The best books about fundamentalism

10 authors have picked their favorite books about fundamentalism and why they recommend each book.

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Pensées

By Blaise Pascal, A.J. Krailsheimer,

Book cover of Pensées

I am cheating a bit here since this was never a complete work, but a set of notes that Pascal was using for a far greater text. It confuses some people to hear that one of the greatest scientific and mathematical minds of his age was also a devout Christian, but that should not trouble someone with an open mind and an open heart. His intention was to show that there is a gaping hole inside of all of us, and that no diversion can ever fill it, except for a desire to know and to love what is Absolute. 

“All of humanity's problems stem from a man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”


Who am I?

Building upon many years of privately shared thoughts on the real benefits of Stoic Philosophy, Liam Milburn eventually published a selection of Stoic passages that had helped him to live well. They were accompanied by some of his own personal reflections.


I wrote...

A Stoic breviary: Classical wisdom in daily practice

By Liam Milburn,

Book cover of A Stoic breviary: Classical wisdom in daily practice

What is my book about?

This book serves as a breviary in the classical sense: a collection of 365 passages from the great Stoic philosophers, for meditation on each day of the year. 
The author offers his own experiences, thoughts, and reflections on the original texts, so as to encourage the reader to apply ancient lessons to modern life.

The Atheist Who Didn't Exist Or

By Andy Bannister,

Book cover of The Atheist Who Didn't Exist Or: the Dreadful Consequences of Bad Arguments

Andy Bannister has written this book in response to popular one-liners by new atheists, particularly Dawkins. Tired retorts comparing God to Santa Claus and the tooth fairy are hilariously dealt with by the author's dry British humour. I had a good couple of chuckles in this book. I particularly loved his imaginary friend who claimed he stole the Venus di Milo's arm, and also how he sarcastically puts trademark symbols on the words 'Science' and 'Reason'. Still, I think he does a good job of preventing his teasing from becoming a poo-flinging contest. Such a talented writer - loved this book!


Who am I?

I’ve been a Christian for 30+ years, and have had many questions about the Bible and theology. In order to answer my own questions, I’ve consumed scores of apologetics books, articles, videos, and podcasts, as well as studied the Bible itself, with lexicons and commentaries.


I wrote...

Answering The Atheist: Good Questions Deserve Straight Answers

By Roxane Lapa,

Book cover of Answering The Atheist: Good Questions Deserve Straight Answers

What is my book about?

Atheists, skeptics, and agnostics are unconvinced, and unmoved by the 'just have faith' and 'don't question the church' type of responses they often receive. This book candidly answers the most popular questions asked by non-believers, such as: How Can You Believe a Book with so Many Contradictions? What Makes Your Religion the Right One? Hasn't Religion Caused More Wars than Anything Else? If God Exists, Why Does He Allow Such Evil? How Do You Explain Dinosaur Bones and Cave Men? Who Deserves to Burn in Hell Forever?...and more. All answers are thoroughly researched using the Bible itself, biblical commentaries, apologist insights, Hebrew and Greek lexicons, and (where appropriate) scientific and secular sources

Answering the Objections of Atheists, Agnostics, & Skeptics

By Ron Rhodes,

Book cover of Answering the Objections of Atheists, Agnostics, & Skeptics

This is a book aimed at Christians and regards arguments that sceptics tend to raise.  This was a great book. It wasn’t an easy read, or particularly well ordered, but it had a lot of meat and a few amazing nuggets.


Who am I?

I’ve been a Christian for 30+ years, and have had many questions about the Bible and theology. In order to answer my own questions, I’ve consumed scores of apologetics books, articles, videos, and podcasts, as well as studied the Bible itself, with lexicons and commentaries.


I wrote...

Answering The Atheist: Good Questions Deserve Straight Answers

By Roxane Lapa,

Book cover of Answering The Atheist: Good Questions Deserve Straight Answers

What is my book about?

