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Recommended Reading

Recommended Reading

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from Keith Mathison Nov 09, 2011 Category: Articles

Recently, I completed a series of posts listing what I believe to be the most helpful books on each locus of systematic theology. Prior to that I completed a series of posts listing what I found to be the most helpful commentaries on each book of the Bible.

What I would like to do now is something similar with church history. The first series of posts will cover general works on church history as well as some general works on historical theology. I do not plan to follow the &ldquoTop 5&rdquo format of my series on biblical commentaries. There are simply too many books on each of these topics for that format to work well. Also unless I&rsquove read a substantial number of the available books on a particular topic, I cannot say: &ldquoHere are the top 5.&rdquo In addition, I do not necessarily want to limit myself to five books on a topic. There may be more than five. There may be less. So, what are some of the more helpful books for students of church history?

General Church History

If I were to recommend only one of these titles, I would suggest Needham&rsquos set. It only covers the period up to and including the Reformation so far, but more volumes are forthcoming. If you need something covering the entirety of church history, the two volumes by Gonzales are very helpful.

Historical Theology

If I were to recommend only one of these titles, I would suggest either Berkhof or Hägglund as an introduction to the subject.

GLENN'S BOOKSHELF: These are 12 books you need to read RIGHT NOW

Not only is history being made, it's being rewritten and our history is being lost to Marxist revolutionaries as statues are toppled and Merriam-Webster changes our language. Does this passage from George Orwell's 1984 seem eerily similar to our day?:

In the digital age, book burning is unnecessary. "Inappropriate" material just evaporates into the ether with a simple keystroke. The days I've been warning about for years are finally upon us and we need to be able to call on the wisdom of our Founding Fathers and other brilliant patriots and if you are relying on digital copies, you could find yourself out of luck.

Knowledge truly is power and we are now in the time where we need all the resources we can get, so I put together this list of the books you HAVE to have in your personal libraries. Along with these selections, I earnestly advise that you keep a journal. Your personal history is powerful and being able to preserve your thoughts and feelings for your posterity to learn from is an invaluable addition to any library.

I'd also suggest you look into Mercury One's "Leadership Training Program," the tools learned will be invaluable as you are able to inspect and learn from original sources as well as being taught by passionate historians. Stay tuned on this front, we have some exciting announcements coming soon.

You ARE the audience that will save the Republic and you have been prepared over the years for the role you need to play. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for being the people that Alexis de Tocqueville wrote about. America is good because it's people are good.

Keep up the good fight and God bless!

The 5000 Year Leap, by W. Cleon Skousen

The nation the Founders built is now in the throes of a political, economic, social, and spiritual crisis that has driven many to an almost frantic search for modern solutions. The truth is that the solutions have been available for a long time -- in the writings of our Founding Fathers -- carefully set forth in this timely book.

In The 5000 Year Leap: A Miracle That Changed the World, Discover the 28 Principles of Freedom our Founding Fathers said must be understood and perpetuated by every people who desire peace, prosperity, and freedom. Learn how adherence to these beliefs during the past 200 years has brought about more progress than was made in the previous 5000 years. These 28 Principles include The Genius of Natural Law, Virtuous and Moral Leaders, Equal Rights--Not Equal Things, and Avoiding the Burden of Debt.

Seven Miracles That Saved America, by ​Chris and Ted Stewart

"When the odds were stacked against us, and there have been many times when the great experiment we call America could have and should have failed, did God intervene to save us?"

That question, posed by authors Chris and Ted Stewart, is the foundation for this remarkable book. And the examples they cite provide compelling evidence that the hand of Providence has indeed preserved the United States of America on multiple occasions. Skillfully weaving story vignettes with historical explanations, they examine seven instances that illustrate God's protecting care. Never, at any of these critical junctures, was a positive outcome certain or even likely. Yet America prevailed. Why?

"No man is perfect," write the authors. "And neither is any nation. Yet, despite our weakness, we are still, as Abraham Lincoln said, the best nation ever given to man. Despite our faults, this nation is still the last, best hope of earth." In short, God still cares what happens here. This reassuring message is a bright light in a world that longs for such hope.

The Jefferson Bible - The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth, by ​Thomas Jefferson

In the early nineteenth century Thomas Jefferson, third President of the United States and principal author of the Declaration of Independence, conceived the idea of extracting a gospel purified of what he saw as extraneous philosophical, mythological, and theological elements. To do so, he took verses from the four canonical gospels and arranged them into a single narrative, focusing on the actual words of Jesus. This work was never published during Jefferson's lifetime, but was inherited by his grandson and printed for the first time in the early twentieth century. The original bound manuscript, often referred to as "the Jefferson Bible," is held by the United States National Museum in Washington.

