Apologetics & The Christian Life
Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis – Lewis argues for the existence of God, then compares the “rival conceptions of God,” and then spends that last two-thirds of the book talking about the Christian life. Winsome, witty, humorous (in a British sort of way), and challenging.
The Reason for God, Timothy Keller – responds to seven of the most difficult questions about Christianity and then lays out the essence of Christianity. Great for helping Christians, or anyone, wrestle with difficult questions about the Christian faith and understand what the Christian faith is all about.
The Christian Life
Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God, Francis Chan – calls us to grasp who God really is, how much He loves us, and the life God truly calls us to lead (i.e. not a life of mediocrity but passionate love for God and people).
Playing God: Redeeming the Gift of Power, Andy Crouch – God has chosen to share his power with us, humans made in His image. This book helps us to see the ways that God has shared his power with us, the ways that we abuse this power and try to “play God” in the wrong way, and how we are called to use our power to magnify God’s glory. Crouch is a witty, engaging writer.
The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis – a short, fictional account of a bus ride from hell to heaven. More than anything, this book examines our hearts. It’s incredibly eye-opening. It also paints a picture of what eternity may be like.
Love Walked Among Us, Paul Miller – what does it look like for us to love people like Jesus loves people.
A Praying Life, Paul Miller – explains why we all struggle to find time to pray, get frustrated in prayer, and what prayer should really look like with real life examples and anecdotes; really encouraging if you want to know more about prayer and how to pray.
The Meaning of Marriage, Tim Keller
Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God, Tim Keller
The Prodigal God, Tim Keller – a short book that breaks down the parable that is often called “the prodigal son.” Keller shows that this parable is more about God’s “prodigal” or extravagant love for us and helps us to discover if we are really living in his love.
Simply Christian, N.T. Wright – What were we made for? What is the story of the Bible? How is God rescuing and renewing the world? How do we participate in what God is doing?
Surprised By Hope, N.T. Wright – explores what Jesus’ resurrection means in terms of our hope for the future and how this hope dramatically impacts how we lives our lives today. Brilliant and life-changing.
Outreach - Loving Your Neighbor
The Heart of Evangelism, Jerram Barrs
When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor . . . and Yourself, Brian Fikkert & Steve Corbett
Understanding the Bible
God’s Big Picture: Tracing the Storyline of the Bible, Vaughan Roberts – a very helpful, short overview of the Bible so that you can understand how all of the parts fit into the bigger story God is telling in Scripture.
Quality Fiction with Gospel Themes
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, J.R.R. Tolkien
The Space Trilogy, C.S. Lewis (not a science fiction fan, but loved this trilogy)
The Chronicles of Narnia Series, C.S. Lewis
Gilead, Marilynne Robinson
The Brothers Karamazov & Crime and Punishment, Dostoyevsky