Other Books!

creative_wallpaper_stack_of_books_on_the_bench_082401_The list of books we provided blurbs for was by no means extensive. If you read a Christian book and want to share what was most meaningful or impactful from the book, please leave a 2-3 sentence (or more) comment.

Be sure to include the title & author so we all know what great books everyone is reading!

102 thoughts on “Other Books!

  1. Read the Jesus Storybook Bible while waiting for my laptop to dry off (uh, that’s another story) at HB. I wasn’t planning on reading the whole thing in one sitting, but I found myself CAPTIVATED by the metanarrative of God’s salvation plan thru Jesus as it was so simply and beautifully traced through each story. One of my personal favorites was the telling of the story in 2 Kings 5 (Naaman and the Servant Girl). I’ll definitely be reading this one over and over again to remind myself of God’s “Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love”!

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  2. Till We Have Faces, by C.S. Lewis.

    This book was really, really good. Again, this is a book I definitely want to reread. However, a lot of what I read from Frederick Beuchner’s “Telling the Truth: the Gosepl as Tragedy, Comedy, and Fairy Tale” was actually very helpful in reading this book, especially with the last section about Fairy Tale.

    ***SPOILER TAGS***

    Beuchner talked about how Fairy Tale deals with transformation. How at the end of a story, everyone is revealed as they actually are. Accordingly, “Till We Have Faces” is a story about transformation. The main character, Orual, goes through the process of transformation as she is forced to examine the reality of who the gods are, who the people in her life are, and most importantly who she really is. Orual’s recognition of her inner self, which is not noble or brave but in fact small, selfish, and petty is painful and relatable. However, this self-reflection and recognition is necessary for Orual’s transformation.

    I was deeply moved by Orual’s realization of the gods’ mercy towards her, that what she initially she deemed as a curse, “you too shall be Psyche,” was actually a blessing and a promise of what was to come.

    ***SPOILER OVER***

    I read somewhere (if wrong, please correct me haha) that C.S. Lewis considered this to be his best work of fiction. Hands down, I would agree. Please add this to the list of C.S. Lewis works!

    -Krystal Han, Koinonia, Senior, krystalhan4299@gmail.com

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  3. I read The Magnificent Defeat by Frederick Buechner. This has now made it to my top 3 favorite christian books ever!! (so good 10/10 recommend + making some of my friends read it). This book is also perfect for people who are bad at reading because it’s basically a collection of his sermons, so you can read each chapter individually. I loved the chapter where he talks about the Wizard of Oz and the journey’s of each character.

    AMAZING READ!! Can’t wait to read it again soon 🙂

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  4. Finished The Case for Christmas by Lee Strobel. Was truly reminded that there is so much evidence out there for the reliability of the Bible and the case for Christ that I can equip myself with! And that this season is a perfect time to share the gospel with our friends and family!

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  5. I read Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan. I remember first hearing (reading?) about it in Little Women, when Mrs. March reminds the girls that they used to reenact scenes from the book. This was way back in 2nd grade and I’m glad I was finally able to read the book! Pilgrim’s Progress is a Christian allegory. broken into two parts. The first part details the protagonist’s journey from his hometown, the City of Destruction, to the Celestial City, while the second part describes the pilgrimage of the protagonist’s wife and children.

    I love how Bunyan paints a picture of Christian life through this cast of characters, particularly Mr. Great Heart and Mr. Worldly Wise Man. As I read the book and came across different characters I was reminded of different people and incidents in my own spiritual journey, and was reminded of the nature of spiritual battle. Highly recommend this book!

    Fun Fact (fun to me, at least): this book has been translated in over 200 languages!

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  6. Edgar, William. Schaeffer on the Christian Life: Countercultural Spirituality. Crossway, 2013.

