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10 Greatest Works of Christian Fiction

FlameHorse . . . Comments

Christianity was the founding religion of both the Western and Eastern empires and, as is to be expected, enormous amounts of literature has been produced based on the tenets and ideals of Christianity. This list looks at ten of the greatest masterpieces in writing which come from a Christian perspective.

10

A Wrinkle in Time
Madeleine L’Engle (1962)

A Wrinkle In Time

This book makes the list primarily for mixing science and Christianity in a favorable way. The two subjects are often seen as being at odds with each other, but in L’Engle’s book, the protagonist, Meg Murry, and her scientist family, all very intelligent, discover a way to fold space-time and travel anywhere in the Universe, instantly. They go to the planet Uriel, which is like Heaven, where everything is good and winged centaurs sing praises. They then learn that the Universe is being attacked by a monster called the Black Thing. The Black Thing captured Meg’s father when he was working on faster-than-light travel, and took him to the planet Camazotz, where everything is controlled by a disembodied brain called IT. IT demands absolute conformity, to the point that all houses and towns and cities look precisely the same. Camazotz has been enveloped by the Black Thing, of which IT is the ruler.

Throughout the book, Meg and family discover many fascinating things, including three immortal women named Mrs. Which, Mrs. Whatsit, and Mrs. Who, each of whom is very unique. Mrs. Who speaks several languages, and frequently quotes Shakespeare and the Bible. The protagonists finally wind up at Camazotz, and her brother is kidnapped by IT. The rest of them escape, but after learning how to defeat IT, Meg goes back to rescue her brother. IT cannot tolerate the emotion known as “love.” They return to Earth much the wiser about how to live decently and treat others well.

9

Piers Plowman
William Langland (c. 1370)

Richmarch

One of the more explicit allegories, with every character named for the quality or emotion he or she displays. In Malvern Hills, Worchestershire, a man named Will (free will) dreams of a tower on a hill, and a fortress in a valley (Heaven and Hell), and a “fair field full of folk,” between them (mankind). He sets out on a journey to attain the tower. Piers, a plowman, appears and offers to guide Will to the tower. On the way, Piers speaks to him of Truth, while Will searches for anyone who might enter the tower with him, namely Dowel (Do well), Dobet (Do Better) and Dobest (Do Best). Will is searching for how a Christian should live, according to Catholicism.


8

The Canterbury Tales
Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1390)

Lydgate

It is ranked so low on this list because, although it deals with Christianity in post-Black Death England, it is more a critique of English society at that time. It’s reliance on Christian philosophy and morality, however, requires that it be given a spot here. Various characters meet up on a road as they walk to Canterbury Cathedral to see the shrine of Thomas Becket. There is a knight, a miller, a cook, a friar, nuns, etc. They decide to have a story contest to pass the time, and the stories they tell all deal with various principles and ideas of the Catholic Church in England at that time.

Chaucer wrote this work during the Great Schism, as it is known now. The Catholic Church split right down the middle in 1378, and this lasted until 1417, after his death. One pope said the throne should be in Rome. Another claimed himself as pope and said it should be in Avignon, France. It was finally resolved with a Council and a few excommunications, and the election of a new pope in Rome. The tales show a diversity of theological understanding, various disagreements, and yet, the characters remain together in their journey to Canterbury, which Chaucer uses to symbolize Christianity holding all its followers together, whether they agree or not on any issue.

7

Psychomachia
Aurelius Prudentius Clemens (c. 400)

Psychomachia-Ira

“Psychomachia” means “Battle for the Soul.” It ranks so high, despite not being well known, for being one of the very first, if not the first, Christian allegories. It is an epic poem of about 1,000 lines, not very long, which tells the story, in the style of Virgil’s Aeneid, of a titanic and desperate battle between virtues and sins, inside a nameless character, intended as the reader. All the famous deadly sins and cardinal virtues are present, though not precisely listed in their modern forms. Pagan idolatry initiates the conflict, bringing Pride into the fray, which is defeated by Selflessness, and so on. The final fight is comprised of the double threat of Hatred and Wrath versus Love, which finally defeats all sin in the name of Christ Jesus. 1,000 Christian martyrs then praise the Faith with a Hallelujah.


6

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
C. S. Lewis (1950)

The-Lion-The-Witch-And-The-Wardrobe

His entire Narnia series of children’s books teem with Christian themes, but the first that he wrote, and most famous, is the most explicit, being a loose retelling of the life of Jesus. “Aslan” is Turkish for “Lion.” And for the child in all of us, Lewis includes talking animals, lots of magic, fantastic creatures like centaurs and unicorns, naiads and dryads, which are like tree spirits (similar to Tolkien’s ents). Narnia is under the spell of Jadis, the White Witch, who has set herself up as the Queen of Narnia, and makes it eternally frozen and snowing, but never Christmas.

Four children from Earth find their way into Narnia, and discover that their arrival is predestined, and heralds the long-awaited coming of Aslan, who will right all the wrongs. Along the way he teaches them what is virtuous, what is sinful, and then deals with the error made by one of them, Edmund. The Witch demands the boy die for the crime of betraying his own siblings. Aslan offers himself in the boy’s place, and the Witch thinks that this Deep Magic will give her control over Narnia once and for all. Boy, is she wrong.

5

A Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens (1843)

A-Christmas-Carol

Many critics believe that Christmas is the most popular holiday around the world at present, not because of the Nativity story, but because of its revival in Dickens’s mid-Victorian novella about charity for all, regardless of religion, social standing, or anything else. In secular terms, that is what Christmas should be about, he argues in this book: giving to others without thought of recompense; the one time of the year when all differences should be put aside for a brotherhood of man.

Ebenezer Scrooge is an odious miser, a money lender, who refuses to give money to anyone for nothing. He lends to those he thinks can pay him back, but he charges quite a lot of interest, and is quick to charge more when payment is late. He does not care how poor or unable anyone is to pay him back, or how desperately they need food and shelter. But that all changes on Christmas Eve, when he is visited by the ghost of his old partner, Marley, who warns him that he is in danger of Hell. Then the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come, visit him and show him how horrible a man he is. He changes for the better and everyone lives happily ever after, beginning on Christmas Day.

Many of the story’s elements have entered the vernacular around the world. Misers are now nicknamed Scrooges, and people much more frequently say, “God bless us, everyone.”

But is it explicitly Christian? Yes, it must be considered so, because even in secular terms, the root of the word Christmas cannot be ignored, and Dickens chose this holiday over all the others. Thus, the principles of charity for all and generosity and love are evoked in Christ’s name.


4

The Pilgrim’s Progress
John Bunyan (1678)

Pilgrim's Progress Ed. Henry Altemus, 1890, P. 47

The most obviously allegorical of all Christian allegories. The protagonist is named Christian, who reads the Bible and then is burdened by a heavy packpack, which holds the knowledge of his sin. He is met in the fields one day by a man named Evangelist, who directs him to the Wicket Gate. Christian immediately leaves his wife, children, and home to seek the Gate and a deliverance from his sin, lest he sink in Tophet (Hell). Tophet is thought to be where, in Jerusalem, the Canaanites sacrificed children to the god Moloch by roasting them to death. Christian is diverted on his journey by Mr. World Wiseman, who tempts him to seek deliverance through the law (earthly law). Christian refuses and reaches the gate, where Good Will instructs him further. He finds the place of deliverance, which is Calvary, where the straps of his backpack snap and he is relieved of his burden. In the 2nd part, Christian’s family finally goes after him and thus finds deliverance from their sins, and reunion with Christian in Paradise. Good Will reveals himself as Jesus.

3

The Faerie Queene
Edmund Spenser (1590-96)

Faeriequeene

It is probably the longest single epic poem in English, and Spenser intended it to be twice or four times as long as what he finished. It is 6 Books, each celebrating a particular virtue: holiness, temperance, chastity, friendship, justice, and courtesy. The first book is the most famous, since Spenser wrote in such a laid-back style that it takes him quite a long time to say anything, and most readers quit with the first book. He also invented the Spenserian stanza for the work. In the first book, the protagonist is the Redcrosse Knight, symbolizing King George of England (the red cross was and still is on the English flag).

He rides over the English countryside, getting into adventures, and rescuing Una, a damsel in distress, who symbolizes both Queen Elizabeth I and the Virgin Mary. She travels with a lion (God’s law) and a lamb (God’s love). She recruits him to save her family’s castle from a monstrous dragon (Satan), whom the Redcrosse knight defeats in combat after putting on the armor of God. This duel, near the end of the first book, is one of the most famous events of the poem, and a classic tale of a knight slaying a dragon. The protagonists come across various villains on their journey, such as Duessa, who represents the false Church, Archimago, a sorcerer who represents paganistic heresy, who hates Redcrosse and England, and King Arthur and Merlin.


2

Paradise Lost
John Milton (1667)

Paradise-Lost

Rather than an allegory, this epic poem is overtly theological, and a masterpiece of explanation as to why God allows people to suffer, how sin began, why Jesus must be the Messiah, etc. Milton enters deep into philosophy many times, especially when God, watching from Heaven, explains that mankind has just committed sin and killed itself by disobeying his law (don’t eat that tree’s fruit). So with Man officially fallen from grace, the Son of God, still in Heaven, having not yet been born mortal on Earth, who has no name, announces to his Father that he will descend into the world of men, become one, and allow himself to be killed to atone for Man’s sin.

Satan, meanwhile, is given one of the most interesting portrayals in literature. He is practically the hero of the poem, from his and his minions’ point of view. They are cast out of Heaven for warring against God. Satan wants to be God, and refuses to quit. Now burning in Hell, he and his minions discuss how to get back at God. Some want more open war. Satan advises against this, and decides on surreptitious treachery: he knows of God’s newest and greatest creation, Man, on Earth, and will travel out of Hell, up to Earth, and corrupt that creation, to make God despair and hate him. How evil!

One of the most fun moments in the poem is a flashback showing the actual war in Heaven. You ask yourself how those already immortal can be killed, but this is not the issue. Satan and his angels fight against Michael and his angels, and whoever is stronger will overpower the other and gain the throne, casting the losers out of Heaven to Hell. Michael and his angels are nearly beaten back to the walls of the Holy City, but are saved at the last moment by the Son of God, who saddles up a chariot of ethereal fire and does what everyone would love to see in a film: Jesus kicking ass. After all, he’s not a tame lion.

1

La Divina Commedia
Dante Alighieri (1308-21)

Dante-Divine-Comedy-Barque-Of-Dante

The Divine Comedy is the finest work in the Italian language, which is saying a lot. We would be hard-pressed to decide on the greatest work in the English language, or any other language, but Dante has Italian pretty well sewn up. He invented terza rima for the purpose of this epic poem, a rhyme scheme still popular and widespread today. It does a fine job interlocking the 3-line stanzas. The Comedy, as he titled it, doesn’t have one single joke. It’s a comedy in the sense that Dante, the main character, journeys upward from Hell, through Purgatory, to Heaven, and not the other way around. So it has a happy ending and is not a tragedy.

But the most famous Canzon of it, the Inferno, is 34 books of the most awe-inspiringly elaborate, horrifying tortures anyone has devised in fiction. The modern Christian conception of a lake of fire is nowhere to be found. Instead, much more interesting are the punishments Dante devises for the various sinners in response to their particular sins. Hell is in 9 circles, and Dante constructs it as an amalgam of the Ancient Greek and Roman Hells, combined with Christian ideas. Various popes and cardinals are down there, along with all who died before Jesus’s death removed sin from mortal man. The Harrowing of Hell is mentioned near the beginning, after which the Old Testament heroes, such as Noah, Abraham, Moses and King David, are rescued up to Heaven.

The entire poem is a critique of various famous figures from Dante’s time, and antiquity. Some he admired, like Homer, Virgil, Horace, Ovid, and Lucan, are in Limbo. Julius Caesar is there, and Saladin, who was decent and chivalrous. Alexander the Great, however, is eternally boiling in Phlegethon, a river of blood in the 7th Circle. Talk about macabre. And if you’re wondering, yes, lawyers are down there, boiling in a sea of pitch.

For its jaw-dropping brilliance of imagery from page one to page end, and the fact that the reader has been taught quite a few lessons without realizing the work’s didactic nature, Dante must surely secure for his masterpiece the first spot.



  • timothyjames

    Awesome list! Except for "A Christmas Carol." That was a bit of a stretch. Though I admittedly haven't read it, I think putting it on a list of Christian fiction is questionable. Dante's Divine Comedy is spectacular and a great choice for number one.

    Oh, and since people have to scroll past this post in order to comment on the list themselves, I implore all who read this: Please do not bring up the Bible. The author left it out for a reason. Regardless of what that reason is, the fact remains that an arguments about it would be pointless.

  • boring list.

    • the mick

      boring comment, Jy

      • delton

        cliche reply

  • Squire

    Surely number 1 should have been the new testament

    • mordechaimordechai

      what is that? huh? is that sarcasam or you just farted?

      • Sarcasm Indentifier

        For the record, I can confirm that as sarcasm, Mordechai – hope this helps.

      • Cogit

        Can't think of anything intelligent as a reply?

    • Good Wolf

      LOL. Bravo to you sir; that was excellent.

    • Hope

      Keep telling yourself that Squire. It's your life choice to believe what you will, but that doesn't make the Truth invalid.

      • Christiansarestupid

        Wow. The Bible should be #1 on this list. Anyone who doesn't believe that a book where men live to 120 and the entire world can be flooded in 40 days of rain and where all humans are descended from a single man and woman is completely retarded.

        You have to be retarded to be Christian. It's a mental illness.

        • AbovePostIsRight

          big ups to this comment

        • AbovePostIsHateRhetoric

          So, anyone who doesn’t believe as you do is retarded? What a hateful and mean-spirited thing to say. You should learn some tolerance.

        • Napoleon666

          Ironically most of what you just said CAN happen, and there are way more unbelivable stories in the bible. I’m no big Christian but I think that if someone doesn’t believe in some form of afterlife, they may as well be animals. Oh well, keep living for sleep, sex and food whilst firmly believing nobody can judge you for this. Doggie. XD

    • bob

      don't call me Shirley

  • Gav

    I tried to read Chaucer once. But my brain exploded into tiny pieces.

    • Too bad.
      Canterbury Tales is a wonderful little book, funny and poignet by turns. You have truly missed something lovely.

      • Armin Tamzarian

        If you liked Canterbury Tales, you should read the Decameron. Chaucer 'borrowed' a lot of stories from Boccaccio. Also, try to find an annotated Penguin edition. I've got one of those, and such books are a lot more fun if one understands every little joke. :)

        • Thanks for tip!
          I shall procure one posthaste!

          Really. I'll get a copy asap.

        • oliveralbq

          seggie — i would like to jump in and second this. it is *fantastic*. i, personally, say it is really really good, but knowing you, you'll think fantastic.
          the title is essentially a compound word, relating to the greek words for ten days:: δ?κα – déka; and ?μ?ρα – h?méra.

          it was written (correct me if i'm wrong, armin) 35 years before "cant .tales" and, as armin said, the writings of chaucer (some, anyway) will seem familiar.

          giovanni boccaccio is a touch more philosophical than geoffery chaucer, but — in a certain way — that actually makes for easier reading. well, easier if youre drawn in, at any rate.

          i, mean, brock would say "borinG" but knowing you, you'll be thanking armin for this reference shortly after reading. the only thing i do not agree with is that the annotated version does the original justice. i a way, armin is correct, in that certain ideas will be a little clearer, and make a little more sense, but to me, its just not quite up to par — go with the long version.