The Founder's Bible, by ​David Barton​​

The Founders' Bible - Leather Edition is signature historian David Barton's most significant life's work. Boasting a 100% deep, rich burnished burgundy genuine leather binding. It's very durable, with beautiful rounded corners, distinctive, hand-crafted gold foil textured imprint on the cover and spine. The genuine leather edition also showcases the more formal gold gilded edging. Each copy comes individually shrink-wrapped in an exquisite two piece presentation gift box that captures the beauty of the commissioned cover artwork and also provides a safe resting space for your Bible when not in use.

Defying Hitler, by ​Sebastian Haffner

Written in 1939 and unpublished until 2000, Sebastian Haffner's memoir of the rise of Nazism in Germany offers a unique portrait of the lives of ordinary German citizens between the wars. Covering 1907 to 1933, his eyewitness account provides a portrait of a country in constant flux: from the rise of the First Corps, the right-wing voluntary military force set up in 1918 to suppress Communism and precursor to the Nazi storm troopers, to the Hitler Youth movement from the apocalyptic year of 1923 when inflation crippled the country to Hitler's rise to power. This fascinating personal history elucidates how the average German grappled with a rapidly changing society, while chronicling day-to-day changes in attitudes, beliefs, politics, and prejudices.

Ordinary Men, by ​Christopher R. Browning

In the early nineteenth century Thomas Jefferson, third President of the United States and principal author of the Declaration of Independence, conceived the idea of extracting a gospel purified of what he saw as extraneous philosophical, mythological, and theological elements. To do so, he took verses from the four canonical gospels and arranged them into a single narrative, focusing on the actual words of Jesus. This work was never published during Jefferson's lifetime, but was inherited by his grandson and printed for the first time in the early twentieth century. The original bound manuscript, often referred to as "the Jefferson Bible," is held by the United States National Museum in Washington.

The Gulag Archipelago Volume 1: An Experiment in Literary Investigation, by ​Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Volume 1 of the gripping epic masterpiece, Solzhenitsyn's chilling report of his arrest and interrogation, which exposed to the world the vast bureaucracy of secret police that haunted Soviet society. Features a new foreword by Anne Applebaum.

Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black & White, by David Barton

Setting the Record Straight is a unique view of the religious and moral heritage of black Americans, with an emphasis on the untold yet significant stories from our rich political history. The material presented is ground-breaking and revolutionary, leaving viewers amazed and inspired.

The American Heritage Series, by David Barton

Discover the amazing truth of our nations Godly foundation in the American Heritage Series.

Miracles and Massacres: True and Untold Stories of the Making of America, by Glenn Beck

Thomas Edison was a bad guy and bad guys usually lose in the end.

World War II radio host Tokyo Rose was branded as a traitor by the U.S. government and served time in prison. In reality, she was a hero to many.

Twenty U.S. soldiers received medals of honor at the Battle of Wounded Knee - yet it wasn't a battle at all it was a massacre.

Paul Revere's midnight ride was nothing compared to the ride made by a guy named Jack whom you've probably never heard of.

History is about so much more than memorizing facts. It is, as more than half of the word suggests, about the story. And, told in the right way, it is the greatest one ever written: Good and evil, triumph and tragedy, despicable acts of barbarism and courageous acts of heroism.

The things you've never learned about our past will shock you. The reason why gun control is so important to government elites can be found in a story about Athens that no one dares teach. Not the city in ancient Greece, but the one in 1946 Tennessee. The power of an individual who trusts his gut can be found in the story of the man who stopped the twentieth hijacker from being part of 9/11. And a lesson on what happens when an all-powerful president is in need of positive headlines is revealed in a story about eight saboteurs who invaded America during World War II.

Miracles and Massacres is history as you've never heard it told. It's incredible events that you never knew existed. And it's stories are so important and relevant to today that you won't have to ask, Why didn't they teach me this? You will instantly know. If the truth shall set you free, then your freedom begins on at the start of this audiobook. By the end, your understanding of the lies and half-truths you've been taught may change, but your perception of who we are as Americans and where our country is headed definitely will.