    This work was a semi-biographical introduction to the life and work of Francis Schaeffer, founder of the L’Abri community in Switzerland and a pioneer of “presuppositional apologetics,” which aims to reveal that non-Christian worldviews are ultimately inconsistent with reality. Edgar discusses in the first part Schaeffer’s para-church ministry, L’Abri, and discusses how its “open home” model and commitment to orthodox Biblical Christianity boldly went against the rising tide of individualism and theological modernism in the twentieth century. The second part describes his apologetic and his thoughts on the Christian life, with a particular focus in one chapter on Schaeffer’s work True Spirituality. Quotations from his other published works appear throughout the rest of the book, additionally. Overall, Edgar highlight’s Schaeffer’s defense of “true truth” and his understanding that worldviews (“presuppositions”) inevitably influence how we live, though ultimately anything less than the Christian one is insufficient and inconsistent with reality. Part three elaborates on applications of these theological or apologetical notions by describing Schaeffer’s attitude toward prayer, affliction, and the church, noting in particular L’Abri’s practice of being a “faith mission”, meaning that the Schaeffers would not ask directly for funds, but submit needs to God in prayer. The book concludes with a discussion of Francis Schaeffer’s application of an objectively real Christianity to engaging the people and culture of an increasingly post-Christian atmosphere.

    Overall, the book was a very accessible introduction to his works and served as a useful survey of some of Schaeffer’s publications, including True Spirituality, The God Who is There, and How Should We Then Live. Several notions that came up in Schaeffer’s apologetic reminded me of Course 101 (especially the emphasis on an historical Christianity, and the connection between The Fall, Death, and Man’s separation from God, himself, and others), and a section from How Should We Then Live reminded me of one of Pastor Daniel’s sermon illustrations from last year. (Where once the Reformation held to the Biblical command of Christ’s lordship over every area of life, the modern worldview holds an upstairs/downstairs distinction, with matters of faith being placed upstairs and the rest of life downstairs in autonomy.)

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  7. Finished George Whitefield: Pioneering Evangelist (in the Heroes of the Faith series). I told my hg that THIS GUY IS FIRE. He preached more than 18,000 sermons in 34 years and, as a result, his body inevitably wore out. Even as his body was gradually crumbling, he continued to preach with fire because of his desire for people to turn to Christ and be “sons, and kings, and priests to God.”

    What’s even more inspiring about Whitefield’s physical resilience is his internal resilience. Set during the Great Awakening, many denominations sprouted up. Where some were more concerned about their own doctrinal pride and accuracy, Whitefield just wanted the pure and simple gospel preached.

    How timely to read his biography out of all other biographies because of home & winter break! Knowing how susceptible I am to nit-pick and compare how different my church in Berkeley is from my home church in SoCal, I was reminded by Whitefield’s life that, really, at the end of the day, the things that overlap (love for God and love for people) are far more important than the things that don’t (the flow of a service, the type of songs sung, etc).

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  8. Finished Mary Slessor: Forward into Calabar (in the Heroes of Faith series).

    This book talks about Mary Slessor, a Scottish missionary, who went to Africa to spread the gospel to Calabar with the native people. One thing about her that really inspired me was her bravery: that time and time again she stood her ground against the native people and rebuking them of their traditions (of human sacrifice, violence, infanticide) knowing full well she could have been killed at any moment, and how unafraid she was because she knew that somehow God would be able to change these people!

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  9. I read The Case for Christmas today in preparation of going home and potentially having conversations with family and friends on the true meaning of Christmas, maybe even giving them this book. I really like Lee Strobel’s style, and found his presentation of what could be potentially dry intellectual/historical facts very interesting. Mixed in with parts of his own personal story, the testimonies of those he interviews, as well as interesting comparison to real-life scenarios (such as fingerprint evidence against criminals, leading in to the presentation of OT prophecies as “figurative fingerprint” which only Jesus perfectly matches), made this book a quick and captivating read. I especially like how Strobel ends his book with a challenge to the reader: “And now, what about you?” which strongly encourages them to respond in some way… I’m considering reading this ending summary, and/or other parts of this book to my dad!

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  10. Just finished Passion & Purity II (aka Quest for Love) by Elisabeth Elliot. It’s basically true stories of passion and purity. Was thankful to read about so many real experiences in the world’s minefield of dating because I got to see for myself how “nothing confuses soul-winning more quickly than attempts at romantic conquest.”

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  11. I just finished No Compromise, which is the biography of Keith Green written by his wife, Melody. Can’t believe this book doesn’t have a post yet! The book starts off on an interesting note, as Keith lived a pretty crazy life before becoming a Christian, but once you get past that it’s amazing to see the transformation in Keith’s life. He had an unwavering dedication to honor God in all that he did, to live a life of no compromise (hence the title) no matter what he was going through. Despite his rising fame, he clung on to his identity as a minister of God, wanting others to come not to admire him and his talents, but to see more and more of how amazing God is. Since we sing a lot of Keith Green songs in prayer meeting, it was also neat to read about the stories behind many of these songs.

