I knew when I started researching the top five Christian novels of all time that it would be very subjective. I don’t know if five great novelists could ever agree on the best five books, even if they all read exactly the same book list. Yet I was curious.
What I initially found surprised me. The list, any list, is difficult to find! Lots of webpages tout the top 100 Christian books (all non-fiction), or the top selling books. But I didn’t want to know the best sellers list. I wanted to look past what people bought at retail stores and see the treasures from old we may overlook unless someone tells us to read it.
These books are listed in no particular order, largely because I haven’t read some of them and therefore do not yet have an opinion. But here’s what I was able to glean after looking at several recommendations from authors and readers:
1. The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis. This did not surprise me at all with the release of the movies over the last several years. I’ve seen the movies and read the books, and the movies do a good job of following the books, for the most part, and got all my kids interested in reading more about Narnia. The one most recommended was The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, with The Voyage of the Dawn Treader a close second.
2. The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien. Again, the movies have generated a lot of interest in the books, but that does not detract from the quality or the message of these novels.
3. Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan. Unless you enjoy wading through the old English language, I recommend an updated version.
4. The Big Fisherman by Lloyd Douglas. This is one of two books on this list that I own solely because my Dad recommended it. It tells the story of the Apostle Peter . It was made into a movie in 1959 starring Howard Keel.
5. The Silver Chalice by Thomas Costain. This is the other book my Dad recommended and made the Best Sellers list in 1953. It is the story of Basil, a silversmith commissioned by Luke to make a holder for the cup Jesus used at the Last Supper. It was made into a movie in 1954 starring Paul Newman.
Other books that I saw on more than on list included Francine Rivers’ Redeeming Love, and Frank Perretti’s books This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness. What do you think? Do you have a book that you would add to the all-time best Christian novel list?
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