2019 Christian Greats Challenge

2019 Christian Greats Challenge

A very unexpected challenge popped up at Carol’s place, Journey and Destination, the 2019 Christian Greats Challenge, and after some mulling over, I’ve decided to join.  I have a few books that might fit these categories that I’m reading or want to read and it might help me get through them (Augustine’s City of God, I’m looking at YOU!)

The following are the categories and my choices:

The History of the Church Eusebius Paul Maier

1)  A Book on Early Church History

  • The History of the Church by Eusebius or
  • City of God by Saint Augustine or
  • On the Incarnation by Athanasius or 

Why?  I’ve always wanted to read Eusebius.

St. Francis of Assisi G.K. Chesterton

2)  A Book About a Prominent Christian Who Was Born Between 500 A.D & 1900

  •  Francis of Assisi by G.K. Chesterton

Why?  I really love both Francis and Chesterson.

The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan

3)  A Christian Allegory

  •  The Pilgrim’s Progess by John Bunyan

Why? I’ve been trying to get through this book for years so perhaps now is the time!

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

4)  A Book on Apologetics

  • Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis or
  • Pensées by Blaise Pascal or
  • The Everlasting Man by G.K. Chesterton or
  • The Fountain of Knowledge by St. John of Damascus or 
  • City of God by Saint Augustine

Why?  This is a lame answer but I have so many notes on Mere Christianity that I’d like to put them down on my blog.

Pensées Blaise Pascal

5)  A Philosophical Book by a Christian Author

  • Pensées by Blaise Pascal or
  • Fear and Trembling by Søren Kierkegaard or
  • City of God by Saint Augustine or
  • A Philosophy of Education by Charlotte Mason

Why? I’ve wanted to read Pensées for awhile now and I do need to start to make my way through Charlotte Mason’s treatises.  Kierkegaard scares me.

Bonhoeffer Eric Metaxas

6)   A Missionary Biography or A Biography of a Prominent Christian

  • The True Saint Nicholas by William J. Bennett or
  • Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas

Why?  I’ve always wanted to read something both on Saint Nicholas and Bonhoeffer.

The Great Lent Alexander Schmemann

7)  A Seasonal Book

  • The Great Lent by Alexander Schmemann

Why?  Schmemann has many deep and enlightening thoughts and I know he’ll explain Lent in a way that will make it both beautiful and meaningful.

The Red Horse Eugenio Corti

8)  A Novel with a Christian Theme

  • The Red Horse by Eugenio Corti

Why? A bestseller in Europe, it was voted the best Italian novel of the decade and has been translated into at least six languages.  Set in World War II, it is based on the author’s personal experience as an Italian Freedom Fighter.  It’s a tome but I’m really anticipating this one.

Whose Body? Dorothy Sayers

9) A Good Old Detective or Mystery Novel

  • Whose Body? by Dorothy Sayers or
  • Father Brown: The Hammer of God by G.K. Chesterton

Why?  I’ve read some of Sayers’ theological works, so it’s time for one of her novels!

10)  A Substitute

  • The Clouding of Unknowing – Anonymous
  • Relevations of Divine Love by Julian of Norwich
  • The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis

I might also add some more C.S. Lewis books to this 2019 Christian Greats challenge to give some concentration to my C.S. Lewis Project that I started so long ago.

I’m not planning on hitting all these categories but at least with a plan, I’ll read more than without one.  In fact, if this challenge just pushes me to get through City of God I’ll be happy.  Wish me luck!




34 thoughts on “2019 Christian Greats Challenge

  1. I have long wanted to read something by Alexander Schmemann. The Great Lent sounds like a good one. Maybe I’ll read it during Lent this year!

    • I’ve recommended it to one other blogger so perhaps there’ll be three of us reading it this year. That would be fun! 🙂

  2. Interesting titles, Cleo. I’ve never heard of The Red Horse or its author but it sounds great. I hope you didn’t mind, but I added your link to the linky thingo I put at the end of the post.

  3. Great list, Cleo! I’m really interested in The Red Horse. I haven’t read anything by this author. Isn’t it amazing that there are always great books waiting for us to find them! I hope you don’t mind, but I added your link to the Linky thingo at the end of my post announcing the challenge.

    • The Red Horse is published by Ignatius Press. I read Father Elijah published by them a few years ago and it was really good! I can’t wait to start this one!