          • Armin Tamzarian

            The annotated is the long version. It's the version with scholiae, which clarify things. Excuse me if I used the wrong word.

            You should totally read the long version. I don't know if your 13th century Italian is any good, because if it is, you should read it in the original language too!

  • brock

    boring :(

    • The Major

      Just out of interest, Brock, not having a go this time, but what lists do you like?

      • vonhohenzollern

        He likes the ones with weird animals and the like. I was going to say something incredibly mean that would probably make brock cry, but I decided not to. :)

    • oliveralbq

      brock, i'm not trying to have a go this time, either. and like major, i'm just curioius — soooo…if youre having a doug13 moment and you want to tell me to go fuck my mother, come back when youre in a better mood. but here's what i'm wondering. —- a few of the lists you have said boring. boring. boring.
      right — got it.
      so, did you read the list, and think — holy crap — i hate this shit, i think i'll tell everyone i think its boring.
      or
      did you look at the title and say — i hate this subject — im not going to read it.
      the reason im wondering is because some of the ones you said "boring" about recently were very well written and researched. so much so, that people (at current, im thinking of general tits, who sayss this a lot) — have made the comment that they thought the subject was boring, but were pleasently surprised by the content.

      just curious, thats all man

      • Pilar

        jeewantha kulatunga can be a good otoipn he’s good more than kapuva also kulatunga is a good fielder like dilly .also can ball .should be in the wc squard (0)

  • mechrabbit

    seriously? no "Dante: the divine comedy"?

    • Armin Tamzarian

      Seriously? No reading the list before commenting? It's number one for Christ's sake!

    • cambered

      erm… check #1 on the list.

    • oliveralbq

      @mechrabbit: "seriously? no "Dante: the divine comedy"?"
      @flamehorse: "1 "La Divina Commedia" Dante Alighieri""

      every now and then we give some people hell because they dont read the lists.

      what im curious about is — why some people (probably do read the lists) simply do not pay attention to them.
      yeah — the words arent *exactly* the same, but really — this doesnt take a rocket scientist

    • It's #1!
      Is the fact that the title is in Italian just discombobulate your brain completely, or did you even bother to read the list?
      Seriously?
      I am so totally thrown by the fact that you didn't know that #1 was even *ON THE LIST* that you have even read La Divina Commedia.
      I could be wrong.
      You may just still half asleep, but…nah!

      • oliveralbq

        he gets no pass on this one.
        half asleep?
        girl, i was 85% asleep when i read this list at 3:45 am, and i caught #1 right away.

        and seggie – i move that your observation about him not reading the work is not only correct, but extremely likely

        bad rabbit.
        go to your room.

        • ollie, I always go for the "long " version, the original version if I can…and with middle english, fortunately, I can.
          There is something to be said in favor of a Parochial School education, and I survived 13 years in the system…K-12.
          You're just intelligent…I'll never know whether or not I am intelligent, or I had intelligence thrust upon me.

    • QuikeMo

      Epic FAIL!!

  • The only one I have read in this list is Narnia. I read it when I was quite young and so I didn't see the symbolism in it until the movie came out. It is quite clear of the Jesus-Aslan connection as his death in the movie is quite the rip-off of Jesus' execution. Edmund's death for betraying Aslan/Judas betraying Jesus. And The White Witch would be the parallel of Satan. There is a great paper dealing with this subject: http://cslewis.drzeus.net/papers/success.html

    • vonhohenzollern

      I read Narnia when I was in 5th grade. I agree with you, it was quite obvious that Caroll had intended this book as a kind of retelling of the execution and rebirth of Jesus. I think that may have been what made Narnia so popular.

      • 2manycats

        I read Narnia as an adult and loved the Chronicles. The depiction of Aslan in the Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe movie was noble. The sacrifice and rebirth is emotional and an excellent analogy to Christ. PS: My computer wallpaper is Aslan.

      • smartalek

        Ummm… Sorry to have to do this, but it's in my contract (goes w/ the screen name), so:

        Lewis Carroll (2 "r"s) ≠ C S Lewis

        C S Lewis wrote the Narnia books in the mid-20th century; Lewis Carroll is the pen name of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, who wrote the Alice books in the mid-to-late 19th century.

        Other than that, of course, they're nearly identical — they did both teach at Oxford, after all, so it's easy to confuse them.

        • vonhohenzollern

          Thanks for pointing that out!

    • Andray

      First video needs reupload Also’ very calm would be such eterrpoir ???????????????: Sep 07 2011 10:46 AM UTC (101 ?. ?????)

  • snoogens

    Cool list!

  • MiseryLovesCompany

    Downright sleepy list.

  • mordechaimordechai

    VERY good list. I really mean it

    Totally agree with you on number one. The Paradiso expecially is probably the best writing in human history.
    As to where Dante takes the inspiration to the actual shape of his underworld much is mistery. Certainly there is a classical inspiration but also a cosmology of the Spirit and a sort of christian antroposophy (if that can we call it).
    In a way Dante journeys through universal history, through mankind's history, through each man's history and, at the same time, through his onw personal history. All wrapped up in one.
    Only thing i don't like is that he perceives evil not like a force capable of acting but as absence of good. Neo-platonism was mighty important for that philosophy
    That is why the Devil dwells jammed at the bottom of the pit.
    I much prefer the jew's Devil which walks on the ground under the sun, much like a man himself.

    • timothyjames

      He doesn't say evil is the absence of good. Evil in Dante's Comedy is namely the opposition to God's Will. And since a certain action is necessary to act against His Will, then evil is neither the absence of something or a natural force; it is simply evil when it fulfills its own definition. Action against the Will of God is evil.

      • mordechaimordechai

        Maybe, but that action, this opposition to God's will, is done by the man himself following free will, not by the action of evil, so in doing evil the Devil plays no part. The Devil has been defeated and he can't do no harm anymore. That's what Dante believes.
        Other theologians believe that if Christ redeemed our eternal body we still have the duty to fight off the Devil and free our physical body. That's a bit more like me. Just my two cents

        • Lifeschool

          Hi guys. Sorry to poke my nose in again – it's an annoying habit I know – but I was just wondering to myself; how come folks like to acknowledge the white but not the black?, the heaven but not hell?, the hoards of angels and ranks of cherubs but not the demons? I suppose in this modern age it's not cool to consider there is anything more out there than heaven. I mean, the Devil? Surely that went out with the 1950's – it's all nonsense really – surely?. Working for a shaman, I've seen those who plainly and clearly hear the divine whispers, those tingles of intuition – the slightest breath and beat of love and kindness. I've also come accross many who hear whispers of another kind, and temptation (what? not that old chestnut??) leading them into all kinds of dark places. 'Devils' cannot do us any harm, true, but we can do harm to outselves with a little prod. So I still have to consider – even after all these years of reasoned thought – that there has to be the Yin, just as there has to be the Yang.. Hmmm.

          • mordechaimordechai

            Positively agreed, Lifeschool
            You worked for a shaman? What was your duty?
            Now, that's a job i would take no questions asked!

          • oliveralbq

            lifeschool —–
            dont you currently work for a shaman?
            or did i miss, something and mordechairmenaoi said it correcty, in the past tense?

            and dont apoligise for sticking your nose in — that is what the comment section is for, and your input often brings new ideas and/or discussions into the ring.

          • Lifeschool

            @ mordechaimordechai and Oliver: Yes, I do currently work for the shaman 'working' rather than 'having worked for', and it's an interesting lifestyle choice. As you may imagine, I work as the customer services guy – mainly giving advice to those who need help in life – transforming their myopia into a positive utopia. Sometimes it helps to talk to someone who can see the long view, the wider picture; where trauma is just another path towards a greater understanding and appreciation of life.

        • timothyjames

          I think I just misunderstood what you were saying. You mean that Evil IS the Devil? Gotcha.

          • Lifeschool

            @Timothy: – Evil… that's a broard brush. I how could one describe it?? I suppose I'd say it's 'something that goes against morality', or perhaps, 'something that is undertaken purposely to provide harmful results'. But this is a very black and white answer and goes nowhere to describe the whole thing. It may help to use the words 'construction' vs 'destruction' rather than Good and Evil. On a certain level we have to have both. There is also quite a grey area in between these extremes where a persons shifting core motivation won't necessarily provide the anticipated results. In this grey area, it only takes a slight shift to move from a positive outcome to a negative – from honourable to manipulative – and it is in this delicate area that I feel a person can be swayed by energy movements beyond our five senses.

            The way I see it comes down the the basic factor of energy. All life consumes energy to further itself. Energy has polar opposites. Humans, plants and animals work well when given a perfect balance of both. Light elements thrive off love and giving. Dark elements thrive off fear and taking. They consume it; just as it consumes them. In the movie 'Monsters Inc', the monsters steal the fear (the screams) of the innocently manipulated, and this is just another way of showing that shadow elements require this, just as light elements worship singing (the opposite to screaming in fear). It's all a neat balance, and yet again we see the Yin Yang in action.

          • timothyjames

            That's a really interest idea, Lifeschool. While I don't necessarily subscribe to it, I definitely see the merit in thinking like that.

            I realize the dangers of taking the work of another person at their word, but I feel that Dante's description of Evil is one of the most well thought out concepts that I have heard regarding the whole thing. When Faith enters the picture, it is silly to talk about the concept of Good and Evil without reference to God. For Dante, and now for a large number of people around the world, "Evil" has taken on a new meaning. Evil is the opposition of God's will. The first Evil acts that demonstrate this perfectly were committed by Lucifer when he went against God's divine plan.

            This view is almost comforting, in a way, in that it allows there to be a total control over one's actions. That, however, is also the intimidating part. There is no option of saying that you were forced to do it or that you weren't acting under free will. I think this is where yours and my ideas differ most fundamentally.

            Out of curiosity, what school of thought are you operating out of where the ideas of light and dark forces come into play?

          • Lifeschool

            I'm using Theology mixed with an experience of Spritualism and Buddhism (pretas).

    • Mellvin

      heartsong / David, I always apreacipte your vlogs and your taking the time to connect with us. I’m also happy for you that you’re taking a little time for yourself. You go, go, go so much that you really do need that down time. Thanks so much for telling us about Marius. Even when we go through rough times, we have nothing to complain about. I know what you mean about a light in his eyes, it comes from within and that is beautiful. Thanks again, David. :)

  • Nazreel

    Lovely. I loved the quote at the end of number two, "After all, he's not a tame lion"!

  • Chineapplepunk

    If lists were made to suit people that said “boring” all the time, we’d all be a bunch of drooling blobs of flesh eg. ‘Wall- E’ or ‘Idiocracy’.

    Nice list, I never had Dickens down as a Christian writer though… I always assumed the Victorians were big sinners! ;-)

  • Armin Tamzarian

    Milton, Spencer, and Chaucher deserve to be on here, but for the other entries you could have found better alternatives. How about La Gerusalemme liberata by Tasso, or something out of the matière de bretagne, like Le Chanson de Roland, or Perceval ou le conte du Graal by Chrétien de Troyes? And the immrama? Orlando Furioso by Ariosto?

    You missed a chance at a very good list here by going with the more familiar and popular books.

    • timothyjames

      Sometimes things are familiar and popular for a reason. In most of the cases on this list (Christmas Carol excluded), I think the popularity is well-deserved and appropriate recognition for the magnitude of the writings.

      • Armin Tamzarian

        Four of these I never even heard of. The matière de Bretagne has shaped chivalry (and thus the Middle Ages) almost entirely. The almost every tale about a voyage was influenced by the immrama. I'm not saying the listed items aren't important; I'm saying there are more important works.

        Originally I was going to say this list was to biased towards English, but the author even forgot some essential English works. So I concluded he was trying to score with (for native English speakers) easily recognisable and popular works. This means the title should be: ' 10 popular works of Christian Fiction in the English world' or '10 great works of christian fiction'.

    • mordechaimordechai

      True. Tasso and also Von Eschenbach's Parzifal should be nominated.
      Le Roman de la Rose is also a possible entry.
      Just to name the most famous, let's not forget that almost every piece of medieval fiction has some sort of mirror to the bible.

    • oliveralbq

      actually, armin, this is a good list….imho

      every now and again, there will be a list somehting along the lines of 'little known works of fantasy novels', or bizarre 'instances in greek literature'
      frater likes anything that has bizarre in the title, and this has become so clear over time, that it wouldnt surprise me in the least if someone *specifically* made that distinction, and actually created an alternate list, keeping that in mind.

      all the works you listed would make a fine basisfor an 'ocscure christian works of fiction' list, and if flamehorse replies to this thread, and says that he left thdse off for that reason, i wouldnt even sort-of be surprised.

  • Good Wolf

    List author: Flamehorse …

    *rolls eyes*

    "Christianity was the founding religion of both the Western and Eastern empires and"

    *face palm*

    • Oatler

      Lol, this was exactly what I thought. I found Dante's entry interesting (and well deserved at number #1) but seriously only Flamehorse would put A Christmas Carol down as Christian fiction.

    • Erm – I wrote that – not flamehorse. I write the intros to his lists usually.

    • TCor

      Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox anyone? Splitting of the Roman Empire? I’d say two distinct empires were formed.

  • Armadillotron

    Jesus was a psychopathic warmonger. Ever read 10:34 in the Gospel of Matthew? "I come not to bring peace, but a Sword." Lovely guy. I don`t think!

    • The Major

      I'm guessing you've read that quote in isolation on an anti-Christian website and just allowed them to do all you're thinking for you.

      I'm not a Christian by any means, but that verse can be interpreted in any ways.

      • Armadillotron

        No, I`ve read The Bible, and some of the things are sick as hell. It reads like Mein Kempf. You ever read Deuteronomy 20:16-17 and 1 Samuel 15:3, which is the line that a lot of people use to justify mass-murder? Probably not.

        • The old laws in the Old Testament were fulfilled and therefore negated by Jesus' coming. And if you take the time to actually think about it, the point of the laws was to preserve the nation of Israel and keep it alive.

        • mordechaimordechai

          No, you didn't read the Bible. Only convicts do. *just kidding*

          • oliveralbq

            would you actually be shocked if he was an ex-con?
            not i said the fly

        • vonhohenzollern

          You can't read one or two passages from the Bible and decide that that is what it is all about. That is like taking two sentences from a book and deciding that they summarize it. It doesn't work.
          Hitler expressed some of his Christian views in Mein Kampf, which are radical, violent and anti-semitic.
          I've read the Bible and I must say, people who criticize the Bible always list the two or three verses that can be percieved as violent or evil. How about the hundreds of verses that have turned people's lives around? John 14: 1-3, Psalms 23:4, Matthew 6:25-34, Romans 12: 1-2, Psalm 73: 26, the list goes on and on.

          • Armadillotron

            Two or three versions that can be considered violent? Try hundreds!

          • vonhohenzollern

            Really? Give me two hundred and fifty verses that can be considered violent out of the New Testament (the old testament is going to include violence as it is about the Jews acquiring their homeland and fighting for freedom).