    I won’t spoil the rest of the book, but I was brought to tears towards the end of the book, reading these words from Melody Green “Our injuries can be our biggest windows into aspects of God’s character we might not have known any other way. I know my losses deposited something deep into my spirit. Yes, I would have rather read a book to receive what God gave to me in these darkest of times–but some pearls are only discovered when the field looks like an impossible wasteland. He is the God of the impossible. The God who tells us where to dig for the treasure. The God of great and tender mercies. And I love him with all my heart.”

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  12. I just finished Is God Anti-gay? by Sam Allberry after my old youth pastor recommended it to me. By virtue of my dorm living I come into contact with a lot of people who experience same-sex attraction as Allberry calls it, burr have never really had a concrete idea of the biblically right way of approaching Christianity and SSA in conversation. I found Allberry’s virtue particularly valuable not only from his perspective as someone who struggles with SSA but also his basis in the Word. It was enlightening to learn how to approach spiritual conversations with friends experiencing SSA and to be reminded of my own struggles with temptations and how all equally need the presence of Christ.

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  13. Just finished Case for Christmas,
    I really like the case for series by Lee Strobel. They’ve really helped cement my beliefs in Christianity by providing scientific background for the validity of Christian beliefs. I was captivated by the testimony of Louis S. Lapides & encouraged to continue to seek for the truth & spend time doing my own research & finding answers to my own questions about Christianity.

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  14. Life Together — Dietrich Bonhoeffer

    A very practical book on what Christian life and relationships should look like. It challenged me by showing how prayer, intercession, and true confession between peers can drastically change the way we relate with others.

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  15. Case for Christmas by Lee Strobel.
    I ended up giving out copies of this book to many non-believers that I met throughout this past semester as a gift for the Winter Break, so I decided I should give it a read for myself, as well! I definitely enjoyed the style of this, along with the other books in the series, as Strobel asks questions to the various people he interviewed and ultimately arriving at the conclusion that in fact it was God Incarnate that was in the manger that Christmas morning. I enjoyed how Strobel connects the Christmas story to the Easter story, something that is necessary because the birth of Jesus does not make full sense until we realize why He came in the first place.

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  16. Just finished reading Case for Christmas by Lee Strobel. I have to confess, other than Case for Grace (which is written pretty differently) I’ve actually never finished reading one of the Case for series.. but really thankful for this book and how winsome Lee Strobel is in his telling of parts of his spiritual journey. Thankful that there’s a book with the Christmas theme that makes it easy to give to someone during this season – hoping to give a copy to my dad and brother and that they’ll read it because it’s a short book and doesn’t look intimidating!

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  17. The Case for Christmas by Lee Strobel: I wanted to read this book before Christmas and I just loved it!
    I especially enjoyed the testimonies of the people who the author interviewed and I was captivated by all the evidence for Jesus. My favorite testimony was Lapides where he came from a Jewish background. As he shared his story, he answered many questions that I had about Jewish people and their relationship with Jesus and the New Testament. (Shout out to Janet D. who gave me this book to read :D)

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  18. Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
    As an introvert and someone who always needs to actively try to be engaged in fellowship and community, this book was super helpful to remind me of how critical it is to be in fellowship with other Christians! Actually, it is a major privilege and blessing! I had known this intellectually, but this book helped clarify and convict me of this 🙂

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  19. From Abigail Ho: I just read Prince Warriors 1. I liked it because it shows you how much you need God and how helpless we are without him in a fun way that I can understand. I also liked it because it shows me how I can follow God’s instructions so that I can lead a life following God.

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  20. From Abigail Ho: I finished Treasures of the Snow a couple weeks ago. I liked it because it explains how we need to forgive each other because if we don’t then our hearts will be full of hatred and bitterness, so we need to open up our hearts to let Jesus in. When we sin we also need to be with God not hide from him. We need to repent because we are not perfect people but are sinful people who turn our backs against God.

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  21. The Case for Christmas by Lee Strobel
    I really enjoyed this book. It’s a super short read, but it has so much content packed inside its pages. I really appreciate how Strobel takes such a systematic and fact based approach to proving the Case for Christmas but also writing it like a story.

