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In order to offer resources to those who are seeking to go deeper in their prayer life, HuffPost Religion asked some of our Christian bloggers about the books on prayer that have helped them most on their spiritual journey. These books are meant to be a starting point for a collection of best books on prayer for and by the HuffPost community. His conversion comes as an adult, after trying many other philosophies of life and finding all of them lacking.
On our Facebook Page, during the match-up between Mere Christianity and Augustine’s City of God, occasional ESN contributor Kevin Birth noted that both Lewis and Augustine were writing during the decline of an empire — Lewis during the last decades of the British Empire, Augustine amidst the fall of the Western Roman Empire[2].
Both were born in provinces of an empire — Augustine in North Africa (modern-day Algeria), Lewis in Ireland. Both rejected Christianity as young men and pursued non-Christian philosophies, Manichaeism and scepticism for Augustine, atheism for Lewis. Not only were both academics of the highest caliber before their conversion, but both rose to the most prestigious academic positions in their respective empires — Augustine to Rome and Milan, Lewis to Oxford and Cambridge. Both became Christians at the age of 33, after long periods of philosophical reflection and close relationships with Christians. After their conversions, both became prolific authors of Christian literature, and both became highly visible spokesmen for Christianity. Thank you to everyone who voted, nominated books, and offered their opinions during this exercise. If you’ve enjoyed the Best Christian Book of All Time Tournament, please subscribe to the Emerging Scholars Blog by email.
City of God, in fact, was written partly to defend Christianity against the charge that it was responsible for the sack of Rome in AD 410.
Micheal HickersonThe 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.
Actually, I was encouraged to see the breadth included (many of the books voted for I’d not read, but knew of almost all, if not all, of them).
I also am pretty familiar with IVP and used to read a lot of your publications… definitely filled some important gaps for me at the time.
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Do you need Christian books written by sound Christians who are filled with the Holy Spirit? Books for Christians have increased because of the burning desire for Christians to learn more about their faith and religion.
Christians face some problems when buying, not just books aimed at building up their lives, but other things. I realize attempting to compile a list like this could ruffle some feathers from both publishing and literature purists, not to mention the theological issues raised in the process of determining a “Christian” book. The list of the best-selling Christian books of all time almost demands every single title carry some sort of disclaimer, but that disclaimer would be different depending on the individual. Writing from a Christian “world view” qualifies for this list, so every title will not contain Scripture and teaching per se. Certain portrayals of theology are some of the issues that divide us, so I thought I would just toss out a list and leave the editing of the list to someone else. The Imitation of Christby Thomas a Kempis (1418) – Sales Unknown, but widely regarded as the best-selling Christian title after the Bible.

