When I visit someone's home the first time, I always find myself looking at their bookshelves. It's revealing, isn't it, what people have read and are reading? It gives me something to talk to them about, it helps me see where they've come from, how they've been shaped.
Christianity Today recently put together a list of the 50 most influential books in the evangelical world. Whether they're totally right or wrong, certainly this list is a good way to evaluate the church. You are what you read. Reading over this list, I found myself nodding my head. "Yep, that seems about right. This accurately reflects the evangelical church I know."
There's a lot of good - F. F. Bruce, Mark Noll, Operation World, Philip Johnson, John Piper, Madeleine L'Engle, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, J. I. Packer, Francis Schaeffer, C. S. Lewis. There's a lot of not good - that purpose-driven fellow, those left-behind fellows, Hal Lindsay, that church growth fellow. And there's quite a bit in-between.
What's most evident, though, is what's missing. If you could force (convince, perhaps, would be nicer) the entire evangelical church to read two books, what would they be?