Atheists, skeptics, and agnostics are unconvinced, and unmoved by the 'just have faith' and 'don't question the church' type of responses they often receive. This book candidly answers the most popular questions asked by non-believers, such as: How Can You Believe a Book with so Many Contradictions? What Makes Your Religion the Right One? Hasn't Religion Caused More Wars than Anything Else? If God Exists, Why Does He Allow Such Evil? How Do You Explain Dinosaur Bones and Cave Men? Who Deserves to Burn in Hell Forever?...and more. All answers are thoroughly researched using the Bible itself, biblical commentaries, apologist insights, Hebrew and Greek lexicons, and (where appropriate) scientific and secular sources

The Reason for God

By Timothy Keller,

Book cover of The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism

Manhattan pastor Tim Keller is used to handling the toughest questions from the brightest people. This book compiles his answers to some of those, from “How Can a Loving God Send People to Hell?” to the church’s responsibility for so much injustice. Keller reads widely and well, and he writes with a respectful seriousness without being ponderous or preachy.


Who am I?

Ever since my ninth grade English teacher provoked me with religious questions I not only couldn’t answer, but had never even considered, I’ve been interrogating my Christian faith. Now, several decades later, with a PhD from the University of Chicago and a handful of books published by the Oxford University Press, I’m in a better position to answer those questions, and to recognize the good answers of others. I don’t think we ever get perfect answers to the Big Questions, but we can get answers adequate for trusting God, and that’s enough.


I wrote...

Can I Believe? Christianity for the Hesitant

By John G. Stackhouse Jr.,

Book cover of Can I Believe? Christianity for the Hesitant

What is my book about?

Maybe Christianity is true. But how could one possibly decide that among the world’s religious options? This book outlines a process for thinking about religion reasonably and responsibly. It then tells the story of the Christian religion in a way that will startle most readers while clearing away misunderstandings that have repelled so many.

The book goes on to look at why two billion people find this religion to be persuasive. But it also acknowledges that many find it implausible because Christians insist that theirs is the only way to God and because the problem of evil seems to undercut everything Christianity asserts. Can I Believe? refuses to dodge hard questions as it welcomes the intelligent inquirer to give Christianity at least one good look.

Mama Bear Apologetics(r)

By Hillary Morgan Ferrer,

Book cover of Mama Bear Apologetics(r): Empowering Your Kids to Challenge Cultural Lies

Our kids are being fed overwhelming amounts of information and countless differing opinions. It’s dizzying to sort it all out and help them discern fact from fiction. Mama Bear Apologetics taught me not how to pre-program my kids' mindsets but rather how to coach them in thinking for themselves. They don’t have to be vulnerable to everything they hear. Instead, they can apply intellect to break down an argument and measure it against sound evidence and what makes sense. This book helped me develop a more solid worldview and showed me in practical ways how to help my kids do the same.


Who am I?

Life is busy. We all feel it. As my husband and I have built businesses, published books, traveled the country, and homeschooled our four kids, we’ve worried at times that our schedule is too packed and we’re losing sight of what matters. Seven years ago, we took time to write out a “Family Values List,” which has guided our family’s trajectory. We measure every decision and opportunity up against our core values. This provides a depth of intentionality in our parenting, which has led us to read (and write!) resources around how to make the most of the time we have together as a family. “Do life together” is on our values list, and it’s what we aim to do each day.


I wrote...

936 Pennies: Discovering the Joy of Intentional Parenting

By Eryn Lynum,

Book cover of 936 Pennies: Discovering the Joy of Intentional Parenting

What is my book about?

"Each of these pennies represents one week you have with your child between birth and eighteen.” He handed us the jar along with this weighty explanation for the 936 copper coins inside. We all know “the days are long, but the years are short.” We feel it acutely as parents. Yet, with this jar, I had a visual for my kids’ childhoods. I can make the most of this time, infusing it with meaning, laughter, purpose, and memories.

