While the Bible remains the best selling book of all time, other Christian books also continue to be great sources of inspiration and help.
As Christians highly value personal growth and improvement, many nonfiction Christian books have maintained popularity throughout the decades among both spiritual and secular readers.
Classic Christian Nonfiction Books
These nonfiction Christian books range from historical accounts to self help and motivational reads.
The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis
The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis is considered a classic in Christian literature. The author was a man committed to doing whatever it took to imitate his Savior, Jesus Christ. This commitment gives the book an unusual depth, as Kempis practiced what he preached.
Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
Better known for his children’s book series The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis was actually a famed British author also known for his deep interest in Christianity.
The book Mere Christianity was adapted from his radio talks on BBC, and explores the “common ground upon which all of those of Christian faith stand together.”
The Confessions of St. Augustine by St. Augustine and John K. Ryan
The Confessions of St. Augustine is considered one of the most influential books in the Christian faith.
In it,St. Augustine wrote more than just an autobiography. He traces different cross-roads in his life, such as his lavish time at the imperial court, his sexual struggles, his resulting renunciation of marriage and ambition, and his final return to his Catholic faith to inspire his followers to seek their own personal growth.
This book will be helpful for anyone wanting to learn about the impact of one of the most important figures in the evolution of Christian thought.
Knowing God by J.I. Packer
Knowing God by J.I. Packer is another classic in Christian literature. Many Christians consider it an important tool for discovering the joy and wonder of knowing God intimately.
In a 2006 Christianity Today evaluation, the book ranked as one of the top 50 books that influenced evangelicals.
Packer explains who God is and also shares how we can relate to him in three sections: the first section talks about why and how we know God, the second deals with the different attributes of God, and the third expounds on the benefits of knowing him closely.
More Than a Carpenter by Josh McDowell
Josh McDowell’s More Than a Carpenter is an inspirational classic that has been updated for the new generation of truth-seekers. The new version includes insights from McDowell’s son, Sean.
Josh McDowell was a former skeptic who examined the evidence about Jesus. Ever since it was first published in 1977, More Than a Carpenter has sold more than 15 million copies and been translated into several languages.
The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence
Brother Lawrence was a monk who discovered the secret of practicing God’s presence even in the midst of mundane tasks.
The Practice of the Presence of God is a compilation of teachings by Brother Lawrence, which Father Joseph de Beaufort collected.
The book, whose main theme is developing an awareness of God’s presence, includes letters and conversations that were recorded by people that Brother Lawrence dialogued with.
Contemporary Christian Nonfiction Books
Although the classics continue to be favorites among old and new Christians alike, several contemporary Christian nonfiction books also grace the shelves of this new generation of believers.
The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren
Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life reached bestselling status when it was first published in 2002. Second only to the Bible, this book is now the second most-translated book in the world. It focuses on equipping a new generation of Christians to discover God’s purpose for their lives.
Warren has recently updated the book, adding new chapters about the hindrances of living a life of purpose.
The new edition also includes links to video introductions to each chapter, as well as audio messages that explore the main messages more deeply.
Jesus Calling by Sarah Young
Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling, a daily devotional, tops the list of contemporary Christian nonfiction books. The author started by journalling her conversations with God, and wrote the book in the first person, with Jesus as the speaker.
This book of daily inspirations will challenge you to pursue God’s presence on a regular basis and help you start the habit of developing your own quiet time.
The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel
Award-winning legal journalist Lee Strobel was another skeptic who intentionally studied the evidences of Christianity.
The atheist applied his vocational skills to investigate the claims of Christianity, and he shares his findings in The Case for Christ.
The book traces Strobel’s journey from atheism to faith in Christ. You will see how he uses expert testimony to analyze truths in science, history, literature, and religion.
Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God by Francis Chan
Former pastor of Cornerstone Community Church, Francis Chan is an American author, preacher, and teacher in evangelical churches.
