Here are our top ten recommendations if you are looking for the best books to read in Religious Studies. We have made sure our list is diverse to cater to the interests of different types of readers.
1. The Authoritarian Moment: How the Left Weaponized America's Institutions Against Dissent
How far are Americans willing to go to force each other to fall in line? According to the establishment media, the intelligentsia, and our political chattering class, the greatest threat to American freedom lies in right-wing authoritarianism. We’ve heard that some 75 million Americans who voted for Donald Trump represent the rise of American fascism; that conservatives have allowed authoritarianism to bloom in their midst, creating a grave danger for the republic. But what if the true authoritarian threat to America doesn’t come from the political right, but from the supposedly anti-fascist left? There are certainly totalitarians on the political right. But statistically, they represent a fringe movement with little institutional clout. The authoritarian left, meanwhile, is ascendant in nearly every area of American life. A small number of leftists - college-educated, coastal, and uncompromising - have not just taken over the Democratic Party but our corporations, our universities, our scientific establishment, our cultural institutions. And they have used their newfound power to silence their opposition. The authoritarian left is aggressively insistent that everyone must conform to its values, demanding submission and conformity. The dogmatic left is obsessed with putting people in categories and changing human nature. Everyone who opposes it must be destroyed. Ben Shapiro looks at everything from pop culture to the Frankfurt school, social media to the founding fathers, to explain the origins of our turn to tyranny, and why so many seem blind to it. More than a catalog of bad actors and intemperate acts, The Authoritarian Moment lays bare the intolerance and rigidity creeping into all American ideology - and prescribes the solution to ending the authoritarianism that threatens our future. PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.
- Author: Ben Shapiro
- Genre: Politics & Social Sciences, Politics & Government, Specific Topics, Human Rights
2. Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers
Christians can easily feel that Jesus is perpetually disappointed and frustrated, maybe even close to giving up on them. They know what Christ has done for them―but who is he? How does he feel about his people amid all their sins and failures? In Matthew 11, Jesus describes himself as “gentle and lowly in heart,” longing for his people to find rest in him. This book reflects on his words, diving deep into Bible passages that speak of Christ’s affections for sinners and encouraging believers as they journey, weary and faltering, toward heaven.
- Author: Dane C. Ortlund
- Publisher: Crossway (April 7, 2020)
- Genre: Christian Books & Bibles, Christian Living
- ISBN: 978-1433566134
- Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8 inches
3. The Making of Biblical Womanhood: How the Subjugation of Women Became Gospel Truth
USA Today Bestseller "A powerful work of skillful research and personal insight."-- Publishers Weekly Biblical womanhood--the belief that God designed women to be submissive wives, virtuous mothers, and joyful homemakers--pervades North American Christianity. From choices about careers to roles in local churches to relationship dynamics, this belief shapes the everyday lives of evangelical women. Yet biblical womanhood isn't biblical, says Baylor University historian Beth Allison Barr. It arose from a series of clearly definable historical moments. This book moves the conversation about biblical womanhood beyond Greek grammar and into the realm of church history--ancient, medieval, and modern--to show that this belief is not divinely ordained but a product of human civilization that continues to creep into the church. Barr's historical insights provide context for contemporary teachings about women's roles in the church and help move the conversation forward. Interweaving her story as a Baptist pastor's wife, Barr sheds light on the #ChurchToo movement and abuse scandals in Southern Baptist circles and the broader evangelical world, helping readers understand why biblical womanhood is more about human power structures than the message of Christ.
