Christianity Today has compiled a list of the top 50 Evangelical books. In their own words, "[t]hese are books that have shaped evangelicalism as we see it today—not an evangelicalism we wish and hope for." I was surprised to see so many apologetics books on the list, including:
47.The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable?, F. F. Bruce
Yes, they are. And it took F. F. Bruce only 120 tiny pages to show it.
40.Darwin on Trial, Phillip E. Johnson
This Berkeley law professor's takedown of scientific naturalism launched Intelligent Design and gained creationists a level of public attention they hadn't enjoyed since the Scopes trial.
22.The Genesis Flood, Henry M. Morris and John C. Whitcomb
In 1961, hydraulic engineer Henry M. Morris and biblical scholar John C. Whitcomb infused young-earth creationism with new energy. They argued that the biblical deluge could explain fossils and geological layers.
13.Evidence That Demands a Verdict, Josh McDowell
Who says faith is only for the heart and not the head? Not Josh McDowell.
3.Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis
Anyone who has read this far into the list doesn't need any explanation about why Lewis's work of apologetics placed this high—right?
I have read all of these and understand why each is on the list. I do think another apologetics books is missing: The Fingerprint of God, by Hugh Ross. What The Genesis Flood did for young earth creationism, Ross's first book did for old earth creationism. His follow up, Creation and Time, provided firmer philosophical and scientific ground for many evangelicals who believed God created but found the evidence for a young earth lacking. Two other different kind of apologetic books also might have made the list: What if Jesus Had Never Been Born? by Dr. James Kennedy and The Case for Christ, by Lee Strobel.
A non-apologetics book I was surprised did not make the cut was Chuck Colson's The Body. It brought to Evangelicals a much needed emphasis on the collective nature of God's people. Another non-apologetics book that might be a contender is David Barton's The Myth of Separation. Flawed but highly influential, it prompted many Evangelicals to challenge the accepted place of Christianity in the public sphere.
As with Christianity Today, I am not saying these are the best available or should have been the most influential. I am just recognizing the fact of their influence.
What other books have we overlooked?