Book-of-the-Month for May

Wow, can you believe it’s already May? The official book selection for May is The Fuel & the Flame: Ignite Your Life and Your Campus for Jesus Christ by Steve Shadrach and Paul Worcestor, from Campus Ministry Today and hosts of the Campus Ministry Podcast.

Rather than trying to paraphrase the blurb and description of the book, thought I could just point you to the description on their website!

While this book focuses on the 4-year window of college, the fundamentals of evangelism, disciple-making, and mission mobilization (EDM 😬) apply to each of us as ministers of the gospel!

Looking forward to getting fired up together!

Book of the Month for April

For April, I am recommending a semi-oldie, but definitely a goodie. Given that we’re leading up to Good Friday and Easter, I wanted to recommend a book about…Jesus. I know, that sounds kind of hilarious.

April’s selection is Jesus the King: Understanding the Life and Death of the Son of God by Tim Keller. It was originally published in 2011 as King’s Cross: The Story of the World in the Life of Jesus. So if you’ve read that book, it’s the same!

This book is adapted from a message series that Keller taught through the gospel of Mark. So it follows the order of events in the book of Mark, and one awesome thing is that this book makes you want to read the Bible more. So it’s a win-win – you can read a book and it’ll make you want to read The Book!

I’ve personally listened to this book a couple times this past month, as part of fasting from my usual podcasts & books, and it’s been as good as I remember it having been the first time I read it. It lives in a glowing memory for me, because during the early months of the pandemic, I read the book around the same time many of us watched Season 1 of Chosen, and I just remember randomly bursting out with, “I love Jesus!” “Jesus is so awesome!” The book is divided into two sections: “The King: the Identity of Jesus” and then “The Cross: The Purpose of Jesus.” So I wanted to recommend this book to all who haven’t read it yet, especially during this Easter season.

March’s Book(s) of the Month

Can you believe it’s March already? For March I have a couple of selections. There are a lot of wonderful books already recommended on the Lent Resources, so if you haven’t read those, I recommend starting there! I don’t want to stress people out with more recommendations, but I do know there are some avid readers out there who are looking for new and more books to read. The two I’ve chosen, in light of Lent and the month leading up to Easter, are newer books that led me to marvel at the gospel more, and also to love Jesus more.

The first is J.D. Greear’s new book Essential Christianity: The Heart of the Gospel in Ten Words. It came out last month, and I read it in one sitting (albeit a long sitting with several breaks!).

Greear uses Romans as a framework to go through the key questions and message of Christianity. This book is great for non-Christians who are interested in learning more about Christianity, new believers, and for Christians who want to deepen their faith too. I realize I basically said the book is good for everyone. 🙂 I could see it as a good book to read with someone who has taken Course 101 and wants to keep learning and discussing.

One thing I appreciate about Greear’s work is that he uses illustrations and stories that everyone can understand, distilling deep truths into concrete images and examples we can hold onto.

Here is one that might familiar to those of you who’ve read Gospel (if you haven’t, it’s on my (long) short list of Christian books), from the intro to Essential Christianity.

The gospel is not just the diving board off which you jump into Christianity―it’s the swimming pool in which you swim. See this book as your invitation to rediscover the goodness, the excitement, the liberation, and the power of the gospel

.If you’ve read his other books, listened to audiobooks he’s read, or listen to his podcast, you can definitely “hear” his voice as you read, and it was like having a conversation about Christianity with your neighbor who happens to be a pastor.

The second selection is Jesus Through the Eyes of Women: How the First Female Disciples Help Us Know and Love the Lord by Rebecca McLaughlin.

I found this book to be incredibly devotional, meaning I did come away knowing and loving Jesus my Lord more, like the title states.

One cannot help but fall in love with the Jesus that emerges through the course of this book. It goes without saying, but this book would be a great response to people who are resistant to Christianity because it is anti-women. March is also women’s history month. 🙂

While I think this book is for both men and women, there are some elements of the book that might make some men squeamish. It’s all stuff that is already in the Bible, but just wanted to give a little heads up.

Both books are available at the HB bookstore, for those of you in Berkeley. By the way, Essential Christianity is not yet available on audiobook, but JD Greear is going through the different topics of each chapter on his Ask Me Anything with JD Greear podcast.

Happy Reading, everyone!