I’ve found that some books have more of an impact than others, and often the most influential writing shows up in unexpected spaces. The written word has become an indispensable medium for my learning and growth. I love the spoken word, classes, lectures, sermons and podcasts, but I am most challenged/changed by reading.

I go through periods where I read one book after another for weeks at a time, then seeming dry spells where I read far less. The dry spells tend to be a time where I reflect and mull over what I’ve learned—Is what I read valuable, does it contradict an assumption, do I need to reconsider a belief, where does this information lead, does it make me a better person?

The last question is the most important. Does this writing change me for the better? That’s where the value lies.

As such, I’ve complied a short list of ten books that have changed me for the better. I wholeheartedly recommend each of these books. I feel each has made me a better person and helped me to separate from some misplaced beliefs I’ve held along my faith journey.

Here’s the list:

Divine Nobodies by Jim Palmer

Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell

Sin Boldly by Cathleen Falsani

The Furious Love of God by Brennan Manning

The Rapture Exposed by Barbara Rossing

The Divine Magician by Peter Rollins

How to Survive a Shipwreck by Jonathan Martin

Unclobber by Colby Martin

Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans

Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God by Brian Zanhd

There is some deep water here and some ideas critics think are downright heresy. Keep in mind, these are just books. Books containing words that are up to you to accept or ignore. It’s completely up to you what you do with them.

P.S. If you need a bit more info. on a particular book, drop a line in the comments and I’ll get back to you.