Tom Scofield's Recommended Reading

Christianity and art

Walking on Water by Madeleine L'Engle
Is there such a thing as “Christian art”? Must an artist be a Christian to reveal the divine? Is it possible for a sincere Christian to produce a “religious” work that actually harms worship? Ms. L'Engle, the writer of the “Wrinkle in Time” series and many other works of fiction her opinions on these and other questions, as she reflects on her experiences as a Christian and artist.

Christian books

Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis
This book has something for the curious outsider, the intellectual doubter, and the experienced Christian. Lewis, a one-time atheist, strips away the exterior put on Christianity by various denominations, focusing on the core that remains.

Reading for enjoyment

Until We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis
Ok, I must admit to a penchant of recommending every book Lewis ever wrote. This one is no exception. He has reworked the Greek legend of Cupid and Psyche. Much of the time I felt the atheist-Lewis being given a voice, though the author truly reveals himself in the end. Nevertheless, this is not a book on Christianity (unlike the one mentioned above nor one in the vein of “Screwtape Letters”, “The Great Divorce”, etc.). It seems primarily a venue for Lewis to tell a great story.

Books from the humanities

Who Killed Homer? by Victor Davis Hanson and John Heath
Is the decline of modern civilization directly attributable to growing disdain for our Greek (Western) heritage? In making their case, the authors raise questions about accepted dogma on today’s campuses.

General mathematics books

Flatland (available online) by Edwin Abbot
The author was a 19th-century educator and math enthusias (not a professional mathematician), but the book provides a wonderfully-written introduction to understanding the 4th dimension and beyond. Even the social satire in the book has continued relevance in today's society, though you should read this treatise before reading the book, as you might wrongly think the author a hopeless sexist from another time out of touch with our own.

Theory of space and time

The Poetry of the Universe by Robert Osserman
Without taking a cosmology or high-powered math course, obtain a basic understanding of concepts like curved space and spherical geometry. Look into some of the basic questions that cosmologists struggle with to this day, and learn some interesting history along the way. The author makes the whole thing as simple as the concept that a map of the Earth cannot be represented on a flat piece of paper without distortions.

The views expressed in these books are in no way sanctioned by Calvin College, nor should they be taken as representative of prevailing viewpoints at the institution.

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