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  22. Just finished reading Case for Christmas in preparation for potential conversations with family members and friends as I head home for Winter Break. Although a quick read, it’s densely packed with anecdotes and evidence for the Christmas story and Jesus’ claim to deity and ability to forgive sin. Chapter by chapter, I found Strobel’s logical approach to reasoning through the toughest apologetics questions surrounding the Christmas account easy to follow and very convincing. Looking forward to reading more by him!

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  23. Churchless: Understanding Today’s Unchurched and How to Connect with Them
    This book, backed with extensive research from the Barna Group, provides information and statistics on the profile of the “unchurched” and trying to understand not only their perceptions of the faith, but also what would entice them to being interested in a church. From reading this book, I believe I’m more equipped and better informed on how to connect with those outside the church and ultimately for me to grow in prayer for the non-Christians in my life. The last three chapters of the book give practical tips for individuals and churches to reach the unchurched, including skeptics (which include agnostics & atheists), how to give the experience that those unchurched may be seeking, as well as reminding Christians why the church is important in this culture. Would recommend this book for those who struggle trying to understand those outside of the church and for those who want to be able to be more equipped to reaching them (which should be all of us!).

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  24. “I saw well why the gods do not speak to us openly, nor let us answer… why should they hear the babble that we think we mean? How can they meet us face to face till we have faces?”

    I’ve just finished Till We Have Faces, C.S. Lewis’s final novel (it’s a pretty hefty read, not gonna lie!). I was really captivated by the way Lewis writes this re-telling of the myth of Cupid and Psyche–but even more so, the themes and tensions that define spiritual life. The seen vs. unseen, blind faith vs. rationalism, what it means to love another. Really, I can’t do the novel justice to summarize it; make some time to pick up this novel and step into Orual’s shoes. Lewis has this excellent gift of putting words to the tangled jumble of feelings that go on within Orual’s mind. If you like fantasy and deep themes, this book’s for you 🙂

    Take-away:
    As we’re brought to a place of true humility, able to see even the ugliest truth about ourselves–and THAT place is where we’re able to receive mercy and love in their richest forms.

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  25. I read the Case for Christmas. 100 pages of everything to get one started on investigating Christianity! Intellectual arguments mixed in with testimonies– I particularly liked Lapides testimony. Stroebel has a way of mixing in his own journey with presenting a well-rounded look at the Christmas story. He makes it relevant and approachable by making modern allusions towards unpacking something that happened 2000 years ago. Definitely excited to give this to some friends/family

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  26. The Case for Christmas by Lee Strobel explained the background and authenticity of the 4 Gospels. It also dived into the case for the deity of Jesus and many more. Throughout the book, I really appreciated Lee Strobel’s objective investigation for the truth. And, I really loved the testimonies and stories that were presented to support his points. After reading this book, I am even more thoroughly convinced that Jesus is who He claimed to be. And, I’m just filled with gratitude and joy this Christmas knowing that I’ve received the greatest and only gift I ever need, Jesus.

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  27. Just read The Case for Christmas by Lee Strobel. I agree with Roanna – it’s a short book, but kind of dense and packed with many findings from his investigation. The fact that he was intrigued by the short encounter he had with Perfecta Delgado reminds me how even the most brief and smallest interaction we have with someone is still a chance to introduce them to Jesus and to spark some spiritual interest. That’s a minor point; the book is filled with facts, data, and evidence from the many interviews with scholars, professors, and experts Strobel meets that give a comprehensive conclusion to Christmas.

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  28. Just finished Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliott–a quick and great read. She describes her relationship with Jim Elliott, from friendship to courtship to engagement and marriage, and shares honestly and vulnerably about their struggles. One thing that struck me is that she describes this area of a Christian’s life as being a battleground, and says this is where it will be determined who is Lord–the world, the self and the devil, or the Lord Christ. She gives helpful advice, based on Scripture and on her own experience, throughout the book on how to surrender to and wait on God.

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  29. I finished reading Case for Christmas by Lee Strobel. I really liked Lapides’ story – he had questions, went on a spiritual quest, and by reading the Bible he was able to find the answers. I appreciate that this is a short, small book that I can easily give as a gift to non-Christians. My friend and I passed this out to several of our co-workers, and one of them said that it looked interesting, and because it was so small she would take it to read on the plane!

