Parent and Family Resources

“Biblical Christianity Is Truth Concerning Total Reality – And The Intellectual Holding Of That Total Truth And Then Living In The Life Of That Truth.” 
Francis Schaffer

At the heart of Wesleyan Christian Academy is our vision capitulated in six simple words…To Know and Live the Truth. This principle finds its way in everything we do. In our mission to partner with parents in the raising up of their children, this vision has pushed us to look for ways to provide additional resources to our families. With this in mind, a number of faculty and administration have sought to list the most profound and influential books that have had an impact on our lives and our calling into Christian education. The process was a little overwhelming at first as we solicited our staff for suggestions. As we discussed topics, resources, and our desire to help meet the practical needs of parents, we narrowed down our list of recommendations. We then prioritized these selections and developed a categorized list of resources that we confidently endorse.

If you are interested in reading meaningful and helpful Christian literature, then please take a look at the recommendations and descriptions below, divided into four major categories:

  • Highly Recommended for All Families to Read
  • Worldview and Culture
  • What It Means to Follow Christ
  • Family, Parenting, and Dealing with Grief 


With a life-long passion for educating young people according to biblical standards, Schultz’ message is that parents and educators must link arms with the local church to provide a strong foundation for every child, based on a God-centered world view.  The rapid and sweeping cultural changes that have occurred through the public school system have undoubtedly shaped our culture today.  He asserts that nothing less than a frontal assault on secularization will stem the tide of America’s moral decline.  He gives many practical examples of how children are led toward truth or toward falsehood, both in the classroom and at home. 

(For parents with children of all ages)

How can you liberate Christianity from its cultural captivity and confusion?  If there is a book that can best describe Wesleyan’s worldview and philosophy, it would be this well-written book.  In this excellent and profound cultural analysis, Pearcey argues that Christianity is truth about all reality, not just religious truth.  She takes complex philosophical issues and brings them down to a practical and easily understood worldview analysis.  She explains how one’s worldview affects more than just religion; it is foundational for every area of life. 

(For high school students and adults)


In this explosive book, Schaeffer shows why morality and freedom have crumbled in our society.  He calls for a massive movement – in government, law, and all of life – to reestablish our Judeo-Christian foundation and turn the tide of moral decadence and loss of freedom.  This is literally a call for Christians to change the course of history by returning to biblical truth and by allowing Christ to be Lord in all of life.  This book fits with Wesleyan’s vision that God’s truth is to be emanated by our students and families in every area of their lives so that we may bring God’s glory to every sphere of influence in which we find ourselves.  

(For high school students and adults)

Postman’s book is a prophetic work exploring the corrosive effects of electronic media on a democratic society. Postman argues that television has habituated us to visual entertainment measured out in spoonfuls of time. Western culture has come to expect the same things from politics and public discourse. What happens to journalism, education, and religion when they too become forms of show business? Elegant, incisive, and terrifically readable, Postman’s book is a compelling take on our addiction to entertainment.  Please note – this is written from a secular perspective, which makes Postman’s conclusions even more profound in supporting a Christian worldview. 

(For middle school and high school students and adults)

Where do you stand on issues like absolute truth, sexuality, abortion, the environment, and the church and politics?  More importantly, what does God say?  If there was ever a time for Christians to understand and communicate God’s truth about controversial and polarizing issues, it is now. 

(For middle school and high school students and adults)

As one of the foremost evangelical thinkers of the 20th century, Schaeffer long pondered the fate of declining Western culture.  In How Should We Then Live, he analyzes the reasons for modern society’s state of affairs and presents the only viable alternative: living by the Christian ethic, acceptance of God’s revelation, and total affirmation of the Bible’s morals, values, and meaning.  The book begins with a brilliant analysis of the fall of Rome, tracing Western man’s progression throughout the ensuing ages.  Through the Middle Ages and up to our present scientific atomic age, each step of our cultural development is scrutinized.  Schaeffer advocates the acceptance of God’s revelation and affirms the validity of biblical moral values. He presents the Christian worldview as the only viable alternative to the depraved state of current Western culture. 

