On My Shelf helps you get to know various writers through a behind-the-scenes glimpse into their lives as readers.

I asked George Marsden—historian, author, and emeritus professor of history at the University of Notre Dame—about books he re-reads, his favorite fiction, the book that most shaped him as an historian, and more.


What​ books are ​​​on your nightstand right now?
 
I don’t have a nightstand, but I have been reading Frances Fitzgerald’s The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America [read TGC’s review]. Very well written and well informed, though for the recent decades it deals almost solely with the political side of white evangelicals. Also on my pile at the moment is Silence and Beauty by Makoto Fujimura [read TGC’s review] and Waking Mathilda by Claire Crisp. 
 
What’s one book you wish every evangelical would read and why?
 
C. S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity—it gets generously to the heart of the broad Christian tradition.
 
What are your favorite fiction books?
What one book has most shaped you as a historian?
What are some books you regularly re-read and why?
  • Religious Affections by Jonathan Edwards (part 3 is something else every evangelical could benefit from devotionally). Also, Lewis’s various writings on the nature of Christianity. These are my mentors and also what I’ve been working on of late—a good arrangement.
What are you learning about life and following Jesus? 
 
I’ve been at the Biola Center for Christian Thought for the spring semester. We’ve been studying humility, so I’ve been learning—mostly from Lewis and Edwards—about what it should mean to subordinate one’s self to God. 

Also in the On My Shelf series: Andrew Wilson • Sally Lloyd-Jones • Darryl Williamson • D. A. Horton • Carl Ellis • Owen Strachan  • Thomas Kidd • David Murray • Jarvis Williams • Gracy Olmstead • Matthew Hall • Drew Dyck • Louis Markos • Ray Ortlund • Brett McCracken • Mez McConnell • Erik Raymond • Sandra McCracken • Tim Challies • Sammy Rhodes • Karen Ellis • Alastair Roberts • Scott Sauls • Karen Swallow Prior • Jackie Hill Perry • Bruce Ashford • Jonathan Leeman • Megan Hill • Marvin Olasky • David Wells • John Frame • Rod Dreher • James K. A. Smith • Randy Alcorn • Tom Schreiner • Trillia Newbell • Jen Wilkin • Joe Carter • Timothy George • Tim Keller • Bryan Chapell • Lauren Chandler • Mike Cosper • Russell Moore • Jared Wilson • Kathy Keller • J. D. Greear • Kevin DeYoung • Kathleen Nielson • Thabiti Anyabwile • Elyse Fitzpatrick • Collin Hansen • Fred Sanders • Rosaria Butterfield • Nancy Guthrie • Matt Chandler

Browse dozens of book recommendations from The Gospel Coalition’s leaders and sign up your church at Hubworthy.