          • Kiwi

            Man, the entire old testament is basically different groups going to war, mainly because of God. Besides, you were just a bit of a hypocrite, weren't you: "Jeez I hate when people criticize the bible based on a few verses. Here are a few verses that prove that it's good!" Because that makes sense.

        • oliveralbq

          @armadillotron:: ''"No, I`ve read The Bible""
          ———did you understand it?———

          and since i know you are going to say "yes",
          in the interest of saving time, i'll counter with,::
          ———are you sure?———

          to which you will say "yes"
          at what point, in the interest of saving more time, i'll counter with ::
          ———prove it———

    • chocomilko

      hmmmm, clearly here is a guy who only ready one scripture and says AH HA see!!! You must have been asleep for the part in Matthew where he STOPS Peter from killing a man with the sword and even goes as far as to heal the ear that was cut off. He then rebukes Peter for his attempt on the mans life. Or even better the part where Jesus surrenders his life and dies. But of course lets look at that one little passage as you have and go with your theory…….I don't think!!!

      • Armadillotron

        It`s not just The Gospel of Matthew.. Read Luke 19:27 KJV? "But mine enemies which not that I reign over them, bring them hither, and slay them before me." So not only was Jesus a warmonger the guy was a sadist. What sort of man, wants to see people killed? Not a sane one, obviously. He`s seems more like Genghis Khan than a man of peace.

        • The Major

          Armadillotron, if you've taken that view, fair enough. It's open to interpretation anyway.

          Just a question, are there any passages in the Bible that contradict your point of view, or at least made you question your belief?

        • anonymous

          That quote was spoken by a character in one of Jesus' parables. Try reading the actual context.

          If you want to argue against the Bible, you read it and try to understand it, not scan it loosely and read off bad-sounding verses from a poorly-written anti-Christian website.

    • Moonbeam

      I glad every one heeded this post from timothyjames: " I implore all who read this: Please do not bring up the Bible. The author left it out for a reason. Regardless of what that reason is, the fact remains that an arguments about it would be pointless."

      • oliveralbq

        :-o
        :) :) :)
        tim.jim. is cool, but his comment at the beginning reminded me of parent/child relations…..

        do not eat anymore m&m's!
        okay, ma!
        *grabs m&m's like a fucking ninja…..and dips outta there*

      • Carmen

        ?Another contradiction: In your ghpemaoe post entitled “A Vision for American Exceptionalism” (and what a vision it is, I don’t think anyone can disagree with the bland and vague policy positions you take here) you make known your support for “a safety net for subsistence, health-care, and education for those in need”. Where do you suppose the funds for that safety net come Nick? You got it. Redistribution of wealth. Next you claim that progressives seek utopia. I certainly can’t speak for all progressives, but I challenge you to find a single progressive intellectual who claims to seek utopia. Conveniently, you provide me with my own defense a few meandering paragraphs later when you advocate striving to do the good we can, while acknowledging that perfection is not possible, only an abstract to be pursued. I think most progressives would agree with this general sentiment, so you really have no point.Moving on, you attempt to establish a key moral difference between giving to private charity and supporting taxation and provisioning of public goods and services by the government (or as you so reasonably call it, redistribution of wealth). The first is good, the second evil. In fact you go so far as to say that God would rather have us not give anything to those less fortunate than have us support redistribution of wealth. Wow, there must be a big difference! Lets explore what you have to say: 1) property is transferred from one nameless faceless group to another nameless faceless group in the case of wealth redistribution. Isn’t that the same thing that happens when you donate to a large charity? Maybe donating to a large charity is evil, and volunteering at a soup kitchen is good.2) “Progressives do not make a personal decision to give to the poor but rather a decision for others to do so.” In fact wealthy progressives who support wealth redistribution do just that. Warren Buffet comes to mind.3) Progressives only consider the ends while conservatives only consider the means. This is some real 9th grade philosophy class garbage here Nick. I know you’re intelligent enough to understand why this is garbage, so I can only conclude that you’re not in the habit of questioning your own positions. You believe in the Ten Commandments right? Thou shall not kill? So you must be a pacifist. No you say? You think it is OK to kill in self-defense? We call that the ends justifying the means. How about thou shall not lie? Did you tell your kids about Santa Clause? The ends of their joy justified your means of lying. Adults understand that morality must take into account both ends and means, and progressives take both ends and means into account when supporting a social safety net. We believe that the favorable outcome of greater equality is worth the relatively small sacrifice that the wealthy are required to make.You even explicitly claim that for Christians, the loss of even one innocent life is enough to make any end that requires that loss immoral. So I suppose no Christians supported any wars recently in which innocents have been killed. They did? Oh.The remainder of your piece is mostly a repetition of what you’ve already stated and a few other tired and poorly supported points. Frankly I don’t care to re-read these sections a third time only to come, for the third time, to the conclusion that they have no real content besides 1) God wants us to have a free market and 2) the only solution to our problems is to convert people to Christianity. Both of which are so poorly supported I’ll decline to respond. In summary your writing is poorly organized, unnecessarily long, repetitive and rambling, and devoid of content save a few flowery paragraphs expressing your love for God. Loving God is great, but it is not the robust intellectual thought that your writing masquerades as.

  • Matthew

    Shouldn't the great work of Christian fiction be…The Bible???

    • Armin Tamzarian

      The Bible isn't traditionally seen as fiction.

      • the mad gasser

        farting silently is accepable

      • coocoocuchoo

        ^ once again, unfunny. you remind me of most of the christians i know…basically unfunny.

      • greg

        That makes it fact?

        • Armin Tamzarian

          No, but neither are most Classical age historiographies, but they aren't considered fiction either. The Bible however, is quite a different tale. Long story short: The Bible is meant to be a factual description, but not a historic one. It is meant to be a description of the bond between the Jewish people and God, and the mythic portions are just figures of speech, added embellishment.

          I wish I could find some decent sources, but I only have my (non-English) textbooks, and a French article by Paul Ricoeur. If you nevertheless are interested in reading some more, you should probably start with this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermeneutics.

          • BibleIsFicticious

            how is it possible to be a factual description but not a historic one? That's a contradiction right there. "The mythic portions are just figures of speech." The bible is intended as the ''word of god'' so how can any single portion of the bible be just figures of speech, im just loving the hypocrisy here

    • grrr

      The bible should definatly be number one. I mean virgin conception, Noahs ark, water into wine, sea's parting in the middle, ressurection, not to mention the hundreds of other whacky stories! The bible is the best selling book of fiction in history!

    • Oatler

      Although I wholeheartedly agree this joke is getting a little old, don't ya think

    • Mr. Ree

      The reason the Bible isn't considered fiction (even though it is) is because, then millions of believers would realize they have been duped (which they have been) and feel like fools (which they are).

  • amadablam

    I agree with Matthew, surely the Bible should be number 1.

  • HJRO2

    Surely Lord of The Rings should be here as well, seeing as The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is here.

    • The Major

      I was surprised not to see Lord of the Rings myself. Some of the choices are well-made, but Lord of the Rings is such a major piece of literature, and now cinema, that it should definitely be included.

      • Oatler

        But it's just a good story that happened to be written by a Christian, that's part of what makes it so good, Tolkien, unlike Lewis, didn't try to inject every part of it with his own beliefs. Just because someone's Christian doesn't mean everything they write is automatically 'Christian Fiction' it's the content that counts.

        • The Major

          True. However, apparently LOTR was written as a response of sorts to Narnia. Tolkien felt Christianity shoudn't be represented by a huge, powerful lion but by a smaller, more vulnerable creature who have to undergo several challenges before reaching their goal.

          • Oatler

            Perhaps, but either way it's no where near as explicit as C.S Lewis was and 'a smaller, more vulnerable creature who have to undergo several challenges before reaching their goal' could apply to anyone or anything with any goal, that's what I liked so much when I read The Hobbit for the first time, the whole sense of adventure, not just travelling a long way but Bilbo Bagginses personal adventure as well, for me that's what makes it one of the best books I have ever read, even though (as the book states) the battle at the end would probably be remembered as minor in the history books it's how much Bilbo has changed from the start of the book to the end that really matters.

          • The Major

            Fair point.

  • necropenguin

    seeing dickens and paradise lost on the same list made me think for a moment that this was a "10 worst books of all time" list.

    i liked dante's stuff though. chaucer was worth the time too.

  • necropenguin

    what about william blake, though? i'd have thought his "marriage of heaven and hell" would be on here.

  • ianz09

    Better set up a counter at the top of the page and keep track of how many people will comment, thinking they are clever, and write, "Hurr durr what about the Bible hurr durr??!?!?!??" before they read the comments and see everybody already has done that. Same people who saw the movie Kick-Ass, and walked out of the theatre saying, "Boy oh boy, that movie kicked ass!" You're a genius, sir or madam, and I envy you.

    • oouchan

      Does it matter? I said it. I know there were several that said it before me. I get to state my opinion just the same as anyone. It's all apart of the commenting system. So….get over it. :)

      • ianz09

        Yeah, you said it. So did everybody else. I don't care who says what, usually, but as soon as I read the list title, I knew it would be spammed with unoriginal comments. I am allowed to state how annoyed with that I am. It's all apart of the commenting system. So…. get over it. : )

    • Arsnl

      Dude we dont see you that often.

      • ianz09

        Been keeping my happy ass busy. I've been studying up, I have to start EMT- Basic classes soon.

        • ianz09

          And also, I must say, I haven't found a good many of the recent lists that interesting. Apologies to the authors if you read this, but it's the truth.

          • Neneng

            If you modify the hderaes in your browser you can. Basically you change the value of the user agent and then revisit the site. But now the site thinks you are an iPhone, iPad, etc. so no re-direct. Do a serach under how to modify hderaes

  • The Major

    Waterboarder, let's say you're right. Even if you are passing off several unfalsifiable theories as fact. Don't you think that understanding the non-existence of God could be a traumatic thing for someone? Yet you treat them with so little compassion it's flabbergasting. You're clearly a very cruel-minded human being to be so heartless and arrogant towards people trying to find meaning in their lives.

    I respect atheists who argue that we don't need religion because we can be compassionate, caring people without the need to be told how to be one. Or also argue that morality should exist on its own terms and not be dictated to us. These are arguments I hold with. But someone like you does not belong in this group.

    You are merely an egotistical, ranting individual who would just rather be right than help out your fellow humans. Let me ask you a question. Why should someone ally themselves with your school of thought then seek out the comforting, even if incorrect, world of religion providing they do no harm to others?

    • Armadillotron

      The Bible IS sick. It justifes slavery-Leviticus 25:44-46 and killing children-by "dash them against the rocks"-Psalm 137:8-9and Ezekiel9:5-6. So, how can The Bible be a peaceful book? It isn`t. It just like the Koran.

      • LOL have you read any of the Qur'an? It's not a violent book. It's actually less bloody and violent than the bible. Not that I believe a thing written in them.

      • The Major

        Fair point. However, all religions are mentioned. What about Buddhism?

        Also, the majority of Christians are peaceful.

        • Waterboarder

          Christians are peaceful?! Yeah right. What George W Bush and the future President Sarah Palin are peaceful? And going back in history, Pope Innocent III and other Popes, The Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition were peaceful? Course they were!

          • The Major

            George W Bush and Sarah Palin are two Christians, correct. And yes, the others were several centuries ago. I don't recall saying every single Christian is peaceful.

            All the ones I know are. They tend to be the ones helping out at charity shelters and volunteering for good causes.

            Also, very telling that you chose to not respond to any of my earlier points but instead lept on a straw man argument at the first opportunity.

          • mom424

            No – Sarah Palin and George Bush profess to be Christians. They don't act like Christians therefore they aren't.

          • Woyzeck

            They do act like Christians. They profess to follow Jesus. That's all that one needs to do to be a Christian.

          • bacanaso

            Actions speak louder than words. They aren't christians. Thats like lil wayne saying he's the best rapper alive when he clearly isn't

          • Woyzeck

            I'm going by what it says in the Bible. If you profess to follow Jesus and repent of your sins, then hot dog! An eternity of singing God's praises in Heaven awaits. That is the only thing one needs to do to be a Christian, according to the Bible.

          • smartalek

            Um, sorry friend, but (ironically enough) you've accepted as accurate and representative of Christianity in general the interpretation of one small — tiny (in context) ! — community of self-styled "Christians."
            (What's ironic is that I'm guessing (could be wrong) that you oppose (and strongly) the belief system (not to mention the probable politics) of this particular crowd. They'd just love your assumption that they're the real deal.)
            Specifically, this is the take of a fair number of congregations in the US — but ONLY in the US (and any little groups elsewhere that they've converted, with the evangelizing donations from Great-Aunt Trudy, who gives them money for the tee-vee shows to save the little heathen bay-beez), and ONLY since the late 19th century. Call it the Jerry Falwell / Tim LaHaye / Jack Chick cult (they weren't the originators, of course, but they're all well-known proponents).
            Check the Bible itself, and/or any competent history of religion, and you'll find that Christianity in most of the world for most of 2 millennia would utterly reject the idea that you can live a life of grievous sin; simply make a deathbed conversion ("I buh-LEEV-uh, Jay-zuz-uh!"); and — bang! — go directly to Heaven, do not pass "Go," do not collect $200. Such a belief, of course, is typically American, in some of the worst ways: selfish, lazy, ignorant, grossly oversimplified, immature, unsophisticated, and utterly without basis in fact or even theoretic support in the very documents they profess to revere and obey.

          • I thought the whole point of being a "Christian" was to "live Christ-like"?? I agree that it's more than just saying something. You're supposed to act according to the teaches of the Bible.

          • Woyzeck

            I'm saying it's in the Bible. I'm not saying it makes sense.

          • bacanaso

            N I thought that in order to be a christian not only did you have to accept J.C., but you also have to keep the 10 commandments and the teachings of J.C…. which most "christians" like palin and bush, and the westboro baptist church do not even bother following.

          • vonhohenzollern

            The probem with people like you (bleeding heart atheists) is that you assume that just because a few Christians are violent means that every Christian is violent. That is an extremely ignorant point of view. That is like saying that just because a few Muslims hate Western culture means all Muslims are violent extremists; that is not true. Also, it is like saying that all atheists are ignorant pigs like you; it's not true.

          • Kiwi

            The problem with people like you is that you assume "bleeding heart atheists" are all alike. Personally I don't give a shit, and I don't see why anyone does.

      • anonymous

        The "dashing against the rocks" quote was a description of Babylonian captors killing Israelite children.

        With every post you simply establish yourself more and more as a typical atheist will absolutely no grasp of the Bible.

        • Woyzeck

          "Typical atheist"?
          You're a typical fucktard.

          • anonymous

            Sorry to offend you.

            But it's typical in that almost every atheist I've ever encountered has little grasp of the Bible, yet decries it and argues against it as if they have absolute authority. Of course not every atheist is like this. But I've spoken to MANY atheists. And it is very common.

          • Woyzeck

            I'm possibly in contravention of Godwin's law here, but have you ever read Mein Kampf?

          • anonymous

            No, I have not. Nor do I attempt to make an authoritative argument against its values based merely on my outside impressions or isolated quotes. I disagree with Hitler's philosophies based on my own ethical views and understanding of history. I do not attempt, as many atheists do, to decry something with absolute authority that I have never read.

