20 Christian Books That Can Be a Game-Changer for Your Faith

Every year, I set a goal to read at least 30 books. Some years I succeed, others I don’t.  But it’s an honorable objective nonetheless, as literacy serves as a gateway into foraging for and finding knowledge, understanding, and even spiritual renewal.

If we were to look to the dictionary we would find that the definition of renewal would be similar to restoring freshness in our lives or making something spiritually new.

And sometimes, we need a good, uplifting book in our lives to restore our mind and spirit so that we might continue functioning at our best.

With the earliest literary release from 1678 and the latest in 2013, the following is a list of 20 books that can do just that – be a positive game changer in your life as you seek restoration and spiritual vitality in your life.

  1. Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis

Year of Release: 1952

Total Copies Sold: 3.5 Million

Synopsis: 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.  (Crossmap Books)

2. Knowing God, by J.I. Packer
Year of Release: 1973
Total Copies Sold: 1 Million
Synopsis: A lifelong pursuit of knowing God should embody the Christian’s existence. According to eminent theologian J.I. Packer, however, Christians have become enchanted by modern skepticism and have joined the “gigantic conspiracy of misdirection” by failing to put first things first. Knowing God aims to redirect our attention to the simple, deep truth that to know God is to love His Word. (Crossmap Books)

3. More Than a Carpenter, by Josh McDowell
Year of Release: 1977
Total Copies Sold: 15 Million
Synopsis: Josh McDowell’s timeless examination of the true nature of Christ and his impact on our lives is one of the best-selling Christian books ever. Written by a former skeptic of Christianity, it is a hard-hitting book for those who doubt Jesus’ deity and his purpose. (Crossmap Books)

4. The Case for Christ, by Lee Strobel
Year of Release: 1998
Total Copies Sold: 5 Million
Synopsis: In this bestseller, The Case for Christ, Lee Strobel cross-examines a dozen experts with doctorates from schools such as Cambridge, Princeton, and Brandeis, asking hard-hitting questions–and building a captivating case for Christ’s divinity. (Crossmap Books)

5. The Ragamuffin Gospel, by Brennan Manning
Year of Release: 1990
Total Copies Sold: N/A
Synopsis: Most of us believe in God’s grace—in theory. But somehow we can’t seem to apply it in our daily lives. We continue to see Him as a small-minded bookkeeper, tallying our failures and successes on a score sheet. Yet God gives us His grace, willingly, no matter what we’ve done. Brennan Manning’s now-classic meditation on grace and what it takes to access it—simple honesty—has changed thousands of lives. (Crossmap Books)

6. The Purpose Driven Life, by Rick Warren
Year of Release: 2002
Total Copies Sold: 35 Million
Synopsis: Before you were born, God already planned your life. God longs for you to discover the life he uniquely created you to live–here on earth, and forever in eternity. As one of the bestselling nonfiction books in history, with more than 35 million copies sold, The Purpose Driven Life is far more than just a book; it’s the road map for your spiritual journey. A journey that will transform your life. (Amazon)

7. Crazy Love, by Francis Chan
Year of Release: 2008
Total Copies Sold: 2 Million
Synopsis: Do contemporary believers live the radically committed life Jesus calls his followers to live? Francis Chan challenges church members to take responsibility for their apathy, engage in honest self-examination, and totally surrender to God’s purpose. (Crossmap Books)

8. Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young
Year of Release: 2004
Total Copies Sold: 30 Million
Synopsis: Experience a deeper relationship with Jesus as you savor the presence of the One who understands you perfectly and loves you forever. With Scripture and personal reflections, New York Times bestselling author Sarah Young brings Jesus’ message of peace—for today and every day. (Crossmap Books)

9. Wild at Heart, by John Eldredge
Year of Release: 2001
Total Copies Sold: 5 Million
Synopsis: Helping men rediscover their masculine heart, this guide to understanding Christian manhood and Christian men offers a refreshing break from the chorus of voices urging men to be more responsible, reliable, dutiful… and dead. God designed men to be dangerous, says John Eldredge. (Crossmap Books)

10. Pilgrim’s Progress, by John Bunyan
Year of Release: 1678
Total Copies Sold: 250 Million
Synopsis: Although John Bunyan’s Pilgrim emerged in Puritan dress from the Town Prison on Bedford Bridge in 1676, he has remained to this day, in more than 120 languages, an influence which is almost as wide as Christianity itself. Many explanations are offered for the book’s enduring appeal the masterly allegory which can charm both child and adult; the great humanness of the characters who, after a few rapid strokes, appear in flesh and blood likeness; the plain, vivid English and yet all these things are secondary. (Crossmap Books)

