The 100 Greatest Books, According To Me part1

Posted on August 3, 2009. Filed under: Book Reviews |

In recent weeks I have published blogs about the 100 Greatest Books of All Time according to Newsweek. Most of those books are great works, and some of them I have read.

Now I am going to work on my list. I will organize it differently and I will likely have more than 100 books on the list. I will put my list out topically. I will have a list of the greatest Religious Books, the greatest History books, the greatest Lit books, Sci-Fi, etc. I will focus on books that I have read, but I will also include some books that I should have read, or want to read. There will be some overlap with Newsweek’s list, but not much. I will probably include some films in the list as well, though I do not watch many movies. I may even include a section on “Most Destructive Books” those books that have caused the implementation of very bad ideas or religions. I am sure that won’t be controversial in the least.

One of the things that separates us from the animals and that demonstrates we are created in the image of God, is our ability to communicate with language. We can observe and remember like animals, but we can reason about what we observe and think through and evaluate the past. We can not only prepare for the future as animals do instinctively, but we can plan for the future, dream of the future and affect the future through our actions today, and our memories of yesterday. And we can communicate the past, our thoughts of the present and our dreams of tomorrow verbally, and in written form.

It is no accident of history that the Christian West is the most literate of societies. Though we can trace writing back to ancient Mesopotamia in the Middle-East it is a combination of Hebrew-Greek-Roman-Christian thought, culture, religion and art that shaped Western civilization into a literate society. Specifically I will point to the Hebrew people and the Old Testament as the source of our being a literate culture. The idea of direct revelation from God to man through the prophets, using language and the written word may be the single greatest change factor that separates the West from the rest. The difference between the Christian/Hebrew idea of revelation from that of the muslims or other religions is that our Revelation came in history through real events. The Bible did not just drop out of the sky nor was it dug up as golden plates. Each book bears witness of the men who wrote it with their style and their life situations. Revealed by God and infallible, yes, but also written by men with an earthiness that belongs to the authors.

Additionally, the Bible was no mere list of do’s and don’ts. It was not a neat and orderly summa theologica. It has produced countless arguments and disputations, commentaries and denominations with a wide variety of interpretations. This arguing over Scripture has sharpened the study and reasoning skills of the West like no other culture has known. And we finally reached the point where we stopped killing each other over the text.

In Acts 16 the LORD sends Paul a vision to come over to Macedonia instead of heading East bringing the Gospel to the West, changing Europe, and forming the culture we enjoy to this day. Yes, the Romans and Greeks had great literature before Paul’s mission to Europe. But apart from the Christianization of the Roman Empire we would have remained pagan and never advanced. From the 4th century on the influence of the Gospel of Jesus Christ upon Western Lit and science is significant, huge.

This does not mean that all literature written after the 4th century is Christian. Far from it. But it is the well spring for the greatness that is Western Literature, art and music.

It is too bad, a disaster really, that Christianity is being abandoned, shunted aside and forsaken in the last hundred years. Schools these days don’t teach the classics much, or history, let alone the Christian foundations that have supported this civilization for 2000 years. We live in a day of increasing anti-Semitism, much to our shame and impoverishment. Compare the list of Nobel prizes from the small Jewish population with how many muslims have Nobels and you will get the point.

So when I start this examination of the Greatest Books According To Me, I will begin with the Bible, by itself, in its own separate category, for it is the Book of books, revealing the King of kings.

Equality 7-2521


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    This blog exists to study the bi-vocational ministry, explore the Bible & Theology, and look at current events, history and other world religions through scripture, and have fun doing it!


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