The Road to Serfdom, the Definitive Edition: Text and Documents

An unimpeachable classic work in political philosophy, intellectual and cultural history, and economics, The Road to Serfdom has inspired and infuriated politicians, scholars, and the public for half a century. Originally published in 1944 - when Eleanor Roosevelt supported the efforts of Stalin, and Albert Einstein subscribed lock, stock, and barrel to the socialist program - The Road to Serfdom was seen as heretical for its passionate warning against the dangers of state control over the means of production. For F. A. Hayek, the collectivist idea of empowering government with increasing economic control would lead not to a utopia but to the horrors of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy.

First published by the University of Chicago Press on September 18, 1944, The Road to Serfdom garnered immediate, widespread attention. The first printing of 2,000 copies was exhausted instantly, and within six months more than 30,000 books were sold. In April 1945, Reader's Digest published a condensed version of the book, and soon thereafter the Book-of-the-Month Club distributed this edition to more than 600,000 readers. A perennial best seller, the book has sold 400,000 copies in the United States alone and has been translated into more than 20 languages, along the way becoming one of the most important and influential books of the century.

With this new edition, The Road to Serfdom takes its place in the series the Collected Works of F. A. Hayek. The volume includes a foreword by series editor and leading Hayek scholar Bruce Caldwell explaining the book's origins and publishing history and assessing common misinterpretations of Hayek's thought. Caldwell has also standardized and corrected Hayek's references and added helpful new explanatory notes. Supplemented with an appendix of related materials ranging from prepublication reports on the initial manuscript to forewords to earlier editions by John Chamberlain, Milton Friedman, and Hayek himself, this new edition of The Road to Serfdom is the definitive version of Hayek's enduring masterwork.

The Real George Washington, by Andrew M. Allison

This is the best-selling classic regularly featured by Glenn Beck to Fox TV viewers!

The Real George Washington: The True Story of America s Most Indispensable Man. There is properly no history only biography, wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson. If that is true of the general run of mankind, it is particularly true of George Washington. The story of his life is the story of the founding of America. His was the dominant personality in three of the most critical events in that founding: the Revolutionary War, the Constitutional Convention, and the first national administration. Had he not served as America's leader in those three events, all would likely have failed -- and America, as we know it today, would not exist.

Why, after two centuries, does George Washington remain one of the most beloved figures in our history? The Real George Washington answers that question by giving us a close look at this man who became the father of our country and the first American President. But rather than focus on the interpretations of historians, much of his exciting story is told in his own words. The second part of this 928-page book brings together the most important and insightful passages from Washington's writings, conveniently arranged by subject.

Published by the National Center for Constitutional Studies, a nonprofit educational foundation dedicated to restoring Constitutional principles in the tradition of America's Founding Fathers.

The National Center for Constitutional Studies. is doing a fine public service in educating Americans about the principles of the Constitution. -- Ronald Reagan, President of the United States

Recommended Reading

Only four authors are named in Elbert Benjamine’s Brotherhood of Light lessons as previous sources of Brotherhood teachings: Emma Hardinge Britten, Thomas Henry Burgoyne, Sarah Stanley Grimke, and Genevieve Stebbins. Thomas Moore Johnson’s journal The Platonist was largely a collaboration with Alexander Wilder and their correspondence sheds light on the work of Britten, Burgoyne and Grimke.

Sarah Stanley Grimké Collected Works(2019) includes all of her publications as well as substantial new introductions to each text by the editor, extensive annotations, and appendices that detail her relationship to the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor. (The link is to a free online edition but the book is also available in paperback on Amazon for $5.50.)

Ghost Land (1876) by Emma Hardinge Britten is the alleged memoir of Britten’s European occultist colleague the Chevalier Louis, and combines fiction and fact in ways that baffle modern researchers. It describes the Orphic Circle as a group of experimenters into clairvoyance, mesmerism, spiritualism, etc. In addition to the free online edition available through the SSOC (Standard Spiritualist and Occult Corpus) the most recent reprint is from the Cambridge University Press, 2014.

Art Magic (1876) by Emma Hardinge Britten is a companion doctrinal work attributed to the same narrator, and with Ghost Land was studied by the HBofL and its successors into the 20 th century. In 2011 a scholarly edition with introduction and annotations by Marc Demarest was published by The Typhon Press.

The Light of Egypt (1889) by T.H. Burgoyne is the major doctrinal book by a founder of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor. An astrological emphasis that began with the Chevalier Louis increases with Burgoyne. (Link is to a later edition of Volume One.)

Dynamic Breathing and Harmonic Gymnastics (1892) by Genevieve Stebbins is the first of several works influenced by her collaboration with Burgoyne.

The Language of the Stars(1892) is Burgoyne’s first astrological study, showing as much influence from Grimke as its predecessor, and foreshadowing influence from Stebbins as his next collaborator into the twentieth century.