(For high school students and adults)

First given as a series of lectures in 1943, Lewis set out to persuade his audience of the importance and relevance of universal values such as courage and honor in contemporary society.  The lectures deal largely with the dangers of moral relativism and stand as one of the best pieces of discursive argument Lewis ever produced.  He argues that there is a universal moral law and that the value of education lies in cultivating true and just sentiment towards this law.  Increas-ingly, and much to its detriment, Western culture has denied the existence of moral law and attempted to construct new systems of values that are culturally defined.  Lewis believed that man’s attempt to control his own destiny and the destiny of his fellow man would ultimately lead to the demise or abolition of man.  In our modern society, value statements like “Marriage is good” get pushed into the area of subjective feelings in which people feel that more is being said about the speaker making the statement than about the object of that statement. Lewis makes the case against this type of thinking and shows the importance of statements of value.  This book shows what happens when a society rejects absolute biblical values and replaces them with self-serving relativism.  

(For high school students and adults)

Was God telling the truth when He said, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart”?  Strobel, a former atheist reporter for the Chicago Tribune who came to faith in Christ by investigating the claims of Christianity, turns his skills to the most persistent emotional objections to belief: the eight “heart barriers” to faith.  This Gold Medallion-winning book is for those who feel attracted to Jesus but are faced with difficult questions standing in their path. Questions such as: “If God is so good and loving why does He allow so much evil and pain in the world?”  This is a very readable and winsome book.

(For middle school and high school  students and parents)

The God Delusion Debate is a lively dis-cussion between scientist and theologian professor John Lennox and Professor Richard Dawkins, scientist, atheist, and author.  Dawkins has established himself as a world-leading scientist and proponent of New Atheism, while Lennox is a prominent math- ematician and Christian apologist.  Remaining true to its goal of engaging secular culture on critical issues in a thoughtful, respectful manner, Fixed Point Foundation sponsored this debate on what is arguably the most critical question of our time: the existence of God. 

(For middle school and high school students and adults)


In the 20 years since its publication, Celebration of Discipline has helped more than a million seekers discover a richer spiritual life infused with joy, peace, and a deeper understanding of God.  Foster explores what he calls “classic disciplines,” or central spiritual practices, of the Christian faith.  Along the way, he shows that it is only by and through these practices that the true path to spiritual growth can be found. 

(For middle school and high school students and adults)

Most people slip by in life without a passion for God, spending their lives on trivial diversions, living for comfort and pleasure, and perhaps trying to avoid sin.  This book warns you not to get caught up in a life that counts for nothing.  Piper challenges you to live and die boasting in the cross of Christ and making the glory of God your singular passion.  

(For high school students and adults)

In this timely book for Christians of the 21st century, Platt calls believers to do more than believe; he calls them to authentic discipleship. This book is about falling in love with Jesus and practicing obedience through every facet of life and even into death. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, says this book “arrives at a truly decisive moment for Christ’s church.” 

(For middle school and high school students and adults)

One of the most popular introductions to Christian faith ever written, Mere Christianity has sold millions of copies worldwide.  The book brings together Lewis’s legendary broadcasts during the WWII years, talks in which he set out simply to “explain and defend the belief that has been common to nearly all Christians at all times.”  Rejecting the boundaries that divide Christianity’s many denominations, Lewis provides an opportunity for believers and nonbelievers alike to hear a powerful, rational case for the Christian faith.  This is an excellent exposition of the Christian faith that is a MUST READ for every follower of Christ and anyone interested in understanding the role of a biblical Christian worldview in a secular culture.

(For high school students and adults)

An influential Christian author of the 20th century, G.K. Chesterton wrote this book as a defense of the Christian faith.  Meant to be a companion to Chesterton’s Heretics, this book constructs an “alternative philosophy” to the phi- losophies of the time.  Chesterton explains both why he believes that orthodox Christianity best explains human existence and why he does not find other philosophies convincing.  In defending Christianity, Chesterton does not avoid the paradox, wonder, or mystery of Christianity.  Caution: This thoughtful and thought-provoking book is a challenge to read. Incredibly eloquent and persuasive, it is filled with wonderful real-life examples and engaging stories. 

(For high school students and adults)

Take a transforming journey in authentic discipleship.  As the pastor of a large and wealthy congregation, Platt began to see a discrepancy between the reality of his church and the way Jesus said His followers should live.  Platt examines how American Christianity has manipulated the gospel to fit our cultural preferences and challenges readers to rediscover the path that Jesus followed and taught.  This book speaks to the rampant con- sumerism and materialism of our culture that has been quietly invading American Christianity.  

