On the Reading of Small Books

Solomon warns, “Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh” (Ecc. 12:12).

Having just finished two small books worth reading but less wearying, brought to mind other small books I have read with profit.  Leaving out C.S. Lewis several small manuscripts because those are well known, here are several others I commend.

Letter from a Christian Citizen by Douglas Wilson and The Return of the Village Atheist by Joel McDurmon.  These are both in response to Sam Harris’ (no relation) 2006 attack on Christianity.  Every 30 years or so these attacks, the same attacks, are dusted off, refitted for modern use, and fired again, so they need to be answered again.  These books do that.

The Faith We Hold by Archbishop Paul of Finland.  The back of the book says, “This unpretentious little book was written ‘to describe Orthodoxy from the inside to those outside.'”  It does this nicely.

Sign of the Kingdom by Lesslie Newbigin.  This book gives a concise summary of how the Church has historically lost its way in the world.  If salt is desalinated with what can it be salted, some wise Man once asked?

Damned Through the Church by John Warwick Montgomery.  The title is self-explanatory.  Since Dr. Montgomery is within the fold of the LCMS, we pick up our ears when he speaks.  He spoke these words in 1970, but they are still relevant.

The History of Evolutionary Thought by Bert Thompson, Ph.D.  As Harris’ atheistic attack Letter to a Christian Nation shows, we are fooling ourselves if we think evolutionary thought has little theological implications.

Tortured for Christ by Rev. Richard Wurmbrand.  This book from the 60’s is by a Rumanian Lutheran pastor who has since met face to face the Christ he was tortured for.  I recommend this for pastors who are suffering now for Christ.  It always makes me put my “sufferings” in quotation marks.

About Paul Harris

Pastor Harris retired from congregational ministry after 40 years in office on 31 December 2023. He is now devoting himself to being a husband, father, and grandfather. He still thinks cenobitic monasticism is overrated and cave dwelling under.
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One Response to On the Reading of Small Books

  1. Derek Kurth says:

    I’ve read a couple of Doug Wilson’s books; one that I think you’d enjoy is called A Serrated Edge: A Brief Defense of Biblical Satire and Trinitarian Skylarking. You’re welcome to borrow it (assuming you don’t have it already!).

    Another good and very short book for this time of year is The Case for Easter (Lee Strobel). It gives a good summary of the case for the historical resurrection.

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