20 Bestselling Christian Books: Novels & Nonfiction Reads

Posted on Oct 1, 2023

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Written by P.J McNulty

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What are the bestselling Christian books and what do they have to teach us about faith and the power of spiritual writing? Read on to discover not only a range of timeless tomes, but also a deeper exploration of what makes certain books long-lasting classics in the world of Christian writing.

We will look at some of the bestselling Christian fiction and nonfiction books that have touched countless readers over the decades, conveying tales and teachings filled with spiritual insight and moral depth.

As different as these books can be, they all embody the core teachings that encompass the essence of the Christian faith.

Bestselling Christian fiction: 11 beloved novels and stories

Fiction fans know the profound ability of a novel to transport us into a new world and experience things through the eyes of someone else.

When you combine the power of fiction with the depth of Christianity, you have the potential for a truly transformative book.

Let’s take a look at eleven bestselling books from the world of Christian fiction.

1 – Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

“Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers is a Christian historical novel set in the 1850s Gold Rush in California. 

The book is a reimagining of the Biblical story of Hosea and Gomer, set against a backdrop of the California Gold Rush. 

It chronicles the life of a young woman named Angel, who escapes a life of prostitution to discover faith, redemption, and true love. 

Francine Rivers is renowned for her Christian themed novels, exploring themes of faith, salvation, and unconditional love, making her one of the most esteemed authors in Christian fiction.

Aspiring Christian writers can draw invaluable inspiration from “Redeeming Love” on how to intertwine faith-based concepts with emotionally-resonant storytelling. 

This book exemplifies how to incorporate Christian themes and Biblical narratives into fiction, presenting them in a way that’s relatable and engaging to modern readers who may be unused to such material.

Writers can learn a lot from Rivers’ ability to craft characters with depth and humanity, each undergoing a spiritual journey that resonates with readers. 

It serves as a shining example of how to blend historical settings, intense emotions, and spiritual growth to create compelling Christian fiction.

2 – The Shack by William P. Young

“The Shack” by William P. Young is a novel that explores the themes of faith and redemption. 

The narrative follows Mack Phillips, a father experiencing a profound personal tragedy and a crisis of faith. 

When he receives a mysterious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to the site of his personal nightmare, “The Shack,” he encounters three individuals who lead him on a transformative journey of truth, forgiveness, and ultimately, spiritual renewal. 

William P. Young’s storytelling in this book has reached millions, a testament to the power of what modern readers want from a work of Christian literature.

Christian writers exploring themes of tragedy, faith, and renewal can draw deep inspiration from “The Shack.” 

Young’s book offers a framework on how to tackle profound and complex themes like pain and loss while featuring elements of the divine and the supernatural. 

Writers can observe how Young uses allegory and metaphor to convey spiritual truths and divine revelations, crafting a narrative that is as thought-provoking as it is emotionally resonant. 

The Shack is an important illustration of how to approach sensitive and intricate subjects with grace and a deep understanding of Christian teachings.

3 – Left Behind by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins

“Left Behind” is a gripping series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, portraying a world plunged into chaos following the Rapture, during which believers in Christ are transported to heaven. 

The series follows those ‘left behind’ as they navigate a world under the authoritarian rule of the Antichrist. 

It combines elements of suspense, action, and spiritual warfare, creating a thrilling yet spiritually challenging reading experience.

Christian authors can observe how LaHaye and Jenkins weave theological concepts into a fast-paced narrative. 

Their meticulous crafting of a plausible post-Rapture world demonstrates the potency of well-researched and vividly described story settings. 

Left Behind achieves an effective balance between maintaining scriptural accuracy with the need to engage readers with relatable characters and high-stakes drama. This series powerfully reminds writers of the expansive creative possibilities within Christian fiction.

4 – A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers

“A Voice in the Wind,” another masterpiece by Francine Rivers, transports readers to ancient Jerusalem and Rome, unraveling a tale of love, loss, and faith during a time of persecution. 