(For middle school and high
 school students and adults)

One of the most important theologians of the 20th century and a pastor in Nazi Germany who stood up against Hitler and willingly died for it, Bonhoeffer illuminates the relationship between ourselves and the teachings of Jesus.  What can the call to discipleship, the adherence to the word of Jesus, mean today to the businessman, the soldier, the laborer, or the aristocrat?  What did Jesus mean to say to us?  What is His will for us today?  Drawing on the Sermon on the Mount, Bonhoeffer answers these timeless questions by providing a seminal reading of the dichotomy between “cheap grace” and “costly grace.” 

(For high school students and adults)

This book presents a way of living that enables ordinary men and women to enjoy the fruit of the Christian life.  Willard reveals that the key to self-transformation resides in the practice of the spiritual disciplines and that their practice affirms human life to the fullest.  This book is for everyone who strives to be a disciple of Jesus in thought and action as well as intention. 

(For high school students and adults) 


A parent’s greatest desire is to raise a child who can face anything with wisdom and confidence. However, in a world of over-extended schedules, amoral messages, and incessant peer-pressure, how can you raise a confident child that follows God’s will rather than the world’s?  Ingram’s practical tips for modeling right living, building strong bonds, and disciplining effectively will help parents bringing up Christ-centered kids who feel secure and significant no matter what comes their way. 

(For parents with children of all ages)

Here is good news for the average man: It doesn’t matter if you’ve had a great start in the Christian life or a rough one.  It doesn’t matter if you’ve stumbled time and again or even fallen flat on your face.  What matters most in this all-important race of life is how you finish.  According to Farrar, the man who hangs in there for the long haul with his wife, his kids, and his Lord is an exception these days. Finishing Strong offers lively use of Scripture, con- temporary illustrations, and study questions to equip every reader to be the exception. For the man who wants to climb the character ladder more than the corporate one, this is an essential tool.

(For all men)

In our modern culture, young boys are receiving many mixed and confusing messages about what it means to be a man.  The most popular message is that the “4 B’s” are the barometers of their masculinity:  the Boardroom, the Ball field, the Bank account, and the Bedroom.  Louis challenges fathers to be intentional in showing and telling our sons the negative consequences of these false barometers and to uphold constantly the true standard of manhood.  What does it mean to be a man? Moreover, how does a father instill these qual-ities in his son?  Beginning with a biblical perspective of manhood, Lewis shares a unique approach with three essential elements: a vision, a code of conduct, and a cause (Christianity) in which to invest his life. 

(For dads with sons of all ages)

Often as parents we can get focused on the outward behaviors of our children and the effort to make them more outwardly “correct”, while we neglect the actual underlying motivations of their hearts.  Tripp encourages parents to aim not for external obedience as much as an inward heart change from which the externals will flow out.  This insightful book provides perspectives and procedures for shepherding your child’s heart into the paths of life and gives fresh biblical approaches to child rearing. 

(For parents of elementary and middle school students)

After decades of raising her children along with her husband, Michael, Omartian looks back at the trials, joys, and power found in praying for her kids. She shares from personal experience how parents can pray for their children’s safety, character, adolescence, peer pressure, school experiences, friends, and relationship with God.  This resource will encourage readers in the parenting journey whether their kids are three or 33. 

(For parents with children of all ages)

This encouraging resource is packed with practical advice on praying for specific areas of a husband’s life including his decision-making, fears, spiritual strength, role as father, leader, and faith and future.  Every woman who desires a closer relationship with her husband will appreciate the life illustrations, select Scripture verses, and the assurances of God’s promises and power for their marriage.

(For all women)

Written by Lewis after the tragic death of his wife as a way of surviving the “mad midnight moment,” A Grief Observed is his honest reflection on the fundamental issues of life, death, and faith in the midst of loss. This work contains his concise, genuine reflections on that period: “Nothing will shake a man – or at any rate a man like me – out of his merely verbal thinking and his merely notional beliefs. He has to be knocked silly before he comes to his senses. Only torture will bring out the truth. Only under torture does he discover it himself.” This is an unflinchingly honest record of how even a stalwart believer can lose all sense of meaning in the universe, and how he can gradually regain his bearings.

(For anyone experiencing grief)