Books We Recommend

Below are some of the books we have been reading and thought were a good investment. Feel free to send your comments on the form below.

COLD-CASE CHRISTIANITY: A Homicide Detective Examines the Claims of the Gospels J. Warner Wallace.  This is a different kind of book on apologetics. just as Lee Strobel comes at his books as an investigative reporter, Wallace examines the evidence about Jesus as he would any other “Cold-Case”. The result is powerful evidence and a great defense of the Christian faith.

Creation and Evolution by Jay Seegert. This is a longer book but a very readable book. it is a great introduction to the questions of creation and evolution. It is thorough, fair, and compelling.

Messy Grace by Caleb Kaltenbach. This is a unique, biblical and compassionate book on the Same Sex Marriage debate. Kaltenback was raised in the LGBT community. His parents both came out as gay. Caleb tells the story of his conversion, his call to the Pastorate and how he handled these seemingly contradictory worlds. There is a great deal of insight here on both sides of the debate.

While the World Watched by Carolyn McKinstry is a book I (Bruce) listened to (it is also in print). It is a stirring and powerful eyewitness account of history. Carolyn tells the story of a church bombing in Birmingham Alabama in September 1963. This is more than a book about the bombing. It is a book about a period in history that should never be forgotten by whites, blacks or anyone else. I found myself sickened by what used to take place in our country and probably still takes place in some places. Highly Recommended.

Everyman is a Theologian by R.C. Sproul. I (Bruce) am a big R.C. Sproul fan. This book looks at the theology of the Christian faith in 60 short, clear, and informative chapters. It is a great foundation for the newcomer and a great resource and supplement to the seasoned believer.

The Fight by Craig Groeschel This is a thoroughly enjoyable book for men on the life of Samson. Groeschel is funny, makes great points and speaks to men in their language.

Miracles by Eric Metaxas  What a fine book this is! This is a subject we don’t talk about a great deal. The first third of the book is devoted tot he question: “Do (Can) miracles happen?” Metaxas’ argument is powerful and mind expanding. He argues that our very existence argues for the miraculous. The other 2/3 of the book are stories of miracles. The author explains that he was very careful in what stories he related. They are stories about people he knows and trusts. They are also stories that cannot be explained by anything other than something supernatural taking place. A great, great read.

Listening to Your Life by Frederick Buechner. Buechner has written many books. This book is a daily devotional that contains many of his thoughts. It is a wonderfully reflective book. It takes you places you might not visit without a guide.

Revelation for Everyone by N.T. Wright. The only thing more difficult than reading the book of Revelation at times is reading a commentary about the book of Revelation. This book is accessible and emphasizes the need to see the “big picture” of the book of Revelation. Wright uses some very helpful illustrations and word pictures to make this difficult book a little more accessible.

You and Me Forever by Francis and Lisa Chan. This is a very different kind of marriage book. The emphasis is on building our lives, hearts and homes on the foundation of things that matter eternally. a great book that you can download for FREE from www.youandmeforever.org

Soul-Keeping by John Ortberg. In this book Ortberg passes on some of what he learned from the last Dallas Willard.  What really makes the book valuable is the fact that there is not much written about the soul and keeping the soul healthy. The book is filled with memorable quotes and food for thinking deeply about our spiritual health.

Humility by C.J. Mahaney. This is a short book that is practical and to the point. This is a subject that needs to be talked about in this day of “media superstars”. Highly recommended.

The Gospel of Mark by R.C. Sproul, St. Andrews Commentaries. Unlike most commentaries (that are written for study rather than reading) this commentary by Sproul (like Romans which I have already mentioned) is great for devotional reading. The chapters are a nice length and the comments are deep without being too technical. We commend it as a good study and a good read.

Surprised by Grace by Tullian Tchividjian. The thing we like about Pastor Tchividjian is that he really believes in grace alone. Some have faulted him for this but his message is liberating and very Biblical. He is also fun to read.

Sacred Acre by Mark Tabb is the story of Ed Thompson. He was instrumental in helping his Iowa community come back from a tornado and then he was tragically murdered. It is an inspiring story of Christian Commitment.

Crave by Chris Tomlinson. This is well-written book that is fun to read but it also calls us to yearn for God more fully in our lives. This book will make you smile and it will lead you to think more deeply about what we think of as discipleship.

Walking With God Through Pain and Suffering by Timothy Keller. This is a very helpful book on pain and suffering. In the first part of the book Keller looks at the different approaches to suffering in the world. He then examines some of the theological issues. Finally, he talks practically on dealing with the times of suffering. There are many books out there on suffering. This is a very good addition to that list of books.