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  30. I originally purchased The Meaning of Marriage on Kindle, despite being partial to physical books (vs. ebooks or audio books). Finally started reading this recently, thanks to the Winter Challenge!

    Tim Keller (pastor of Redeemer Church, also the author of The Reason for God) wrote this along with his wife, Kathy. Together, they talk about the meaning of marriage–what God’s purpose is for marriage, as well as difficulties couples face in marriage and how to face these difficulties. I’d say that this book is to a biblical view of marriage as I Kissed Dating Goodbye is to a biblical view of dating/courtship.

    One thing I found meaningful was Kathy Keller’s chapter on the difference in gender roles. In struggling to understand headship and submission, some teachers pointed her to Philippians 2, which then helped her understand the relationship between husband and wife in the context of the relationship between Father and Son–in other words, we are to embrace that “Jesus role” in the relationship, Jesus in sacrificial authority and Jesus in sacrificial submission.

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  31. I would definitely recommend “Magnificent Defeat”. For literary references alone, which range from Oz to Eastern mythology, it has great appeal. The first sermon, the eponymous “Magnificent Defeat”, stands out most to me; it explains that we need to be “defeated” by God. Frederick Buechner manages to do two (among many other) things in “Magnificent Defeat”: 1) enwrap the Gospel in other stories, whether literary or personal, to show the Gospel’s narrative breadth and 2) demonstrate how the Gospel is the ultimate story because it is God’s word and the story that we are wired for.

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  32. “Letters from a Skeptic” runs through of apologetics questions and answers while also showing the personal nature of sharing apologetics. Greg (the son) attempts to answer Ed (the father) honestly and respectfully without diluting the gospel, God, or the difficulty of Christian life. Correspondence 16 particularly stood out to me in that Greg both presents the case for the resurrection and explains that this, also, is God’s intent for us. Refusing God makes us like “stillborns” when “we are all destined to be resurrected on the last day” (132). I wish I had read this book sooner (sorry Emily!) but I’m glad I finally read it!

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  33. Florence Young: Mission Accomplished: Christian Heroes: Then & Now

    I was very inspired and challenged by Florence Young! She was just a shy girl who was too afraid to even pray out loud in a small group to eventually starting her own mission organization to reach the Kanaka people from the Pacific Islands near Australia. She even served as a missionary to China under Hudson Taylor, where she survived the Boxer Rebellion before returning to her own mission organization again to continue overseeing the work she had started. Definitely recommend reading this book to learn more about Florence and how God worked through her life!

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  34. “The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren provided a deep reflection into the purposes and motivations of a God-centered life. This book is based solidly upon the biblical text and on meditative questions at the end of each chapter that really challenged me regarding what temporary goals and motives I am prioritizing over aspects of God’s eternal purpose for my life. Warren recommends reading this book over the course of forty days, which admittedly I did not, but I still found myself challenged when I thought about the questions he poses as I went about my day. This was a refreshing read that definitely helped me refocus my priorities coming into a new year and pushed me to consider areas of distraction in my life.

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  35. Case for Christmas by Lee Strobel

    A book that goes through the historical evidence, anthropologic evidence, and a personal testimony about the baby that was born in a manager. I’ve read Case for Grace before so I was excited to read another book by Lee Strobel. The evidence given was really solid and I loved how the book was written out in an interview style and the author himself wrote of his experience that led him to Christ. Feeling more knowledgable about the historical accuracy of the Bible and hoping to be able to give to a friend whom I think would find this book interesting soon 🙂

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  36. Finished Francis Chan’s Crazy Love. The life of a Christian is not characterized by apathy or complacency toward God, but rather an all-consuming love and yearning and passion toward the Creator and Savior who has loved us since the beginning of time. And this love means loving others and sacrificing and giving not out of a sense of duty, but simply love for God and therefore for others. If we love God, we don’t simply love the loveable, or those who reciprocate our love, but also those who are poor and those who don’t love us back. I feel like my own life is sometimes characterized by halfheartedness, indifference, and joylessness when it comes to God, but love and joy are something we choose, cultivate, and receive from God. God wants to change me–it’s just a matter of constantly seeking it from Him. Chan describes it as a positive feedback loop, where “our prayers for more love result in love, which naturally causes us to pray more, which results in more love.”

