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In this recommended reading list on culture, Tim Keller says that “If you only read one, read this one.” He’s referring to A Brief History of Thought: A Philosophical Guide to Living, Luc Ferry’s international bestseller.

Here’s more from Keller on why he thinks this is an important survey for Christians to read:

This book right now is a terrific, fast way to get a handle on western culture because:

It’s a great survey of western thought—very few are available, especially from a non-Christian who is sympathetic to Christianity.

All other books you buy will be less comprehensive.

Though his expression of Christian doctrine is often garbled, Ferry has deep appreciation for Christianity, and when he describes how Christianity swept Greco-Roman paganism away as a cultural force, it is a remarkable, eye-opening account. It shows a) how complex and difficult it is to change culture, but b) how indeed culture does get changed.

The shifts away from Christianity are also extremely interesting.

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8 thoughts on “Tim Keller: “If You Read Only One Book on Culture, Read This One””

  1. John says:

    I love this book, and also recommend it warmly. For what ever that’s worth.

  2. Wasn’t Luc Ferry that guy from 90210?

    1. S Mac says:

      This comment wins the internet.

  3. Good book to read. I suggest it to read.

  4. Kevin says:

    Does anyone know whether this is basically the same book as ‘Learning to live: A User’s Manual’ or if not what the difference is? Thanks.

  5. Steve Burri says:

    Local library has it on the shelf. I’ll pick it up.

  6. Steve Fanelli says:

    A great book along the same lines, perhaps a bit more thorough. “Revolutions in World View” by Hoffecker

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Justin Taylor, PhD

Justin Taylor is executive vice president of book publishing and book publisher for Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds. You can follow him on Twitter.

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