5 Christian Novels You Haven’t Read (But Should)

Opening by Wesley Wood: I asked Silas Green (our main book guy) to do something that I could not. Show you five Christian fiction books that you probably have not read. As it turns out, I have only read the more well known stuff and I could not make this list on my own. I do include a book of my own choosing at the bottom though! If you have missed out on seeing our 5 Christian Films, 5 Christian Rock Bands, and 5 Christian Living Books lists then check them out. Below is the 5 Christian Novels You Haven’t Read (But Should).

Note – These books are in no particular order.

1. Eli – Bill MyersEli cover

What if Jesus had been born, not 2000 years ago, but today?

That’s the premise of Bill Myers’ novel Eli. A journalist falls into a parallel universe where he gets to witness the Gospel played out in modern America.

Why you should read it:

Ever wonder what the modern world would do with Jesus? This book does a great job of painting a believable picture. It’s fun to watch the story of Jesus come to life in a world like our own. Myers also uses his story to take aim at certain aspects of the religious establishment, showing how they would react to a living Jesus walking among them.

If anyone can relate to the words of Todd Agnew’s song “My Jesus”:

“’Cause my Jesus would never be accepted in my church
The blood and dirt on His feet might stain the carpet”

Yeah, it’s like that.

Read Eli if you’re interested in seeing a modern-day take on the Gospel, where a plain-clothes Savior makes friends of sinners, enemies of saints, and shows the love and power of God to a nation.

Check It out HERE

2. Showdown – Ted DekkerShowdown cover

Ted Dekker is one of the most creative writers in Christian fiction today. Showdown is part supernatural fantasy, part suspense thriller. A mysterious preacher comes to the town of Paradise, Colorado, causing a stir among the residents. Meanwhile, in an isolated monastery, a group of young children make a discovery that will test their innocent faith for the first time. Everything is connected, and it’s all leading to a showdown between truest evil and ultimate love.

Why you should read it:

Dekker’s playful (and sometimes dark) imagination is hard at work, trying to present the Gospel and the power of God’s love in a way most readers haven’t seen before. It’s not just allegory (thought there is some of that), but a fantastical trip into temptation and the war between good and evil that is waged for the heart of every person in the world. Read it for the fun premise, a wicked villain, and an inventive final act that will give you a different perspective on what might be a familiar story to you.

Check it out HERE

3. That Hideous Strength – C.S. LewisThat Hideous Strength cover

“A modern fairy-tale for grownups.” The third book in C.S. Lewis’s Space Trilogy takes place on our own planet, where a shadowy organization called the N.I.C.E. is attempting to change society, to impose Science without morality upon it. Throw in Lewis’s spacefaring hero Ransom and the ancient wizard Merlin, and you’ve got a fantasy adventure that is not quite like anything else you’ll read.

Why you should read it:

This one reads like a Frank Peretti novel: organizations that are pawns of dark spiritual powers, people whose souls hang in the balance, and there is even some spiritual warfare. It’s my personal favorite of Lewis’s Space Trilogy. Arthurian legend meets science fiction and theological fantasy, and the result is strange and beautiful. The main point of That Hideous Strength is the same as Lewis’s The Abolition of Man, in which he criticizes subjective morality as destroying something essential to us as human beings: the guiding force of an absolute moral law.

Check it out HERE

4. Creature Tech – Doug TenNapel

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Doug TenNapel’s graphic novel takes on the same subject as That Hideous Strength: the problem of science and rationalism divorced from morality and faith. Prodigal son and scientist Ong returns home to his small town to work in the storage facility for the strange known as Creature Tech. (Fans of television’s Warehouse 13 take note; this could be your new favoritest thing ever.) It’s like one of those places like where they put the Ark of the Covenant at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark. But Ong doesn’t have much time to settle in before an undead villain that once tried to conquer the world with giant space eels returns to finish what he started.

Why you should read it:

Because it’s hilarious. This book will make you laugh out loud. And it’s cute and touching in parts too, but mostly it’s just pure fun. Also, it has a great message about finding faith in the midst of all the evidence science presents. But mostly you should read it because it has a hero who enters into a symbiotic relationship with an alien that then learns kung fu for the both of them while staying up watching martial arts flicks on TV. And because after reading it you are going to want to go around saying “Hellcat’s Revenge!” until your friends look at you as if you’re even crazier than usual.

Check it out HERE

5. Earthboy Jacobus – Doug TenNapelEarthboy Jacobus cover

This is the second graphic novel on this list, and also by the brilliant Doug TenNapel. (Doug is also the creator of video game character Earthworm Jim, Geeks!) Earthboy Jacobus is kind of a retelling of the story of Jonah (or perhaps Pinocchio). A lonely, retired old man hits a terra-whale with his car and finds a boy from a parallel universe inside. But the boy is on the run from dangerous insect-like creatures, so the man decides to raise him to be “a great American ass-kicker.”

Why you should read it:

If you love America, reading this is basically your patriotic duty. I kid, but this book just drools love of God and country. Read it if you’re looking for an unusual adventure story, a touching tale of a father and son, and a man’s journey back to God. (The “prodigal son” theme returns with a vengeance.) It’s a little more serious in tone than Creature Tech, its humor balanced out by scenes of tearful emotion. TenNapel’s otherwordly art style serves him well in depicting the creatures from another dimension, but it’s the characters, especially Chief and Jacobus, that are going to win your heart. There are moments in this book that will stay with you long after you turn its final, beautiful page.