The Heroic Boldness of Martin Luther by Steven Lawson. Lawson is writing a series of books on significant figures in Christian history (there are books on Calvin, Edwards, Spurgeon, Knox, and Isaac Watts). The books are short enough to not be intimidating and yet go deep enough to give you a real flavor of the person who is the subject of the book. If you watch the Friday $5.00 sales on www.ligonier.com you will often find these books for a very reasonable price.

Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. This is a book we read regularly. This classic contains letters from a Sr. demon to a Jr. demon with advice on how best to undermine his “subject”. Once you understand the premise the book is filled with rich insights as to the real essence of what it means to be a Christian.

Made for Each Other by Bryan Chapel, Chapel (along with some very insightful comments from his wife) has written a book about marriage that is a little different from other marriage books. This is less about theory or even theology (though it is solidly Biblical) and more about real life and the struggles of marriage. A very helpful resource.

Unbroken by Laura Hildebrand is a riveting story of one man’s survival through a rough childhood, a brutal war, and cruel imprisonment. It is a fast moving TRUE story that will touch your heart, deepen your faith, and give you a new appreciation for those who have served and serve their country. Is now a motion picture.

The President’s Club by Nancy Gibbs. This is not a devotional book. It is just a fascinating read. The book relates the interactions of Presidents of the United States with those who previously held the office. The book starts with the relationship Harry Truman had with Herbert Hoover and continues up to President Obama. The book gives a very different slant on history. It also shows that the political partisanship that is so emphasized in the media is often overlooked in the interactions of the men who hold the highest office in the land. There is something heartwarming about knowing that Jimmy Carter and Jerald Ford were great friends or that Bill Clinton is viewed by the Bush clan as their “brother by another mother.” Fascinating read.

I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist by Norman Geisler and Frank Turek. This is a thorough explanation of the rational basis for the Christian faith. Common arguments are addressed and the EVIDENCE is presented for Christianity. This is not a short book (400 pages), and it is not a fast read, but it is also not a difficult read. After you read this book we believe you will find yourself with great confidence in the reasonableness of the Christian faith.

Me, Myself and Bob by Phil Vischer. This book of the story of how VeggieTales came to be. It is a story of meteoric success followed by the loss of the company. If you enjoy VeggieTales or Phil’s new excellent video series: “What’s in the Bible with Buck Denver” then you will enjoy this read. The best part of the book is the last couple of chapters where Vischer reflects on what God has taught him. They are lessons we all need to hear.

Romans: St Andrews Commentary by R.C. Sproul.  It is very unusual for us to recommend a commentary because they commentaries are generally hard to read and more technical than most people desire. This commentary is an exception. The book of Romans is an exceptional book and Sproul does a marvelous job of explaining the text in a highly readable, interesting, and clear manner. He does not skimp on depth or avoid hard questions. We think he does however write in a manner that is accessible on these issues. The book is divided into chapters (50+ in all) which makes it easy to systematically study the book of Romans. [BG]

Praying Backwards by Bryan Chapel. This is a great book to read before your prayer time. Chapel argues that we need to pray with the attitude that we begin our prayers “in Jesus’ name” (or with His heart and purpose) rather than merely tacking these words on to the end of the prayer. [BG]

7 Men And the Secrets of Their Greatness by Eric Metaxas. This book is a quick (240 pages) yet wonderful read. If you are put off by 800 page biographies you will love this book! Metaxas (author of great biographies on Bonhoeffer and Wilberforce) gives us brief biographies of seven great men: George Washington, William Wilberforce, Eric Liddel (Chariots of Fire), Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Jackie Robinson, Pope John Paul II, and Charles Colson. It was an enlightening, motivating and stirring read.[BG]

Victorious Praying by Bill Thrasher is a great book on prayer. I (Bruce) used it as a prelude to prayer each morning. The book is very practical and will encourage you in your prayer life (which is what all of us long for).[BG]

God’s At War by Kyle Idleman. Idleman’s first book, Not a Fan, was justifiably a big hit. This one should be also. Kyle looks at the real idols that all of us struggle with today. The book is very readable and practical. It is sure to jump-start your spiritual life. [BG]

The Insanity of God by Nik Ripken. This is a remarkable book about the church in other lands. The accounts of the faithfulness of those in atheistic countries are stories that will challenge your own faith (or the lack thereof). [BG]

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