11. The Screwtape Letters, by C.S. Lewis
Year of Release: 1942
Total Copies Sold: 500,000
Synopsis: The Screwtape Letters by C.S.  Lewis is a classic masterpiece of religious satire that entertains readers with its sly and ironic portrayal of human life and foibles from the vantage point of Screwtape, a highly placed assistant to “Our Father Below.” At once wildly comic, deadly serious, and strikingly original, C.S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters is the most engaging account of temptation—and triumph over it—ever written. (Crossmap Books)

12. The Five Love Languages, by Dr. Gary Chapman
Year of Release: 1992
Total Copies Sold: 20 Million
Synopsis: In the #1 New York Times international bestseller The 5 Love Languages, you’ll discover the secret that has transformed millions of relationships worldwide. Whether your relationship is flourishing or failing, Dr. Gary Chapman’s proven approach to showing and receiving love will help you experience deeper and richer levels of intimacy with your partner—starting today. (Crossmap Books)

13. The Circle Maker, by Mark Batterson
Year of Release: 2011
Total Copies Sold: 1 Million
Synopsis: The Circle Maker is a must-read for revolutionizing your prayer life. Get ready to experience new breakthroughs, knowing that bold prayers honor God and God honors bold prayers. (Crossmap Books)

14. What’s So Amazing About Grace, by Philip Yancey
Year of Release: 1997
Total Copies Sold: 15 Million
Synopsis: In What’s So Amazing About Grace? award-winning author Philip Yancey explores grace at street level. If grace is God’s love for the undeserving, he asks, then what does it look like in action? And if Christians are its sole dispensers, then how are we doing at lavishing grace on a world that knows far more of cruelty and unforgiveness than it does of mercy? (Crossmap Books)

15. The Pursuit of God, by A.W. Tozer
Year of Release: 1948
Total Copies Sold: N/A
Synopsis: Sometimes the voices that speak most clearly in the present are those that echo from the past. So it is in this Christian classic by the late pastor and evangelist A. W. Tozer. Tozer brings the mystics to bear on modern spirituality, grieving the hustle and bustle and calling for a slow, steady gaze upon God. With prophetic vigor and flowing prose, he urges us to replace low thoughts of God with lofty ones, to quiet our lives so we can know God’s presence. He reminds us that life apart from God is really no life at all. (Amazon)

16. My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers
Year of Release: 1924
Total Copies Sold: 13 Million
Synopsis: Oswald Chambers was a teacher and preacher whose messages cut to the heart of the gospel.  His wife, Biddy, transcribed his lectures and sermons and compiled them into books, the most popular being My Utmost for His Highest. The title is taken from a thought in one of his sermons: “Shut out every consideration and keep yourself before God for this one thing only—My Utmost for His Highest.” (Crossmap Books)

17. Experiencing God, by Henry Blackaby & Claude King
Year of Release: 1976
Total Copies Sold: 7 Million
Synopsis: When you open this book, you’ll find that you aren’t just reading. No, you are being remade, reoriented, restored from the frustration of what you may have known as stale religion. Captured not by a concept but by your Creator, reborn in relationship. (Crossmap Books)

18. Cold Case Christianity, by J. Warner Wallace
Year of Release: 2013
Total Copies Sold: N/A
Synopsis: Written by an L. A. County homicide detective and former atheist, Cold-Case Christianity examines the claims of the New Testament using the skills and strategies of a hard-to-convince criminal investigator. (Crossmap Books)

19. The Shack, by William Paul Young
Year of Release: 2007
Total Copies Sold: 20 Million
Synopsis: In a world where religion seems to grow increasingly irrelevant The Shack wrestles with the timeless question, “Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain?” The answers the main character Mack gets will astound you and perhaps transform you as much as it did him. (Amazon)

20. Blue Like Jazz, by Donald Miller
Year of Release: 2003
Total Copies Sold: 2 Million
Synopsis: In this intimate, non-judgmental, and soul-searching account, Miller describes his remarkable journey with and back to the infinitely loving God, helping you learn how to have a genuine encounter with a God who is real. (Crossmap Books)

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