Now, in the comment section below, feel free to start a comment with “What about…” and I’ll try to give an explanation why I included or excluded a title! Some sales numbers were acquired from Wikipedia which means I hardly had to do any work to get the information.
So many publishers and editions, plus updated text make it difficult to get at the numbers. Great book…its sales are significant for sure, over one million sold, but still a ways to go to make our list at 10 million. It may not have sold enough, but there is one that should be on the list of all-time greats for anyone who wants to talk with someone about God.
Trapping and killing parakeets, especially ones large enough to incur significant damage to humans and their belongings, is not legal, and more importantly, not politically correct. It is a crime to trap native songbirds for the pet trade or kill them to eat, but parakeets are only reproducing in the wild in parts of the south. Tough to track with all the editions and publishers unless a publisher adds them up for me! Ann’s book was given an award for passing 500,000 copies a few years ago, but might be closing in on one million copies now. Out of our original bracket of 64 books, one book has been chosen by Emerging Scholars Network members as the Best Christian Book of All Time.
It seems to be the book mentioned most often when people are asked to name their favorite Christian book in an open-ended question, and it received the most nominations of any book. Later, even as he realizes the mistakes he’s made, he loves his son dearly and values him as one of the treasures of his life. Augustine not only affirms that God loves all of us, regardless of our mistakes, but also lives out that truth. I’m not sure if we, as modern Americans, appreciate how much of an outsider each of them were in their day.
Augustine’s mother, Monica, was a Christian married to a pagan, while Lewis’s mother, Flora, was the daughter of an Anglican priest. Augustine never tells us the name the mother of his son Adeodatus, but he spent 13 years with her until his conversion.
While Lewis remained a layman, Augustine was ordained as a priest, and both were recognized as important Christian authors and speakers during their lifetimes. Tolkien, while Augustine was baptized by Ambrose, archbishop of Milan and his fellow Doctor of the Church.
You’ll receive an email about twice a week with our latest post, so you’ll never miss one of our posts about Christianity and the academic life.
In publishing on topics such as academic vocation and calling, spiritual formation in the academy, and the integration of theology with academic disciplines, we seek as part of Intervarsity Graduate & Faculty Ministries to encourage, and equip the next generation of Christian scholars to be a redeeming influence in the academy, church, and the world. Of course, this is the same internet containing claims of 800-pound parakeets attacking Bozeman, Montana, so maybe just forget everything I wrote today. It has certainly sold well, but the 10 million threshold to make our list is a pretty large number. I believe it is the greatest work of fiction that shows such deep truths about Christ and His bride. His works were inspired by the bible, are loaded with Christian principles and sold over 50 million copies and counting. Philips (the person who translated the New Testament into contemporary English in the 1950s) First published in 1968, published again in 2004. Did Montana Game and Fish or the Gallatin County sheriff’s office get that parakeet trapped or killed yet?

I can take you to the bird sanctuary, aptly named Parakeet Paradise, and you can get pictures. First published in the late 19th century, it’s still in print and has sold in the tens of millions. Once it became clear that Mere Christianity would be facing Confessions, however, I thought that Augustine would likely come out on top. His story — finding God in mid-life, then becoming one of the most important figures of the Church — gives us hope that God can redeem the most fallen among us. In the Norton Anthology of World Literature, Confessions is the only work included by one of the Church Fathers, and the only work of Christian literature included between the New Testament and the Koran[1].
Lewis, meanwhile, lived with Jane Moore, the mother of his best friend Paddy (who was killed in World War I), for more than 20 years[3]. City of God for Augustine, English Literature in the Sixteenth Century Excluding Drama for Lewis), but also many works for popular audiences as well. Tom and I were talking yesterday about Christian texts that are (or should be) read in college courses. I tried reading Stott’s Basic Christianity in college and thought it was incredibly boring. Do you have a particular book about Christian stuff in mind but you are looking for the best deal?Before you head off to a bookstore, here are important things you should know. Instead, the government has enacted the power of eminent domain and emptied a square mile of the city to turn it into a bird refuge for said parakeet, with the caveat that if it should require more room, more people will have to find somewhere else to live. My Utmost is likely somewhere in the middle as well, though there have been many version and reprints, so near-impossible to confirm. If you’ve read much ancient literature, Augustine’s transparency about his own life is striking.
I would wager that, for many college students, Confessions is the only ancient Christian literature that appears on any of the syllabi of their general education classes.
There is no record, however, of Augustine writing children’s novels with talking animals or any science fiction. Plus there is something quite nice about having it be a personal spiritual reflection rather than a theological tome or apologetic tome, it is useful in a variety of ways– theologically and apologetically as well as devotionaly. Might a mismatch in general or spiritual temperament account for a book falling flat with some readers? Please let us know if you desire to join the community engaged with creating Scholar's Compass.
After all, birds are NATURAL, and just because a parakeet’s natural jungle habitat is not available should not be a reason for not creating anther habitat to which it might possibly adapt, and therefore eventually become NATURAL. When I mentioned my inability to get into Pilgrim’s Progress to one of my grad school professors (Maxine Hancock), she replied that some books have to be read at a certain stage in life for them to resonate.
As any Christian movement, despite their distinctives, Evangelicals cannot resist drawing from, building upon, and being connected with the wider Body of Christ throughout time and geography.
Augustine examines his life in light of God’s truth, bringing Scripture and theology alongside his own story.

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