Mere Christianity (C.S. Lewis)

This masterpiece by the renowned Christian apologist, medievalist, and novelist C.S. Lewis is a must read for anyone interested in the foundational reasons for believing in the truths of Christianity.  Lewis has a way of writing like a scholar, but with the ebullient joy and innocence of a child.  He doesn’t try to avoid the tough questions, or sidestep the obvious and not-so-obvious objections to his assertions.  This is one of the reasons why this book has continued to convince atheists and agnostics alike.

The Cost of Discipleship (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

This classic book on discipleship by 20th century theologian and martyr of the Nazis, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, continues to convict and edify nearly a century after it was written.  In it, Bonhoeffer contrasts the grace provided by Jesus Christ with the “cheap grace,” or the grace that we give ourselves, that is so common throughout the Church.  He lays out both the theological and practical underpinnings of what a life of being a disciple of Jesus should look like.

Pensées (Blaise Pascal)

The 17th century Frenchman Blaise Pascal was one of the most brilliant mathematicians and physicists of his time.  He was also an extremely sophisticated theological thinker.  A devout Catholic, Pascal’s Pensées (“Thoughts”) remained unpublished during his lifetime, but were intended to be an apologetic work defending the Christian faith.  The famous “Pascal’s Wager” comes from this book, as well as a host of many other profound and penetrating insights.