Check it out HERE

Bonus Book: I, Saul – Jerry B. Jenkins

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After reading all sixteen of the Left Behind books, I check out Jerry B. Jenkins on Facebook and saw many people asking him when the sequel to I, Saul was coming out (he stated it was coming out in May of 2015, called Empire’s End). Once I viewed all of the positive reviews on Amazon, I knew that I needed to pick up this book immediately. After purchasing it from LifeWay, I read the novel in about a week and I must say it is pretty good and I recommend it for anyone who enjoys thriller novels. There are two plots happening at the same time and the way they are woven together is awe-inspiring. One is present day and the other is from a blast in the past to when Paul is in jail. At first it doesn’t seem like the stories will connect (but they do).

“From multi-million copy best-selling novelist Jerry Jenkins comes a compelling international thriller that conveys you from present-day Texas to a dank Roman dungeon in A.D. 67, then down the dusty roads of ancient Israel, Asia, and back to Rome.

A young seminary professor, Augustine Knox, is drawn into a deadly race to save priceless parchments from antiquities thieves and discovers a two- thousand-year old connection with another who faced death for the sake of the truth. I, Saul consists of two riveting adventures in one, transporting you between the stories of Augustine Knox and Saul of Tarsus.

Filled with political intrigue, romance, and rich historical detail, I, Saul is a thrilling tale of loyal friendships tested by life-or-death quests, set two millennia apart, told by a master storyteller.”

Check it out HERE

What do you think? Is there anything we didn’t list, that we should have? Let us know below!

silasgreen

A lover of Jesus and of fantastical fiction, Silas Green talks books and Christian living on Geeks Under Grace. He spends the rest of his free time trying to write stories and exploring the paradise island in the Pacific on which he is stranded.

15 Comments

  1. Wisknort on January 22, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    I, Saul sounds like Matthew Reilly’s Temple. Which I consider one of Reilly’s worse novels, and thus only a few orders of magnitude better than most other books, instead of many. 😀 I’ll have to check it out.

  2. Daniel Rodrigues-Martin on September 27, 2014 at 4:59 am

    I really need to read something by Ted Dekker.

    • Wesley Wood on October 4, 2014 at 1:44 am

      I highly recommend Black. It is the first of the Circle series which is amazing.

  3. Crystalline on September 25, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    I’ve read almost all of Ted Dekker’s books and they are fantastic. There’s a YA series called The Lost Books that goes along with Showdown (and Saint and Sinner). I highly recommend it as is great and not quite as dark.

  4. Jenny on September 10, 2014 at 12:30 am

    I love the Space Trilogy (I’m rereading Perelandra right now), but Till We Have Faces might just be my favorite book of all time. It’s written so simply that it’s an easy read, but it’s very deep and beautiful. I would consider it a Christian novel (and not just because it’s written by C.S. Lewis), because even though it’s a retelling of a Greek myth, it shows the main character reaching for the truths of the Christianity that is soon to be revealed.

    • silasgreen on September 10, 2014 at 11:01 pm

      Til We Have Faces is, I think, the only novel of C.S. Lewis’s that I’ve not read. And I really should get around to it. He’s known for his theology and apologetics, but he has wonderful insight into the subject of love.

  5. Drew Camp on September 9, 2014 at 11:53 pm

    When I saw the title for this list, my first thought was “Eli.” I’m actually surprised to see it on here, nobody else I’ve talked to has ever heard of it.

    • silasgreen on September 10, 2014 at 10:58 pm

      Glad to hear someone else out there loves Eli. I actually like Bill Myers. Like Ted Dekker, he’s a Christian writer who dives below the surface when it comes to writing about faith. And Eli is probably my favorite of his books.

  6. Funsized98 on September 9, 2014 at 11:49 pm

    It’s quite sad, really, that more people haven’t heard of the Space Trilogy. I’ve just started reading Out of the Silent Planet, and it’s great. Certainly better than Narnia so far, in my opinion!

    • silasgreen on September 10, 2014 at 10:56 pm

      While Narnia will always have a special place in my heart, I love the Space Trilogy. And the climax of Out of the Silent Planet is beautiful.

  7. Emily on September 9, 2014 at 11:04 pm

    Totally agree with I, Saul! Love that book, as well as anything Bryan Davis, and Scott Appleton is amazing, too. All must reads!

    • silasgreen on September 10, 2014 at 10:55 pm

      The Bonus PIck, I, Saul, is Wesley Wood’s choice, so I haven’t read that one yet! Looks like it’s something I really have to pick up sometime! ^_^

    • Wesley Wood on October 4, 2014 at 1:44 am

      I really liked it. It is Jerry’s best non Left Behind novel.

  8. Casey Covel on September 9, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    I’ve read the first two novels in Lewis’ space trilogy, but I never got around to reading the last one! I’ll have to pick up That Hideous Strength, soon.

    If fantasy, sci-fi is your thing, I highly recommend Scott Appleton and Bryan Davis, both fantasy authors with amazing gifts for writing Christian fiction.

    • silasgreen on September 10, 2014 at 10:53 pm

      That Hideous Strength has a really different tone than the first two novels in the trilogy (it was more inspired by his friend–and fellow Inkling–Charles Williams’ writings), so we’ll see how you like it.

      Yes, I love fantasy and sci-fi (really anything that requires suspension of disbelief), so I’ll have to check out one of those authors soon. Any recommendations on which book of theirs is the best (and perhaps deserves a review)? 😀

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