    • On another note, if you think your comments aren’t going through, for some reason my blog is holding everything for moderation even though I have moderation turned off. I don’t know how to fix it yet, so if your comment does turn up right away, that’s why. Sorry!

  4. I love the sound of this one!! I’m definitely going for this — quite a few of my classics club books fall in the Christian non-fiction category.

    I’ve read A Pilgrim’s Progress twice over the years. I wouldn’t mind reading it again. It makes you think and ponder, and most of all, desire so much to follow.

    Happy reading, Cleo!

    • Oh yay, another participant! I’m going to eagerly await your choices! I’m so happy to hear that The Pilgrim’s Progress is good. I’ve read his Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners but that’s it. Thanks for the wishes! 🙂

        • Oh, re your 2nd comment: Just so you know, I have my comments on moderation mode. I tried to take it off but it hasn’t worked and I have no idea how to fix it yet. Argh! :-Z

          • Ah! No worries. It just doesn’t say “your comment is in moderation” like it would on WordPress.com, so it looks like the site ate it. 😛

          • Thanks for the feedback. It’s my only glitch so far so I hope I get it worked out. When in doubt, clear the browser! 😉

  5. Interesting choices, Cleo. The Red Horse sounds fascinating – never heard of it before. I’ve heard of the Eusebius book but I’ll probably read the book I already have (Athanasius) but will look forward to your thoughts on it and maybe get it for next time!

    • I think the Paul Maier version of Eusebius is a relatively easy read. I am looking forward to it. I might read Athanasius too. A short book but very dense. I’ve read it before but would love to read it again!

  6. This is such an intriguing challenge, I am almost tempted to join, considering the the City of Gods lies unread staring at me!! Yikes! When do you plan to read St. Frances of Assisi and Pilgrim’s Progress? I may join – same reasons!

    • I’m not sure about my plans for this challenge. I have a couple of reads at the beginning of the year and I do want to concentrate of City of God. So probably mid-year but Marian wants to read Pilgrim’s Progress too so perhaps we can coordinate.

  7. This is the year…2019…City of God! You got it. : D

    Bonhoeffer was excellent, though a chunky one. Nonetheless, worthy.

    I do need a possible idea for mystery. I’ll have to look up that Whose Body? I’ve not read anything by Sayers.

    • Sayers is very popular this year I’ve noticed, so she would certainly be a good choice. Yes, City of God …. sigh …. I just need to get it over with.

  8. What a list!! Don’t be scared of Kierkegaard… I mean, he IS tough, but I want to hear what you think about him. 🙂

    That’s at least three of us reading Pilgrim’s Progress. Echoing Cirtnecce, maybe we could do a readalong! Not at the same time as Moby-Dick of course… 😛

    • No problem! Very frustrating that my comment moderation is off and still it’s making me moderate. I hope I get it fixed soon …

  9. Oh, this sounds like a good challenge. I’m not sure that I have room for any more challenges on my plate at the moment (trying to not overdo it this year), but otherwise it is tempting. It sounds like you have some good choices – I’d only heard of Eusebius recently and am intrigued too.

    • I’ve been going a bit wild with my challenges. I should sit down and try to target books that count for a couple of them. Or, I’ll do what I usually do … just read. 🙂

    • Definitely The Great Lent and The Red Horse would probably be more obscure books. It seems like everyone is reading The Pilgrim’s Progress though, lol! Thanks for stopping by, Hope! 🙂

  10. Hi! I can’t tell if my comment above published, so to repeat: I really, really love The Pilgrim’s Progress. Also, Vera Brittain appears to have loved it too. She wrote a whole biography on John Bunyan and appears to have considered his life similar to hers, in that they both went against the grain to speak their beliefs. 🙂

    (this is jillian)

    • Hello!! So nice to hear from you again! I often wonder about you but I do see some of your comments on other blogs occasionally so I know you’re still reading and around. I didn’t know that about Vera Brittain. It makes me look forward to PP much more than I have before. I love people who challenge the status quo; and Brittain sounds like an author I’d like to get to know. Let me know if you come across a good biography about her. I still have Testament of Youth in my reading stack almost ready to go (again!). Take care, Jillian!

        • Oooo, thanks! Hopefully my library carries it.

          I don’t often see your feed on Goodreads but sometimes, so yes I know you’re hovering around.

          From one nut to another, happy reading! 🙂

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