I want to encourage you to do something old-fashioned these next couple weeks – pick up a book! Because of the unexpected free time this spring, I was able to make a dent in my stack of unread books. I know half the battle can be just knowing which book to read. So let me make some suggestions from my recent reads, with a couple of classics thrown in for good measure. Please don’t see this as my “top 10” of all time (I can already see the angry emails about the good books I omitted). Please don’t think I’m slighting your favorites because I don’t list Mere Christianity or The Hiding Place. This is simply list of books which have impacted me, and I thought might do the same for you. 

Now, you may not be that interested in reading. In fact, it may be a struggle just to spend some time in God’s Word each day. If that is you, then I encourage you not to let this list supplant your Bible time, but I would challenge you to take on  one of the titles I’m about to suggest. For those of you with a more robust reading life, consider this list supplemental to the stack you may already have.

In no particular order of importance:

  • The Insanity of God – Nik Ripken … When I read this book a couple years ago, it hit me like a spiritual sledgehammer. It looks at the life of one missionary family as they attempted to connect with the persecuted church to be able to pass their stories on to others who live in similar circumstances. This will challenge your daily walk and give you a better picture of what God has done and is doing in the Church.

  • His Word in My Heart – Janet Pope … This practical book has challenged me to pursue Scripture memorization. It has served as both catalyst and road map to my current attempts at taking on larger passages. I am not as disciplined as she is, but anyone could benefit from this reminder to saturate our lives with God’s Word.

  • Holy Sexuality and the Gospel – Christopher Yuan … Dr. Yuan’s book is a must read in light of our current culture and the church’s struggle with the topic. He lays out a clear Biblical standard for viewing sexuality, and he challenges us to live out our calling in a Christ-like manner. His own story brings a unique perspective to a subject that is too often avoided or addressed too simply in our circles.

  • The Gospel Comes with a House Key – Rosaria Butterfield … Radical ordinary hospitality sounds like an oxymoron, but it’s a Biblical truth that we could use a lot more of in our churches. Rosaria Butterfield explores what it means to live out our calling as neighbors surrounded by fellow sinners. It is a challenging read that shines light on cultural norms we can easily adopt at the expense of living out our calling as followers of Christ.

  • No God but One – Nabeel Qureshi … There is something powerful in hearing from a brother or sister who grew up in another worldview. Nabeel’s subsequent struggle with cancer and eventual passing a couple years ago served as a megaphone for his message, the overwhelming power of the Gospel for any who would believe. In this book he lovingly lays out his years of research into the two largest monotheistic religions and his conclusions.

  • Crazy Love – Francis Chan … Perhaps you’re one of the millions who have already read Crazy Love, but if not, I hope you’ll give it a chance. It serves as a broadside against comfortable, lukewarm (i.e. unbiblical) Christianity that often sneaks in to our church culture. I know it called out some of my spiritual laziness, and I hope it does the same for you.

  • Tactics – Greg Koukl … Koukl’s stated intent is to get you up off the bench and in the game when it comes to sharing your faith. You may feel inadequate for the task, but we are all called to be ready to give a reason for the hope that we have. Tactics will equip you for conversations with family, neighbors and strangers.

  • The Color of Compromise – Jemar Tisby … An uncompromising look at the history of the American church and race. I am an advocate for knowing history and allowing the mistakes of the past to impact how we live today. This is a painful but necessary read to have a bigger perspective.

  • Counterfeit Gods – Timothy Keller … I appreciate Keller’s ability to frame a subject for a sermon, or a book. Especially when God uses it to bring conviction in my own life as this book did this spring. This is a dangerous read for it addresses idols and under-the-radar sin many have grown complacent with.

  • Am I Just My Brain? – Sharon Dirckx and Can Science Explain Everything? – John C. Lennox … Both of these are shorter, and focused on different arguments for and against God based on science. Sharon Dirckx has a PhD in brain-imaging from the University of Cambridge and has held research positions at the University of Oxford. She takes on the current mind vs. brain debate. John Lennox is a famous Oxford professor and international speaker who often engages in public debates with prominent atheist figures. His book is more of an overview of current arguments. Both books challenge prominent secular narratives with evidence.

You made it through the whole blog! Please read one of these books and discuss it with someone from church so the conversation can continue.

Nate Miller
Nate Miller

Pastor Nate Miller is the Associate Pastor of Worship & Youth. Nate is a graduate of Judson University with a degree in youth ministry/adolescent studies.