At some point, every parent realizes time is moving swiftly, and they ask themselves, How am I investing in my child? Through personal stories and biblical examples, 936 Pennies will help you discover how to capture time and use it to its fullest potential, replacing guilt and regrets with freedom. Meanwhile, your kids will see how simple choices, like putting the cell phone down and going on a family hike, will make all the difference. Together you will “count time and make time count.”

Mere Christianity

By C.S. Lewis,

Book cover of Mere Christianity

Lewis’s classic is the most popular and influential defense of Christian belief published in the last 100 years. It is cited more often than any other book, particularly among scientists, philosophers, and other thoughtful people as important to them on their journey to the Christian faith. It’s a little dated now—the gap between Lewis and ourselves stretches wider each year—but it’s still compelling.


Who am I?

Ever since my ninth grade English teacher provoked me with religious questions I not only couldn’t answer, but had never even considered, I’ve been interrogating my Christian faith. Now, several decades later, with a PhD from the University of Chicago and a handful of books published by the Oxford University Press, I’m in a better position to answer those questions, and to recognize the good answers of others. I don’t think we ever get perfect answers to the Big Questions, but we can get answers adequate for trusting God, and that’s enough.


I wrote...

Can I Believe? Christianity for the Hesitant

By John G. Stackhouse Jr.,

Book cover of Can I Believe? Christianity for the Hesitant

What is my book about?

Maybe Christianity is true. But how could one possibly decide that among the world’s religious options? This book outlines a process for thinking about religion reasonably and responsibly. It then tells the story of the Christian religion in a way that will startle most readers while clearing away misunderstandings that have repelled so many.

The book goes on to look at why two billion people find this religion to be persuasive. But it also acknowledges that many find it implausible because Christians insist that theirs is the only way to God and because the problem of evil seems to undercut everything Christianity asserts. Can I Believe? refuses to dodge hard questions as it welcomes the intelligent inquirer to give Christianity at least one good look.

Confronting Christianity

By Rebecca McLaughlin,

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

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.


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.

Is God a Delusion?

By Eric Reitan,

Book cover of Is God a Delusion?

Philosopher Eric Reitan offers a spirited rebuttal to Dawkins by arguing that belief in God isn’t necessarily irrational or harmful. In particular, Reitan defends the progressive faiths that are based on universal love rather than sectarian division and superstition. I especially enjoyed Reitan’s discussion of atheist philosopher Bertrand Russell, who compared religious faith to a belief in the existence of a “celestial teapot” that travels around the sun in an orbit so distant that it could never be observed by telescope. You can’t disprove its existence, but doesn’t it seem ludicrous? Can you explain how it got there?   


Who am I?

I should make it clear that I have no religious agenda. I’m not a believer, but I’m not a committed atheist either. For ten years, I was an editor at Scientific American. During that time, we were diligent about exposing the falsehoods of “intelligent design” proponents who claimed to see God’s hand in the fashioning of complex biological structures such as the human eye. But in 2008 I left journalism to write fiction. I wrote an international bestseller about Albert Einstein (Final Theory). I wrote a trilogy of Young Adult novels about teenagers who become robots (The Six). And ideas about God kept popping up in my books.


I wrote...

Saint Joan of New York: A Novel about God and String Theory

By Mark Alpert,

Book cover of Saint Joan of New York: A Novel about God and String Theory

What is my book about?

Saint Joan of New York is a novel about a modern-day Joan of Arc, a 17-year-old math genius who becomes obsessed with discovering the Theory of Everything. Joan Cooper is a lonely, confused high-school student in New York City, but she also has an extraordinary gift for mathematics. Traumatized by the recent death of her older sister, Joan tries to rebuild her shattered world by studying string theory and the efforts to unify the laws of physics. But as she tackles the complex equations, she falls prey to disturbing visions of a divine being who wants to help her unveil the universe’s mathematical design. Joan must enter the battle between science and religion, fighting for her sanity and a new understanding of the cosmos.

