2. C. S. Lewis. You may have read some Lewis but I encourage to move beyond the obvious and read something like On Stories. His writing is superb and his perspective is singular.
3. Thomas Merton. This one is going to be hard for some of you because he was a Catholic Monk. But he was a renegade and his writings are not only poetic but also full of the kind of gems who can think on for months on end. Start with his memoir, The Seven Storey Mountain.
4. Anne Lamott. I’m late to the party on Lamott. But just glad I arrived. She will offend on one page and then warm you to the core of your being on the next. Start anywhere.
5. Francis Schaeffer. I discovered Schaeffer in college and fell in love with his writings immediately. his love and respect for unbelievers is a model for the church in the West. Or at least it should be. Start with The Great Evangelical Disaster.
6. Rob Bell. I just blew your mind, I know. But hang on and let me explain. I have not read a lot of Rob Bell. But what i have read has been helpful for two reasons. First, my primary exposure to the “emergent church” was through criticism. And reading Bell gave me a closer look and helped me relax my criticism. Second, while I disagree with Bell on Hell, I think he genuinely cares for people and for the reputation of God. Reading that book helped me see this. By the way, he is closer to Lewis on Hell than you are.
7. Steve Brown. If you need a guy who oozes grace from every pore and page, this is your guy. And unless you are reading Keller, you of the YRR are probably not getting a lot of grace while talking about it. I owe you all a review of Three Free Sins, his new book. Start there.
8. G. K. Chesterton. Witty, funny and my favorite apologist for the Christian faith. Also a Catholic and one who is very critical of Calvinism in Orthodoxy, you may want to take off your Jonathan Edwards is my homeboy T-shirt before you begin.