100 Christian Books That Changed the Century

by William J. Peterson and Randy Peterson

The twentieth century has experienced a plethora of publishing. The sheer quantity of books and other printed media has suffocated anyone who wanted to keep up with the latest ideas and trends. Some of the books produced were out of date before they came on the market. Even among Christian literature some were clearly speculative; others were outright erroneous.

Petersen and Petersen have attempted to wade through the deluge of Christian works that have made their appearance during the past one hundred years. From these they have selected the 100 most influential books of the twentieth century. Not everyone, of course, will agree with their choices, but I believe they have given us a selection that will pique our interest. The reader will find that, for the most part, the choices represent a fairly theologically conservative point of view.

In fiction we find In His Steps by Charles Sheldon, The Robe by Lloyd C. Douglas, and The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis. Biography gives us Through Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Elliot, A Man Called Peter by Catherine Marshall, and Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther by Roland Bainton.

Special Bibles include The Scofield Reference Bible by C. I. Scofield, The Daily Study Bible by William Barkley and Living Letters by Kenneth Taylor. John C. Whitcomb and Henry Morris's The Genesis Flood, Josh McDowell's Evidence That Demands a Verdict and William Albright's The Archeology of Palestine address the intellectual basis of the Christian faith. In the devotional area we have Power through Prayer by E. M. Bounds, Streams in the Desert by Lettie Cowman and The Burden Is Light by Eugenia Price.

Other highly influential books included in this compilation are Up from Slavery by Booker T. Washington, Born Again by Billy Graham, Stride toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story by M. L. King, Jr., The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson, and The Late Great Planet Earth by Hal Lindsey.