His book Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God is an excellently written exposition on the “radical, unconditional, self-sacrificing” love of God. He tackles the issue of performing to gain God’s approval, and challenges readers to encounter God’s love for themselves.
90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper
Don Piper was driving home from a conference when a truck crossed into his lane and crushed his car. According to medical personnel, he died on the spot. Over the next 90 minutes, his body lay lifeless inside what remained of his car.
When a minister prayed over him after the ninety minutes, Piper experienced a miracle by literally coming back to life. Piper says that during those 90 minutes he experienced Heaven, the details of which he shares in this book.
The Reason for God by Timothy Keller
Another book that helps Christians or seekers understand more about the Christian faith, The Reason for God examines common doubts.
Timothy Keller uses philosophy, literature, real-life conversations, and logical reasoning to explain how faith in Christ can actually be a rational decision.
The book gives believers a solid platform on which to base their faith. It also challenges atheists, agnostics, and skeptics to seek a relationship and better understanding of God.
Wild At Heart by John Eldredge
Ransomed Heart director John Eldredge wrote Wild At Heart to offer a refreshing glimpse at the male heart, characterized by a natural longing for adventure and being a hero.
Eldredge begins his book by exploring the current state of manhood, including in the church’s influence. He unpacks insights to the masculine heart, created in the image of a passionate God.
Your Best Life Now by Joel Osteen
Lakewood Church pastor Joel Osteen’s Your Best Life Now perfectly sums up some of his core beliefs: that who we are is a result of what we believe.
The book challenges readers to define themselves based on what God says about them. Osteen also encourages readers to be a people of faith, trusting God to do the impossible in their lives.
The Love Dare by Stephen Kendrick
The Love Dare by Stephen and Alex Kendrick is a great manual for building strong marriages. It has hit the New York Times Bestseller List and sold 5 million copies.
The book contains a 40-day challenge for married couples to learn and give each other unconditional love. The book will help you find the keys to true intimacy and cultivate a healthy marriage.
Kingdom Woman by Tony Evans and Chrystal Evans Hurst
Tony Evans wrote Kingdom Woman with his daughter, Chrystal Evans Hurst, to challenge women to live lives that are free, healed, delivered, and full of hope.
The book deals with distorted ideas on what a woman is, and confidently tells them who they are in Christ. A true kingdom woman is not limited by mediocrity, and can instead live victoriously through Christ.
Passion for Jesus by Mike Bickle
International House of Prayer founder Mike Bickle wrote Passion for Jesus to challenge believers to live lives of passionate love for Jesus.
He traces his journey through legalism and how he stumbled upon the overwhelming love of God, which in turn awakened a love for him.
He also explores the relationship between God and man in the context of the Song of Solomon.
Loving Our Kids on Purpose by Danny Silk
In this Christian parenting book, Danny Silk, one of Bethel Church’s Senior Leaders, explores ways in which to empower your children to make wise choices.
Instead of the traditional parenting method of the parents controlling everything, he explains how children thrive when parents give them choices. He gives parents tools and techniques for implementing this plan of intentionally raising up children to become godly adults.
Love After Marriage by Barry and Lori Byrne
Licensed marriage and family therapist Barry Byrne and his wife Lori authored this in-depth marriage manual to help couples discover marriage as God intended.
They candidly explore the issues of anger, distrust, and contempt prevalent among married couples. They believe the Holy Spirit wishes to release healing upon couples who are struggling to connect.
The book teaches many helpful strategies, such as how to be transparent and vulnerable with one’s spouse, all taken from the world-renowned Love After Marriage workshops that the authors themselves conduct.
Trial and Triumph by Richard Hannula
This collection of stories traces the lives of the martyrs all the way from early church history to the present time. Richard Hannula expertly weaves the childhood background and other influencing factors that led to each person’s quest in impacting the world for Christ.
Beginning with Polycarp, Witness in the Arena from 69A.D., the book goes through each time period featuring several of the best known names in Christendom, from the Early Church, Middle Ages, the Reformation, Post-Reformation, Modern Missions, and ending with the early 1900’s for Recent Times.