The Case for Christ

By Lee Strobel,

Book cover of The Case for Christ: A Journalist's Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus

The Case for Christ is a great reference book for historical facts that demonstrate proof of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I recommend this to skeptics and those who are looking to back up their Christian faith with real-life evidence and historical knowledge. This book is an asset to all libraries, churches, and Christian schools, as it provides irrefutable evidence that Jesus is who the Bible says He is. It is smart, thought-provoking, and life-changing. If someone is searching for something to believe in, they should read this book!


Who am I?

I was elated to be named “Top Inspirational Author of the Year” for 2022 by the International Association of Top Professionals. Inspiration is central to my career as a mentor, life coach, counselor, and author. I have possessed a deep interest in both Christianity and psychology since a young age. I have tied both topics in my own books, as I believe the knowledge I have gained has helped me find the joy, peace, and fulfillment I feel each day. This great sense of fulfillment and purpose is something I hope everyone can find in their lifetime, which motivates me to write about the power of faith in my books. 


I wrote...

The Right Person

By Stacy A. Padula,

Book cover of The Right Person

What is my book about?

Growing up in the shadow of two NFL-destined cousins, Chris Dunkin has high hopes for his own future in football. However, a drug addiction threatens to destroy everything he has worked hard to attain. When Chris meets Courtney Angeletti—the mayor's straightedge Christian daughter—he believes she could be the source of inspiration he needs to overcome his destructive lifestyle.

Courtney, however, has other ideas. The desire to rebel has been tugging on Courtney's heartstrings for some time, and Chris's "bad-boy" reputation draws her to him like a moth to a flame. After all, he is a central part of the most popular clique in her high school. Will Chris pull Courtney away from her faith or will Courtney inspire him to overcome his rebellious lifestyle?

Concluding Unscientific Postscript

By Søren Kierkegaard, Walter Lowrie (translator), Joseph Campbell (translator)

Book cover of Concluding Unscientific Postscript

How many bibliographical jokes have you ever heard, well, read? This book has jokes in its Table of Contents, its title, its sub-title—in the author attribution! And at the end, the Postscript to this Postscript takes the entire thing back—twice!—although, as Kierkegaard says, to write something and take it back is not the same as not writing it. He wants to affect the reader, not just pass along abstruse theories. Kierkegaard criticizes the basic mindset of philosophy that pretends to have a God’s-eye view of reality when really we’re forced to make decisions of crucial importance, in precarious circumstances, with limited information, never knowing if it was the right one, perpetually living out our lives suspended over 70,000 fathoms of water. 


Who am I?

I’m a professor of philosophy because when I got to college, philosophy sounded like what Gandalf would study—the closest thing we have to the study of magic. It turns out, I wasn’t far from the mark. Philosophy shows you entire dimensions to the world that you never noticed because they exist at weird angles, and you have to change your way of thinking to see them. Entering them and seeing the world from those perspectives transforms everything. A great work of philosophy is like having the lights turn on in an annex of your mind you didn’t know was there, like an out-of-mind experience—or perhaps, an in-your-mind-for-the-first-time experience.


I wrote...

Heidegger: Thinking of Being

By Lee Braver,

Book cover of Heidegger: Thinking of Being

What is my book about?

Many consider Heidegger the most important philosopher of the 20th Century; many more consider him incomprehensible. His writing is notoriously off-putting, requiring readers to almost learn a new language in order to get at his ideas. But those ideas are so spectacular that I wanted everyone to be able to understand them, so I drew on my decades of experience teaching him to students to convey his thoughts in the most readable, enjoyable style possible, with lots of examples and a few jokes. If you want to understand the existence you’ve been thrown into, if you want the closest thing to an Owner’s Manual to a human life that I’ve ever encountered, read Heidegger. If you want to understand him, read my book alongside him.

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