What Book or Author Has Influenced You the Most (Besides the Bible)?


(Randy) #1

All truth is God’s truth. So, this doesn’t have to be about a Christian book. My favorite, however, has been George Macdonald’s “Malcolm.” I read it split up as “The Fisherman’s Lady” and “The Marquis’ Secret.” The repackaging by Michael Phillips made it easier to read, though the titles obscured the fact that this was a very deep allegory of a man who tries his hardest to be like Christ. He reminds me of my father.


(Christy Hemphill) #2

I read those in high school and loved them. Can’t say that I remember much about them now though. So many books, so little time.


(Phil) #3

That is s difficult question, as different books affect you at different times of life. Sort of to be contrarian, early on, perhaps Old Yellar influenced me in maturing as I realized that sometimes bad things happen, and "a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do."
Later in life, I reflect on Robinson’s Gilead trilogy and how Ames personifies the love of the God in his relationship with Lila.
Reading is a wonderful thing.


(Laura) #4

I’d agree this is a hard question. I think the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis influenced me the most as a kid, because it’s pretty incredible, and just happened to be the series that propelled me into independent reading, which was good on many levels.

As an adult, I’ve appreciated what I’ve read from Tim Keller. Even though I’m not Reformed, I really liked “The Prodigal God,” because it helped me realize how shallow my understanding of grace was.


(Christy Hemphill) #5

I really liked that book too. And Phil’s pick Gilead is the book I give when I have to give a “favorite.” You all have such good taste. :slight_smile:


(Randy) #6

You made me think with mentioning"Old Yeller." As a 10 year old first reading it, I think I had nightmares after first getting to the sad ending. However, growing older, it sort of typifies the book that communicates truth to the point that we learn to love what is at first repellant–“faithful are the wounds of a friend.”

Darwin seems to be that way for me. I’ve never read “Origin,” but after going from YEC to EC and reading @TedDavis’ reviews of his deep and perhaps, sometimes noble struggles–what we all go through when dealing with science–I learned a better enjoyment of the scientific journey itself. Inasmuch as reliable laws reflect God’s character, it even made me enjoy Him more to go through the struggle. So, “Origin” likely is another strong influence on me, though I’ve never read it.

I’m going to have to read the Gilead trilogy. I’ve never heard of it. Thanks.


(Jay Johnson) #7

Perhaps you spoke too soon. I haven’t weighed in yet … haha

Stylistically, Hemingway’s short stories. Spare. Not a single wasted word. Poet: Whitman. The first edition of Leaves of Grass. (“Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself.”) Book: The Great Gatsby. (“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”)

Authors who most influenced me: Blaise Pascal, Soren Kierkegaard, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Dallas Willard, and the beat goes on …


(Randy) #8

Great one–poetry!

Gerard Manley Hopkins (Pied Beauty, As Kingfishers Catch Fire); much of Tolkien, including his riddles, which my kids and I use on each other; Matthew Arnold (Dover Beach); Lewis Carroll (Jabberwocky); Elizabeth Barrett Browning,

Earth’s crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God,
But only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round and pluck blackberries.


(system) #9

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