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Books to learn about Christianity

(10 Posts)
WeDONTneedanotherhero Sun 28-Dec-14 11:36:36

Im an atheist but I feel like I dont know enough about the world religions so I have set myself a goal for 2015 to gain a good understanding about each of the major religions of the world.

Could anyone recommend books on Christianity, I would like to know about the history and the "rules" and the reasoning behind them.

Hope that makes sense, thanks

thegreenheartofmanyroundabouts Sun 28-Dec-14 14:52:13

It is a big subject but you might find the writings of Keith Ward a good place to start. His "Christianity: A Beginner's Guides" is really good as it takes some of the key doctrines and explores them from three different viewpoints so the more liberal through to the more conservative as Christianity is a broad spectrum of belief. He has written a number of books from a philosophical point of view so it is worth exploring his page on Amazon to see what appeals. His latest one is called 'The Evidence for God' which I haven't read but he is an excellent writer.

Other writers who are worth a look are John Polkinghorne and Alister McGrath as both are scientists and their approach may be one you find helpful.

For the history of the church Stephen Tomkins 'A Short History of the Church is readable.

For an introduction to the Bible then Simon Jenkins 'The Bible from Scratch' is good and has cartoons. For something a bit more detailed then Etienne Charpentier wrote 'How to Read the New Testament' and 'How to Read the Old Testament' and both appear to be very cheap on Amazon second hand.

Christianity is not so much about rules but relationship and that is a tricky one to get to grips with from outside but you might want to try 'God of Surprises' by the late and much loved Gerald Hughes which is about prayer. Alternatively Margaret Silf has written some books about Ignation Spirituality 'Landmarks' and 'Wayfaring' which may give you some idea about how (some) Christians go about prayer

I hope this helps.

WeDONTneedanotherhero Sun 28-Dec-14 16:25:28

Thats a great help thank you

longtallsally2 Sun 28-Dec-14 16:31:06

I would also add "The Hiding Place" by Corrie Ten Boom for a description of Christianity in action and how it relates to life - it's written as an autobiography, but I think paints a very clear picture of the essentials.

nickeljrismybabesitter Sun 28-Dec-14 16:32:33

We've got some free leaflets at church about christian faith (in particular cofe)
They might be useful to explain what we do and what we believe

nickeljrismybabesitter Sun 28-Dec-14 16:33:00

bigbluestars Sun 28-Dec-14 17:13:38

thegreenheartofmanyroundabouts Mon 29-Dec-14 12:51:44

When looking at another faith a resource to be aware of is stages of faith theory. This is based on the work of James Fowler and there are various sites around the net that explain it. If you are interested in rules then it might mean you are in stage 3 yourself as this is a characteristic of this stage and might find those who are in a different stage either very childish (stages 1 and 2) or hopelessly wishy washy in their acceptance of mystery and paradox (stage 5.)

WeDONTneedanotherhero Sat 03-Jan-15 12:31:41

Thank you everyone.

cheapskatemum Sun 04-Jan-15 18:27:13

That's a great point, thegreenheart thanks for making it.

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