There a number of books that we have found helpful as a congregation over the last few years. Here are a selection:
Christianity Explored by Rico Tice and Barry Cooper, published by The Good Book Company. This is an excellent introduction to the Christian faith based on Mark’s gospel for those who are wondering what is all about. It covers questions like Who was Jesus? Why did he come? Why did he die? Did he really rise from the dead? and What is a Christian? It is an easy book to read and full of references to films and stories from modern life. The chapter entitled What is grace? has proved particularly significant to members of our church. This is a great book to give to friends and family to help them understand what Christians believe. It also complements the Christianity Explored course.
Joseph: The Hidden Hand of God by Liam Goligher, published by Christian Focus Publications. A book which shines new light on the familiar story of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat to see the sovereignty and providence of God at work. At the end of the story, Joseph is able to reassure his brothers that although they intended to harm him when they sold him into slavery, God intended it for good to accomplish the saving of many lives (Genesis 50.20) This book helps us to draw the comparison between Joseph’s experience and that of Jesus and to see the hand of God in both stories. It also helps us to realise that the same God is still at work in the world and in our lives today.
The Radical Disciple by John Stott, published by IVP. “So many of us avoid radical discipleship by being selective, choosing rather those areas in which commitment is appealing, and steering well clear of areas where it will be costly. But because Jesus is Lord, we have no liberty to pick and choose. The author looks at eight characteristics of Christian discipleship, which are commonly neglected yet deserve to be taken seriously.” In the first few months of 2011, our House Group will be discussing a chapter of this book each time they meet.
The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God by D. A. Carson, published by IVP. This book is tremendously helpful in taking us beyond the simplistic notion that since ‘God is love’ then anything goes. “The author wants us to get a new perspective – one that sees God as awesome and glorious as well as loving. He wants us to take seriously the need for justice to be done and for God to be Lord. But most of all, he wants us to understand that these things are included in God’s love, not opposed to it, and so to reach and even greater, richer, more “truth-full” picture of the wonderful love of God.”