Celestial Dynamics (1896) is Burgoyne’s second and final astrological study, other than the second volume of The Light of Egypt published in 1900.

The Quest of the Spirit (1913) by Genevieve Stebbins is the accumulated life wisdom of a man known as “A Pilgrim of the Way,” almost certainly her husband Norman Astley. It represents a radical shift of emphasis from Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor teachings, and reveals Stebbins and Astley to be devotees of Henri Bergson and William James rather than occult tradition.

Zanoni (1842) is a novel by Edward Bulwer-Lytton that portrays its adept heroes as Rosicrucians. Burgoyne took Zanoni as his pen name, and his colleague Peter Davidson took that of Mejnour, the master of Zanoni. Britten named Bulwer-Lytton first among her Orphic Brotherhood mentors, and Blavatsky named him as an adept in a letter to a friend. (link to second volume here.)

Documents and Letters

The Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor: Initiatic and Historical Documents of an Order of Practical Occultism (1995), edited by Joscelyn Godwin, Christian Chanel, John Patrick Deveney, is the starting point for exploring the roots of The Church of Light. This collection includes the documents and private lessons of this initiatory order, as well as correspondence among members in Europe and America.

Letters to the Sage: The Selected Correspondence of Thomas Moore Johnson, Volume One: The Esotericists(2016), edited by Patrick D. Bowen and K. Paul Johnson, contains letters to the publisher and editor of The Platonist from 48 individuals, roughly half members of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor and half affiliated with the Theosophical Society– with many being members of both.

Letters to the Sage: The Selected Correspondence of Thomas Moore Johnson, Volume Two: Alexander Wilder, the Platonist (2018) contains letters from Wilder to Johnson along with those of eleven other correspondents.


Some more timely food for thought from Alexis de Tocqueville’s classic Democracy in America. As I meditated on the passages below, I couldn’t help but think about next week’s Republican gathering in Cleveland and its likely outcome.

Tocqueville posed for this portrait around 1850, nearly two decades after his American odyssey.

To remind you, Tocqueville was a sympathetic critic of American democracy, and the two-volume work that he penned after his visit to the United States in 1831-1832 is widely hailed as “the most perceptive and influential book ever written about American politics and society.” Among other things, he called attention to the dangers of excessive individualism and materialism in a democratic culture, identified the ever-present potential of the “tyranny of the majority,” and underscored the crucial importance of religious belief to the success of America’s democratic system.

The quotes below come from a section in volume I on the topic of “The People’s Choices and the Instinctive Preferences of American Democracy” (vol. I, part II, chapter 5). Writing primarily for a French audience, Tocqueville began by noting that many Europeans assumed that one of the advantages of democracy is that free elections based on universal suffrage reliably selects individuals “worthy of public trust” into important public offices. “For my part,” Tocqueville confessed, “I must say that what I saw in America gave me no reason to believe that this is the case.”

In the rest of this brief section the Frenchman theorized as to why this was true. On the one hand, he reasoned, making wise decisions between alternative candidates required “enlightenment,” i.e., informed voters. “Enlightenment” was not simply a euphemism for intelligence or education. Tocqueville thought it depended primarily on the amount of time that voters were either able or willing to devote to educating themselves on the issues of a campaign and the strength and weaknesses of the rival candidates. Regarding the latter, he noted, “What a lengthy period of study and variety of ideas are necessary to form an exact idea of the character of a single man! The greatest geniuses fail at this, yet the multitude is supposed to succeed!”

Maybe even more important than this, according to Tocqueville, was a vice that democratic society seems to nurture: envy. So strong was the passion for equality in America’s democratic society, Tocqueville believed, that democratic Americans detested all appearances of superiority among other Americans, up to an including those they elected to office. “No form of superiority is so legitimate that the sight of it is not wearisome to their eyes,” Tocqueville observed. “They do not fear great talents but have little taste for them.”

And the consequences of this mindset for American government? “There is no escaping the fact that in the United States today the most outstanding men are seldom called to public office.” This was partly due to the votes that the electorate cast on election day, but it also reflected a pattern by which the most qualified individuals refused to become candidates. And why was this, Tocqueville asked?

While the natural instincts of democracy lead the people to banish distinguished men from power, an instinct no less powerful leads distinguished men to shun careers in politics, in which it is so very difficult to remain entirely true to oneself or to advance without self-abasement.

