#15 – A Secular Age by Charles Taylor (My 100 Favorite Books)

Taylor’s enormous book begins with a question: Why was belief in God taken for granted in the West in 1500 but highly questioned, if not even non-belief taken for granted, in 2000?  What changed? In answering this question, Taylor argues that the common story does not provide a sufficient explanation.  Usually, so it goes, as […]

#27 – The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman (My 100 Favorite Books)

History writing doesn’t get much better than this. If I had to make a list of the places throughout human history I would least want to find myself, a few come to mind.  Standing in the surrounded Roman legions at the Battle of Cannae, waiting for Hannibal’s soldiers to inevitably chop me to pieces would […]

#43 – Caesar: Life of a Colossus by Adrian Goldsworthy (My 100 Favorite Books)

The last two books I mentioned have both contributed to my own views of how the Christian church ought to relate to the state.  More specifically, the first Christians were challenged to give their allegiance to the Lamb.  But they were tempted by all the Roman Empire had to offer, from a fantastic military to […]

#51 – The Source by James Michener (My 100 Favorite Books)

This book was assigned reading for a scripture in context course I took back in seminary, where we studied the ancient near eastern culture.  The first 500 pages of this story cover the time from early human history up to the time of Jesus.  Michener is a master storyteller, as each chapter tells a different […]

#52 – Napoleon: A Life by Andrew Roberts (My 100 Favorite Books)

When I learned history in school, if I recall correctly, we learned European history up until the founding of America and then shifted to American history until World War I.  Thus, we did not really learn much about Europe in the 1800s beyond the snippets we got from reading fictional stories such as A Tale […]

#65 – What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848 by Daniel Walker Howe (My 100 Favorite Books)

If you like history, the Oxford History of the United States series is a must read.  I read The Glorious Cause, covering the Revolutionary War and Empire of Liberty which covered the time from 1789-1814.  My favorite book in the series is Battle Cry of Freedom, about the Civil War.  I was surprised when I […]

#69 – Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow (My 100 Favorite Books)

This was a fascinating biography of the founder of our country.  Beyond being one of the founding fathers, he was also a pretty great man.  What I appreciated most in this detailed biography though, was that Chernow does not seek to ignore Washington’s flaws.  Washington was a slave owner who was both uncomfortable with slave […]

#81 – Inferno: The World at War by Max Hastings (My 100 Favorite Books)

Simply, this is a great one-volume history of World War II.  Besides telling the story, I think the high points of this book for me were how well Hastings showed Stalin was equally evil as Hitler.  Thus, for the United States, to defeat one evil required partnering with another.  In a world where we all […]

#84 Why Church History Matters by Bob Rea (My 100 Favorite Books)

Okay, I’m a little biased with this one.  Bob Rea was my professor, and is a friend, from when I was in seminary at Lincoln Christian Seminary.  I learned a ton from him in class, and had fun chatting with him outside of class (even though he is an Ohio State guy).  He published this […]

#91 – Learning Theology With the Church Fathers by Christopher Hall (My 100 Favorite Books)

I’ve always loved history.  Throughout my life, one of the most impacting times was when I came in contact with the great tradition of the history of my faith.  Over the years I have spent time reading, and learning from, spiritual masters who have gone before.  I’ve also wrestled with questions and thought long about […]