Comments 4

  1. While I think this is a good list of influential books, I wonder whether the Bible has a place in such a list. Even though the doctrines of inerrancy and infallibility should be questioned and we should not idolize the Word, Scripture does require a different hermeneutic than other texts. Even if this list is not in a particular order regarding which book is the best, should we as believers consider the Bible to be just another book? If we do not (and I am assuming we are not), is there a chance that putting the Bible in a list like this would give the impression that it is to be read like any other book?

    1. That’s a good caution to raise, Mason, and I can see the point you’re making. But I don’t think that including the Bible automatically suggests we should read it like any ther book, because I don’t think there is such as thing reading “like any other book.” There is no one way we have of reading all books that aren’t the Bible: we read Boethuis very differently than we read memoirs, science fiction, or business leadership books (to use a few of the examples from the list above). The question of different styles of reading–different hermeneutics–that you raise is a very good one, but it cuts across everything we read, not just the Bible. Rather than trivializing the Bible, perhaps including it on lists like this reminds us of the bible’s literary quality, and helps us appreciate it anew as a piece of writing., a book that should be influential, and enjoyable, and powerful. Something we could get excited about, the way we get excited about a new book we just read, and can’t wait to tell our friends to go out and read it.

      1. I had a different but maybe similar reaction to Mason’s. When I saw “The Bible” in the list, I thought someone felt compelled to include it. Like every influence on a good Christian has to come second to “Jesus and the Bible,” as we used to say as kids. (Always a safe answer.) Maybe it’s the short synopsis here that is confusing. Was it intended as humor? I could see that. Shortest book description, but this one is about your salvation and God’s plan for everything. That ‘s what comes in as #4. Not first, not last. No it’s not a ranking, but still. It IS funny. What I would have expected more is a specific canonical (or deutero canonical) book, maybe a specific version or adaptation and how it was influential on the reader. You could make a whole separate list for biblical books.

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