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Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Playing Book Tag: 5 to 10 I'd Recommend to Youth

Here's something clever floating around the blogosphere. Book tag. Bob Waters over at Watersblogged tagged me.

The game is this:

Imagine that a local philanthropist is hosting an event for local high school students and has asked you to pick out five to ten books to hand out as door prizes. At least one book should be funny and at least one book should provide some history of Western Civilization and at least one book should have some regional connection. The philanthropist doesn't like foul language (but will allow some four-letter words in context, such as expressed during battle by soldiers). Otherwise things are pretty wide open. What do you pick?
  1. Citizen Soldiers by Stephen Ambrose. I always enjoy Ambrose's Word War II books. This one in particular because he highlights the characteristics and virtues that not only make America great, but were the foundation for our victory in that great crusade. An excellent and engaging look at the everyday Americans who saved Western civilization (and France).

  2. Tortured for Christ by Richard Wurmbrand. I read this one myself as a teenager. I don't recall it well enough to vouch for all its theology, but it really opened my eyes to what Jesus meant when He said, "Take up your cross and come follow me." As Bonhoeffer famously said, "When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die." Wurmbrand was a Lutheran pastor (Romanian Jewish convert) who was imprisoned and tortured first by the Nazis and then by the Communists. He later testified about his sufferings before the U.S. congress and, when some found his account hard to swallow, he stood up to remove his shirt in that august assembly to reveal his scars. Having been briefly to the Sudan myself and knowing that more Christians were martyred in the 20th century than in the previous 19 combined, I think today's youth need to read this book, or one like it. It's short too.

  3. How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must) by Ann Coulter. This one is to fulfill the humor requirement. Not only do I think Ann's perspective on politics and culture to be generally very clear-headed, but her acerbic wit slays me. Her bit on Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ is the number one best review essay I saw. She totally gets it. Her understanding of the atonement is refreshingly blunt. I quoted her in a sermon once. Her earlier book, Slander, is good too.

  4. Table Talk by Martin Luther. This could also fit under humor, in a pinch. I'd more likely file it under wisdom literature. The Blessed Reformer offers pithy dinnertime comments on theology, marriage, politics, and beer.

  5. Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel by C.F.W. Walther. It's a classic. And no one explains this better. Frankly, this book opened Scripture to me unlike anything else before or since.

  6. Novels no human should fail to read: Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (substitutionary atonement); Lord of the Flies by William Golding (original sin); 1984 and Animal Farm by George Orwell (the threat of totalitarianism); The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (Jesus); The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien (friendship); Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (grace); The Telltale Heart short story by Edgar Allen Poe (guilt); Merchant of Venice play by Wm. Shakespeare (mercy); The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (depression); A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving (divine surprise).
The reason I hate making lists like this is because I know full well that five minutes after I post this, ten more books will come to mind. So be forewarned that there may be a sequel.

And now I get to tag someone. Your turn Preachrblog, Confessing Evangelical, and CyberBrethren.

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