Eric Metaxas may be best known for his biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, but he's also devoted much of his work to making Christian faith winsome and accessible—in his Socrates in the City lecture series and in books like Everything You Wanted to Know about God (But Were Afraid to Ask). Here he lists the 5 best books for nonbelievers.
The Searchers: A Quest for Faith in the Valley of Doubt
Joseph Loconte (Thomas Nelson)
Was there ever a more compelling writer than Loconte, who teaches history here in NYC? In The Searchers, he takes the familiar Road to Emmaus story and opens it up in fascinating ways you never thought possible. Along the way, he shows the infinite difference between phony religiosity and real faith in that Mysterious Stranger who appeared to the two pilgrims on that lonely road of grief. What's the Aramaic for "wow"?
The Little Way of Ruthie Leming: A Southern Girl, a Small Town, and the Secret of a Good Life
Rod Dreher (Grand Central Publishing)
Journalist Dreher shares the tremendously poignant story of returning to rural Louisiana to be near his 40-year-old sister, dying of cancer. He is so powerfully affected by the faith and grace around her that he and his family decide to stay. Forever. As New York Times columnist David Brooks wrote, Dreher and his wife "decided to accept the limitations of small-town life in exchange for the privilege of being part of a community."
Angry Conversations with God: A Snarky but Authentic Spiritual Memoir
Susan E. Isaacs (FaithWords)
If it's funny you want, look no further. Isaacs's true story of looking for God and a husband—not necessarily in that order—is utterly hilarious. The kooky premise is that Isaacs takes God to couples counseling. What follows is both spectacularly funny and searingly honest. Anyone who has ever wondered why faith can be so difficult, or why so many Christians seem to be positively kuh-razy, could hardly find a better companion for their own journeys.
Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity, and the Perfect Knuckleball
R. A. Dickey (Plume)
All-star pitcher Dickey tells of sexual abuse as a child; finding a refuge from his parents' divorce in sports; a jaw-dropping offer to join the Texas Rangers that is promptly rescinded; and then a hapless eternity in the purgatory of the minor leagues. Dickey finally hits bottom—figuratively and literally—with a near drowning in the Missouri River. But stay for the ninth, when Dickey hauls back and throws everything into a single pitch: the ethereal and capricious knuckleball. What follows is sports history. Did I mention that faith is at the center of it all?
The Devil's Delusion: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions
David Berlinksi (Basic Books)
Berlinski—the polymathic virtuoso with the X-acto mind and prose, not to mention the author of A Tour of the Calculus and The Advent of the Algorithm—turns his terawatt gaze to the strutting popinjays of the New Atheist movement. That Berlinski doesn't suffer fools gladly is the height of understatement. He cuts these mandarins of scientism to ribbons and then deftly twists them into Mobius-strips for our entertainment. William F. Buckley called this book "an incendiary and uproarious work of learned polemical writing, unique in its scientific sophistication and authority." Enough said.
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