This blog post is a response to Carla Peralejo Bonifacio’s challenge to name the first 10 books that have made an impact on my life.
Ultimately, It is the Bible that has defined and filtered the way these other books made an impact in my life, so I’m excluding it in the list.
And because I’m a literature major, this is a sweet kind of torture for me. Sweet because I love working on this one, torture because my list might not end. But to the best of my ability, I will try to exclude a huge number of Classics and Philosophical, and focus on the Personal ones.
Here we go…
10. Life You’ve Always Wanted by John Ortberg – A not-so-typical book on Spiritual Disciplines. This book helped me see Prayer, Resting, Relationships and other Spiritual Disciplines, in a new and fresh way.
9. Tactics by Gregory Koukl – Not a typical Apologetics book. because most of the Apologetics books and articles available deal with heavy principles, philosophies and terminologies that does not equip us how one can use such; this book gives practical steps and ideas that can work in dealing with the unbelievers’ arguments.
8. Top Ten Mistakes Leaders Make by Hanz Finzel – A warning sign for me. As leaders, we can fall to the trap of succumbing to the world’s ideas and expectations of a leader. This one evaluated my way of leadership and I am glad that a lot of the essential points in this book helped me become a better leader.
7. Pop Goes to Church by Tim Stevens – This book changed the way I look at Church and the elements within. It made me realize that God own everything and in Him, there’s no delineation between “Sacred” and “secular” – because He own both. And God can speak and use anything to communicate His truth.
6. Manhood by God’s Design by Dave Magalong – Written by a Hebrew Scholar, this book surveyed the whole Bible’s idea of Manhood and we, as men, should go back to the original design God intended for us.
5. God’s Not Dead by Rice Brooks – Another Apologetics book but has transformational stories and inspirational motivations and not just content-heavy ones. I felt much ready and inspired to win skeptics to Christ more when I read this book than the other Apologetics book I’ve read.
4. Undercover by John Bevere – Submission to Divine Authority implies responding properly and Biblically to the human authorities set before us. It helped me understand the reason God established different authorities and governments around me.
3. Breaking the Missional Code by Ed Stetzer and David Putman – Every culture and sub-culture has a code that needs to be identified, understood and decoded. This book helped me a lot in strategically understanding the culture I am in and how we can effectively minister to it.
2. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky – This is depressingly absurd. I don’t know why I like it, but yes, I do.
1. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo – Because Jean Valjean, the main character of the story, is a picture of a victim-turned-lawless-turned-forgiven kind of a hero, It is a perfect story on how victims of society, as we say, can still break free from hatred and let the transformational experience be extended to others. Vicarious as it may, one can identify with Valjean’s struggles, Marius’ longings, Fantine’s sacrifices, Eponine’s brokenness and of course, my favorite Enjolras and his revolutionary type of outlook on society.
I’m excited to see how far this challenge will go and what books will be repeated =)