Rivers’ novel, the first in the “Mark of the Lion” series, presents compelling characters who struggle with their personal spiritual challenges against the backdrop of a morally decadent society.

Aspiring Christian writers can learn the art of historical and biblical accuracy from this novel. 

Rivers’ dedication to historical context and character development offers a blueprint for creating believable, relatable characters navigating their faith in challenging circumstances. 

A Voice in the Wind exemplifies how to depict the struggle and resilience of faith in a hostile environment, providing rich, immersive settings and nuanced characters that readers can empathize with.

5 – This Present Darkness by Frank E. Peretti

“This Present Darkness” by Frank E. Peretti is a seminal work of Christian fiction, delving into the unseen world of angels and demons and their influences on the physical world. Peretti crafts a tale of a small town under spiritual siege, where a few faithful individuals must stand against the forces of darkness.

Writers can learn from Peretti’s vivid portrayal of spiritual warfare and his depiction of the unseen reality of the spiritual realm. 

This Present Darkness provides a blueprint for blending the supernatural with the natural in a way that highlights the constant battle between good and evil. 

It illustrates how to create tension and conflict through religious subject matter, reminding writers of the infinite ways of creatively portraying the spiritual realm through their fiction.

6 – The Harbinger by Jonathan Cahn

“The Harbinger” by Jonathan Cahn mixes a compelling narrative with biblical prophecy, illustrating America’s future through ancient scriptures. 

Cahn meticulously connects historical events and scriptural foresight, crafting a gripping tale that serves both as a warning and a call to repentance.

Cahn demonstrates to Christian writers how to present complex biblical concepts in a contemporary setting, making them accessible and engaging to modern readers. 

His book is a masterful example of how to blend narrative technique with spiritual truth, allowing readers to absorb the deeper messages through the enjoyable format of fiction.

7 – Piercing the Darkness by Frank E. Peretti

“Piercing the Darkness” is another of Frank E. Peretti’s books, a sequel to “This Present Darkness,” continuing his saga of exploring spiritual warfare in a small town setting. 

Peretti goes further in his portrayal of the battles between angels and demons over the souls of people, blending thrilling narratives with intriguingly uncommon spiritual imagery. 

Christian writers can study Peretti’s skill at depicting the interplay between the spiritual and physical realms, a concept that is not commonly found in fiction in spite of its ability to fascinate readers.

This sequel exemplifies how to deepen themes and expand on spiritual concepts introduced in earlier installments of a fiction series. It also showcases the way in which readers love to delve deeper into a concept introduced in an earlier book. 

8 – The Atonement Child by Francine Rivers

“The Atonement Child” by Francine Rivers explores themes of guilt, forgiveness, and redemption, centered around a young woman facing an unplanned pregnancy. 

Rivers tackles this sensitive subject with grace and compassion, exploring the protagonist’s spiritual journey and the moral complexities surrounding her decision.

Aspiring Christian authors can learn from Rivers’ delicate handling of controversial and sensitive topics, crafting narratives that are both thought-provoking and respectful. 

Her nuanced approach to exploring moral dilemmas through the lens of faith provides a roadmap for writers to address contentious issues, while maintaining a compassionate and balanced viewpoint. This approach naturally causes readers to experience feelings of empathy and reflection.

9 – Love Comes Softly by Janette Oke

“Love Comes Softly” by Janette Oke is a heartwarming tale of loss, love, and faith set in the 19th-century prairie. 

It chronicles the journey of Marty, a young widow who learns to love again and rediscover her faith. 

Oke’s gentle storytelling and rich historical detail have made this book, and its subsequent series, beloved among readers.

Christian writers can absorb lessons in gentle narrative pacing and character development from Oke’s work. 

These books demonstrate how to naturally embed Christian values within a narrative, without compromising the storyline’s flow or the characters’ authenticity.

 “Love Comes Softly” is a testament to the power of subtle Christian themes interwoven with engaging, heartfelt storytelling, providing a serene yet impactful reading experience.

