Mailvox: studying Christianity

LC asks for reading recommendations to learn more about Christianity:
I read your book, The Irrational Atheist, and I have been reading
your blog for a few months now because I find most of what you say
interesting and some of it comforting. I was raised by Christian
parents. I am young, 21, and have recently gone through a questioning of
my faith.  I have re-committed myself to my beliefs and living in a way
that has resulted in a good life. I have realized that I still have the
faith of my childhood and my understanding of Christianity and the
world in general is very limited. I always have respect for your
arguments because you know what you’re talking about and back up your
assertions. Can you please give me some direction on texts to study
other than the Bible to increase my understanding of Christianity and
religion in general? 
First of all, remember not to get too caught up in the theological extrapolations. No matter what you end up reading, it is always worthwhile to periodically circle back to the original source. Don’t neglect reading the Bible in favor of various men’s interpretations of what the Bible says. In the end, theology is nothing more than philosophy derived from the Bible and it is no more intrinsically reliable than any other logical derivation.

I would start at the beginning. If your understanding is limited, begin with The Chronicles of Narnia. As we saw in the debate with Luke of Common Sense Atheism, the average grasp of Christian concepts don’t even rise to the level of Narnia. Then read The Tower of Geburah by John White. Once you’ve read the children’s fiction, move onto simple theology like Mere Christianity by CS Lewis and Orthodoxy by GK Chesterton. As a general rule, it’s hard to go too far afield on a foundation of Lewis and Chesterton. I would also recommend the very short, very simple, but intriguing A Defense of the Revelation by Leonhard Euler, who happens to be one of the most legendary mathematicians in history. And my friend Greg Boyd’s Letters to a Skeptic is also recommended.

Once you have a grasp of the theological basics, you may be ready to read up on the actual history of Christianity and some of its leading thinkers. The first volume of the Cambridge Medieval History series, The Christian Empire, is tremendously informative and the epub is freely available for download online. St. Augustine’s Confessions are worth reading for their influence on Western thinking and a good summary of Thomas Aquinas is a necessity as well. I haven’t read it yet, but I have heard very good things about Edward Feser’s Aquinas: A Beginner’s Guide and I intend to review it as soon as I finish the Cantillon.

Any other reasonable recommendations would be welcome. Please note that this is not the right sort of post to either indulge your particular theological peculiarities or exhibit how esoteric your reading happens to have been. We’re talking Christianity 101, not 503.