- Author: Beth Allison Barr
- Publisher: Brazos Press (April 20, 2021)
- Genre: Christian Books & Bibles, Churches & Church Leadership
- ISBN: 978-1587434709
- Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.64 x 8.5 inches
4. Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER The “paradigm-influencing” book ( Christianity Today ) that is fundamentally transforming our understanding of white evangelicalism in America. Jesus and John Wayne is a sweeping, revisionist history of the last seventy-five years of white evangelicalism, revealing how evangelicals have worked to replace the Jesus of the Gospels with an idol of rugged masculinity and Christian nationalism―or in the words of one modern chaplain, with “a spiritual badass.” As acclaimed scholar Kristin Du Mez explains, the key to understanding this transformation is to recognize the centrality of popular culture in contemporary American evangelicalism. Many of today’s evangelicals might not be theologically astute, but they know their VeggieTales, they’ve read John Eldredge’s Wild at Heart , and they learned about purity before they learned about sex―and they have a silver ring to prove it. Evangelical books, films, music, clothing, and merchandise shape the beliefs of millions. And evangelical culture is teeming with muscular heroes―mythical warriors and rugged soldiers, men like Oliver North, Ronald Reagan, Mel Gibson, and the Duck Dynasty clan, who assert white masculine power in defense of “Christian America.” Chief among these evangelical legends is John Wayne, an icon of a lost time when men were uncowed by political correctness, unafraid to tell it like it was, and did what needed to be done. Challenging the commonly held assumption that the “moral majority” backed Donald Trump in 2016 and 2020 for purely pragmatic reasons, Du Mez reveals that Trump in fact represented the fulfillment, rather than the betrayal, of white evangelicals’ most deeply held values: patriarchy, authoritarian rule, aggressive foreign policy, fear of Islam, ambivalence toward #MeToo, and opposition to Black Lives Matter and the LGBTQ community. A much-needed reexamination of perhaps the most influential subculture in this country, Jesus and John Wayne shows that, far from adhering to biblical principles, modern white evangelicals have remade their faith, with enduring consequences for all Americans. 15 black-and-white illustrations
- Author: Kristin Kobes Du Mez
- Publisher: Liveright (June 8, 2021)
- Genre: History, World
- ISBN: 978-1631499050
- Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.3 inches
5. Mere Christianity
In the classic Mere Christianity , C.S. Lewis, the most important writer of the 20th century, explores the common ground upon which all of those of Christian faith stand together. Bringing together Lewis’ legendary broadcast talks during World War Two from his three previous books The Case for Christianity , Christian Behavior , and Beyond Personality , Mere Christianity provides an unequaled opportunity for believers and nonbelievers alike to hear this powerful apologetic for the Christian faith.
- Author: C. S. Lewis
- Publisher: HarperOne; Revised & Enlarged edition (April 21, 2015)
- Genre: Christian Books & Bibles, Christian Living
- ISBN: 978-0060652920
- Dimensions: 5.31 x 0.58 x 8 inches
6. Forgiving What You Can't Forget: Discover How to Move On, Make Peace with Painful Memories, and Create a Life That's Beautiful Again
Number one New York Times best seller You deserve to stop suffering because of what other people have done to you. Have you ever felt stuck in a cycle of unresolved pain, playing offenses over and over in your mind? You know you can't go on living like this, but you don't know what to do next. Lysa TerKeurst has wrestled through this journey. But in surprising ways, she’s discovered how to let go of bound-up resentment and overcome the resistance to forgiving people who aren’t willing to make things right. With deep empathy, therapeutic insight, and rich Bible teaching coming out of more than 1,000 hours of theological study, Lysa will help you: Learn how to move on when the other person refuses to change and never says they're sorry. Walk through a step-by-step process to free yourself from the hurt of your past and feel less offended today. Discover what the Bible really says about forgiveness and the peace that comes from living it out right now. Identify what's stealing trust and vulnerability from your relationships so you can believe there is still good ahead. Disempower the triggers hijacking your emotions by embracing the two necessary parts
- Author: Lysa TerKeurst
- Genre: Audible Books & Originals, Religion & Spirituality, Christianity, Christian Living, Family
7. The Unseen Realm
In The Unseen Realm , Dr. Michael Heiser examines the ancient context of scripture, explaining how its supernatural worldview can help us grow in our understanding of God. He illuminates intriguing and amazing passages of the Bible that have been hiding in plain sight. You'll find yourself engaged in an enthusiastic pursuit of the truth, resulting in a new appreciation for God's word. Why wasn't Eve surprised when the serpent spoke to her? How did descendants of the Nephilim survive the flood? Why did Jacob fuse Yahweh and his angel together in his prayer? Who are the assembly of divine beings that God presides over? In what way do those beings participate in God's decisions? Why do Peter and Jude promote belief in imprisoned spirits? Why does Paul describe evil spirits in terms of geographical rulership? Who are the glorious ones that even angels dare not rebuke? After listening to this book, you may never read your Bible the same way again. There is a world referred to in the scripture that is quite unseen, but also quite present and active. Michael Heiser's The Unseen Realm seeks to unmask this world. Heiser shows how important it is to understand this world and appreciate how its contribution helps to make sense of scripture. The book is clear and well done, treating many ideas and themes that often go unseen themselves. With this book, such themes will no longer be neglected, so listen to it and discover a new realm for reflection about what scripture teaches.
