Kindred Tea Time: Books for Faith Formation


What book(s) played a significant role in your faith formation?

"Girl Meets God" by Lauren F. Winner

“Girl Meets God” by Lauren F. Winner is one I’ve talked about a lot over these five years of Sacred Ordinary Days. But, it introduced me to and invited me into the reordered time of the Christian year and set my feet on a long, beautiful path. I am so grateful!


“The Preaching Life” by Barbara Brown Taylor

“The Preaching Life” was put into my hands right as I began to start admitting I felt called to ministry and ministry of the pastoral and preaching kind. I was grateful for an example of a life which I could glimpse into when I had no real-life examples of people I knew to look to yet.

“Story” by Steven James

"Story" is a simple little read, but one that rocked my world as a young college student. A book that talks about the narrative of scripture, it felt poetic, sacred, and reverent in ways I hadn’t experienced before.


“Til We Have Faces” by C.S. Lewis

“Til We Have Faces” absolutely wrecked me. It’s a daunting read, not in length, but complexity of thought, but it made me totally reassess how to be honest with myself and who I am in, and how God sees me.

"Hind’s Feet on High Place" by Hannah Hurnard

“Hind’s Feet on High Place” is a beautiful dramatization of a sheep’s relationship with her shepherd. As a young adult with doubts and many questions, I could hear echoes of my own heart and the voice of Jesus speaking love to me in those conversations.


"The Ragamuffin Gospel" by Brennan Manning

“The Ragamuffin Gospel” completely transformed my understanding of God’s love. I come back to it when I need solid words of grace.

"The Holy Eclair: Signs and Wonders from an Accidental Pilgrimage" by Becky Ramsey

"The Holy Eclair" came to me at an incredibly tender part of my life. My Dad was dying, I was in seminary, and I had just gotten married. Becky’s words brought comfort and a reminder that I’m not alone in my confusion about this life and my purpose in it. It’s been almost 3 years since I read it for the first time, and I return to it’s pages regularly to find a quote or read one of the original prayers within.


"Life of the Beloved" by Henri Nouwen

This book helped me discern my call to ministry when I was 18, and then again when I was 21, and then again when I was 25. It never stops speaking to me in fresh ways. I’ll always return to and glean from this read.

All three of these authors impacted me so profoundly I went down the rabbit hole and read their entire canon. I love everything they’ve written and have found myself formed just as much—if not more—by their fiction as non-fiction.

"Lilith" by George MacDonald

Not only does this strange and beautiful story stand on its own, it also inspired and informed many of my other favorite and most formative authors, not least of which include C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Madeleine L’Engle.


"Godric" by Frederick Buechner

Buechner is particularly gifted at writing fictionalized accounts of historical figures. His portrayal of 12th-century holy man Godric is so fully realized I felt like I was sitting at the feet of the crusty yet endearing old hermit.


"The Space Trilogy" by C. S. Lewis

It’s almost impossible to choose a single series, much less book, by C. S. Lewis. The Chronicles of Narnia established so much about my faith as a child, The Great Divorce literally brought my husband and I together, and Til We Have Faces is one of the most beautiful books ever written. I revisit them all over and over again. But "The Space Trilogy" is so frequently overlooked and so wonderfully true and imaginative—plus with a trilogy I get to cheat and name three books at once.