The best books for the questioning Christian

Who am I?

I’m the founder of PreachersNSneakers, a network of social media accounts and books of the same title, which looks to get others to question the state of the modern church and our obsession with wealth, entertainment and fame. Going through the process of curating the accounts and writing the book has helped me develop expertise on mega churches, celebrity pastors, social media and the prosperity gospel. My goal is to get all people to laugh, think and live more authentically.


I wrote...

PreachersNSneakers: Authenticity in an Age of For-Profit Faith and (Wannabe) Celebrities

By Ben Kirby,

Book cover of PreachersNSneakers: Authenticity in an Age of For-Profit Faith and (Wannabe) Celebrities

What is my book about?

What started as a joke account on Instagram has turned into a movement. Through this provocative project, the founder of PreachersNSneakers is helping thousands of Jesus followers wrestle with the inevitable dilemmas created by our Western culture obsessed with image and entertainment.

In PreachersNSneakers: Authenticity in an Age of For-Profit Faith and (Wannabe) Celebrities, Ben Kirby approaches many of the difficult questions plaguing countless Christians’ minds, presenting experiences and input from both sides of difficult questions.This book will doubtlessly become a staple for church small groups, college ministries, and book clubs, emboldening struggling believers who want to live a more genuine faith. After all, the Lord works in mysterious colorways.

The books I picked & why

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Blessed: A History of the American Prosperity Gospel

By Kate Bowler,

Book cover of Blessed: A History of the American Prosperity Gospel

Why this book?

Blessed provides a comprehensive look into why church is what it is in America today. Her approachable writing style and personal anecdotes keep the reader enthralled in a topic that could easily be presented in a dry, academic way. I’m obsessed with this false idea of a prosperity gospel and why so many people still believe it. If you have questions about why church looks more like a show today than a worship service, this book is for you. 

The book helped to validate my concerns about the prosperity gospel movement but also encouraged me to not condemn those who are in it, but to seek understanding and even relationships with those that believe differently than I do. The background and research Bowler provides were a major contributor to my book and helped lay the groundwork for the questions I pose.


Confronting Christianity: 12 Hard Questions for the World's Largest Religion

By Rebecca McLaughlin,

Book cover of Confronting Christianity: 12 Hard Questions for the World's Largest Religion

Why this book?

This book invites questioning very established Christian ideas that many are afraid to bring up. On the opposite end, it provides a helpful resource to those looking to have tough conversations with friends about their faith. I loved this book because it helped me wrestle with my own questions about my faith and provide tools for helpful discourse with friends and family. Not exactly a light read, but immensely important.


Four Views on Hell

By Preston Sprinkle (editor),

Book cover of Four Views on Hell

Why this book?

This book was perspective shifting for me because it brings together four experts on the bible and contrasts their very different views on one of the most important topics of our faith, eternity. As someone that grew up never thinking critically about hell, this book made me realize that there were still a lot of elements of my faith that I needed to investigate.


God and Money: How We Discovered True Riches at Harvard Business School

By Gregory Baumer,

Book cover of God and Money: How We Discovered True Riches at Harvard Business School

Why this book?

As a Christian, money is one of those topics that always comes up and tends to dominate a lot of my headspace. Baumer and Cortines give an outstanding biblical framework on giving, saving, and investing that helps the reader keep a healthy view of money. This topic is messy but these guys did a great job.


Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger: Moving from Affluence to Generosity

By Ronald J. Sider,

Book cover of Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger: Moving from Affluence to Generosity

Why this book?

This was another foundational book for the network I created, PreachersNSneakers, and seemed to validate some of the questions I already had about Christianity. This book is packed with statistics and other realities about how much poverty and suffering there is in the world compared to the small subset of Western Christians that live with relative wealth. This book helps wrestle with the idea that a few get to flourish while masses live in poverty and how we as Christians should live our lives knowing that fact. This book is challenging in the best way and is a must-read for those who have questions about the relationship between faith and money.


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