          • Woyzeck

            So you're unaware of any of the themes in it? If I was to say that I have never read it either, then I post the following quotes:

            "If we consider how greatly he has sinned against the masses in the course of the centuries, how he has squeezed and sucked the blood again and again; if furthermore, we consider how the people gradually learned to hate him for this, and ended up by regarding his existence as nothing but punishment of Heaven for the other peoples, we can understand how hard this shift must be for the Jew."

            "The black-haired Jewish youth lies in wait for hours on end, satanically glaring at and spying on the unsuspicious girl whom he plans to seduce, adulterating her blood and removing her from the bosom of her own people. The Jew uses every possible means to undermine the racial foundations of a subjugated people."

            "…the personification of the devil as the symbol of all evil assumes the living shape of the Jew."

            Would you similarly chastise me for taking such comments out of context, and claim that I am a "typical non-Nazi"?

          • anonymous

            I'm aware of the themes in it, and I know of what it espouses and discusses. I simply have not read it.

            As clear-cut as I believe the quotes are, I would not criticize you for taking them out of context because I do not know the context. While I am fairly sure of their intention, message, and context, I cannot make that claim.

          • anonymous

            Btw, I hope you know I wasn't talking to you when I first posted. My response was directed to Armadillotron.

          • Aren't you getting angry at him for doing the EXACT thing you just did in this post?? You're getting all worked up because he lopped you into a category with "Christians" that he you didn't feel it was fair to include yourself, only to turn around and accuse him of being on of the "MANY athesists" you've had the pleasure of meeting.

            Speaking of the Bible, isn't their something in your precious book about casting the first stone??

          • Kiwi

            Rather ironic considering that according to tests done in recent years atheists have known more about religions, including Christianity, than the Christians themselves.
            Furthermore, I would argue that people have, in modern years, simply changed the meanings of the bible to fit with more modern views, much like how "The Merchant of Venice" is no longer seen as a comedy, because of the tragedy of Shylock: We no longer consider it amusing because we now view Jews as people. In much the same way, it seems to me, the bible has been reinterpreted constantly.
            Finally, I don't know what atheists you meet, but please don't judge all by the biggest asses, among us. And I would add that most Christians I know have the same problem. They don't know what they're talking about, but argue anyway, and just shout louder to make they're point. You yourself do not seem to be such a person, and I hope you will agree that I am not, I'm just saying that that argument can be applied to both sides.

  • annonymous

    ah the internet…

    nobody mentioned anything about believing in god, it's just a list of books that happen to have christian themes, take a valium.

  • The Major

    Then let Ianz09 comment as well, and you can get over that! : )

    • oouchan

      Of course he can comment all he likes. But to say that others should restrict their comments simply because another mentioned it is just silly. Who cares if there is 100 posts all saying the same thing? That's just 100 people who agree with an opinion. He can point it out and I can point out how silly it is. Makes perfect sense.

      • The Major

        True. He didn't actually say people shouldn't say it. Just that it would be interesting to keep count.

      • Lifeschool

        @Oouchan: One day I'm gonna read the Bible – cover to cover – and then I'll know what all the fuss is about. :) From what I remember from lower school and singing hymms and stuff, I remember liking the parables because they made us think about philosophy – perhaps that's what got me started all those years ago? I can't honestly remember.

        • oouchan

          I have read the entire thing which was one of the reasons why I no longer believe in that. :)

          I can say that I didn't absorb as much from it even with me keeping an open mind, but by the end I was just shaking my head. If you are going to read it, please do so. I always recommend reading it to get an idea of what the fuss is about.

          • Filomena

            Linds Posted on my only thought on the color msehce is Jesus loves His enemies? swell pics, bro very swell. (ps- you should feel special. your blog is pretty much the only one i ever check regularly.)

      • ianz09

        Well, let's put it this way. Since literally no thought went into saying "Where's the Bible?" and it was said deliberately to piss people off (or, at the very least, posted it well aware it would piss people off), it has the same level of cleverness and purpose as if somebody posted a comment that read, simply, poop. You wouldn't have a problem with 100 comments making a statement you agree with, but if 100 comments just said "poop" you would deem them spam. But, since you agree with the statement, and made it yourself, it isn't spam. But for those who like a little thought, saying something as deliberately thoughtless and immature as poop qualifies as spam. When I skim the comment section, I'd like to read more than just reiterations of the same dead-horse joke.

        Bear in mind, I'm not offended by people saying that. It is no skin off my nose. I'd display an equivalent amount of annoyance for somebody who said, on a list of movies that included the movie Kick-Ass, that "that movie kicked ass! LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!" It just gets annoying to wade through the same pile of shit on my way real thoughts.

  • Good Wolf

    Strange analogy then. A tool used solely as a weapon to hack people up. Also, you can't blame anyone for Jesus' death but Jesus – it was his plan to die forever condemning us to guilt about it. He was god after all and it was his plan, far be it from us feeble humans to mess with god's plan to hang his fleshy corpse on a instrument of torture.

    • chocomilko

      hmmmm, clearly here is a guy who only ready one scripture and says AH HA see!!! You must have been asleep for the part in Matthew where he STOPS Peter from killing a man with the sword and even goes as far as to heal the ear that was cut off. He then rebukes Peter for his attempt on the mans life. Or even better the part where Jesus surrenders his life and dies. But of course lets look at that one little passage as you have and go with your theory…….I don't think!!!

      • Good Wolf

        Far be it from me to think these stories actually happened. And because you guys interpret the literature so liberally I'm going to do the same and say that Jesus rebuking Peter hacking off the Roman's ear was because Jesus wanted that pleasure for himself.

        No in point of fact, I wasn't agreeing with the commenter who said that Jesus was a warmonger, I just said that a sword is a stupid analogy.

        • mordechaimordechai

          The sword is not a stupid analogy, at all.
          The sword devides, separates . The sword of Michael cleaves evil from good. It is also a symbol of struggle, from within and from without. Following Christ is not supposed to be peaceful, comfortable businness, that is what He's saying.

          • Good Wolf

            The sword cleaves heads from bodies and life from limb. The analogy is also weak for is ambiguity – you can say he meant that followers are supposed to go to war for him, something christians have followed very well historically. Maybe he might have used a more enlightened analogy like that of medicine and health care.

            The sword metaphor is repeated when he told his followers to buy swords and if they didn't have any to sell their shirt for one.

  • Oatler

    Thank you for putting it so clearly, someone had to.

  • coocoocuchoo

    #3 at the time of that book being written there had not been a King George of England. i think the list writter mean Saint George of England?

  • ajshrestha

    Which empire in the east was founded under Christianity? Do tell.

    • Arsnl

      Tehnically, the russian empire was also an eastern empire. Orthodoxy helped coagulated the rulers’ power and also cyrillic is basically developed and suported ny christians.

      • ajshrestha

        Yes, you are correct, but the russian empire is normally considered west since the base of power was St. Petersburg., but ya, you are right about that.

    • Arsnl

      Well the base of power shifted a lot in the beginning. It usually was situated in nowadays ukraine (kiev), in that region then during the tsardom empire it moved to moscow and afterwards it settled in sankt petersburg (peter the great but the russian were already an emerging powerhourse before him.
      Also slavic populations were located in asia.
      And i dont why i forgot this (since its one of my fav empires) but a middle eastern empire was the byzantine empire. It had territories in nowadays arabic peninsula and contantinopoles had parts of it in asia minor.
      I dont know why flamehorse said THE western and eastern empires. It makes no sense. Especially since eastern empires have many differences (i imagine that these differences stem from the different origins and religions- buddhism, hinduism, islamism orthodox christianism etc) whereas we can say a western empire since the base of power was western europe and the main religions and cultures were very much alike: catholicism, protestantism and church of england.

      • ajshrestha

        you have a fav empire…thats kinda weird o_O.
        Also, whats the name of this byzantine middle eastern empire. I might look into it. It was a weird first line though, especially to someone from the eastern part of the world. So yeah, thanks for the info…wierdo.

        • The guest

          What about the crusaders kingdom of jerusalem eastablished after the first crusade that was driven by pure christian faith ( and maybe a little greed…). It lasted for a hundred years before Saladin took it back. A western invasion but it was a christian empire in the east.

      • 7raul7

        Islamism … lol.

        • Kiwi

          Perhaps just a matter of perception, and my failed geography classes, but I generally consider East to be India, Pakistan, Philippines, China, Mongolia, etc. I just wouldn't have considered Russia Eastern, even though I know that it stretches all the way to the Pacific (or is it the Arctic?)

  • Why isn’t the Bible on this list?

    I used Come here every day anticipating the new list but recentley they’ve got boring. It’s been a while since you’ve added an unsolved mysteries list, they’re interesting not books and theatre, add some more of them!

    • Maggot

      Why isn't the Bible on this list?

      Asked, and answered. And then asked several more times. And then discussed in great detail about whether it is either: unoriginal and predictable, or within everybody’s rights to be unoriginal and predictable. I don’t believe a consensus was ever reached, but I do believe both sides of this debate to be correct, even though this unfortunately results in a lot of unoriginal and predictable comments. Welcome to the club.

    • Moonbeam

      Yes, that's right only elitist egghead nerds and geeks would want to read a list about books and theater. *sarcasm*

    • @Maggot, yeah I realised I just couldn’t be arsed to read through all the comments.

      @Moonbeam, thanks for reassuring me of something I already know. I never said any of that I’m just saying that comparing comments from an unsolved mystery/bizzare list to that of one about theatre/Christian literature, and you’ll find alot more. That tells me that more people are interested in that rather than this.

  • chocomilko

    Hey Waterboarder. No issues with what you are saying at all, just keep in mind not believing in anything is a leap of faith just as much as any belief is. So where does that leave you? Believing that all exists from nothing? Or from one tiny atom (which by the way must have had some beginning, fair?) That is a far stretch my friend. Respect others beliefs. You don't have to be a jerk about what others feel. Its fine to believe what you want, but don't rip apart others for what they hold dear. I tire so of all these non believing people screaming "tolerance" at others while they do their best to be as intolerant as they can be. In the end, its all about Love. And if people aren't doing it, that the tragedy. For the religious and the non religions there is just a lot of hate. SAD.

    • Woyzeck

      Do you honestly believe that atheists "believe in nothing"?

  • bucketheadrocks

    Another religion list.
    Prediction: There will be one asshole who starts a huge chain reaction of comments of people saying that god does/dosen't exist.

    • oouchan

      Sorry…someone already did. It's above. :)

      • bucketheadrocks

        My computer is really slow so it didn't show atleast half of the comments until I refreshed it. Damn… Too late

        • oouchan

          Better luck next time. :)

        • 2manycats

          You were right. Bucketheadtheprognosticatorrocks would be a really long name : ). This list may get as long and vicious as the game that cannot be named that plays in the World Cup. : ).

    • Arsnl

      Watch it. It may start from your comment. Or from mine. Yickes.

  • Carra23

    No Lord of the Rings: Tolkien, in ?"Letters of JRR…." or was it "JRR……architect of M.E." stated quite categorically that LoR was a Biblical/Christian allegory as was the narnia series.

    Still and all – a very very good list – haven't read Chaucer in modern English yet – and the one I read in his native Middle English was as one commenter said "enough to explode one's brain"; it was VERY hard to read; however, I too found including "A Christmas Carol" a bit on the 'drawing a long bow' side.

    Well done Horse – your lists are always entertaining

    • Chaucer is better, more exciting, funnier, more poignet in middle english than in translation that I wouldn't bother to read the translation.
      I've read both, and MUCH prefer the original.

      • Carra23

        ? IntenseDebate Notification <DIV>You're probably correct – but trying to FIND a copy in modern English is difficult enough anyway!</DIV> <DIV></DIV> <DIV>Carra 23</DIV> <DIV style=”FONT: 10pt arial”>

  • Arsnl

    Western an eastern historians usuallu call the great schism the 1054 schism. Ive never heard of the other schism to refered to as the great, only the papal schism.
    On another note, oh how do I hate religious debates. Like deeez said. Opinions are like assholes and everyone has one. Sadly during religious debates people seem that they siffer from diarrhea…oops. Erase that. I meant logorrhea. Yes logorrhea.
    PS: for the movie nuffs out there: mike to hayley: “have you ever read the lion the witch and the wardrobe?”

  • Attn: BucketheadRocks, Camo, OliverAlbq, Woyzeck, LalaB, and any others who had an opinion on BucketHead’s ListVerse dick of the week contest, please refrain from using any of today’s comments as fodder for a decision, Doug13 is a lock. Armadillotron’s comments today should be set aside for the “Grand Idiot of the ‘Net” distinction. Betwn “Jesus is a psychopathic warrior” and “The Bible reads like MeinKampf”, even my Hindu community’s children would be hard pressed to believe Arm’dilo isn’t a talking rock.

    • bucketheadrocks

      Do you know how hard it is to not nominate Armadillotron? Especially on a religion list?! Doug13 is the dick of the week until Wednesday so you don't have to worry about that.

      • Geaux

        Mein Kampf happens to read like The Bible because Hitler wrote it that way. He wanted to become a central force in the lives of Third Reich citizens, so he parodied an existing religious work to parallel himself with Jesus and be looked at as a religious icon. I think that our friend Armadillotron should look at a timeline ad realize that The Bible was written first.

        • Armadillotron

          Well yes, Hitler was a religious person. He famously said, "By fighting the Jews, I`m doing the Lord`s work," "Like Christ, I`m a Saviour." When the precursor of the CIA was doing a psychological profile of Hitler, they concluded that he had a "messiah complex." Which means the person sees himself as a Saviour. So he was clearly a madman in my opinion. And if you look at things logically, if their`s a God, why has there been people like Hitler?

          • vonhohenzollern

            There has been people like Hitler because sometimes humanity need something that will awaken them and remind them of what true evil is. Hitler is dead, isn't he? Israel has been formed, hasn't it? God may not build a bridge, but he will give you the wood with which to build it.

          • Woyzeck

            And afterwards, he will send millions of people who fought to defeat evil to Hell. Not to mention the majority of Hitler's victims.

          • vonhohenzollern

            That is not true. Joshua, Moses, Solomon and all of the other Old Testament heroes engages in war to fight against pagans. You're going to tell me that they are rotting in Hell right now? I think not! Soldiers engaged in a war to fight against a mad man and they are most certainly not going to be sent to Hell!

          • Woyzeck

            Well gee, I'm basing this observation on the Bible. Do you have another source for determining God's will? Or are you referring to a kind of Purgatory?
            Then there's the fact that the Catholic church was sympathetic towards Nazism, turned in Jews and helped many Nazi fugitives escape to South America after the war. According to the Bible, there is no difference between them and those members of the church who helped Jewish fugitives escape the Nazis. Both were equally Christian, both are equally going to Heaven.

          • vonhohenzollern

            Each person is judged individually in the final judgement. God is not stupid, He knows what sins people commit. You make it sound like He is oblivious to anything that goes wrong in the world.

          • Woyzeck

            And if on Judgment day it is disovered that they were not followers of Jesus then they have commited an unforgivable sin. The Holocaust was merely a pre-Hell tea party for European Jewry, and most of those Russians who very helpfully got rid of the menace of Hitler which God imposed upon the world will find their winter clothes quite useless where they're going (including the ones who didn't rape every woman in sight on their way to Berlin).

          • vonhohenzollern

            Using that same logic, everyone in the Old Testament is in Hell. What you said makes no sense. Did you read my comment? Everyone is judged individually. Some sins are outshined by the good things people did and some good things are canceled out by the sins people have committed. Besides, most good people that are worthy of going to Heaven believe in at least some divine figure. Therefore, they do accept some kind of God. Oh, and by the way, according to the Bible, the Jews are God's chosen people, so why would they go to Hell for their beliefs?

          • Woyzeck

            "Using that same logic, everyone in the Old Testament is in Hell."

            No, most Christian theologians say that those who predated the existence of Jesus get a free pass (presumably based on their moral behaviour). Those who were born 1920 years or so after Jesus' birth have no such excuse, and according to the Bible are therefore Hellbound.

            "What you said makes no sense. Did you read my comment?"

            Yes.

            "Everyone is judged individually. Some sins are outshined by the good things people did and some good things are canceled out by the sins people have committed."

            And all of these actions are cancelled out by whether or not you declared yourself a follower of Jesus and repented of your sins. That's in the Bible.

            "Besides, most good people that are worthy of going to Heaven believe in at least some divine figure."

            If what you're saying is that religious people commit more moral actions than non-believers then you're dead wrong. If what you're saying is that purely religious behaviour alone is worthy of Heaven then you're right, but it negates your argument. From a Biblical point of view, the only action which is worthy of Heaven is professing you follow Christ and repent of your sins.

            "Therefore, they do accept some kind of God."

            Other Gods aren't covered by Biblical salvation.

            "Oh, and by the way, according to the Bible, the Jews are God's chosen people, so why would they go to Hell for their beliefs?"

            Because they don't believe that Jesus is the only way to Heaven. It says so in the Bible. I'm not saying it makes sense, I'm saying that it's in the Bible.
            I should stress at this point that I am an atheist, but none of what I'm saying comes from my atheism. I'm basing this absolutely on the teachings of Jesus in the New Testament.

          • Armadillotron

            God isn`t real. He`s a myth. In the same way that Robin Hood is. And if there is "A God," who isn`t oblivous to things that go wrong in the world, then why doesn`t he do something about it? Why doesn`t he stop all the wars in the world? He`s God isn`t he? If I was a God, like God or Zeus, or even a Demigod like Hercules, I could do all the things I`d wanted to do.

          • vonhohenzollern

            Of course you would do all the things you wanted to do! You are a selfish pig who has no knowledge of what selflesness or heroism mean.

          • Woyzeck

            Armadillotron just said that if he was God, he would end war. How is that not selfless?

          • Armin Tamzarian

            Gott ist tot! Gott bleibt tot! Und wir haben ihn getötet.

            Nietzsche :)

          • vonhohenzollern

            No, he said that if he were some sort of divine figure, he could do all of the things he wanted to do. The first part of his comment is about God wanting humanity to prosper and yet there still being wars. He never said that he would end wars, he said he would do what he wanted to do.

          • Woyzeck

            You're the one who split into two parts. What he implies is that God could and should end war. He strongly implies that this is what he would want to do if he was God. Let's ask him, shall we?
            Armadillotron, if you were God, would you choose to end war?

          • vonhohenzollern

            Now he is going to say yes! Who wouldn't? No, what he said is that he would do what he wanted if he where God! I'm not sure what he wants, but I'm sure that some of it is selfish! What I'm trying to say is that of course he would do what he wanted because he is human! Humans are imperfect! God would not do what he wanted! God would do what was neccesary to better humanity! So, he sacrificed his only son on the cross to take away all of our sins so that humans might, one day, be unselfish and without sin like him.

          • Armadillotron

            Yes, if I was a God, I WOULD end all wars. And famines and diseases. And I`d make all people love each other. I wouldn`t be like a Greek God, who liked to play "games," with mortals, I`d just make people love one another. The sort of God I`d like to be, is like the God who can create things and a Greek God, who was a God of something. If I was a God, I wouldn`t sacrifice myy own son! What kind of God is that? And I couldn`t do anything selfish-because, er, I`m a God.

          • Woyzeck

            "I'm not sure what he wants, but I'm sure that some of it is selfish!"

            And how exactly does that preclude him from commiting selfless actions too?

            "God would do what was neccesary to better humanity! So, he sacrificed his only son on the cross to take away all of our sins so that humans might, one day, be unselfish and without sin like him."

            If you want to go down that route, let's have at it. How exactly is humanity "bettered" if God sends the majority of it to Hell? How is it anything but selfish for a supreme being to create people knowing full well that they are going to burn for eternity? And finally, why would a supreme choose as a means for taking away our sins the torture and execution of a human version of himself in a largely illiterate corner of Palestine? How exactly does that benefit humanity?

          • vonhohenzollern

            "How exactly is humanity 'bettered' if God sends the majority of it to Hell?"
            It is not God's fault that people like you choose not to believe in Him. He has tried his best, He even sacrificed His own son so that humans may, one day, live in a land of milk and honey, and all people like you do is criticize him and point out what you believe to be flaws. Besides, if you want a "scientific" explanation that proves His existence, than I can give one to you.

          • Armadillotron

            How can you prove that God exists?

          • Woyzeck

            "It is not God's fault that people like you choose not to believe in Him."

            That's bullshit on a number of levels. Firstly, belief is not a matter of choice. I would simply be unable to wake up tomorrow and say, 'Today Woyzeck, you will believe in God'. That's not how it works. Secondly, it is his fault if I don't believe in him because he created me knowing that I would be an atheist and knowing I would be going to Hell. In fact, he has known this since the beginning of time. He has infinitely more control over my life than I do. That is the nature of God.

            "He has tried his best,"

            That's not just bullshit, that's fucking crazy. We're talking about God here. An all-powerful, all-knowing being. If what you said is true, then my mind is more powerful than God. Is that what you're saying?

            "He even sacrificed His own son so that humans may, one day, live in a land of milk and honey,"

            Again, fucking crazy. First of all, his sacrifice of "his own son" (as if any of his creations are somehow not his children) is an arbitrary choice he made to contravene arbitrary laws he created for no discernible reason. His "sacrifice" of his son means jack shit. To quote Edward Norton, "JC had it easy. A day on the cross, a weekend in Hell, and all the hallelujahs of the legioned angels for eternity".

            "and all people like you do is criticize him and point out what you believe to be flaws."

            Aw, poor God! I hope I haven't hurt his fucking feelings!
            The flaws I'm pointing out are yours. You are the one who is trying to paint a picture of a pained, sympathetic, all-knowing, all-loving God. I'm pointing out that if he exists in a manner analogous to what it says in the New Testament, then he is an jealous, merciless, sadistic all-knowing psychopath. Nonetheless, he would remain God regardless of my opinion of him.

            "Besides, if you want a "scientific" explanation that proves His existence, than I can give one to you."

            Yes please! I'd very much like to see that!

          • vonhohenzollern

            Very well then. You'll probably call it bullshit, but here it is, for what it's worth. There is a scientific law called the Law of Energy Conservation. It states that energy can never be created or destroyed. Who's to say God isn't some form of ultra-powerful energy? I know that it is somewhat vague, but I think that it qualifies as proof.

          • Woyzeck

            I know it's not bullshit, but how exactly does it prove God's existence?

          • vonhohenzollern

            Well, it doesn't. It's a scientific theory that can be given as something that, with further research, may prove God's existence. What proof do you have that God does not exist?

          • Woyzeck

            So you were telling porkies when you said you had a scientific explanation which "proves (God's) existence".

            "What proof do you have that God does not exist?"

            The same as I have that Mickey fucking Mouse doesn't exist. What a silly question. What proof do you have that Ganesh doesn't exist?

            If there's a Valhalla, I'm going to it.

          • vonhohenzollern

            I have no proof that Ganesh doesn't exist. I have no proof that Ganesh does exist. Both of our arguements are based off of our beliefs. Neither of us are right, and neither of us are wrong. So why don't you shut up?

          • Woyzeck

            Do I really have to spell it out for you? I don't believe in God because there is nothing to suggest that God exists. Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

            "So why don't you shut up?"

            Aww, did I make you cry? The truth fucking hurts, don't it? ;)

          • vonhohenzollern

            No, my dear ignorant ass, you didn't make me cry. You just made me realize how much of a waste your life is. You have nothing, absolutely nothing, to live for. What if it turns out that there is a God? What does it hurt to believe in a God? Because you want to break away from a social norm of belonging to a religion? Because you want to seem smart? What does it hurt to believe in some divine figure? You really should go to church or do something, just as a backup plan. Just in case your theory about the absence of a divine figure turns out to be wrong. Just in case you actually end up being judged by God after you die. Just in case, so that you don't burn in hell for an eternity. Just in case so that you can at least have something to look forward to after you die, instead of nothing. Just in case you are wrong.

          • Woyzeck

            I reiterate one more time: I'm an atheist. I don't believe in God. "Breaking away from social norms" (roffle) and the fact that I am extremely intelligent has nothing to do with it. I know it's difficult for someone like you to comprehend.
            And actually, I have plenty to live for. I'm young. I live in the most exciting city in the world. I have the job I've always dreamed of. I play in a band. In a short while, I'm going back home to see the girl I love. And when I'm bored, I have people like you to play with – people who prove to me that I know more about Christianity than 99% of phony Christians.

            According to the Bible – you know, that book that the religion you supposedly belong to uses as its guide – going to church and pretending to believe in God will get me sent to Hell anyway. You should read it once in a while, you might find it interesting.

            Stay in school, buddy boy.

            P.S. – The reason I asked if I made you cry is because you act like it. If you don't want people to take the piss, don't go sobbing like a little bitch when they beat you. ;)

          • vonhohenzollern

            Sir, you have not beaten me. What have you got to show for your atheistic beliefs? Nothing, absolutely nothing! The only thing you've got is your own special place in Hell! And just so you know, you only reaffirm my belief that you are an asshole who has no comprehension of what religion is. But, enough, I'm tired of fighting. My fingers are getting tired from typing so much.

          • Woyzeck

            I have plenty to show for my beliefs, as I've already shown you. For one thing, I know more about your religion than you do. You on the other hand have nothing to show for your supposedly Christian beliefs, since you don't even know what it is that you believe in. All you've shown is that you throw a tantrum when you're unable to hold your own in a discussion with an atheist. Later days, baby. Keep reaching for that rainbow.

          • vonhohenzollern

            Religion is not based on logic, it is based on comfort. It is an attempt to answer the life's questions. It's not supposed to have some fancy scientific theory to go along with it. All religion is supposed to do is comfort people that everything is okay and that they can turn to someone higher than themselves for comfort. But, whatever, you're an imbacile that will never learn.

          • Woyzeck

            So you admit that religion is a fantasy. You admit that there is no "fancy scientific theory" (read: judgment based on evidence) to back it up. Thankyou. If you'd said that in the first place, this conversation would have been a lot shorter.

            You mis-spelled "imbecile".
            ;)

          • vonhohenzollern

            No, religion is not a fantasy. Religion is about taking a leap of faith and believing in something that you cannot see. You cannot see love, but love exists. You cannot see God, but I still say God exists. Stop twisting my words around to fit your arguement.

          • Woyzeck

            There is evidence for love. There is no evidence for God. I didn't mean to twist your words, that's basically what you said. The only difference is that I use the term "fantasy" where you use the term "faith". That is the basic difference in our views, wouldn't you say?

          • vonhohenzollern

            I think taht we both have opposing views that will not be changed or influenced. How about we stop going back and forth at eachother and move on to the evil Nazi list?

          • Kiwi

            Because if I were to say that I believe that their's a fucking banana cream pie at the center of the universe, you would call me crazy, but their's as much proof of my pie as their is of your god. You did very well against Armadillotron, who was an idiot, but I think Woyzeck is kicking your ass a little bit

          • bucketheadrocks

            He's simply going to say that you existing right now is proof enough.

          • Woyzeck

            Well, there are some isolated sects that revere Woyzeck as a God (vonhohenzollern for example believes that I am more powerful than the Christian God). I'm more humble myself, I prefer to say that I am God-like.

          • vonhohenzollern

            No, I'm not that big of an asshole. :)

          • Woyzeck

            I was mistaken because you didn't answer me when I asked whether you believe that my mind is more powerful than God. Do you believe that?

          • vonhohenzollern

            No, although I must admit you are very smart.

          • Woyzeck

            Thankyou. I love you, vonhohenzollern.

      • oliveralbq

        i dont know how i got involved, but i actually agree with him/her.

        armadillo isnt acting like a dick.
        hes acting like a 'tard.

    • Woyzeck

      I'm flattered, I didn't even know my dick had been nominated.

      • Arsnl

        I will use this as a reply to many of your comments ( cuz im using a freaking mobile version):
        Religion is a complex topic and sometimes you make general statements about christianity and you treat it like a monolythe. It has several big separations with HUGE differences. Some dont believe in saints, others believe there are many different holy books that go into deeper topics than the bible (ive even heard that we should treat said books like a tree and the bible as the fruits). Some theologians say people shouldnt even read the bible as it is too complex and it needs to be interpreted. And it is obvious that the bible or testaments dont have an unique tone. It depends on who wrote it and when etc.
        You just cherry pick what parts please you so i will do the same (we’ll drink a nice sherry afterwards if you ever com’ere;) )
        You say you just analyse the teachings of Jesus from the new testament. Well christianity has a bit more things to it. If not all the great writtings from the beginning of christianity would be pointless. But no, they do have a point. They break down the teachings, extract what is important and add where it is missing (these are all done after multiple discutions- at the beginning they were the famous councils and only people considered holy can continue what is considered the work of God and Jesus).
        Im some points you argue why god doesnt stop a war. Well usually in christianity it is considered that the existence of an individual doesnt stop at the death of the body. So it would be pointless for God to intervene in everyday business- In fact some would say it would be unfair; i wouldnt like my croupier to mess at the roulette table with the ball before it stops at a number.
        Lets face it. There have been millennia of such debates. And this debate is incomplete. We arrive at a point where we DONT know whats next. Every argument can be bent (in a way that both parties agree is correct) so we can arrive at whatever conclusion pleases us.
        I should say at this point that i wont state my system of beliefs as i have been corrupted by the french laicite and neutrality is needed in these types of convos. (c-a-d i dont give a flying sh*t about your belief and im sure nobody gives a whoops a** about mine).

  • mom424

    Interesting list – unlike a ton of folks, I think A Christmas Carol qualifies. In an obvious way, I agree, but it does best illustrate how Jesus (whether you believe in his divinity or not) intended for us to live. You know, treat others as you wish to be treated, tend to the sick and the impoverished, care more for others than yourself. In fact pretty much the opposite of how American society (snort, of course those defending that status quo the fiercest also claim to be "good" christians) works. Jesus is rolling over in his grave or crying big tears from heaven over the mockery we've made of his teachings.

    • Say it ain't so

      Mom, I hope you are talking about North Americans and not just about the US “eh”

      • mom424

        We're not quite as bad as you guys – but we're learning fast.

        • Say it ain't so

          That darn evil nation south of your boarder. I’m going to move to Canada and become a Canadian citizen so I am a nation that God sheds his tears at as much. My point is mom I don’t think that Jesus is shedding tears at one or a dozen nations, I think it would be at an individual. Also if you really think that Jesus would shed tears at a nation even figuratively, can’t you think of other nations that might be a little more deserving than your friends to the south (and north)?

          • mom424

            My point is not that we're an evil nation – it's the hypocrisy of saying we're a Christian nation when it's entirely obvious that we're not. We may profess to be Christians (for the most part), but our actions show otherwise eh? Unfettered and unregulated capitalism is pretty much anti-Jesus.

          • Say it ain't so

            mom, Obama has stated we are “NOT a Christian Nation”. Yes, we are a nation where most people consider themselves as Christian. But who is to judge which individual is a true Christian? Certainly not me.
            Do you know any true "Christian nations" ?

          • mom424

            None, although some of our more progressive european neighbours could quite likely lay claim to "behaving" like Christians.

            Personally? I don't believe in the divinity of Christ or Mohammad for that matter. Don't believe in God either. I do believe that we would all be better humans if we behaved as Jesus' broad teachings demand.

          • Say it ain't so

            "progressive european neighbours" Do you have the courage to name one?

          • Armin Tamzarian

            No we can't. I'm from the Netherlands, which is traditionally considered one of the most progressive nations in the world. We have had a christian party in our governement for more than 150 years. And what have we got to show for it? One in six Dutchmen voted for a bigoted idiot. Our welfare state is being destroyed as we speak. Our christian parties think it's more important to spend money on wars and new jet planes, than on decent care for our sick and elderly. The christian minister (about equivalent to secretary) of justice decided human rights are there to be violated.

            The only upside is that we have more than two (in our vision ultra-conservative) parties to choose from, but I'm afraid all politicians are the same :(

          • mom424

            Well if you're looking for a utopia, you're never going to find one. Still, The Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland – they certainly seem to try harder to live up to the ideal than Americans, and to a lesser extent Canadians. And I sympathize – we have the same sort of conservative movement here.

          • Armin Tamzarian

            I'm not looking for an utopia. I just find it 'surprising', that a party who identifies as christian cares so little about their fellow human beings.

            And we Europeans have different values than Americans. We pay about 2 or 3 times your taxes, and we have fewer civil liberties, but we have more social securities. Too bad I'm more in favour of the American idea of being rewarded for the work one does, not the more egalitarian European system.

            So it really is more a case of preferences, I guess :P

    • Armin Tamzarian

      I must agree with you on your stance on christianity. Many christian churches pervert Jesus' teachings and try to gain power and wealth by 'selective quoting', and forego his message.

      However, you make the mistake of thinking 'goodness' equals 'christian'. You musn't forget a great deal of western ethics is still based on christianity, but has mentally been detached from it. In the same vein you could name a lot of books or stories about people doing the 'right' thing, and call them christian, even when they aren't.

      • mom424

        I agree. The shame of it is that if all Christians actually behaved as Christians should, according to Jesus' message (not the exact words for all you fundementalist folks), Christian would equal good. This doesn't mean that Buddhism can't equal good too. There is room on this big planet for many different paths.

    • Woyzeck

      A Christmas Carol completely fails to illustrate one of Jesus' more important teachings, however – give no thought to the morrow.

      • mom424

        Well gee whiz then Jesus contradicts himself – isn't the promise of heaven nothing but looking to the morrow?

        • Woyzeck

          As much as it would delight me to stumble across such a contradiction, I think his point was that one should give no thought to the morrow as you might die today.

    • Moonbeam

      As an American US citizen I have to disagree with your stereotyping our society and all of us into one category. It's a vast nation with wildly different people. Step into any one of the group homes where I work and witness staff of all faiths tenderly caring for the "least of our brothers." By the same token witness rudeness and intolerance by some people in everyday interactions. Even as one travels from state to state the cultures and societies are very different from each other.

      Also, I'm splitting hairs here – sorry – but according to the Christian bible Jesus isn't in a grave. Christians believe he rose from the dead.

      • mom424

        I know that – did you read what I said – either rolling over in his grave or crying from heaven…
        depends on what you believe eh? And I wasn't speaking of the people but of the system. I know there are very kind, generous, caring individuals. Given a chance, I like to believe that of most people.

  • General Tits Von Chodehoffen

    Pretty cool list. I tried reading number 1 once

  • Lifeschool

    Hey there. I'm not sure if this is one of the better Flame lists or not – some entries seem very well deserved but some seem odd somehow. I like the inclusion of the Faerie Queene, I wonder if the author has read all six books? As for the comments, well, I'm gonna sit this one out; I don't think I'd add much to the discussion.

    • Arsnl

      “Working for a shaman”
      Y’er a freakin nutter.

  • Film_Fan

    I know that "greatest" does not equal "popular," but if you ever compile a top ten list of popular Christian literature, you should consider:

    "The Robe" by Lloyd C. Douglas

    "Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ " by Lew Wallace

    "Magnificent Obsession" by Lloyd C. Douglas

    "The Song of Bernadette" by Franz Werfel

    "Don Quixote" by Miguel de Cervantes, may be deemed a stretch, but certainly would warrant an honorable mention.

    • MoonChild02

      The Song of Bernadette isn't fiction. It's the biography of St. Bernadette Soubirous.

      • Film_Fan

        True, for the basic framework of the story, however, as noted in the Wikipedia article, and other sources, Werfel added characters who never existed, along with a few fictitious incidents, to flesh things out — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Song_of_Bernadet

        But, while categorized as an "historical novel," rather than a straightforward biography, "The Song of Bernadette" is, nonetheless, a beautiful, inspiring story of faith.

  • undaunted warrior 1

    Lists cant be made to every bodies taste all the time, I enjoyed the read of this one though.

    Thanks Flame.

    • FlameHorse

      You're welcome. :)

  • Arsnl

    Id personally take off a christmas carol and put quo vadis instead.

  • rocknopera

    Really glad you didn't include The Left Behind Series.

    • FlameHorse

      Yeah, I loathe them. How to make money off God.

      • bucketheadrocks

        "How to make money off God for Dummies"

  • mordechaimordechai

    Ben-Hur is a bit boring

    Can we count in Jesus Christ Superstar also? That was not bad at all!

  • Milky

    Honestly, what was the point of this list (if it wasn't to cause a flame war)? Can we have a list of the greatest Muslim fiction too? What about Hindu? Taoist, Buddhist, Atheist, Pantheist, ect? The quality of the book, not the religion it comes from or endorses, should be the deciding factor.

    And "the founding religion of both the Eastern and Western Empires"? That's just downright offensive. There are many, many countries that are not and never were Christian. Japan for instance. They are certainly a world power and are less than 1% Christian (mostly coming from newly emigrated citizens and a few obscure churches). And i could probably give you hundreds of other examples of countries that have nothing to do with, and have had nothing to do with Christianity since their founding.

    I used to be an avid Listverse reader, but i'm truly becoming tired with the site. The quality of its lists has greatly declined since the new year.

    P.S. Judging from the way these books seemed to be chosen (by popularity), you might as well have put on the Twilight series. They're vastly popular, so they must be good, right? Besides, they're touting a kind of christianity.

    • Woyzeck

      Milky, are you on crack? Do you not get the concept of a work of Christian literature? One that implicitly deals in Biblical themes? FOR CHRIST'S SAKE, MILKY.
      Exactly what kind of Christianity is Twilight touting? What kind of Christianity is peopled by vampires and werewolves?
      Oh wait, I was forgetting the Greek Orthodox church.

      • Milky

        Twilight is touting Mormonism, a branch of Christianity. SMeyer has stated before that blood in her novels and the process of feeding represents sex before marriage and that she has placed religious themes in her book to promote Christianity. Vampires represent those who have saved their souls by abstaining from activities that are supposed to damage the soul, such as adultery. Werewolves are the ethnic bad guys who do all or most of the things that you aren't supposed to do (those lost from the Kingdom) and that is why they lose.

        And no, i'm not on drugs. Anyone who has ever read those books with a bit of sense can tell they are propaganda. The author even SAYS that it's one step away from indoctrination.

        • Woyzeck

          I've never read Twilight, I just wanted to compare Greeks to vampires and werewolves. It doesn't surprise me that it is religious, however – there is a clear parallel between the art of writing Mary-Sue literature and mindfucking Jesus.
          As for their being propaganda, that's certainly the case with The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. C.S. Lewis was something of a moral idiot, and he clearly had no issues with recruiting children through subversion. As you said in your first post, the deciding factor in literature should be the quality, which is the area in which C.S. Lewis' shite parables fall down.

          • Milky

            I had the impression that you were a Christian trying to knock both my point and another branch of Christianity, though now seeing your other posts, i guess that wasn't the case.

      • Arsnl

        “Exactly what kind of Christianity is Twilight touting? What kind of Christianity is peopled by vampires and werewolves?
        Oh wait, I was forgetting the Greek Orthodox church.”
        ” I just wanted to compare Greeks to vampires and werewolves. ”

        Wozzeck you are dear to me but let me step in with my eastern european knowledge so i can enlighten you, as ive seen your errors and it hurts my soul.
        Well basically my dear londoner friend you dont know sh*t. The origins of the vampires, may be retraced from regions in eastern europe but not the balkans (oltenia parts of serbia). In oltenia (a region of romania) there was the tradition of “strigoi” a some sorts of undead- a dead person that would come alife (a person dead before being married for example) and usually the ritual (i would say a gypsy ritual) was to get the corpse back, remove its heart (i think) and burn it. Afterwards that region has been annexed by the habsburgic empire (or maybe austro-hungaria but im not sure) and the authorities observed this ritual. And the origines arent well known. The word comes from slavic and the region was in the path of the the slavic migrations, they went south of the carpathians (logically they didnt want to go over the mountains)
        And now in the picture come the famous authors that created the myth of the vampire.
        Fun fact: Vlad tepes was the ruler of wallachia and had no connections with transylvania and romanian is the most eastern latin languange.
        The werewolves also are a mix of different beliefs but the ancient greeks had the idea of men turning into wolves so again not a christian belief.
        I dont know if you are greek, bulgarian, serb or romanian but try not to show this obviously that you know nothing or eastern european mythology and culture (i know its fashionably to talk cr*p on the net but i think highly of you and i expect more from you)

        • Woyzeck

          I know vampires and werewolves don't come from Greece. I was making a rather blunt suggestion that Greeks are hairy and bloodthirsty. I dithered between the Greek and Russian orthodox churches; either has the potential to have its members called hairy. Armenian Orthodoxy would be the most effective comparison, because Armenians are very hairy, but the Armenian Orthodox Church isn't as well known as the other two.

          Woyzeck wasn't being serious.

          P.S. I'm not a Londoner. I just live there.

  • mordechaimordechai

    Yeah! lol!
    So we put there Ulysses also?

    • JaY

      "Ulysses" might work well. How about "Finnegan's Wake?" You could make ANYTHING out of that.

  • mordechaimordechai

    I think the Jfrater meant that christianity was the founding religion of both Roman Empires Western and Eastern. It was also very easily understood.

    • Milky

      I wasn't the only one who misunderstood this, reading back in the comments. When anyone says Eastern Empire, i think of an empire in the "East" which is traditionally Asia and Oceania. However, that still does not detract from my other points.

      • Arsnl

        Well you’ve got the russian/tsardom empire dude. Russia is in the —–>east. Way out there. You’ve got territories even more eastern than indian and china. Slavic populations LIVE in asia.
        Geesh i hate repeating myself.

  • vonhohenzollern

    Haven't we opened up a can of worms here? This was a good list, although I believe that the comments will prove more interesting than the actual list.

    • mordechaimordechai

      You got it but don't get sucked into it. i'm reading the whole thing again the 4th time and i start feeling a bit sick *runs to the bathroom in a haste*

      • vonhohenzollern

        It's hard not to get sucked into it when ignorant asses continue to post idiotic comments like "What about the Bible?". But, I will try my best. :)

  • ciremelf

    Good list. Keep em comin =)

  • Scratch

    Good list. Well-picked I'd say, except for "A Christmas Carol". I think Dostoevsky's "Crime and Punishment" could easily replace that one. Also, I'd pick Tolkien over L'Engle and maybe include Tolstoy's "The Death of Ivan Ilyich".

    Well done, glad none of those "Left Behind" books made it. Those books are the literary equivalent of orange cow dung – they catch your attention because you're like "what the . . .?" — but at the end of the day, they're still shit.

  • JaY

    I vaguely knew how the Easten/Western thing was meant, but I knew it would cause trouble. But it's more fun to just say: THIS LIST IS TOO AMERICAN! (Well, somebody was going to say it and it might as well be me. If we did a list on "How American Americans Have Americanized America," somebody would say it was too American.)

    • mordechaimordechai

      ehe heh eh! that's right.

      If they do such a list i will act the character i always wanted… the pissed off chinese girl with a degree in economics.
      That's a one to keep!!!

    • 2manycats

      I could go for a list that says it's too Texan. Remember Goliad, Remember the Alamo. Rember the hurricanes. Ask Louisiana, they live next door. Hurricanes suck. I'm agnostic but I prayed to someone a gator or moccason was not going to bite me when I was out in those Ike flood waters. I figured the fire ants would just piss me off.

  • Woyzeck

    Why hasn't JFrater published my list of the "Top Ten Pictorial Depictions of the Prophet Muhammed" yet?

    • Arsnl

      JFrater ordered it be sealed till 13/12/2012 (the correct continental european notation) when we will all be dead. On the 14th Blogball will add a bonus to his last list.

      • vonhohenzollern

        Are you refering to the 2012 doomsday theory? I thought it was December 21, 2012…

  • vanowensbody

    Great list. I remember in elementary school in the 1960's, they showed us a film called A Wrinkle in Time and urged those of us who would actually read a book, to read the book.

  • What a surprise

    Gee look, yet another list of religious propaganda. Can't say I'm surprised, since that's all Frater seems to care about lately. Why don't you just make this into a blog already, so we can skip the pretext of neutrality on what purports to be an entertainment site?

  • JaY

    "Virus Clans" was an attempt at a modern science-fiction novel that promoted the Christian religion. It wasn't really that great or anything, but it ought to be mentioned along with "Twilight" and the "Left Behind" books so people know this stuff is still being written. Incidentally, is it just me or is most Christian fiction really bad? Okay, Dante Alighieri was a great talent, and so was John Milton. Even Alexander Pope was interesting. But that's ALL poetry. The fiction, from C.S. Lewis on, is really… BAD.

  • Neira

    no Madách – The Tragedy of Man? it's hungarian, but classic. Anyway, not a boring list, it wouldn't come to my mind to associate christianity and fantasizing

  • xxxx

    here's another: the bible

    • ianz09

      You spent hours thinking that one up while you played with your blocks.

  • youllforgetit

    Lovely. ^ ^

  • A pretty good list, Flame. Better than pretty good, really, very good.
    I haven't read all of these books, only, Canterbury Tales , A Christmas Carol, Pilgrims Progress (a school assignment), Faerie Queene, The Divine Comedy, and Miltons Trilogy… Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained, and Samson Agonistes.
    I have never been able to understand how anyone could get the full impact of Paradise Lost without reading the other two works, so intimately bound to it. That may, in fact, be the reason so few people seem to really understand and love Milton.
    I think I would have added the Holy Sonnets and Sermons of John Donne, but I don't know how they are classified, for the sake of the list.

    • Arsnl

      I remember this joke. Milton married and wrote paradise lost. Then he divorced and wrote paradise regained.

  • TCor

    Fun fact: J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis were fans (and writers) of Christian allegories in literature. Tolkien disapproved of Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. He said that its themes were too obvious and lacked subtlety. I would have liked to have seen LoTR on this list (Gandalf=Jesus), but I’m not surprised by it’s exclusion.

    • bacanaso

      I always thought it was Aragon = Jesus

      • TCor

        Gandalph I dragged into an abyss by the balrog (into the tomb). He later reappears, to everyone’s surprise, not dead and clad in white. He says that he has become more powerful than any of them can understand. He leads their party through the darkness and is always working for the greater good of Middle Earth. If you want to look into Middle Earth mythos, he has a Jesus-God relationship with the Maiar (gods of ME). Interesting stuff.

      • TCor

        Wow. I misspelled “Gandalf”.
        Lol. Reminds me of how I keep spelling the word “fallacy” like: “phallacy”. Lol.

  • WillMcIntyre39

    I bought the divine comedy on my iPod a couple of months ago, and I’m on the lion part. Which is the beginning.

    • Armin Tamzarian

      READ BOOKS FOR GOD'S SAKE!!!

      A listening book is a lot different from a real book. The teller (or how do you call the person that reads it aloud?) always have their own interpretation of things, and it's way more fun when you can let your own imagination run wild.

      • WillMcIntyre39

        Books? They cost more than what I got that story for. :)

        • FlameHorse

          Oh, man, you are gonna LOVE it.

  • bassbait

    Before reading the comments, I can predict what half of them will say (the most uninspired comment ever):

    "Where's the Bible?"

    • Maggot

      Well you’re so late to the party that even the prediction is uninspired. It’s been covered already.

  • bassbait

    Wow, "Where's the Bible" has become so cliche, that even EXPECTING IT has become a cliche.

    As for the list, I (this is just opinion) think A Clockwork Orange should be on here, because it has very deceptively christian morals.

    • Woyzeck

      GOD-DAMN IT BASSBAIT, "CLICHE" IS NOT A FUCKING ADJECTIVE.

      • Maggot

        "Fucking" wasn't an adjective either, but has become one with repeated contextual use. :-)

        • Armin Tamzarian

          'Fucking' is an attributive verb (cfr. the eating man, the playing child), so your argument is invalid. Although you may argue 'fucking' has underwent some semasiological changes, grammatically it's used entirely correct.

          Ooh, linguïstical burn. By a foreigner! The lesson to be learned: never ever try to chastise someone if you aren't absolutely certain of your case, or if you haven't got a good excuse for making a mistake. Like being a non-native speaker. :)

          • Woyzeck

            You know your shit, Armin. No wonder you made Principal.

          • Maggot

            Meh, ya got me. I'm actually not a grammar chastizer, I was just fucking with good ol' Woyz. Just good natured fun…but bear in mind, I never said his usage wasn't correct.

      • Arsnl

        @armin: dude i admire the way you corrected maggot. Yet when segues pointed out that your grammar was off you got offensive and used the foreigner card. Hmmm thats very honest of you.

        • Armin Tamzarian

          As i've said, being a foreigner is a good excuse for mistakes. However, when correcting someone, I make sure my arguments are thouroughly researched. That's the difference ;)

          • ianz09

            Hippocritical dik.

          • **Hypocritical dick.

          • ianz09

            Look up at this exact moment, and watch gleefully as the joke sails through the air right over your head.

  • You have a right to your opinion, naturally. You do not have the right to force your opinion on those who have a different belief system.
    There are, I would hazard a guess, more people in the world who believe in God than who don't. They all call him by different names, have different representations of his appearance (multiple appearances in some religions), and have different laws surrounding (usually minor) daily life…however, they all have *ONE* thing in common: they teach people how to better live with their neighbors (in the global sense).
    How dare you?
    Who died and left you the Great and Wonderful Oz?

    • vonhohenzollern

      Absolutely! I say three cheers for segues! Refering to "more people in the world who believe in God than who don't", if you want some statistics, 2.2 billion people are Christians, 1.5 billion are Muslims, and 14 million Jews (Christianity, Islam, and Judaism are the three major monotheistic religions), so about 50% of the world's population believes in one God. There are about 1 billion Hindus (the world's largest polytheistic religion), and Buddhism has 1.5 billion followers. So, altogether, there are roughly 6.2 billion people (Earth has about 7 billion people on it) that have at least some religion. Compare that to 161 million atheists, or 2.3% of Earth's population.

    • Kiwi

      Jesus.

      • Kiwi

        Furthermore, the majority does not necessary mean the correct or the best. Forgot to add that, sorry for the re-comment.

  • Peace for the world

    Are not all religious writings fiction? I think the Bible, old and new testament, the Koran, and the Book of Mormon should be the top 3 works of Fiction. They would be comedies if not for the horrors perpetrated by those who take them seriously and are arrogant enough to think that any God would condone what they are doing based on their interpretations of what a god would want.

    • Armin Tamzarian

      It's hard to read, isn't it? This discussion has been started with a lot of different comments, and still you try once more. Why not just hook in on one of the earlier discussions? And I know you want to show you're an intelligent person, and your hip and cool and progressive and whatnot. But it is getting really annoying. Why are you so trying so hard to express your individualism and intelligence by parroting the same thing all others have said? If you really were so intelligent and individualistic, you wouldn't need reaffirmation every time you come into contact with religion.

      So please, leave religious people alone, as long as they don't hassle you. Show some intelligence and accept there are people who believe different albeit illogical things, and respect them.

      • Say it ain't so

        Thank you for that Armin Tamzarian. Well said. It’ almost if the more they announce their non religious beliefs the more they think it will be a fact. They don’t realize that they are believers as well. They just may believe in something different and I respect that.

        • Woyzeck

          By which you mean, they believe in things for which there is evidence. No atheist claims to believe in nothing. That's just stupid.

          • Armin Tamzarian

            Woyzeck, if you are, like I suspect, Polish, I think a 'kurwa' is justified. Haven't you read what I just wrote? Clearly 'Say it ain't so' isn't ready/willing to be confronted with this. I agree with you, not believing those christian beliefs are a lot more logical. But you shouldn't be so militant about trying to convert those christians. If they want to believe those things, let 'em. As long as they don't bother you, what's the matter?

          • Woyzeck

            OK, that makes sense. I'm not Polish, but did you just tell me that a fuck is justified? I agree, a fuck is ALWAYS justified.

            Everybody on Listverse wants to know where Woyzeck is from. What nation could have birthed such a man?

          • Armin Tamzarian

            Es gibt ein ganzes tonälspiel genennt Woyzeck, geschreben dürch Büchner. Aber ich glaube Woyzeck wär eine Slävischer nahme.

            Jste ?eština?

          • Say it ain't so

            "Clearly 'Say it ain't so' isn't ready/willing to be confronted with this"
            Armin Tamzarian, How do you know that I wasn't confronted with what you believe first and I believed it? And now I believe somthing else and have accepted that as the truth?
            That happens quite a bit.

      • Arsnl

        @woyzeck
        A nation of kurwas thats for sure j/k
        We do know he’s a londoner. My bet is armenian. No no. Azerbaidjian. I saw his sister at eurovision. Haaawwwt.
        @armin: dude dont use words that can be recognized by anyone that speaks a slavic language.

      • Cogit

        The Emperor wears no clothes, right?

  • JaY

    In one of my huimor columns for the University Chronicle (GO, BEARS!) many years ago, I wrote about the phenomenon of people who have two first names and John Milton was one of them. His wife asked him, "Are you in theJohn, Milton?" Milton, who was blind, replied, "I certainly hope so."

  • Armadillotron

    There`s a website about the prophet Muhammed. It`s on a website. And there great unless you`re a muslim that is.. Persian drawings of him are pretty vile, , Renaissance paintings show him being dragged into hell, by a Demon, their`s a picture off those cartoons which caused Muslims to go ape a few years ago painted onto a Pigs arse and a statue of some knight stamping on him. Don`t you wish some off these things would happen to Bin Laden?

    • Moonbeam

      I was going to give this comment a dislike, because it's so incoherent, but I love this bit so much: "There`s a website about the prophet Muhammed. It`s on a website."

      • Arsnl

        He should have said its on the net :-)

    • Cogit

      There's a special place in hell for those who think that non sequiturs form the basis for a good argument.

  • Hevyman

    If there is no God, where does moral law come from? (IE: being kind rather than a jerk, not cheating on your wife, feeling bad when someone dies or goes away)…Help me understand what you are thinking.

    • Armin Tamzarian

      It's really practical: If murdering were allowed, society wouldn't last. It's the same for most other general rules. The other rules were invented to keep others from being more powerful/superior.

      • vonhohenzollern

        Then why do animals have no sense of ethics or morals? You don't see lions eating grass instead of killing zebras because they think it is wrong, do you? You don't see koalas eating mice instead of the eucalyptus leaves because the trees' population is going down, do you?

        • Armin Tamzarian

          You sir, are bad at making analogies.

          Lions have some kind of ethics: don't kill every zebra in sight, only the ones needed for food. It's one of the rules vital to their survival, so they adhere to it. Koalas don't have the environmental consciousness to realise the number of eucalyptus trees is dwindling, so they keep eating. In time, a lot of koalas will die, and the number of eucalyptus trees will be able to rise again. It's a normal conjectural movement of nature.

          However, apes seem to have the same beginnings of morals as humans do. As you might know, apes are a sociable bunch, so they need ethics to be able to work together. Be it in the form of defleaing eachother like most species of apes, or in the form of mutual masturbation/sex like bonobo's.

        • brad

          That was two terrible examples. The first one because you are suggesting that eating meat is immoral despite the fact Humans are meat eaters and of course Koalas do not have the mental ability to weigh up these type of issues that you are talking about.

          On there other hand there is an excellent book called The Moral Lives of Animals which states the following;

          “an elephant with a leg injury whose fellow elephants in her herd slowed down for her and even fed her. They tell how dogs can agree for a session of rough play that’s not supposed to hurt and those that overstep the bounds, by for example by biting too hard, get frozen out of the group. Caged rats taught to push a level for food won’t do it when that prompts the scientists to give a rat in the next cage an electric shock. Vampire bats share the blood they collect with bats that can’t go out to hunt for their daily dose”

      • Hevyman

        I understand … What was the process for agreeing which rules would stick and which did not? Where and when was this process of rule making?

    • Armadillotron

      In The Bible, God isn`t kind. He comes across as self-centred, evil, homophobic, egotistic, sexist, greedy, a genocidal killer.. he comes across as a megalomaniac. Basically, everything a person shouldn`t be. these things are FACT.

      • vonhohenzollern

        I will give you that. in the Old Testament, God is very bloodthirsty. But, in the New Testament he is completely different. He is forgiving. I believe it shows that anyone can change, you just have to give them the oppurtunity.

        • Armin Tamzarian

          I'm sorry to interrupt, but why do most christian churches take rules from both testaments then? Wouldn't it be more logical to only follow the rules of the 'changed' god?

          • vonhohenzollern

            Well, God in the Old Testament set down some pretty good rules (like the 10 Commndments), but the God in the New Testament also set downs good rules. Old Testament God sets rules about obeying him, while New Testament God sets rules about how to treat other people.

          • Armin Tamzarian

            Good rules? You mean like in Leviticus?

          • vonhohenzollern

            Some rules in Leviticus are good. Some of those rules are meant for health reasons. Back when the Bible was written, sometimes meat was undercooked. Therefore, meat that was hard to cook or was known to contain diseases that could only be killed if it was cooked, were banned. Other rules have to do with ethics. Some (like the rules on homosexuality, sexuality in general, fraud, etc.) are meant as ethical rules. I think some of those are up for followers to decide if they want to abide by them or not.

          • Armin Tamzarian

            Exactemundo! All rules were time- and placebound. Then why do you try to implement them in modern society?

          • vonhohenzollern

            I think that the ethical laws still apply to modern society. I am not Jewish, so I do not know why people still follow dietary laws. Like I said, it is up for followers to decide if they want to abide by them or not.

          • Armin Tamzarian

            Like what ethical rules? How can 3000 year old rules still apply today without any reasonable explanation? And I don't think 'god said so' is reasonable.

          • vonhohenzollern

            Well, rules about fraud, self harm, and prostitution all apply to today's society.

          • Armin Tamzarian

            How do rules against prostitution and self harm benefit modern day society?

            The fraud one can be categorised under 'no stealing', which is beneficial for a society. The other two, not so much. The only reason you think they are good, is because of christian indoctrination. When you look at them objectively, there's no reason to find them bad.

          • Arsnl

            i think our modern day society needs rules against prostitution. You can look at it in 2 ways. First our society is based on a structure, the family. Its part of us and its what made us so successful in evolution. A family based on monogamy and may i say monandry can raise their children in a proper environment, they dont have to compete for the affection of the head of the family ad all children receive the same attention.
            On the other hand we are evolved human beings and prostitution is an objectification of the prostitutes. Even if it is consented by both parties it is what it is.
            And self harm: that only arrives to people in need. Is it just to let people in need suffer?
            Morality – as a product of evolution or religion, dependig on your beliefs- is NEEDED

          • Armin Tamzarian

            On the other hand: Prostitution is a good way to vent sexual frustration for single men (and women). It also gives some people a job, which is a good thing I think.

            But how is prostitution an objectification of prostitutes? They are able to provide a service with their bodies, for which there is demand. Should professional sport be prohibited too then?
            The problem is, you have the christian value of 'sex is special', which it isn't. Love is.

            Morality is indeed needed, as I have stated. But the current morality isn't entirely needed, but partly fabricated out of avarice and a hunger for power.

            And I'd rather not get in the discussion about wether 'traditional' families are better for raising children, that would be too off-topic.

          • vonhohenzollern

            If everyone went arond cutting themselves and paying other people to have sex, we wouldn't have a very productive society, would we?

          • Armin Tamzarian

            That's the most pathetic comment I've read in a long time. Can you say hyperbole?

            Again, is there any practical objection against self harm or prostitution? Apart from 'everyone will drop everything and only do those things for the rest of their existance?

          • I totally agree with Armin on this. You can't just say not to do something because 'everyone will drop everything and only do those things for the rest of their existance." I mean, this rule could practically be applied to anything (i.e. drinking, smoking, having ANY sort of sex). If you want to argue against prostitution, you're going to have to use a more convincing argument.

        • Kiwi

          So how can he be omniscient and then completely contradict himself. Also, how hypocritical was it for Him to have put one of the commandments as thou shalt not kill, and then wipe out Sodom and Gommorrah, not to mention about a hundred other examples.

  • trfan01

    One of the most amazing modern works of Christian literature, a work I highly recommend, is "Eli" by Bill Moyers. It features a man who is critically injured in a car crash, and he wakes up to a world in which Jesus was born in today's world, not 2000 years ago. It covers much of what we read in the Gospels, but puts it all in a modern context. It was one of the most inspiring books I've ever read (and I've read "Pilgrims Progress" and "Inferno").

    • vonhohenzollern

      Oooh, that sounds interesting! Thanks for the reccomendation! I really want to read that now.

      • FlameHorse

        Me, too. I haven't heard of it.

        • trfan01

          You can find it on Amazon or in the Religious fiction section at your local bookstore.

  • byahhh

    boring list! and the last 15 lists have been sooo boring; just not interesting. –this site has gone from one of my daily readers, to a forgotten bookmark in just two weeks…..

    • Well there's an idea for you to contribute: Top 15 Boring Lists On Listverse.

  • Adalia Glenys

    I believe Hannah Hurnard’s Hinds’ Feet on High Places should be included. It’s in the same general category as The Pilgrim’s Progress: Much-Afraid lives in the Valley of Humiliation where she is employed by the Chief Shepherd from the High Places–the mountains surrounding the valley. Her extended family, the Fearing clan, mistreat her and one another such that Much-Afraid wishes to escape to the High Places where they cannot follow. Because she is crippled, Much-Afraid is accompanied by Sorrow and Suffering, guides chosen by the Shepherd. Like Christian, Much-Afraid encounters various parables on her journey, and she is frequently harassed by negative forces in the form of those of her relatives who are strong enough to reach the lower regions of the mountains. Unlike Christian, though, Much-Afraid’s personality and behavior start to change in response to the lessons she learns. At first, whenever her relatives appear, Much-Afraid calls on the Shepherd to rescue her; later in her journey she becomes angry with them and even throws stones at them to drive them away. Eventually, Much-Afraid reaches the High Places and is transformed into Grace and Glory. She discovers that Sorrow and Suffering have become Joy and Peace, and that they had needed her help to reach the High Places as much as she had needed theirs.

    The reason I hold this book worthy of mention, though, is what happens at the end. One day, after spending a long, happy time in the High Places, Grace and Glory glances back down into the Valley of Humiliation. She sees her family, and for the first time she understands that they are just as unhappy as she had been, and for the same basic reasons. The Shepherd tells her he wants very much to help them as well, but they won’t speak to him or allow him into their homes. Grace and Glory knows they probably won’t listen to her at first either–hese people made her life miserable, but she now recognises that she hadn’t treated them any better–but since she does have a pre-existing relationship with them, she feels they may be a little more receptive to her, and since she can stand up for herself, it will be less necessary for the Shepherd to present himself as an adversary to her family on her behalf. The book ends with Grace and Glory, Joy, Peace, and the Shepherd returning to the valley.

    • Arsnl

      Are you crazy? Are you actually talking about the list at hand? No mentioning the atheist/religious debate?
      *Sarcasm off
      Well honestly, my hats off to you cuz you managed to avoid this topic. In fact i am sorry that i cant express my admiration to your comment (and some others) that avoided altogether that annoying and reccuring topic without mentioning said topic/debate.

  • Dr.Insensitiveus

    What about "The Satanic Bible" by Anton Szandor LaVey? He must have believed in Christianity, or he wouldn't have bothered to oppose it in such a degree.

    • ianz09

      Actually, he helped popularize what is known as Atheistic Satanism. Theistic Satanism is where a divine being known as Satan is worshipped. This can be Satan as per the Bible, or a being separate from Judeo-Christian theology altogether. But Atheistic Satanism (LeVey's kind) is where you worship the darkness of humans (selfishness, animal instincts, etc.), not an actual being. So in reality, LeVeyan Satanists are atheists in that they do not believe in a god or deity. They just like being sinners, and make it their lifestyle.

  • Amandaq

    I was waiting for #1- The Bible! But I guess that would be a little controversial, wouldn't it?

    • Armin Tamzarian

      Hey Amanda. You seem like a very original person. Want to date sometimes? Send me your contacts, maybe we can hit it off.

      No wait. That comment has been made about a million times now. Please disregard the above. I found you aren't really that original, and also to lazy to read all comments.

      • Arsnl

        Moonbeam always seemed to me a woman (lady if she reads this comment) of the female sex. Why did you say dude?

      • Cogit

        So,you're saying you're unable to argue in a logical manner?

        • Cogit

          …that was directed at Armin.

        • Armin Tamzarian

          No. How do you reckon I was saying that?

    • Moonbeam

      *Face palm*

      • Armin Tamzarian

        Dude, cockblock!

      • Woyzeck

        *Buttock palm*

  • FlameHorse

    Glad everyone liked it, who liked it. To those who thought it was boring: violin.

    Now, I included A Christmas Carol out of a desire to make Christianity a little more acceptable to those who hate it or think it's incorrect. You can think of it as secular humanism as advocated by Jesus (and others). And because it's a daggone good book. Someone mentioned Orlando Furioso, Ben-Hur, and a few others. Rest assured that I have read those mentioned, and I considered several of them as honorable mentions. But I think a lot of #10.

    And to the Peanut Gallery, demanding the Bible's inclusion, allow me to quote a movie I like: "Pete, the personal rancor reflected in that remark I don't intend to dignify with comment."

    Thanks, Jafe, for the opening blurb. I agree with it. And I had a lot more about #1, including the Paradiso, but the list was already too long, so thanks for parsing it a bit.

  • mordechaimordechai

    l' Amor che move il sole e l'altre stelle.

    Goodnight

  • MiSaNtHrOpE

    Where is Dostoevsky and/or Tolstoy?

    The Brothers Karamazov, Resurrection, The Idiot, Anna Karenina, Crime & Punishment, etc. Their omission is a grave injustice, indeed.

  • ianz09

    Boy, you sure do love stirring the gigantic pot of shit that is the easily trolled masses, don't you?

  • Brian

    Christopher Moore's The Lamb. As an agnostic I come the closest to believing in Jesus after reading this book. Anyone, Christian or not should read this book.

  • Verses aren't fiction.

  • As someone who is opposed to organized religions, i must say that the best works influenced by religious ideals are the ones that can be enjoyed even by those who don't belong to those religions.
    The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and Paradise Lost are two of my absolute favourites pieces of literature. And as a child, i never once for a second understood the allegory between Aslan and Jesus, that came years after i had already renounced Christianity, but it's still an absolute classic.

  • MiSaNtHrOpE

    @Christian Blue – I’m an atheist and Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov is my favorite book of all time.

  • Renegade

    Dante's Divine Comedy = <3

    I do admit though, I always did find it intriguing that the character he used in the comedy was himself instead of some made up character. At least I think it was himself, since the dude being led around by Virgil was named Dante. Could be wrong, correct me if so. Anyways, I always wondered why he would do something like that in a work of fiction, and how he was able to conjure up such vivid descriptions of Hell in the Inferno book. The level that always was most fascinating to me was the specific area in the 7th level that was reserved for suicide. Having a tree grow slowly around and through you while your soul was ripped and stretched for eternity seems particularly unpleasant to me, and the fact that he imagined such a punishment is enough to make me shudder.

  • virelay

    Does Everyman not count because it is a play?

  • dullstone

    No E.T.?! ;D

  • Top Kill

    “Where is the bible?”
    well, every comment that starts with this seams to get some attention. Hehehehe
    anyway, i just wanted to say that the list is interesting but boring.
    The comments section is the best part. I am a scientist and a very open minded one. I dont take sides and i like fights like these. To fuel up a fight, i can keep on jumping from one side to the other.
    Just the other day, i discovered weed. Its amazing. I wish i had started taking it earlier. I am a much happier and more productive person now. Snoop Dogg is with me on it.
    I am not selling weed on listverse but everyone should try it once.
    About religions, i think the end justifies the means. In the end, people stay together in love and peace. Reverse psychology style.

  • saber25

    Wow, Jesus kicking ass, cool, gotta see that…

  • bleumoonselene

    I read A Wrinkle in Time and never thought of it being Christian. Perhaps I'm slow.

    Can someone explain please?

    • TCor

      I never got that either. The list explains it. Did you read the list?

  • amber

    I was hoping to see one of Erasmus of Rotterdam's books on here- perhaps "Handbook of a Christian Knight"?

  • Gaara

    “Christianity was the founding religion of both the Western and Eastern empires”

    As has been already said, that opening just slammed this list down to the bottom for me. I dunno which empires the author was referring to but…

    ——

    Prostitution is a job. Like any other. You work in order to get paid. You provide your services, to be more specific, in return for financial benefits. Sure, the services provided are rather intimate but that’s what it is. A service industry.

  • Leon

    what about harry potter. there is a lot to be said for this being a Xristian allegory

  • steve

    Lord of the Rings? You do Not get more Christian than that. Cs Lewis even chided Tolkien for making it to obvious

    He said it should be more subtl…like Narnia

  • Bob

    Someone earlier posted that Christ came to bring the sword. I think these comments prove that very well. He didn't necessarily mean physical confrontation (although that obviously took place), but he certainly knew those that followed him would be scorned, ridiculed, etc. etc. It is interesting that those least engaged with Christianity (atheists) seem to be the ones most offended by his name. Very curious.

  • Sonia

    It was already mentioned in the comments but I have to say "How can you forget Lord of the Rings?". Its extremely christian and although I personally found reading it the biggest struggle (Due to how boring it is), its story and representations of Good and evil are most fascinating compared to many others on this list (I have read 9 of the 10 listed so I can say that :))

  • YogiBarrister

    Brian said…"Christopher Moore's The Lamb. As an agnostic I come the closest to believing in Jesus after reading this book.."

    I'm not sure people can grasp Jesus' message through literature. We read about the Gospel, but our minds usually send the information to our egos, which then alter the message before sending it to our souls. Music is the best way to preach the Gospel, it bypasses the ego entirely.

  • YogiBarrister
  • YogiBarrister

    Bob said…"Someone earlier posted that Christ came to bring the sword."

    I believe Jesus is wielding a scalpel, not a sword.

  • SadisticSmile

    For some reason I expected to see the Bible xD

  • mom424

    bwahaha I got more thumbs down than you. nyah, nyah, nyah. quite the contest.

    • oouchan

      Darn..I was -5 earlier. Someone likes me, apparently. :)

  • gwnat

    You forgot the bible!

  • Springs

    Tolkien said that the Christian themes in his work were at first written unconsciously. As in, he didn’t try to make his work explicitly Christian. However, he has said at heart Lord of the Rings is a Christian story.

  • Fred

    Jeez, like 35 different people say "hey, you forgot the Bible" as thought a dozen people just before them didn't already say the same thing. Typical thoughtless and lazy athiesm rearing its ugly head time and time again…

    Very good list, but this reads like a "best sellers" list rather than a Greatest Works list. I won't deny how difficult it is to do such a list, but this is like puting up the New York Times Bestsellers and calling them the Top 10 greatest books. I would have liked to have seen some of the Christian Mystics included, or perhaps some of the writings by Thomas Aquinas (or any other saint, for that matter). Anyway, good effort.

  • Doc

    Where the hell is the Bible?!

    That book is entertaining if you get the right stories. And it's fiction… C'mon!

  • Kuban8r

    And here come all the anti Christian commenters. So funny how it's a list of fiction books and people can't help themselves. Also funny how the anti-Christian and Athiest people can't help themselves from bashing Christianity the first chance they get. Missing something in your lives perhaps? :)

    • Cemetery

      Funny how agnostics and athiests in a recent study know more about the christian religion than christians…sad really. So what if an anti-christian or athiest comments that the bible should be included as it's a great fictional piece. That's about as good as the original poster saying that A christmas carol is a great christian fiction because it was written about christmas….go figure. Even a non christian knows there's moral guidelines in the book about caring, sharing, and helping others that are more of a pointer to christianity than a holiday that may or may not be the birth date of jesus. I still think it was merely a way of competing with the popularity of the pagan winter solstice.

  • FlameHorse

    Everyone's wondering where The Lord of the Rings is. It's a great book, one of my faves, but it's not explicitly Christian enough for the list. I had an honorable mention list that included it, and Ben-Hur, and a few others.

    The Arthurian Romances are Christian, yes, but more concerned with chivalry and the birth of England, etc. To me, the Death of Arthur and Chretien's stuff are about as Christian as "Gone with the Wind." The story takes place during a time of Christianity, but the story does not use the life or ministry of Jesus as a plot device.

    • Armin Tamzarian

      How does A Christmas Carol use the life or ministry of Jesus as a plot device in a way the matiére de Bretagne doesn't?

      • FlameHorse

        You're right, they both do. But I think A Christmas Carol is better.

  • M Pope

    I think George MacDonald is conspicuously absent from this list, particularly his novel Lilith.

  • Oaktree

    I don't see what makes "A Wrinkle In Time" specifically Christian. It certainly has morals that some streams of Christianity embrace (or at least purport to embrace), but none that are exclusively Christian.

    These morals could also be attributed to many other religions, or even secular humanism.

    Christianity can't take credit for everything- don't you have enough?

  • Ica

    the cloister and the hearth

  • bigun

    To my fellow Christians: please remember to turn the other cheek. Pride is a sin also and getting angry and showing it in such an inflamed manner gets you no where. It is also about free will. You told the Good News. Love despite being hated and abused, and stop giving ugly comments.

  • Kreative Factory

    I would’ve added “The Master and Margarita” by Mihail Bulgakov. One of my favourite books of all times.

  • listverse.com

    10 greatest works of christian fiction.. Ho-o-o-o-t :)

  • Kevin Bushnell

    It’s a good list – as good as any “top 10” list could be for literature or anything else for that matter. Top 10 lists are opinions and can serve as guides, perhaps. My only query would be where is Tolkien’s _Lord of the Rings_? I’m referring here to the literature not the movie.

  • Proud Milanista

    I only read the Inferno, and it’s interesting to read for a non-Christian.

  • Tommy9834

    Why isn’t the Bible on this list?

  • s

    You forgot the bible.

  • Valerie Tendick

    Copy that. They fixed some things that weren’t broken.

  • A round of applause for your blog.Thanks Again. Will read on…

    I am not able to view this web site correctly on saffari I feel there is a drawback

  • Sheilah Fiducia

    Is it okay to drink coconut milk, maybe a 1/2 cup per day?

  • Tatyana

    Doh! Sometimes I forget to sit back and just look at terms that whole lgugnaae thing. Thanks for clarifying. I don’t like the term system either; I feel like it puts limits on things closes them down into something that can be completely understood. I think things are a bit more complicated. You convinced me awhile ago to get this Barfield book. And I’ve had a hard time getting in to Blake, but I feel like I should keep trying.I wasn’t surprised by Adam’s interpretation based off of experience. And I’m not surprised about your experience either. It bums me out. I’m not sure why there is such a huge disconnect between pastors and science. I come from a sciencey family my dad had a doctorate in geothermal physics and my mom was a math/chemistry major in college (she still teaches math). I can’t discount science as fake and silly. But I also think scientists can use more imagination!! There’s a link on Silliman’s post yesterday to a physicist ironically enough.I don’t know if you’ve read anything by Hugh Ross, but he’s started an organization called ( which takes the contemporary Christian view of science to task. I think his research is the best Christian science I’ve come across, as his whole idea is that there needs to be a dialog (especially between evolutionists and creationists again, more closing labels!!) via commendable scientific processes on both sides of the 6 dimensional coin.All of that to say thanks for the dialogue and sharing a bit of your own background! I hope we can have more in the future!

  • charlesanl

    Name

  • hkvrlhjqmj

    Name

  • Tim

    Would have loved to have seen some works by George MacDonald on this list. His novels “Phantastes” and “Lilith” were major factors in C.S. Lewis’ conversion to Christianity.
    My personal favorites are “The Princess and the Globins” and “A the Back of the North Wind”

  • Xarocho

    I myself am christian and the lion the witch and the wardrobe is NOT Christian contrary to popular belief in fact i would go as far as to warn other believers against it

  • hkvrlhjekd

    Name

  • mosomoso

    Everyman!

  • An Atheist

    In my opinion #1 should’ve been the bible.