While no other book in the entire world can compare to the Holy Bible, there is plenty of non-sacred yet profound works that can help believers improve their spiritual and emotional intelligence. There are some classic books that have had a huge influence on Christians throughout history and continues to have the same impact today.
Renovaré, a non-profit online resource that "models, resources, and advocates fullness of life with God experienced, by grace, through the spiritual practices of Jesus and of the historical Church," put together a list of essential books besides the Bible that every Christian should read in their lifetime.
The list was curated by a distinguished editorial board of leaders including celebrated Christian authors such as Richard Foster. The titles along with some extras have been compiled into a guide book titled 25 Books Every Christian Should Read and is currently available for purchase.
Here are 5 books along with a short excerpt and the editor's description from the list:
1. The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri
When I had journeyed half of our life's way, / I found myself within a shadowed forest, / for I had lost the path that does not stray.
"Dante's journey through hell, purgatory, and, finally, heaven mimics the soul's journey toward God."
2. The Imitation of Christ - Thomas à Kempis
If you want to learn something that will really help you, learn to see yourself as God sees you and not as you see yourself in the distorted mirror of your own self-importance. This is the greatest and most useful lesson we can learn: to know ourselves for what we are, to admit freely our weaknesses and failings, and to hold a humble opinion of ourselves because of them.
"In this unrivaled devotional masterpiece, Thomas à Kempis offers instructions for living a life of devotion to Jesus, characterized by holiness, simplicity, and humility."
Click on the next page for more must-read Christian book titles.
3. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
The real Son of God is at your side. He is beginning to turn you into the same kind of thing as Himself. He is beginning, so to speak, to "inject" His kind of life and thought, His Zoe, into you; beginning to turn the tin soldier into a live man. The part of you that does not like it is the part that is still tin.
"Widely considered a modern classic of Christian apologetics, it is also a passionate invitation to the challenge and the adventure that is the Christian life."
4. The Confessions of St. Augustine by St. Augustine
You made us for yourself and our hearts find no peace until they rest in you.
"Widely regarded as Christianity's first spiritual autobiography, Augustine's "Confessions" is the story of his restless heart's journey to God."
5. The Brother's Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
I'm a Karamazov. For when I do leap into the pit, I go headlong with my heels up, and am pleased to be falling in that degrading attitude, and pride myself upon it. And in the very depths of that degradation I begin a hymn of praise. Let me be accursed. Let me be vile and base, only let me kiss the hem of the veil in which my God is shrouded. Though I may be following the devil, I am Thy son, O Lord, and I love Thee, and I feel the joy without which the world cannot stand.
"Fyodor Dostoevsky's last novel is the expansive spiritual drama of three Russian brothers -- Dmitri, Ivan, and Alexei Karamazov -- and their father, Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov. Through the story of Fyodor's murder and his eldest son, Dmitri's, accusation and trial amid numerous subplots, Dostoevsky weaves in themes of morality, love, faith, doubt, reason, family, and redemption."
Have you read any of these books? Let us know in the comments!