Books for Teens: Some Miscellaneous Recommendations from Fred G. Zaspel
A few weeks ago someone gave me the idea to recommend some books that would be good for Christian teens, especially homeschoolers (who read so very much!).
Below are some books that came to mind. I hope you enjoy!
On Reading Well
- How To Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading
- Wildly popular and highly acclaimed, helpful guide to reading well.
Thinking & Writing Clearly
- Nonsense: Red Herrings, Straw Men and Sacred Cows: How We Abuse Logic in Our Everyday Language
- A good help to clear thinking.
- Good Arguments: Making Your Case in Writing and Speaking
- A good help to clear thinking
- The Universe Next Door
- Survey of competing worldviews. Very good and very accessible to high schoolers
On Contemporary Culture, Issues, and Challenges
- Seven Men Who Rule the World from the Grave
- Excellent introduction to important men and ideas.
- What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality?
- The best accessible book on the subject.
- Meltdown: Making Sense of a Culture in Crisis
- The best introduction to postmodern thinking for high school age. Only a bit challenging, but still accessible for high schoolers.
- Twelve Myths Americans Believe
- A Christian view on various contemporary cultural issues.
- Desire & Deceit
- Assessing contemporary views of sexuality
- Culture Shift
- Assessing the contemporary secular approach to society
- Total Truth
- Finding Truth
- Saving Leonardo (Nancy gave me a study guide for this that I can share if you like.)
- Love Thy Body
- Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business
- An entertaining read but very important analysis of our shallow culture
- The Dark Side of Islam
- Christianity and Islam compared
- Not a Chance
- Analyzing the idea of “chance” as used in contemporary science.
- Lifeviews: Understanding the Ideas that Shape Society Today
- Just what it says
- Ultimate Issues
- A Christian view of ultimate questions
- The Consequences of Ideas: Understanding the Concepts that Shaped Our World
- Just what it says
- The Soul of Science
- An important book for students of science; probably the best place to start.
- Redeeming Science
- A very important read for students of science.
- Can Science Explain Everything?
- A helpful explanation of the limitations of science by an Oxford prof.
- Scientism and Secularism: Learning to Respond to a Dangerous Ideology
- The book I mentioned in Sunday School recently. You can see my interview with Moreland here.
On Creation and Evolution
- An excellent little booklet on the doctrine of creation
Apologetics / Responding to Attacks on Christianity
Köstenberger, Bock, Chatraw
- Truth Matters
- Written specifically for teens. Answers some contemporary attacks on Christianity. Excellent.
- The Case for Christ
- The Case for Christ DVD
- Very popular, strong on evidence
- The Case for Christianity Answer Book
- A general reference resource
- Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism
- Making Sense of God: Finding God in the Modern World
- Keller is sophisticated but plain and accessible. Addresses contemporary challenges to Christianity.
- Reason to Believe: A Response to Common Objections to Christianity
- Just what it says. Sproul is always very accessible.
These first three are excellent “big picture” introductions to the Bible.
- The Young Christian’s Introduction to the Bible
- A really great little (very little) book. Really good, even though very elementary. Now long out of print – must buy used. Useful for middle schoolers and up.
This is a simple but excellent guide to each book of the Bible
Leland & Phil Ryken
These next two are probably the best Old & New Testament surveys. They are larger in size but manageable and very user-friendly – side panels, many photos, etc.
Arnold & Beyer
Elwell & Yarbrough
Interpreting / Understanding the Bible
This has been enormously popular. Basic, simple, and helpful.
Fee & Stuart
- Theology for Ordinary People
- Just what it says. Very good.
- Know Why You Believe
- Basic Bible doctrines.
- Taking God At His Word
- An excellent, easy read about the nature and character of Scripture.
- Who Is Jesus?
- An excellent, simple, brief study.
- Why Trust the Bible?
- Good, brief; answers basic questions.
- The Christian Life: A Doctrinal Introduction
- I’ve given out a hundred of these over the years, high schoolers included. Wish every Christian would read it!
Buy the books
HOW TO READ A BOOK: THE CLASSIC GUIDE TO INTELLIGENT READING, by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren