10 Texts That Will Help You Understand Christianity

Whether you believe in his teachings or not, you're probably familiar with the story of Jesus Christ. But how much do you know about modern Christianity? Because it has so many different forms, it's impossible to get the whole story without hearing from multiple perspectives. Luckily, we've complied a list of ten books that can help give you a well-rounded view of the world's largest religion. When you click links from this website, we may receive advertising revenue to support our research. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

10 Texts That Will Help You Understand Christianity

Title Author(s) More by the Author
1. Barking to the Choir Gregory Boyle Tattoos on the Heart
2. Abraham Bruce Feiler The First Love Story Walking the Bible
3. The Polygamist's Daughter Anna LeBaron & Leslie Wilson The Hungry Games A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts
4. For the Love Jen Hatmaker Of Mess and Moxie Out of the Spin Cycle
5. Saints and Sinners Lawrence Wright Going Clear God Save Texas
6. God's Perfect Child Caroline Fraser Prairie Fires Rewilding the World
7. Alone of All Her Sex Marina Warner Once Upon a Time Stranger Magic
8. Everything Happens for a Reason Kate Bowler Blessed
9. The Unlikely Disciple Kevin Roose Young Money
10. The Evolution of God Robert Wright The Moral Animal Nonzero

5 Types of Specialized Bibles

The bible is the most important holy text in Christianity. If you're looking to buy a copy, you should know that there are many different versions available. Be sure to explore the links below before deciding which one is right for you.

  1. Illustrated Bibles: Beautiful drawings accompany the text
  2. Study Bibles: Great for students of theology
  3. Amplified Bibles: Explore the meanings and history of scripture
  4. Spanish English Bibles: A great choice for bilingual Christians
  5. Children's Bibles: Simplified versions that kids can understand

The History of Christianity

In Depth

Christianity is the largest religion on Earth, with over two billion followers worldwide. But not all Christians are the same. There are dozens of denominations, from Catholicism to Mormonism, and each individual worshiper has their own unique spiritual experience. So if you want to truly understand this theology, you should read about a variety of different perspectives. In no particular order, here is our list of ten books that explore the many facets of Christianity.

At #1 is "Barking to the Choir." Father Gregory Boyle shares the stories of the people he has encountered at his ministry, "Homeboy Industries," which rehabilitates gang members off the streets into stable jobs where they can contribute to society, giving them hope and a fresh start in life. Filled with heartbreaking anecdotes from former gang members and prisoners, the book narrates the almost hopeless struggles of those who are trapped in a life of violence, abuse, crime, and incarceration.

This gripping narrative challenges readers to see beyond physical appearance with inspiring tales that depict the true meaning of redemption, purpose, kinship, and unconditional love.

This gripping narrative challenges readers to see beyond physical appearance with inspiring tales that depict the true meaning of redemption, purpose, kinship, and unconditional love.

Next, at #2 is "Abraham," a thorough study of the multiple faces of Abraham from the perspective of the three Abrahamic religions: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Having traveled through religious sites and interviewed faith leaders, Bruce Feiler presents a provocative exploration of how one man became the father of many nations.

He explains historical events that raise a lot of questions such as the banishment of Ishmael from his father's house, and the act of sacrificing Isaac to God. Not withholding any different traditions within the three faiths, the book aims to give honest insights about unity and living in harmony.

What we have at #3 is "The Polygamist's Daughter." Being born to a polygamous religion, Anna LeBaron, daughter of Ervil LeBaron, details her heart-wrenching story of survival, resilience, and courage. Her memoir recounts her life of fear and betrayal, as she and her sisters were auctioned off at a young age as wives to her father's followers. It also delves into her journey of escaping the abusive group, and how God provided her with help and restored her physical, mental, and emotional state.

Her memoir recounts her life of fear and betrayal, as she and her sisters were auctioned off at a young age as wives to her father's followers.

At #4 is "For the Love," an in-depth and refreshing look at Jesus' grace and how it can be applied to our relationships with other people. With Jen Hatmaker's honest and humorous anecdotes, the book breaks down society's unattainable standards, and explores human issues that make us judgmental, competitive, and argumentative. She also discusses numerous controversial subjects such as problems in the modern church, homophobia, and science aversion, and encourages readers to adopt a grace-first approach with a sincere and easy-to-read narrative.

At #5 is "Saints and Sinners," a riveting study of the rise and fall of five religious personalities and one atheist. Lawrence Wright gives us his view of the American religious landscape and discusses what these prominent figures symbolize in society, humanity, and his personal life. He exposes how they were engaged in different self-destructive activities such as attempted murder, sexual scandals, and fraud, among others. He also shares his insights about condemnation, faith, and passion.

At #6 is "God's Perfect Child." Caroline Fraser, who was raised as a Christian Scientist, reveals the religion's complex history and heretical beliefs. She begins by exploring the life Mary Baker Eddy, the founder and discoverer of Christian Science, who believed that sickness is only a product of the human mind, and that people can heal themselves without medical help. With honest anecdotes that reveal the author's experiences in the church, the account discusses her gripping episodes of confusion, and analyzes the way that Christian Science grew from a small sect to a large organization.

She begins by exploring the life Mary Baker Eddy, the founder and discoverer of Christian Science, who believed that sickness is only a product of the human mind, and that people can heal themselves without medical help.

At #7 is "Alone of All Her Sex." Written by Marina Warner, the book presents a comprehensive study of the cult of the Virgin Mary, and how her story has moved from historical to mythological. Warner shows us how the mother of Jesus is extravagantly worshipped by the Catholic Church by giving her different roles such as a bride, queen, and intercessor for salvation.

She also reveals the religion's intention of abolishing the taint of sin against women that started with Eve, by glorifying Mary with different depictions.

At #8 is "Everything Happens for a Reason," which tells the story of Kate Bowler, a professor in her mid-30s who was at the pinnacle of her life when she was suddenly diagnosed with stage four colon cancer. Having specialized in the study of the prosperity gospel, she chronicles her heartbreaking journey of battling death and relates it to Christian theology and wisdom.

Having specialized in the study of the prosperity gospel, she chronicles her heartbreaking journey of battling death and relates it to Christian theology and wisdom.

She also details the teachings that distort Christianity, and points out their effects with raw and honest observations. With her frank and humorous writing style, the narrative serves as an inspiring read for those who want to understand what faith really means in the face of death.

Next, at #9 is "The Unlikely Disciple," a memoir about Evengelical college life written by Kevin Roose. Having studied a semester at Liberty University, Roose takes us on his journey through "Bible Boot Camp," and narrates what hormone-filled young adults go through on a campus that gives extreme importance to the preservation of dogma.

He hilariously details the effects of their code of conduct that prohibits R-rated films, drinking, and partying, and gives us thought-provoking points about religious fundamentalism. As a former Brown University student, the author also captures the candid difference between the secular and devout way of living, making the book a relatable and heartwarming read.

He hilariously details the effects of their code of conduct that prohibits R-rated films, drinking, and partying, and gives us thought-provoking points about religious fundamentalism.

Finally, at #10 is "The Evolution of God." Robert Wright gives us a provocative re-examination of the history and concept of God based on the three Abrahamic religions. He begins by tackling our ancestors' deities, explaining the early Israelites' practice of polytheism, which eventually evolved into monotheism.