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  37. I finished reading “The Case for Christmas” by Lee Strobel, and it was a great apologetics book filled with interviews from pioneers in Christian apologetics. Strobel provides great evidence from the biographies of Jesus (The Gospels) to his own investigation of Christianity that led to his salvation. This book strengthened my apologetics knowledge and gave me boldness to proclaim my faith in light of the holidays with my family and non-Christian friends.

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  38. “Hidden Christmas” by Tim Keller elegantly weaves in different elements of his other books and reminds us of the miraculous nature of the incarnation, power as weakness, the beauty of God using the weak, etc… reading this with my family around Christmastime was reinforcement for why we can’t be neutral or secular about Christmas. The chapter that struck me most was the one about Mary — Keller analyzes Mary’s thoughts, actions, and response in Luke 1. He argues that she demonstrates a doubt that’s willing to consider and ponder thoughtfully, but also a strong, rich faith that’s willing to act despite the pain and damage to her reputation that bearing a son is going to cause her. I was inspired to both wrestle with my doubts and act boldly in faith in the good news 🙂

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  39. “Mad About God: The Over-Romanticism of Pain and why your suffering is not a lesson ” by J.S. Park is a different sort of book on the problem of pain. It’s different because he talks about the problem without trying to resolve it — this is not an apologetics book. I would describe it more as an exploration of the WAY we talk about pain and suffering in the church. I don’t actually agree with everything that’s said in this book and find some contradictions in the way he discusses/ frames pain (if you’re rly interested in the book you can talk to me about it), but over all, I found it to be a refreshing, opinionated take on our tendency to try to neatly package something that cannot be neatly packaged — pain and suffering. Don’t recommend if you’re simply looking for answers — do recommend if you’re looking for more ways to approach the issue and you’re willing to think critically about what’s being said.

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  40. Good news for anxious christians, by Phillip Cary

    Recommended to me by my old leader, Alison Ng. I thought this book was just for people who have nervous tendencies, but actually its about normal things most Christians can relate to. It really helpfully explains why some of the most common modern-day “christian” phrases (that aren’t actually in the bible) can be very confusing – like “give God control” and “hear God in your heart” and “find God’s will”. Ultimately, it just points back to the simple gospel message, which can get lost when even amongst Christians.

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  41. After being challenged by the stories of many heroes of faith at ATR, I read Just One More Child by Dr. Chun-Wai Chan. This book tells the story of Rev. Verent Mills, a lesser-known but truly inspiring hero of faith. Rev. Mills served in China starting in 1931, and started churches and a Bible school there, but poured his heart out in loving and caring for orphans. As I read about Rev. Mills, I was reminded of Matthew 25:40 “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” as well as our key verse for this year, John 12:24 ” Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”

    One thing that struck me was how Rev. Mills used Chinese proverbs to share his faith and his heart for people. For example, as someone asked him why he wanted to help “street children” he answered with this proverb–“It is the spark that lights the flame that burns ten thousand hills.” and explained that children are like little sparks, who can either grow and make a big impact to society, or cause problems in society. The fact that Rev. Mills readily used Chinese proverbs in these conversations shows how he was deeply immersed in Chinese culture, and his heart and love for the Chinese.

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  42. The Action Bible: God’s Redemptive Story by Sergio Cariello
    This book helped me to see God’s amazing redemption to our world. I especially enjoyed the Old Testament where I was struck with how just God is but at the same time how much mercy, grace, and love He shows to His people. Even though generations after generations, someone would rebel against God to live their own lives (despite how faithful God has been), He somehow still carries out ALL His promises and finds people to teach and lead his people.
    Overall, I loved the authors interpretation through his images. Many times when I read the Bible, I get stuck in all the details so I really appreciated how The Action Bible made the actual Bible easier to understand the grand picture of God’s faithfulness to redeem the world.
    It was a pleasure reading the book and I would recommend it to everyone!

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  43. I finished reading the Case for Christmas. All in all, it’s a really nice, truncated version of the Case for Christ and provides some quick arguments for the validity of the Bible’s historical claims and do well to draw general curiosity towards Christianity.

