Last week I began a  list, a rambling, a rant that reflected on books that have shaped American culture in regards to faith.

Last week I focused on some postmodern authors like Anne Lamott and Donald Miller. This week I want to work my way back in time just a little bit with the next four authors on my list. As always I am curious as to what readers think of my choices and who they would add or subtract from my list.

Where is God When He Hurts? by Philip Yancey

During the self-help trend of books back in the 70s and 80s, Yancey was revolutionary for daring to say that being a Christian is not always a happy experience and do so in an accessible way. (Not everyone can get through C.S. Lewis’s “The Problem with Pain.) He has continued to write thoughtfully about  questions and suffering as part of the Christian walk with books like “What Good is God?” or “The Jesus I Never Knew.”

Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster

In the yuppie 80s it was really radical to write a book about austerity and disciple as it relates to Christianity. To have it be a bestseller years later is also impressive. It speaks to the simple, timeless truths Foster so clarly outlines in this book.

“The Alphabet of Grace” by Frederich Buechner  

I didn’t know which book to  pick, so I just picked one. My signed copy of “Listening to Your Life” is always on my nighstand. His memoirs are life-changing for many I know, including myself.  Others are devotees of his fiction, like “Godric.” He is as poetic as he is fearless in embracing the real mysteries of  the Christian faith.


 “A Good Man is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Conner

I might not have read her unflinching portraits of human nature, sin, and redemption  as a teen if  ’80s CCM rocker Steve Taylor hadn’t mentioned her in so many interviews.  Years later I would be in trouble with many a writing instructor if I failed to mention her on this list.

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