Although the tales in the Bible can serve as moral compass for all of us and every Christian should at least attempt to read the Holy Book in their lifetime in order to better understand the Word of God, even the most devout of God’s followers will admit that the Bible comes across as quite a ponderous tome. It may be due to its length, or perhaps because it’s written in an old vernacular that requires some extra thought, but the fact is that reading the Bible can sometimes be difficult. But don’t worry, there are thousands of beautiful Christian books out there that are just waiting to be discovered. Whether you want to immerse yourself in a beautiful story with a Christian message or buy a thoughtful gift to a loved one, these are 10 inspirational books that deserve to be on a shelf:
1. The Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan
Published in 1678, The Pilgrim’s Progress from This World, to That Which Is to Come, by John Bunyan, is one of the best known religious allegories ever written and an essential read for every Christian and not only. To this day, it has been translated into over 200 languages and critics consider it the most relevant piece of religious writing in English literature thanks to its far-reaching cultural influence on future works. The book comprises two parts and is formulated as a dream sequence in which an average Christian must go from his hometown to a celestial city on top of Mount Zion, burdened by the knowledge of his sin. The symbolic tale of his pilgrimage is filled with valuable Christian lessons and timeless life advice.
2. The Screwtape Letters, C S Lewis
The Screwtape Letters by C S Lewis was published in 1942 and is constructed as an epistolary novel. The book presents a series of letters written by a Demon Screwtape for his Junior Tempter nephew Wormwood, to teach him how to secure the damnation of a young man. Written in a witty, satirical style, The Screwtape Letters is one of Lewis’ most prestigious works; make sure you get the annotated edition to catch all the subtle symbolism and satire of his words.
3. The Velveteen Rabbit, Margery Williams
When it comes to Christian allegories that can be understood and enjoyed by children, you cannot go wrong with The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams. This illustrated children’s novel tells the story of a stuffed rabbit who is gifted to a little boy and wants to become a real rabbit through his love. Charming and sad at times, The Velveteen Rabbit is a timeless tale about the power and love and faith, a must read for every child.
4. The Time Keeper, Mitch Albom
Although not explicitly Christian, The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom is a subtle allegory on how we choose to use God’s greatest gift – time. The fable tells the story of the first man on earth who started to count the hours and thus became Father Time. Punished for measuring God’s gift, he is banished to a cave for centuries until he is given a chance at redemption: to teach two modern-day people the value of time.
5. At the Back of the North Wind, George MacDonald
Another children’s book, At the Back of the North Wind by George MacDonald tells the story of Diamond, a young boy who befriends the North Wind and goes with her on several adventures where he learns about the power of compassion, but also that sometimes bad things lead to something good. In this story, the North Wind is a symbolic representation of pain and death, which can work the will of God. If you haven’t read this beautiful allegory yet, take advantage of the current deals on Christian Books and add it to your collection, because it is a must for the entire family.
6. The Great Divorce, C S Lewis
In addition to the Screwtape Letters, The Great Divorce is another religious work by C S Lewis, describing one man’s bus journey from a grey town (symbolizing purgatory or hell) to the foothills of heaven. On the way, he comes across shiny figures (spirits) who either want to move on to a better place, or remain in the grey town out of complacency.
7. The Book of Mysteries, Jonathan Cahn
New York Times best-selling author Jonathan Cahn, wrote The Book of Mysteries, a compelling allegory that describes an ordinary man’s encounter with a man known as “the teacher”, who takes him across deserts, mountains and plains and teaches him 365 different mysteries in a year-long odyssey.
8. The Greatest Salesman in the World, Og Mandino
Part allegory, part self-help book, The Greatest Salesman in the World, Og Mandino was written in 1968 and presents the philosophy of salesmanship in a unique and compelling way. This book was designed to be read in a specific order and tells the story of a poor camel boy who in the end lived an abundant life. The Greatest Salesman in the World is split into 10 scrolls, talking about important life lessons such as “I am Nature’s Greatest Miracle” or “Pray to God for Guidance”.
9. Hinds’ Feet on High Places, Hannah Hurnard
Hinds’ Feet on High Places is Hannah Hurnard’s best-selling work and a must-read allegory about the human endeavor to reach new heights of love. For a complete reading experience, get the February 2009 release, where Hannah Hurnard sheds light on the life events that inspired her to write this book.
10. In His Steps: What Would Jesus Do?, Charles Monroe Sheldon
The question “What would Jesus do?” was asked by every Christian at least once – and this inspired the best-selling religious fiction novel written by Charles Monroe Sheldon. Ever since it was published 1896, the book was sold in more than 30,000,000 copies and is an international bestseller that should be on every Christian’s nightstand.