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  44. Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas

    This book is a comprehensive biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, spanning two world wars, from Bonhoeffer’s early life to final days of imprisonment by the hands of the Third Reich after the failed July 20 plot. Though his death seemed abrupt and tragic, the life this man lived was incredible, and even more so given the turbulent circumstances surrounding him. Bonhoeffer’s journey – from his decision to study theology, to become a pastor, to accept the role as a conspirator in the plot to assassinate Hitler, and finally to his martyrdom – is intensely captivating. Metaxas immerses you into Bonhoeffer’s world, and you can’t help but feel as if you’re witnessing every event unfold before your very eyes. I was personally struck by Pastor Bonhoeffer’s hunger and commitment to truth, and to living an obedient life under Christ.

    Some of my favorite quotes:
    “Being a Christian is less about cautiously avoiding sin than about courageously and actively doing God’s will.”

    “Where a people prays, there is the church; and where the church is; there is never loneliness.”

    “Actions must follow what one believed, else one could not claim to believe it.”

    The book is quite long and a little slow early on, but if you’ve ever read and appreciated any of Bonhoeffer’s writings I would highly recommend this biography!

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  45. I just finished reading The Jesus Storybook Bible to Jacob last night 🙂 I know he can’t understand what I’m saying, but they say that 80% of brain development happens by age 3! I have to say, I was really moved by this book, while reading out loud, I started tearing up at some points. There were a few parts in the OT where I hadn’t made a particular connection to Jesus before, but this book made it so clear that God has been planning and preparing to give us Jesus since the beginning of time, and it made me that much more confident and thankful for God’s merciful love towards us.

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  46. Till We Have Faces (C.S. Lewis)

    Here is a masterful retelling of the myth of Cupid and Psyche, told from the perspective of Psyche’s sister, Orual. As Orual presents an account of her life (and what a life it is) she lays out all of her reasons for daring to bring a “complaint against the gods.” What struck me as I read was how Orual’s bitterness and the closed-off, loveless state of her life held a mirror up to my own unsettling tendencies and those of many people I know. I won’t reveal much about the ending, other than that it was very good. It gives a glimpse into the mysterious heart of God that, when we are able to come closer to knowing it for what it is, humbles even the most proud and calloused.

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  47. I finished reading Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. It really opened my eyes to the foundation of Christian fellowship and the individual’s responsibility to maintaining the godliness in a community. Particularly, the chapter on Ministry was convicting for me. It talked about how one of the greatest community killers is competition. When we view each individual properly as God sees us, we see that everyone in the community is an essential part of this community and to either diminish a single person’s importance or to grow envious of someone’s abilities is an assault on God’s vision for our church.

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  48. I finished reading No God But One: Allah or Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi. This was a followup book we wrote after writing Seeking Allah and Finding Jesus in which he expounds more deeply the differences between Islam and Christianity. He writes arguments that he grew up with and used against Christian thought and shared in the following chapters evidences and readings that answered Islamic objections to Christian theology. Particularly powerful were the explanations of the Trinity, a common objection Muslims have to Christianity and verifying the historicity of the early church teachings that Jesus indeed claimed to be God. Highly recommend this book for anyone who has Muslim friends!

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  49. “Healing for Damaged Emotions” by David A. Seamands

    “Healing” honestly looks at a problem that I ran into when I first became Christian and still run into now: I know that God has saved, redeemed, and loves me, but there are past hurts that affect present relationships, views of God, etc. Dr. Seamands writes about the need for healing in these areas by unpacking what viewpoints might be behind thought patterns people are not be aware of. Could not recommend this book more.

    A favorite quote: “Thank You, Lord, that You are healing me according to Your perfect schedule.”

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  50. Read Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot, my 2nd time reading the book.

    Though the book is about learning to put your love life under Christ’s control, I think a lot of what Elisabeth Elliot says can be speak to other parts of our lives as well — in terms of our futures, ambitions, what to do with our time now, facing fears/insecurities. One of the most impactful parts for me is Elisabeth and Jim’s desire to put God first before everything in their lives, which can be seen by how they were both so willing to put their ministries before their own romantic desires.

    A favorite quote: “First things first. God’s work was what we were seeking first, a ‘building.’ “Are we willing to build with a trowel in one hand while our other hand grasps the sword?” Jim asked. Difficult to see how we could be indulging in other distractions at the same time.”

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