10 – The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers

In “The Masterpiece,” Francine Rivers crafts a contemporary Christian story focusing on redemption and grace, centered around a successful but troubled artist and his newfound relationship. 

Rivers’ modern setting and relatable characters bring Christian principles to life in a way that resonates with the readers of today.

Writers can learn how to create characters with depth and realness from this book. 

Rivers shows how to portray the transformative power of grace and redemption in the lives of flawed individuals, demonstrating the relevance of Christian principles in our 21st century life. 

“The Masterpiece” provides a worthy example for Christian writers aiming to blend modern settings and concerns with timeless spiritual themes.

11 – When Calls the Heart by Janette Oke

“When Calls the Heart” by Janette Oke follows Elizabeth, a young teacher accustomed to high society life, who receives her first classroom assignment in a small prairie town in the Western frontier. 

Oke’s rich historical detail and exploration of love and faith have endeared this book to readers, spawning a successful TV series.

Christian writers can observe how Oke employs historical settings to frame characters’ spiritual journeys, providing a compelling and immersive backdrop for themes of love and faith. 

Her meticulous attention to period-appropriate detail and cultural context provides a believable backdrop for character development to occur.

Oke’s book exemplifies the use of historical context as a canvas for depicting enduring Christian values and lessons.

Bestselling Christian nonfiction books

Christian nonfiction is no less capable than its fiction counterpart of reaching hearts and minds and making a profound impact on someone’s journey to God.

Here are nine beloved books that have profoundly impacted millions of lives over the years.

1 – The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren

“The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren is a transformative nonfiction book, guiding readers on a 40-day spiritual journey to discover their life’s purpose according to God’s plan. 

Warren’s practical, scripture-based advice and insights have influenced millions of readers, making this book a cornerstone in Christian nonfiction.

Christian writers seeking to craft impactful nonfiction can learn from Warren’s straightforward, accessible approach to profound spiritual concepts. 

His method of breaking down complex ideas into practical, actionable steps offers a model for writers aiming to provide readers with tangible ways to explore and apply Christian teachings in their lives. 

“The Purpose Driven Life” exemplifies how to engage readers in a spiritual journey, offering clarity and direction through timeless spiritual wisdom.

2 – The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel

“The Case for Christ” by Lee Strobel documents Strobel’s journey from skepticism to faith. 

A former atheist and investigative journalist, Strobel applies his journalistic and legal skills to investigate whether there’s credible evidence that Jesus of Nazareth was the Son of God. 

His rational approach to Christian apologetics has appealed to skeptics and believers alike, presenting evidence and arguments for the foundational claims of Christianity.

Christian authors can seek to emulate how Strobel’s investigative approach makes Christian apologetics accessible and compelling to a wide range of readers. 

His methodical examination of Christian claims through interviews, evidence examination, and logical reasoning provides a model for writers aiming to address doubts and questions about the Christian faith. 

“The Case for Christ” demonstrates the power of a well-reasoned, evidential approach in presenting Christian truths to a skeptical audience.

3 – Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo

“Heaven is for Real” by Todd Burpo recounts the near-death experience of his four-year-old son, Colton, who claims to have visited Heaven and met Jesus. 

This intriguing personal story explores themes of faith, the afterlife, and the innocence of childhood, providing a glimpse into the mysteries of the hereafter through a child’s eyes.

Aspiring writers can learn from Burpo’s narrative the effectiveness of personal testimonies in conveying spiritual truths. 

The simplicity and innocence with which the experiences are recounted make the supernatural and divine accessible and relatable to readers. 

“Heaven is for Real” illustrates the impact of authentic, personal narratives in exploring profound spiritual themes, evoking wonder and reflection.

4 – Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

“Mere Christianity” by C.S. Lewis is a timeless work of Christian apologetics, presenting the core beliefs that Lewis argues are common to the many forms of Christianity. 

Originally a series of radio broadcasts during World War II, Lewis’ logical and lucid presentation of Christian doctrine has influenced countless readers and remains a foundational work in Christian nonfiction.