A Tale of Three Kings by Gene Edwards
Gene Edwards expertly explores the stories of three kings: Saul, David, and Absalom, and presents kingdom principles for authority and submission.
Using a storytelling angle intermingled with direct addresses to his audience, Edwards challenges the church to value God-appointed leadership. He unveils common mindsets that young believers have, which cause them to question the authority of anointed leadership.
The book will inspire you to endure and grow in the presence of a difficult leader.
Heaven by Randy Alcorn
Randy Alcorn fervently believes that most Christians have a limited view of heaven. In this book, he seeks to share what the Bible tells us about heaven in order for us to have a proper understanding of eternity.
Alcorn’s in-depth study and thorough explanation of the Biblical view of heaven, coupled with his engaging writing skills, offers a breath of fresh air to Christians. You will find your mindset expanding and your heart longing for heaven as you read this book.
He Chose the Nails: What God Did to Win Your Heart by Max Lucado
Master storyteller Max Lucado expertly brings us to the foot of the cross and shows us all what Jesus did to show his love for us.
Each chapter in He Chose the Nails deals with a specific aspect of the cross, and invites us to ponder all these details in light of God’s forgiveness.
Lucado invites us to linger on Calvary hill and contemplate the high price that Jesus paid in order to welcome us into His family.
Desiring God by John Piper
Christian hedonist John Piper has spent the last few decades challenging the church to find its supreme joy and satisfaction in God.
Piper elaborates on his message of Desiring God on numerous Bible passages, drawing extensively from the Psalms, the letters of Paul, and the words of Jesus himself. He encourages us to approach God with wholehearted abandon and to find our greatest fulfillment in Him.
The Beloved Disciple by Beth Moore
Excellent teacher Beth Moore beckons us to the very heart of Jesus through the perspective of the apostle John.
Moore explores different experiences that John had with Jesus, imagining how he must have responded to all the miracles he saw and all the displays of love that he encountered.
Reading this book will surely draw you in to the truth that you yourself are God’s beloved and that He longs to pour out his love on you.
Christian Fiction Books
Christian messages are also embedded in many fantastic works of fiction:
Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
John Bunyan’s allegory of the joys and sorrows of the Christian life is considered the #1 Christian novel of all time. Bunyan was a Puritan dissenter who wrote the book while he was in prison for non-conformist preaching.
The book opens with the main character, Christian, having a dream that leads him on a journey to the Celestial City, the details of which form the main content of the book.
Bunyan traces and highlights aspects of Christian’s life through the adventures he and his friends take part in throughout the book. Part 1 covers Christian’s journey, while the second part covers his wife Christianna’s journey.
Hinds’ Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard
Hannah Hurnard wrote Hinds’ Feet on High Places as an allegory of fear and triumph in the Christian life. The main character, Much-Afraid, struggles with her Fearing relatives while wanting to be with the Great Shepherd.
Hurnard draws much of the theme for the book from the Song of Solomon, and deftly brings us face to face with our own challenges in our walk with Christ. Eventually, Much-Afraid overcomes her obstacles while clinging tightly to the Shepherd and earns a new name as a result.
The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
Master storyteller C.S. Lewis gives us a glimpse into the mind of demons in this unusual tale: a senior demon named Screwtape writes letters to advise his younger nephew, Wormwood, on how to tempt humans to sin.
The book contains 31 letters, and although it falls under fiction, Lewis reportedly wrote it as an apologetic novel and dedicated it to his good friend, Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien. The satirical style of the book effectively addresses many issues in Christian theology, particularly the topic of resisting temptation.
The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis
Another novel penned by C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce is an allegory telling the story of a passenger in a bus traveling from hell to heaven.
Lewis explores the concepts of good and evil, as well as grace and judgment. The book, which was inspired by a theological dream-vision, will surely challenge your concepts of heaven and hell.
