If you are between the ages of 18 and 37 and grew up in Christian culture, you’ve likely shared a lot of unique experiences with your evangelical friends. Youth group lock-ins, Acquire the Fire road-trips and fall Harvest parties (which despite having costumes, candy and taking place on Oct. 31, obviously, had no association with Halloween) were all a part of your formative years.
Of course, this sub-culture also applied to your reading material. Here’s a look at 15 books, that depending on your age, were likely a part of your wholesome personal library.
The Teen Study Bible
The official Bible of cool youth groups kids of the ’90s.
The Student Bible
For when you got too old for that brightly colored Teen Study Bible.
Something from the Cooper Adventure series by Frank Peretti
Thanks to the awesome adventures of the Cooper kids, your childhood seemed totally lame.
This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti
Because you weren’t allowed to read Goosebumps.
Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller
If you are a Christian between the ages of 21 and 38, there is a 99 percent chance you have read (or at least told your friends that you’ve read) this book.
Something with Psalty on the Cover
Looking back, Psalty was sort of a lame character (Oh cool, a talking book), but that didn’t stop well-meaning parents from buying almost anything featuring his image.
Several Stories from the Adventures in Odyssey Collection
Mr. Whittaker was sort of like Sandy Cohen, Indiana Jones and Doctor Who all rolled into a portly grandfather.
Jesus Freaks by DC Talk and Voice of the Martyrs
This book, which tells the story of actual Christian martyrs was branded like the DC Talk album of the same name. But don’t let the association with the fun-loving trio fool you. It was actually a pretty heavy read.
A Wally McDoogle Novel from Bill Myers
A deeper cut, but the truest depiction of Christian adolescent hijinks.
Thr3e by Ted Dekker
Because Frank Peretti was child’s play.
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Still one of the greatest book covers ever created. Not only did it look awesome on the shelf at the book fair, it would be super killer airbrushed on the side of a van.
Left Behind by Tim Lahaye and Jerry Jenkins
Admit it, you owned a copy.
The Prayer of Jabez by Bruce Wilkinson
Expanded the territories for just how many books a Christian author could sell.
The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren
For a time, this was the best graduation gift a student could receive.
I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris
This article is dedicated to anyone who ever got dumped because their significant other read this book. You are not alone.
An earlier version of this article appeared in September 2014.
Jesse Carey is a mainstay on the weekly RELEVANT Podcast and member of RELEVANT's executive board. He lives in Virginia Beach with his wife and two kids.