- Author: Dr. Michael S. Heiser
- Genre: Audible Books & Originals, Religion & Spirituality, Christianity, Bibles & Bible Study, Bible Study
8. No God but One: Allah or Jesus? (with Bonus Content): A Former Muslim Investigates the Evidence for Islam and Christianity
BONUS: This eBook includes downloadable videos and a Q&A with Nabeel Qureshi that are not found in the print edition. Having shared his journey of faith in the New York Times bestselling Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus , Nabeel Qureshi now examines Islam and Christianity in detail, exploring areas of crucial conflict and unpacking the relevant evidence. In this anticipated follow-up book, Nabeel reveals what he discovered in the decade following his conversion, providing a thorough and careful comparison of the evidence for Islam and Christianity--evidence that wrenched his heart and transformed his life. In Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus , Nabeel Qureshi recounted his dramatic journey, describing his departure from Islam and his decision to follow Christ. In the years that followed, he realized that the world’s two largest religions are far more different than they initially appeared. No God but One: Allah or Jesus? addresses the most important questions at the interface of Islam and Christianity: How do the two religions differ? Are the differences significant? Can we be confident that either Christianity or Islam is true? And most important, is it worth sacrificing everything for the truth? Nabeel shares stories from his life and ministry, casts new light on current events, and explores pivotal incidents in the histories of both religions, providing a resource that is gripping and thought-provoking, respectful and challenging. Both Islam and Christianity teach that there is No God but One , but who deserves to be worshiped, Allah or Jesus ? This eBook includes the full text of the book plus bonus content not found in the softcover! Bonuses include a Q&A with Nabeel Qureshi and downloadable videos that answer important questions about Islam and Christianity. Please note that some e-reader devices do not accommodate video play. You can still access the bonus videos by copying the web address provided into an internet browser on a device or computer that accommodates video content.
- Author: Nabeel Qureshi
- Publisher: Zondervan (August 30, 2016)
- Genre: Kindle Store, Kindle eBooks, Religion & Spirituality
9. As a man Thinketh: The Original 1902 Edition (The Wisdom Of James Allen)
All that we achieve and all that we fail to achieve is the direct result of our own thoughts. “Self-control is strength. Right thought is mastery. Calmness is power. ” ― James Allen, As a Man Thinketh "As a Man Thinketh" is a literary essay by James Allen, first published in 1902. In more than a century it has become an inspirational classic, selling millions of copies worldwide and bringing faith, inspiration, and self healing to all who have encountered it. The title comes from the Bible: "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." -- Proverbs, chapter 23, verse 7. As himself Allen describes, “It shows how, in his own thought-world, each man holds the key to every condition, good or bad, that enters into his life, and that, by working patiently and intelligently upon his thoughts, he may remake his life, and transform his circumstances. …and it can be carried in the pocket.” Too many mortals strive to improve only their wordly position--and too few seek spiritual betterment. Such is the problem James Allen faced in his own time. The ideas he found in his inner-most heart after great searching guided him as they will guide you. A True Classic that Belongs on Every Bookshelf!
- Author: James Allen
- Publisher: Independently published (February 7, 2021)
- Genre: Christian Books & Bibles, Bible Study & Reference
- ISBN: 979-8706171780
- Dimensions: 5 x 0.21 x 8 inches
10. The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam
The Strange Death of Europe is a highly personal account of a continent and culture caught in the act of suicide. Declining birth rates, mass immigration, and cultivated self-distrust and self-hatred have come together to make Europeans unable to argue for themselves and incapable of resisting their own comprehensive alteration as a society and an eventual end. This is not just an analysis of demographic and political realities; it is also an eyewitness account of a continent in self-destruct mode. It includes accounts based on travels across the entire continent, from the places where migrants land to the places they end up, from the people who pretend they want them to the places which cannot accept them. Murray takes a step back at each stage and looks at the bigger and deeper issues which lie behind a continent's possible demise, from an atmosphere of mass terror attacks to the steady erosion of our freedoms. The audiobook addresses the disappointing failure of multiculturalism, Angela Merkel's U-turn on migration, the lack of repatriation, and the Western fixation on guilt. Murray travels to Berlin, Paris, Scandinavia, Lampedusa, and Greece to uncover the malaise at the very heart of the European culture and to hear the stories of those who have arrived in Europe from far away. This sharp and incisive audiobook ends up with two visions for a new Europe - one hopeful, one pessimistic - which paint a picture of Europe in crisis and offer a choice as to what, if anything, we can do next. But perhaps Spengler was right: 'civilizations, like humans, are born, briefly flourish, decay, and die'.
- Author: Douglas Murray
- Genre: Politics & Social Sciences, Social Sciences, Religious Groups Studies, Islamic