Friday, November 26, 2010

Books for Black Friday

Traditionally, the Friday after Thanksgiving is the beginning of what has become known as the Christmas shopping season. When I was in high school working at a retail store similar to Wal-mart, but on a smaller scale, I remember having to make sure our store was decorated for Christmas by November 10th. Now, of course, most stores begin trying to manufacture the happy holidays cheer the day after Halloween. Nevertheless, Black Friday is still seen as THE big day.

This year I decided to do my bit to help the puzzled Christmas shopper by providing a list of the most rewarding books you can give your loved ones who are thoughtful people interested in economics, theology, and perhaps even philosophy.

The following is a list of books that I've found important and have positively influenced my thinking in a number of areas.


Heurta de Soto, Jesus, Money, Bank Credit, and Economic Cycles.

The finest economic treatise of the decade. Anyone who wants to do serious work on monetary or macroeconomic theory should begin here.

Hulsmann, Jorg Guido, Mises: The Last Knight of Liberalism.

A magisterial biography of the great economist. Well written and a tremendous scholarly achievement.

Mises, Ludwig von, Human Action.

Mises' magnum opus. The most important book written in the social sciences ever.

Mises, Planning for Freedom and Other Essays.

This is an excellent introduction to Mises' thought in the form of a collection of essays, the vast majority of which are written for the intelligent layman.

Rothbard, Murray N., Man, Economy, and State.

Rothbard's magnum opus in which he builds a grand edifice of economic theory upon the foundation laid by Ludwig von Mises.

My own economics treatise written as an introduction to economic thought built upon the economics of Mises and Rothbard. It shows why and how sound economics develops out of a Christian view of creation and man. Tom Woods says that my book "is everything a textbook on economics should be: clear, well organized, easy to understand -- and interesting!"


Bavinck, Herman, Reformed Dogmatics

This is a massive and, as a colleague of mine put it, stirring systematic theology in four volumes. Bavinck maintains a wonderful mixture of outstanding scholarship, theological orthodoxy, and devotion to Christ.

Machen, J. Gresham, Christianity and Liberalism

Machen's trumpet blast against theological liberalism in which he conclusively demonstrates that liberalism is not merely a different, modern expression of the Christian faith. It is an entirely different religion.

The above two works are what we could call Machen's popular theology. They are based on radio addresses he gave on parts of the Westminster Shorter Catechism.


Carson, Clarence, Flight from Reality.

A profound mix of history, political thought, sociology, and philosophy. Carson attempts to explain how the drive to reform society in the Twentieth Century was largely the result of intellectuals turning their back on reality.

An excellent and thorough introduction to philosophy from a Christian perspective. Clark devotes separate chapters on epistemology, history, politics, ethics, science, and religion. 

Schaeffer, Francis, The God Who is There.
Schaeffer, Escape from Reason.

The above three works make up Schaeffer's "philosophy trilogy." They may not be the last word on the subject, but they are pretty good first words.

Schlossberg, Herbert, Idols for Destruction.

A monumental critique of modern American intellectual culture from a Christian perspective. One of the great books written during the 1980s. Any Christian who is at all concerned about modern culture must read this book.

Scruton, Roger, An Intelligent Person's Guide to Modern Culture.

The title is very accurate in this case. In this relatively brief work, Scruton explains and critiques the various philosophies that underlie many aspects of modern culture. If one wants to make sense of our contemporary world, this is an excellent place to start.

No comments:

Post a Comment