The Top 50 Books That Have Shaped Evangelicals

Learning Conversational PrayerChristianity Today has compiled a list of the “The Top 50 Books That Have Shaped Evangelicals.” The fifty books they selected are billed as the “Landmark titles that changed the way we think, talk, witness, worship, and live.” What book do you think would be number one on a list like this one? If you guessed C. S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity, you would be wrong (#3). You would also be wrong if you guessed J. I. Packer’s Knowing God (#5), Carl Henry’s Uneasy Conscience (#15), or even John Piper’s Desiring God (#39). The number one book that has shaped modern evangelicals is Learning Conversational Prayer by Rosalind Rinker.

I don’t know about you, but I have never even heard of Rosalind Rinker or her book. Nevertheless, the editors at CT think her book is numero uno. Here’s how they justified their choice: “Rosalind Rinker taught us something revolutionary: Prayer is a conversation with God. The idea took hold, sometimes too much (e.g., ‘Lord, we just really wanna …’).”

I have to admit that I have caught myself using the word “just” a whole lot in my prayers. I have come to regard it as a prayer-tic, a vain repetition from which I have been trying to repent. If the pathology of that little habit goes back to a book that I have never even heard of, then maybe the editors at CT are on to something after all.

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