President of The King’s College in New York City and one of this year’s Acton University plenaries, Greg Thornbury, gives his top 5 book picks for today’s college students.
1. Plato’s Dialogues
Plato’s dialogues are good for virtually everything that ails our society. He takes on relativism, skepticism, materialism, and incivility. Gorgias clarifies the difference between truth-seeking and posturing.
2. The Confessions of St. Augustine
In Confessions, Augustine of Hippo charts his tumultuous journey to God in the greatest coming-of-age story of all time. Students struggling to control their passions and wondering whether to believe what their mother told them about Jesus will instantly see themselves in the Augustinian mirror.
3. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Strength to Love
Cynicism is the bane of our contemporary existence. Some see the decline of civilization as inevitable, refusing to believe that love, borne out of Christian conviction, can bring redemption and healing to society. This was not the worldview of King and his band of civil rights heroes
4. G.K. Chesterton’s Orthodoxy
This is the book for restless dreamers fantasizing about an alternative to their Christian upbringing, or a blueprint for a new social order. The funny thing is it always winds up sounding like a paraphrase of Christianity. So why not just accept the real thing?
5. Søren Kierkegaard’s Either/Or
Kierkegaard contrasts two ways to live: the aesthetic life and the ethical life. These two ways of being fight for supremacy, but ultimately, neither is satisfying. Must one choose? Ironically, Kierkegaard’s answer is more “neither/nor” than “either/or”: Only by dying to self and yielding to God can the two lives coalesce into a life of faith.
Check out Acton’s Events page to register for dinner and plenaries for each night of 2015’s Acton University.