by C.S. Lewis
This is such an obvious choice that I almost didn’t post it.
In case you haven’t read it, Lewis’ book, originally a series of radio lectures in Britain, serves simultaneously as a defense of Christianity on an intellectual level as well as an artful articulation of its central tenants. It is widely hailed as a modern classic.
I first read this book in late 2003 and was blown away by Lewis’ rare combination of compelling logic and colorful imagination. Lewis spoke about the faith in a way that stirred not only my mind but soul as well. I count him as one of the primary voices that compelled me into vocational service to the church.
I read Mere Christianity again during my second year of seminary last year. Honestly, I approached the book with a bit of hesitation. This book had such an impact on me, but it couldn’t possibly be as good or profound as I remember. Boy was I wrong. If anything Lewis’ work felt like something that I had actually grown into instead of out of. I still count Lewis as one of the wisest voices that I’ve encountered in my life.
So whether you’re an agnostic, an atheist, a seeker, a Christian, or anything else, I would enthusiastically recommend engaging Lewis. He’s one the best representatives of the faith that I have found, and both believers and unbelievers ought to be engaging deep-thinking and imaginative heavyweights like him rather than silly (but sometimes common) Christian stereotypes.
If you’ve got time for only one of Lewis’ nonfiction works, make it this one.