Summer is upon us, so now is the time to plan your summer reading. As you craft your reading list, Intersect contributors would like to recommend their favorite books. We’ll share their recommendations over the coming weeks. (Read list 1 and list 2.)
This week, our contributors highlight books on secularism, the pro-life cause and history — from authors Robert George, Richard John Neuhaus, Jen Wilkin and Larry Hurtado.
Conscience and Its Enemies: Confronting the Dogmas of Liberal Secularism
by Robert George (Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2016)
Josh Wester: Someone recommended this book to me several years ago, and I didn’t listen. Earlier this year, I finally took the time to read this collection of essays from Dr. George and immediately regretted my failure to heed such wise counsel in a more timely fashion.
In Conscience and Its Enemies, you will find a sure and steady guide to some of the most fundamental moral and political questions of our time. Dr. George is perhaps America’s leading conservative thinker on the issues of religious liberty, marriage and human dignity. He writes with wit and verve. His arguments are lucid and air tight. And his conclusions are deeply consequential. Agree or disagree with Dr. George’s convictions, but you owe it to yourself to contend with his reasoning.
“We Shall Not Weary, We Shall Not Rest.”
by Richard John Neuhaus (at First Things)
Bruce Ashford: This isn’t a book, but this article came to mind because I re-read it again recently.
“We Shall Not Weary, We Shall Not Rest” is the transcript of what Robert P. George has called “the greatest pro-life speech even given,” a speech delivered at the close of the 2008 convention of the National Right to Life Committee.
In His Image: 10 Ways God Calls Us to Reflect His Character
by Jen Wilkin (Crossway, 2018)
Brittany Salmon: In His Image is Jen Wilkin’s latest book that accompanies her previous book None Like Him. Whereas None Like Him takes the reader through ways that God is unique in his incommunicable attributes, In His Image shows the reader what it looks like to be image-bearers and display God’s communicable attributes. These two books are a team of sorts, and as Jen recently stated in this interview, “Both books together paint a picture of who God is, and of who we are to be as his image-bearers.”
Although this book is marketed towards women, make no mistake: Powerhouse Wilkin has written another piece of work that is worthy of both men and women alike. Both of these books keep our eyes on a good and holy God, and who we are in light of this great redeemer, so if you’re looking for a book this summer that will not only challenge both your mind and your heart, look no further than Wilkin’s latest book In His Image.
Destroyer of the gods: Early Christian Distinctiveness in the Roman World
by Larry W. Hurtado (Baylor University Press, 2017)
Dayton Hartman: One of the mistakes of pop-culture Christianity is the attempt to navigate the complexities of the present and the “what-ifs” of the future by only drawing upon contemporary wisdom. I would argue that much could be gained for the present and the future by examining the wisdom and practices of the past. Our present need to be distinctive from the world around us ought to be informed by the practice and preaching of the early Christians.
Hurtado’s book highlights the way in which the pagan world viewed the first Christians as an oddity. Yet, this odd people and the radical gospel they preached quickly reshaped the theological, intellectual and cultural landscape of the ancient world.
What books are you reading this summer?