In my previous post I introduced The Soul of Christianity; Restoring the Great Tradition, by Huston Smith. Over the years I have read many, many books for Christians, about Christians, or by Christians. But I believe that this one stands head and shoulders above almost all others.
The book has three main sections. Part One is The Christian Worldview, which is the best expression of the basic tenets of Christian faith that I have seen. This is fascinating and illuminating content, but it is definitely not light reading. I found myself going back over several passages multiple times. And I took lots of notes as I went. One profound quote from this section is “For Christians, God is defined by Jesus, but He is not confined to Jesus.” Another is “Revelation is multiple in scope and degree.”
Part Two is the Christian Story, which captures the life and person of Christ — what He said, what He did, and who He was. One of my favorite lines in this section is “Instead of telling people what to do or believe, He invited them to see things differently. … He worked with people’s imaginations more than their reason or will”. This section has encouraged me to reread the gospels and the words of Jesus with an expectation of seeing things differently. I look forward to gaining a fresh appreciation for His parables and metaphors.
Part Three is The Three Main Branches of Christianity Today. Smith provides an excellent overview of the differences and similarities between Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Protestantism. I expect that few people would agree with every statement, but there is a great deal of meaningful insight captured here.
This book is still available, and can be purchased on Amazon.com. I believe that this could be the best $6.00 you would ever spend on a book. It should be on every Christian’s bookshelf, and should be read frequently and devotionally. For your convenience, there is a direct link to purchase this book on Amazon at