian and the Church

    Alexander Schmemann, The Eucharist

    Robert Sokolowski, The God of Faith and Reason

    Michael Ramsey, The Gospel and the Catholic Church

    C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

    Richard Swinburne, Revelation

    Gerhard O. Forde, The Gospel is for Proclamation

    Lesslie Newbiggin, The Gospel in a Pluralist Socidety

    Gregory Dix, The Shape of the Liturgy

    Will Campbell, Brother to a Dragonfly

    Alvin Kimel, Speaking the Christian God (okay, I just had to throw that in!)

    Thursday, May 15, 2008 at 2:45 pm | Permalink
  7. Geoff wrote:

    N.T. Wright: Jesus and the Victory of God
    Martin Luther: On Christian Liberty or simply the theses from the Heidelberg Disputation
    Richard Baxter: The Christian Directory
    George Herbert: The Temple
    Eugene Peterson: Under the Unpredictable Plant

    Thursday, May 15, 2008 at 2:56 pm | Permalink
  8. Helene Cixous: Stigmata
    Hadewijch: Complete Works
    Derrida: On the Name
    Balthasar Glory of the Lord III: Study in Theological Style: Lay Styles
    Rowan Williams: Silence and Honeycakes
    Peguy: Portal of the Mystery of Hope
    Dostoevsky: House of the Dead

    Thursday, May 15, 2008 at 4:45 pm | Permalink
  9. Kevin Davis wrote:

    Newman, University Sermons
    Kierkegaard, Fear and Trembling
    Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus
    Dogmatics vol. 2
    Forsyth, The Principle of Authority
    Torrance, The Christian Doctrine of God
    Barth, Der Römerbrief
    Augustine, Confessions
    Pascal, Pensées
    Plato, The Republic

    Thursday, May 15, 2008 at 5:44 pm | Permalink
  10. roflyer wrote:

    Herbert McCabe, God Matters
    Rowan Williams, Resurrection: Interpreting the Easter Gospel

    Thursday, May 15, 2008 at 6:11 pm | Permalink
  11. IndieFaith wrote:

    Rowan Williams, On Christian Theology
    Kierkegaard, Fear and Trembling
    Dostoevsky, The Brother’s Karamazov
    Proust, Swann’s Way
    Steinbeck, The Grape’s of Wrath
    Graham Ward, Christ and Culture or Cities of God

    Thursday, May 15, 2008 at 7:21 pm | Permalink
  12. adamsteward wrote:

    Dude, you are out of your mind if you don’t think The Politics of Jesus is Yoder’s best book. The Priestly Kingdom is great, and has plenty of interesting and important things to say, but in terms of boldness, clarity, groundbreakingness, and sheer unassailability, Politcs is unmatched. Think about it – how many people did The Priestly Kingdom convert to pacifism?

    Friday, May 16, 2008 at 12:15 am | Permalink
  13. Apolonio wrote:

    Massimo Camisasca, Together on the Road

    Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

    Balthasar, Heart of the World

    Romano Guardini, The Lord

    Antoine de Saint Exupery, The Little Prince

    Dietrich von Hildebrand, The Heart/ Ethics

    N.T. Wright, Jesus and the Victory of God

    Alvin Plantinga, Warranted Christian Belief

    J. Ratzinger, Introduction to Christianity

    Richard Bauckham, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses

    Fulton J. Sheen, The Life of Christ

    Viktor Frankl, A Man’s Search for Meaning

    Friday, May 16, 2008 at 12:31 am | Permalink
  14. mike d wrote:

    Alvin Plantinga: Warranted Christian Belief

    Fyodor Dostoevsky: The Brothers Karamazov

    Russell Kirk: The Conservative Mind

    Thomas Reid: Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man

    T. S. Eliot: Four Quartets

    Friday, May 16, 2008 at 5:21 am | Permalink
  15. byrnesyliam wrote:

    Barth – Gottingen Dogmatics

    Friday, May 16, 2008 at 8:54 am | Permalink
  16. Halden wrote:

    Adam, I suppose for me the reason I put The Priestly Kingdom is not that I think its a better book and certainly not more influential. Rather, it is the book of Yoder’s that speaks most clearly and most incisively to the concerns and issues that I care the most about. As such I return to it more than any of his other books.

    Friday, May 16, 2008 at 9:17 am | Permalink
  17. Scott Lenger wrote:

    These books have all been very formative for me:

    John Howard Yoder: The Politics of Jesus
    Stanley Hauerwas: Resident Aliens
    Nancy Murphy: Beyond Liberalism and Fundamentalism
    Dan R. Stiver: The Philosophy of Religious Language: Sign, Symbol and Story
    Elias Chacour: Blood Brothers
    William T. Cavanaugh: Being Consumed: Economics and Christian Desire
    Lawrence Lessig: Free Culture: The Nature and Future of Creativity
    Emil Ruder: Typography
    Jeremy Keith: DOM Scripting: Web Design with JavaScript and the Document Object Model

    Friday, May 16, 2008 at 11:09 am | Permalink
  18. LRH wrote:

    Annie Dillard: Teaching a Stone to Talk
    Dorothy Smith: The Everyday World as Problematic: Toward a Feminist Sociology
    bell hooks: Teaching to Transgress
    Berger and Luckmann: The Social Construction of Reality
    Terry Eagleton: Ideology
    Jane Addams: Twenty Years at Hull House
    Martin Buber: I and Thou
    Deborah Fink: Cutting Into the Meatpacking Line: Workers and Change in the Rural Midwest
    Gretel Ehrlich: The Solace of Open Spaces.

    Friday, May 16, 2008 at 11:47 am | Permalink
  19. R.H. wrote:

    Jean-Luc Marion, God Without Being; Von Balthasar, Prayer; Martha Nussbaum, The Fragility of Goodness or Therapy of Desire; Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment; Kant, Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics; Wordsworth, The Prelude; Kierkegaard, Sickness Unto Death; Reinhold Niebuhr, Nature and Destiny of Man; Rahner, Foundations of Christian Faith; Rowan Williams, Tokens of Trust.

    Friday, May 16, 2008 at 1:00 pm | Permalink
  20. Dave Bagwill wrote:

    Maybe when this is done we could ask the one book you would want if stranded on a desert island thing?

    Friday, May 16, 2008 at 3:55 pm | Permalink
  21. jake wrote:

    youre all going to hell cause no one said THE BIBLE

    Friday, May 16, 2008 at 7:26 pm | Permalink
  22. mtapie wrote:

    Aquinas – Summa Theologica
    John Zizioulas – Being as Communion/Communion and Otherness (I’m sorry I couldn’t help putting both)
    Yoder – The Priestly Kingdom
    David Bentley Hart – Beauty of the Infinite
    Fergus Kerr – Theology After Wittgenstein
    Herbert McCabe – The Good Life
    Vladimir Lossky – Mystical Theology

    Friday, May 16, 2008 at 7:56 pm | Permalink
  23. adamsteward wrote:

    All these relative ends, Halden, I don’t know. Honesty should stick to superlatives.

    Friday, May 16, 2008 at 11:26 pm | Permalink
  24. hilaron wrote:

    Augustine of Hippo: Confessions
    Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Discipleship
    Kallistos Ware: The Orthodox Church
    Vladimir Lossky: Mystical Theology
    Wilfrid Stinissen: Natten är mitt ljus (The Night is My Light [on the mysticality of Saint John of the Cross])
    Anonymous: The Way of a Pilgrim

    Saturday, May 17, 2008 at 10:58 am | Permalink

Switch to our mobile site