I searched Amazon-books for books on Jesus. Over 286,000 were found. A search for Christian books returned over 1.1 million books. These are popular subjects. I have read many books over the years. The more meaningful books are listed below. The most meaningful to me are the books that point the way to implementing Jesus in my life and in the life of others. There have also been many other sources in magazines, journals, and online articles from over the years. The love of God through Jesus can change the world for the better. It has changed my life and most of the following references have been very influential in the changes.

List One – The most influential books studied in more recent years:

Jesus for the Non-Religious – John Shelby Spong

And God Said What? – Margaret Nutting Ralph

Convictions – Marcus J. Borg

Reading the Bible Again for the First Time – Marcus J. Borg

The First Christmas – Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan

Misquoting Jesus – Bart D. Ehrman

The Varieties of Religious Experience – William James

Jesus Creed – Scot McKnight

Love at the Center – Mark McNees

Saving Jesus from the Church – Robin Meyers

Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time – Marcus J. Borg

The Will of God – Leslie Weatherhead

The Heart of Christianity – Marcus J. Borg

The Last Week – Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan

Stay Alive All Your Life – Norman Vincent Peale

The Great Divorce – C. S. Lewis and other writings

Your God Is Too Small – J. B. Phillips

The Man from Nazareth – Harry Emerson Fosdick

This Hebrew Lord – John Shelby Spong

The Road Less Traveled – M. Scott Peck

People of the Lie – M. Scott Peck

Bus 9 To Paradise – Leo Buscaglia

The Way of the Bull – Leo F. Buscaglia

Speaking My Mind – Tony Campolo
List Two – Less influential books, many studied at an earlier time in life:

The Cost of Discipleship – Dietrich Bonhoffer

A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens

The Cow in the Parking Lot – Susan Edmiston and Leonard Scheff

A Sense of Urgency – John P. Kotter

Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu

Forgiveness – Adam Hamilton

The Practice of the Presence of God – Brother Lawrence

Why? – Adam Hamilton

The Ragamuffin Gospel – Brennan Manning

In Search of Stones – M. Scott Peck

The Kingdom of God Is a Party – Tony Campolo

Following Jesus Without Embarrassing God – Tony Campolo

Living, Loving and Learning – Leo Buscaglia

Loving Each Other – Leo Buscaglia

Born for Love – Leo Buscaglia

Further Along the Road Less Traveled – M. Scott Peck

The Road Less Traveled and Beyond – M. Scott Peck

Even less influential books that can still be worth reading:

Various works from Charles Swindoll and Max Lucado and many others who present the love of God.

Others

There are many religious authors, perhaps thousands of them, who I consider to create works that add to the world’s problems. These include those who promise financial prosperity or some kind of magic in life by giving money, praying or hating other people in some way. An example is prosperity preacher Joel Osteen. Franklin Graham preaches hatred. Terry Tekyl and others promote prayer as if it is some magical way to extract your desires from God. Many of these people rarely mention Jesus and can be found to mention God far more often in a manner that suggests that God is either a sugar daddy or a crabby old many eager to hand out punishment. Many combine the two personalities. It hinders the development of quality relationships of any kind.

Then, there are authors who create works that stretch and misrepresent stories and history concerning Jesus in an attempt to discredit Jesus and Christians in some way. An example of one with a great amount of vitriol is Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan. I have read the book. It seems to be from a Muslim who desires portraying Jesus as one who was bent on violence – a terrorist. The value in reading such material is that it poses questions that one can research and answer for a better understanding of who Jesus is and what Jesus means to the world. It never hurts to understand the viewpoint of others. This book was helpful in understanding how much of the world sees the message the church presents about Jesus today. It is not pretty.



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