The bottom line for Tocqueville: “I am satisfied that anyone who looks upon universal suffrage as a guarantee of good choices is operating under a total illusion. Universal suffrage has other advantages, but not that one.”

Title Page of the first American edition of Tocqueville’s classic, published in 1838.

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Recommended Reading List

* The Roots of the American Republic
By E.C. Wines (Plymouth Rock
* Worthy Company: Brief Lives of the Framers of the United States Constitution
By M. E. Bradford (Plymouth Rock

* Religion and the Founding of the American Republic
By James
H. Hutson

* Faith and Freedom: The Christian Roots of American Liberty
By Benjamin Hart

* Lives of the Signers [Reprint of an 1848 book]
* Original Intent: The Courts, the Constitution, & Religion

By David Barton (WallBuilders)
* The Bible Lessons of John Quincy Adams for His Son
By John Quincy Adams (WallBuilders ebook)

* Defending the Declaration
By Gary Amos

* History of the American Revolution
By David Ramsay (Liberty Fund)
* History of the Rise, Progress, and Termination of the American Revolution
By Mercy Otis Warren(Liberty Fund)
* Political Sermons of the American Founding Era: 1730-1805

* American Political Writing During the Founding Era: 1760–1805
(Liberty Fund)

* Christianity and the Constitution
By John Eidsmoe

* Vindicating the Founders
By Thomas G. West

* John Adams
By David McCullough

* Biographical Book Collections

(This list provides some of the good history titles currently
available and is in no way intended to be comprehensive. Most of these books
are also readily available through Amazon
or can be ordered through your local bookstore

Armitage, David - Oceanic Histories

Editors: David Armitage, Harvard University, Massachusetts, Alison Bashford, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Sujit Sivasundaram, University of Cambridge. Cambridge University Press, 2018. Publisher's Link

RECOMMENDED READING: History of the Must de Cartier Tank

Editor&rsquos note: I think most people reading this fully appreciate just how dire things were in the 1970s as a result of the notorious &ldquoquartz crisis&rdquo.

Myriad Swiss watchmakers seemed to just disappear overnight, succumbing to a battery-powered onslaught led by Seiko, who inundated the wristwatch market with inexpensive, accurate timepieces.

It was an interesting time in horology to say the least, and perhaps one of the most fascinating things about the quartz crisis, looking back at it now, is studying how the established Swiss marques dealt with the problem and tried to keep their proverbial heads above water.

Cartier, in particular, were quite innovative in their solution to the crisis &ndash create a range of inexpensive timepieces to pay tribute to its most popular timepiece, the Tank, but use more economical materials to produce it.

The result was the Must de Cartier Tank, and a range of wristwatches that went a fair way to saving Cartier from a particularly calamitous era in watchmaking.

Church History: Recommended Reading

Cross, F.L. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church.
Gonzales, Justo. The Story of Christianity (2 volumes).
Houghton, S.M. Sketches from Church History.
Kuiper, B.K. The Church in History.
Latourette, Kenneth Scott. A History of Christianity.
Needham, N.R. 2000 Years of Christ’s Power (3 volumes).
Schaff, Philip. History of the Christian Church (8 volumes).
Shelley, Bruce L. Church History in Plain Language.
Tucker, Ruth A. Parade of Faith: A Biographical History of the Christian Church.

If I were to recommend only one of these titles, I would suggest Needham’s set. It only covers the period up to and including the Reformation so far, but more volumes are forthcoming. If you need something covering the entirety of church history, the two volumes by Gonzales are very helpful.

Allison, Gregg R. Historical Theology: An Introduction to Christian Doctrine.
Berkhof, Louis. The History of Christian Doctrines.
Brown, Harold O. J. Heresies: Heresy and Orthodoxy in the History of the Church.
Cunningham, William. Historical Theology.
Gerrish, B.A. Thinking with the Church: Essays in Historical Theology.
Hägglund, Bengt. History of Theology.
Pelikan, Jaroslav. The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine (5 volumes).

If I were to recommend only one of these titles, I would suggest either Berkhof or Hägglund as an introduction to the subject.

The Best Books: Recommended Reading List

The page is a reading list sharing the best books to read in various categories based on many hours of reading and research. You'll find more than 100 good books to read, organized by category.

This is a reading list for people who don't have time for unimportant books. I only list the best books to read in each category. You can be sure that each one is fantastic and will be worth your time.

Want to keep things simple? Check out the 󈫺 Best” lists under the Start Here section to get some great book recommendations without feeling overwhelmed by all the options.

Watch the video: Συνιστώμενη ταχύτητα 60Kmh (January 2022).