Some of you requested that I write out the list of books that have most influenced me. So here you go. Understand that there are many authors that have impacted my life, and I will talk more about them in other posts… people like Eugene Peterson, C. S. Lewis, Zizek, and more. I’ve provided links to Amazon to make it easy for you.
Here’s my list:
1. James Breech, The Silence of Jesus. I point to the reading of this book back in seminary as the beginning of my deconstruction because it caused me to question the inspiration and infallibility of scripture.
2. Henri Nouwen, Thomas Merton, Contemplative Critic . This was given to me as a gift when I graduated from seminary but I scoffed at the “mysticism” of it. When I later experienced a spiritual trauma, I dug it out, read it, and it put me on the path towards my own spirituality.
3. Thomas Merton, The Seven Storey Mountain. When I read this, I knew I wanted to be a mystic.
4. James Fowler, Stages of Faith: The Psychology of Human Development and the Quest for Meaning. This book helped me understand, not only the necessity of spiritual growth, but the inevitability of it if you want it and open your mind to questions. It also warned me of the pains associated with this kind of growth.
5. C. G. Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections. Jung helped me appreciate the analysis of dreams as a method of guidance for one’s own spiritual journey.
6. Wendell Berry, Home Economics: Fourteen Essays. Berry’s wisdom is unsurpassed, in my opinion. He taught me how to be patient, gracious, yet intentional with myself.
7. J. Krishnamurti, Urgency of Change. This book scared me to death because it made me realize that my brain was in service to the ego. Of all the books I own, this is the one I would take if I was stranded on a deserted island.
8. Chogyam Trungpa, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism (Shambhala Library). The ego is incredibly clever and will trick you into thinking you’re developing spiritually when in fact you are developing the ego’s strength. We are spiritual consumers.
9. Karl Barth, The Epistle to the Romans. Reading this was the most important Christian theological book I ever read. It blew my mind open and prepared me to go to the unfathomable depths for wisdom
10. William Stringfellow, An Ethic For Christians and Other Aliens in a Strange Land. He was a prophet crying in the wilderness against the church and America.
Wow! I just noticed that all of these books are anywhere from 25 to 79 years old, except for Bohm, but much of what was collected in the anthology is older. To be truthful, it is difficult to find good meat these days. That’s why I usually turn to the philosophers, such as Žižek.
What are the top books that have impacted your life? Share them with us.