Christian writers can learn the importance of clarity, logic, and coherence from Lewis’s book. 

His ability to distill complex theological concepts into understandable, relatable terms is a skill every Christian writer can aspire to master. 

“Mere Christianity” serves as a template for presenting Christian beliefs in a rational, accessible manner that effectively engages readers.

5 – The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman

“The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman explores the concept of five different ways people give and receive love: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch. 

Chapman’s practical and insightful advice on relationships has helped millions of readers understand their loved ones better and strengthen their relationships.

For writers aiming to blend practical advice with spiritual wisdom, Chapman’s work serves as a brilliant example. 

His straightforward, user-friendly approach to relationship dynamics, combined with spiritual insights, makes complex interpersonal concepts accessible to a wider than expected audience. 

“The Five Love Languages” demonstrates how Christian principles can be applied to everyday relationships, providing readers with tangible, applicable solutions and insights.

6 – The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

“The Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey provides practical, step-by-step advice for individuals to overhaul their financial lives. 

Ramsey’s approach is rooted in simplicity, discipline, and sound financial principles, aligning financial advice with Christian values of stewardship and responsibility.

Christian writers focusing on practical living can draw inspiration from Ramsey’s clear, actionable advice. 

His incorporation of Christian values in financial planning and management serves as a blueprint for writers aiming to provide useful, faith-based guidance on our everyday challenges and concerns. 

“The Total Money Makeover” demonstrates how to integrate Christian principles with practical advice, offering readers a faith-aligned approach to managing common struggles and sources of personal pain and frustration.

7 – Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend

“Boundaries” by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend offers insightful advice on how to set healthy boundaries in various aspects of life. 

The book combines psychological insights with Biblical wisdom, providing readers with practical strategies to protect their well-being and maintain balanced, fulfilling relationships.

Christian writers can learn how to integrate psychological concepts with Biblical wisdom from “Boundaries.” 

The book serves as an example of how Christian authors can address mental and emotional well-being through a Biblical lens, providing readers with practical tools and strategies that are grounded in faith. 

“Boundaries” exemplifies the blending of spiritual and psychological insights to offer holistic, faith-based solutions that have profound implications for our day to day lives.

8 – The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian

“The Power of a Praying Wife” by Stormie Omartian guides wives on how to pray for their husbands effectively in every area of their lives. 

Omartian’s heartfelt advice and prayers have enriched numerous marriages, encouraging a deeper spiritual connection between spouses.

Writers focusing on spiritual growth within relationships can draw inspiration from Omartian’s tender and insightful approach. 

Her work exemplifies how to guide readers in nurturing their spiritual lives and relationships through prayer, offering specific, focused prayers and guidance tailored to a person’s circumstances.  

“The Power of a Praying Wife” illustrates the profound impact of prayerful reflection and spiritual commitment in strengthening marital bonds.

9 – Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

“Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young is a collection of devotionals written as if Jesus Himself is speaking directly to the reader. 

Young’s intimate, reflective writings have inspired millions to draw closer to God, experiencing His love and peace in a deeper, more personal way.

Christian writers can learn from Young’s ability to deploy an intimately personal writing style that resonates with readers’ deep spiritual needs. 

Her style provides a blueprint for writers seeking to encourage a closer, more personal relationship with God through daily reflections and meditations. 

“Jesus Calling” demonstrates the transformative power of words in guiding readers to experience the divine in their everyday lives.

Do you feel called to express your Christian faith through writing?

Are you feeling inspired by this diverse selection of Christian classics?

Then why not begin your own author journey and contribute to the world of faith-based literature?

Whether your passion lies in crafting enriching stories of faith, hope, and love, or in sharing personal insights and spiritual wisdom, the world needs your unique voice and perspective. 

Remember, writing is a divine craft, capable of touching hearts and transforming lives. 

If you feel a deep calling to share your story, it’s time to take action.

There’s no better day than today to give the world the gift of your writing!

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