Julia L. Roller (editor), “25 Books Every Christian Should Read: A Guide to the Essential Spiritual Classics”

This is a very interesting selection (made by “Renovare,” by the way).  First there is commentary and then there are excerpts from each.   Some notes:

  • Calvin is much more accessible than I would have thought.  He also interprets Scripture with an eye on what is implicit as well as explicit in it; it’s very good.
  • There’s much here on inward, constant prayer.  You have to work at it.  The book seems somewhat weighted toward living the spiritual (inner) life, rather than, for example, classic apologetics — but it has both.
  • Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence sounds good and it’s short — though it’s message may also be pretty short (keeping prayer constant as you do your quotidian tasks; incidentally, how easily done this is would depend on how automatically those quotidian tasks can be performed, wouldn’t it?).
  • C.S. Lewis endorses William Law’s A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life (219), but it’s “long and dense” (id.).  Lewis also endorses St. Athanasius’s On the Incarnation (3).

Note that the publisher is the same as for Devotional Classics, discussed elsewhere on this site.