Books & Movies

We’re all shaped and influenced by the books, films, movies, art and music we enjoy.  This is a sampling of books and films which have shaped my life.  I pass them on here as recommendations to inspire and challenge.  Please keep in mind that the Apostle Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:21 commands us to test everything.   Each of these recommendations, so far as I know, contain a mixture of truth.   Some will have more purity than others.  Our job is to sift through the messages, swallow the meat, and spit out the bones.


  • Baxter Kruger: The Great Dance delighted my soul with the joy of the Trinity.
  • Dallas Willard: The Divine Conspiracy opened to me a revelation of true discipleship and the Kingdom of God
  • John Eldridge: Wild at Heart challenged me to live by passion rather than rules.
  • E. Stanley Jones: The Unshakable Kingdom and the Unchanging Man refined my vision of the Kingdom of God.
  • Francis Schaeffer:  How Then Shall we Live? gave me Biblical eyes to see the world.
  • Andrew Murray:  Humility I try to read this every few years just to keep my perspective right.
  • A.W. Tozer: The Pursuit of God taught me to follow hard after God for His own sake.
  • Brother Lawrence & Frank Laubach, Practicing the Presence is one of the best books I know for bringing me back to the simplicity of  walking with Jesus.
  • Victor Hugo: Les Miserables fed my soul with the beauty of grace.
  • Bob George: Classic Christianity taught me the beauty of grace.
  • Dale Carnegie: How to Win Friends and Influence People equipped me to move beyond my shyness.
  • Major Ian Thomas: The Saving Life of Christ taught me about the fullness of Christ and what He accomplished in His death and resurrection.
  • John Eldridge & Brent Curtis: The Sacred Romance Changed the way I think about life, suffering, beauty, pain,  and eternity.
  • C.S. Lewis: Mere Christianity equipped me to rationally defend my faith.
  • Annie Dillard: A Pilgrim at Tinker Creek opened a window to God’s wonder in my soul.
  • Charles Colson: How Now Shall we Live? taught me to engage my mind as a Christian.
  • Gene Edwards: A Tale of Three Kings was a delightful revelation of how to guard against pride and bitterness.
  • Peter Kreeft:  The Journey taught me to ask questions and to seek for the Truth.
  • Steve McVey: 52 Lies Told in Church Every Sunday encouraged me to ask questions about my presuppositions.
  • Brennan Manning: Abba’s Child lit a flame of God’s passionate love in my soul.
  • Henri Nouwen: Out of Solitude gave me perspective on the truly important things in life.
  • William P. Young: The Shack freed me to think of the Incarnation in fresh and exciting ways.

Movies & Films:

Far more than any other influence, more than school, more even than home – my attitudes, dreams, preconceptions and preconditions for life had been irreversibly shaped five and a half thousand miles away in a place called Hollywood.”   David Puttnam, producer of Chariots of Fire.

  • Superman Returns:   An amazing pictures of the “God-man” entering into the human race to redeem it.  Look for images of Jesus, sin, sacrifice, and resurrection.
  • Radio: “God chooses the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; the weak things of the world to shame the strong.”
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: “The blood of a righteous “pirate” redeemed the whole company of dead pirates.”  Will Turner is a Christ figure standing between the “law” (Admiral Norrington) and the sinner (Jack Sparrow)
  • The Lord of the Rings:  “Even the smallest person can change the course of history.”
  • The Two Towers:  “It takes faithful men and unified armies to defeat the powers of darkness.”
  • The Return of the King:  “Every little hobbit, elf, dwarf, and man has a part to play in the cosmic battle for the Kingdom.
  • A Knight’s Tale:  Possessing our identity by faith.
  • Grand Torino:  Laying down our lives for others.  Making a difference.  Look for the image of Jesus at the end.
  • The Gladiator: “Our actions in this life will echo through eternity.”
  • The Count of Monte Cristo:  Loss of hope and redemption.  “God still believes in you.”
  • The Truman Show:  “The truth will set you free.”
  • The Mission:  The beauty and humility of the Kingdom versus the destruction of greed and power.
  • Dead Poet’s Society “Seize the day. Live every moment with passion.”
  • Simon Birch: “Every life has meaning and purpose.”
  • Patch Adams: “Care is more important than cure.”
  • Schindler’s List: “One person can make a difference.”
  • Braveheart: “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”
  • The War:  Everything matters.  “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
  • The Man Without a Face: “The measure of a man is his heart. Suffering produces wisdom.”
  • It’s A Wonderful Life: “The sacredness of life.  Every life makes a difference”
  • Chariots of Fire  Everything matters.  “Whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God.”  God takes delight in our gifts!
  • Cool Runnings:  The power of faith and teamwork.
  • City of Joy: “All that’s not give in lost”.  True joy is found in sacrificing our lives for others.
  • Remember the Titans: The beauty of reconciliation and the strength of teamwork.
  • The Princess Bride: A parable of Christ (Wesley) and his church (Buttercup).
  • Saving Mr Banks: How our stories are beautifully rewritten when we put them into the hands of the Great Storyteller.

Other Great Books

“Read, or get out of the ministry” – John Wesley to early Methodist Ministers
  • Shows About Nothing: Thomas Hibbs
  • Rediscovering the Kingdom: Miles Monroe
  • This Beautiful Mess: Rick McKinley
  • The Secret Message of Jesus: Brian McLaren
  • Simply Christian: N.T. Wright
  • Irresistible Revolution: Shane Claiborne
  • Searching for God Knows What: Donald Miller
  • Windows of the Soul:  Ken Gire
  • How the Irish Saved Civilization:   Thomas Cahill
  • Making Sense out of Suffering:  Peter Kreeft
  • The Reflective Life:  Ken Gire
  • The Journey of Desire:  John Eldridge
  • Teaching a Stone to Talk:  Annie Dillard
  • Seven Men Who rule the World from the Grave – David Breese
  • The Celtic Way of Evangelism – George G. Hunter
  • Messy Spirituality – Michael Yacanelli

One thought on “Books & Movies”

  1. Hi Don, it’s been awhile since listening to you teach at YWAM Charlotte. Bob and I are in a study of the Divine Conspiracy and I just love it. Thanks for giving us a list of your important books…it’s good to know the Kingdom is here.
    Cathy Hill


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