After nearly lifetime of slavery, I broke free from the cephalopodic clutches of the Evangelical Assemblies of God about one year ago this month. Having graduated from an Assemblies of God college and worked as a pastor, I always managed to drown my nagging doubts and rational impulses in a well of faith. But what started as a simple reexamination of my beliefs quickly became a full-fledged deconversion, partly because of "The Root of All Evil" and "The Blind Watchmaker". The depth of truth and the affirmation of rationality as a method of knowing truth struck to the core of my existence - it freed me from a horrifically superstitious and irrational worldview. Although this change has been the source of an unimaginable amount of pain and dislocation in my family and circle of friends (what friends?), I still wish to thank you from the bottom of my heart and my newly free mind . I would not trade an ounce of my newfound freedom for a pound of my previous ignorant security.
Now for the question. As a Christian I had made it my habit to contact the writer of any work that I read and respected to ask them to answer the following:
"If you had to pick ten books that every human should read, what would they be?"
I received many answers and populated my library shelves with what I know now to be literal nonsense. If only I could recover the years spent reading and studying . . .
As a non-Christian who is rebuilding after a lifetime of ignorance, this is doubly important to me now. My library walls have been slowly repopulating with works that exalt rationality and truth, but I have a long way to go. I assure you that any recommendations that you make will be purchased and studied with the fervour that only a recovering Christian can muster.
I realize that you are certainly a busy man and I would appreciate any tidbits of thought that you could drop my way.