Issue 116 25 Writings That Changed the Church and the World

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We asked over 70 past CH authors to help identify the most influential writings from christian history, after the Bible; here are some interesting facts about the 25 writings they named as “greatest"

the editors

Editor’s note

How could we ever pick 25 Christian books to feature as the most important?

Jennifer Woodruff Tait

Fully man and fully God

The Nicene Creed [#7] and Athanasius’s On The Incarnation [#9] explained the Trinity to us

Jennifer Freeman

The Apostles’ Creed [#26]

The Apostles’ Creed summarized the basics of Christian faith

Jennifer Freeman

Irenaeus, <i>Against Heresies</i> [#21]

Against Heresies attacked an early and pervasive Christian heresy

Jennifer Freeman

“Take and read”

Augustine’s Confessions [#1] and City of God [#4] packed a punch

Alex Huggard

Others we love, Part 1

They didn't make the top 25, but you should still check them out

various

Restoring order, restoring life

Benedict and Gregory each gave us a Rule [#11 and #24]

Steve Harper

Paying back the debt

Anselm’s Why God Became Man [#17] answered an age-old question

Edwin Woodruff Tait

Intellect that illuminates Christian truth

Thomas Aquinas’s Summa Theologiae [#2] explained Christianity’s rational basis

Garry J. Crites

Following Jesus above all

The Imitation of Christ [#10] gave us a model for prayerful living

Paul W. Chilcote

Others we love, part 2

Some more books and authors in our top 100

various

Dante’s enduring influence

The Divine Comedy [#16] took readers on an unforgettable journey

Rebecca Price Janney

Timeline

Here’s where the writings described in this issue fall into the sweep of the last 2,000 years of history

the editors

The straw that broke the camel’s back

The 95 Theses [#5] split a church and revolutionized a continent

Eric W. Gritsch

Robust instruction

John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion [#3] gave birth to Calvinism

Jennifer Powell McNutt

Westminster Confession of Faith [#20]

A confession that arose from strife

Edwin Woodruff Tait

Others we love, part 3

More writings from our top 100

various

Solid, scriptural, rational

The Book of Common Prayer [#12] set forth a liturgy that lasted

Jennifer Woodruff Tait

“Be of good cheer.”

Pilgrim’s Progress [#6] explored the Christian journey

Edwin Woodruff Tait

Not concerning the heart but the life

Jonathan Edwards’s Treatise [#23] and John Wesley’s Plain Account [#22] spoke of holiness

William Kostlevy

Others We Love, Part 4

More books that didn't quite make the top 25

various

The intelligent layperson

Mere Christianity [#8] explained faith to a wartime audience

David Neff

In defiance of the gods

Barth [#15] and Bonhoeffer [#13] resisted Nazi religion

Roy Stults

Others We Love, Part 5

More favorites that didn't make it into the final 25

various

2,000 years, 25 hymns

Some top hymns from all eras of church history

James D. Smith III

The dangers of compiling lists

Listing the best Christian books is not a new idea; maybe it's not even a good one

G. R. Evans

Recommended resources

We decided to recommend just one title for each featured author, although this meant ignoring many other excellent works; we urge you to examine past CH issues, our website, and other listed websites for more

the editors
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