In His Steps: What Would Jesus Do? by Charles M. Sheldon
Published in 1896, Charles Sheldon’s bestselling Christian novel has sold over 50 million copies. The book began as Sheldon started writing a story to share on his Sunday night service, exploring the concept of “What would Jesus do?”
The storytelling invited crowds to this Sunday service, and after it ended, Chicago Advance published the stories as a serial, printing one chapter per week.
The novel traces different characters, including Rev. Henry Maxwell, who poses the original challenge of asking “What Would Jesus Do?” for a whole year to his congregation, newspaper editor Ed Norman, singer Rachel Winslow, and heiress Virginia Page.
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace
This epic story by Lew Wallace is considered “the most influential Christian book of the nineteenth century.” Wallace was a lawyer and Union general in the American Civil War, and his book reached bestselling status as one of the most beloved books in the 19th century.
He studies the concepts of betrayal and redemption by intertwining the lives of Judah Ben-Hur, a Jewish character, and Jesus Christ.
The story begins with Ben-Hur’s family being falsely convicted of treason, and in his quest to clear his family’s name, Ben-Hur encounters Jesus and his message of love and forgiveness.
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
Expert storyteller Francine Rivers explores the love story of Hosea in the Bible and his relentless love for his unfaithful wife.
She effectively weaves the story of modern-day Michael Hosea and his likewise unfaithful wife, giving us 400 pages of heart wrenching experiences and insight into the impossibility of such love.
With the story of Hosea serving as an allegory for the love of God, this book will likely expand your perspective of the concept of God’s unconditional love.
A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers
A Voice in the Wind is the first book in the Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers. It traces the story of Hadassah, a young slave of Christian-Jewish roots living in the time of the Roman Empire.
After Roman soldiers capture Hadassah and kill her entire family, she becomes slave to a teenaged Roman girl named Julia.
Rivers deftly weaves the stories of the two girls together and gives us an unparalleled glimpse to the life of Christians in the intense persecution during this period.
This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti
Frank Peretti’s first novel for adults offers a modern-day view of spiritual beings like angels and demons and the concepts of prayer and spiritual warfare.
This Present Darkness, the first in a series, follows events in the small town of Ashton, where reporter Bernice Kreuger faces false charges, goes to jail, and comes out with her camera film from a recent summer festival all destroyed.
With the story revolving around the investigation and the grueling details, the author also unveils the unseen forces of darkness at work behind all that takes place in the visible realm.
The Divine Romance by Gene Edwards
Theologian Gene Edwards takes us through the story of the Bible from before creation to the return of Jesus in the context of a great romance.
He shows how, each step of the way, God’s heart beats with passion for his people. His expert storytelling makes unimaginable scenes, such as eternity and the perspective of angels, come to life. You will see the Bible through new eyes as you read through The Divine Romance.
The Crimson Cord: Rahab’s Story by Jill Eileen Smith
The first in Jill Eileen Smith’s Daughters of the Promised Land Series, The Crimson Cord explores the story of Rahab, one of the few women mentioned in the lineage of Jesus.
The book begins with Rahab being sold as a slave to pay for her husband’s debt. A highly influential person forces her into prostitution, which propels her into the depths of despair.
Encountering the Israelite spies and letting them stay in her house opens up a door of hope, and she promises to protect them no matter what.
The Best Books About Christianity
The books presented on this list will inspire and motivate faithful readers, but can also provide historical, cultural, and personal insights that will benefit even non-religious readers.
To learn where you can find free Christian reads, check out our list of the best free Christian eBook sites.
Do you have a favorite Christian book? Share it with us in the comments below!
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Yen Cabag is the Blog Writer of TCK Publishing. She is also a homeschooling mom, family coach, and speaker for the Charlotte Mason method, an educational philosophy that places great emphasis on classic literature and the masterpieces in art and music. She has also written several books, both fiction and nonfiction. Her passion is to see the next generation of children become lovers of reading and learning in the midst of short attention spans.