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We read good literature for both growth and enjoyment. As we read, we hope to learn, do, and teach others. With that in mind, books and other resources we recommend are listed below. We hope you find them beneficial as well.

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Mere Christianity

C.S. Lewis

In the classic Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis, the most important writer of the 20th century, explores the common ground upon which all of those of Christian faith stand together. Bringing together Lewis’ legendary broadcast talks during World War Two from his three previous books The Case for Christianity, Christian Behavior, and Beyond Personality, Mere Christianity provides an unequaled opportunity for believers and nonbelievers alike to hear this powerful apologetic for the Christian faith.

He Shines in All That's Fair: Culture and Common Grace

Richard Mouw

How do Christians account for the widespread presence of goodness in a fallen world? Different theological perspectives have presented a range of answers to this fundamental question over the centuries. In He Shines in All That's Fair Richard Mouw brings the historic insights of Calvinism to bear on this question and reinterprets them for a broader audience at the turn of the twenty-first century. Mouw examines long-standing Reformed arguments between those who champion the doctrine of common grace and those who emphasize an antithesis between the church and the world. Defenders of common grace account for the goodness in the world by insisting that God's grace goes beyond salvation to more general gifts of beauty, virtue, and excellence to all human beings - including those who do not believe in God. Those who reject the doctrine of common grace, on the other hand, emphasize the fallenness of the world and the need for the church to maintain a dramatic contrast to it. These divergent theological perspectives, while seemingly remote and abstract, lead to questions with very practical implications: What common ground do Christians share with those outside the faith? How should Christian treat their non-Christian neighbors? How should Christians relate to the world around them? Does God disapprove when Christians form close friendships with people who are "of the world"? Ought Christians to identify with the joys and sorrows of those who do not confess Christ as their Savior and Lord? In the course of this book Mouw looks at these topics, connecting the larger theological discussions to pressing issues in contemporary society. He insists that we have much to learn from thinkers who have rejected the idea of common (non-saving) grace, but he also defends the traditional common grace teachings, showing how they provide an important basis for wrestling with key challenges in present-day culture. Ultimately, Mouw argues forcefully for a Calvinism that is capable of standing in awe before the mysteries of God's gracious dealings with all human beings - and indeed the whole creation. Presented as the 2000 Stob Lectures at Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary, these soundly reasoned, elegantly written chapters offer an updated, robust understanding of common grace that will be of great value to anyone interested in the relation of church and culture.

Screwtape Letters

C.S. Lewis

The Screwtape Letters by C.S.  Lewis is a classic masterpiece of religious satire that entertains readers with its sly and ironic portrayal of human life and foibles from the vantage point of Screwtape, a highly placed assistant to "Our Father Below." At once wildly comic, deadly serious, and strikingly original, C.S. Lewis's The Screwtape Letters is the most engaging account of temptation—and triumph over it—ever written. 

God in the Dark: The Assurance of Faith Beyond a Shadow of Doubt

Os Guinness

"A profound and excellent book for doubters and their friends who want to help." --James W. Sire, Author; campus lecturer for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

 

"Clear, steady explanation of what doubt is and how it is to be dealt with. There is nothing like it in print." --Dallas Willard, Professor of Philosophy, University of Southern California

 

Do you have significant doubts about God? Are you afraid to doubt, much less admit to anyone that you aren't fully convinced of God's faithfulness? Are you so torn by your questions that life is losing its meaning?

This forthright but compassionate book works to tear away the layers of misunderstanding about doubt to reveal not only its dangers but its great value. As author Os Guinness explains: "If ours is an examined faith, we should be unafraid to doubt... There is no believing without some doubting, and believing is all the stronger for understanding and resolving doubt."

For those who are unsure of God's trustworthiness--and for those who are in a dark place, wanting to know "Why?" or "How long, O Lord?"--God in the Dark is a must. It puts a human face on the problem of doubt and examines it thoroughly. In a way that will respond to your questions, settle your fears, and strengthen your faith.

Basic Christianity

John Stott

Named a "Book of the Century" by Christianity Today "If Jesus was not God in human flesh, Christianity is exploded," writes John Stott. "We are left with just another religion with some beautiful ideas and noble ethics; its unique distinction has gone." Who is Jesus Christ? If he is not who he said he was, and if he did not do what he said he had come to do, the whole superstructure of Christianity crumbles in ruin. Is it plausible that Jesus was truly divine? And what would that mean for us? John Stott's clear, classic book examines the historical facts on which Christianity stands. Here is a sound, sensible guide for all who seek an intellectually satisfying explanation of the Christian faith.

Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Faith in Community

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

In Life Together, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, renowned Christian minister, professor, and author of The Cost of Discipleship recounts his unique fellowship in an underground seminary during the Nazi years in Germany. Giving practical advice on how life together in Christ can be sustained in families and groups, Life Together is bread for all who are hungry for the real life of Christian fellowship.

Reason for God

Tim Keller

The End of Faith. The God Delusion. God Is Not Great. Letter to a Christian Nation. Bestseller lists are filled with doubters. But what happens when you actually doubt your doubts?

 

Although a vocal minority continues to attack the Christian faith, for most Americans, faith is a large part of their lives: 86 percent of Americans refer to themselves as religious, and 75 percent of all Americans consider themselves Christians. So how should they respond to these passionate, learned, and persuasive books that promote science and secularism over religion and faith? For years, Tim Keller has compiled a list of the most frequently voiced “doubts” skeptics bring to his Manhattan church. And in The Reason for God, he single-handedly dismantles each of them. Written with atheists, agnostics, and skeptics in mind, Keller also provides an intelligent platform on which true believers can stand their ground when bombarded by the backlash. The Reason for God challenges such ideology at its core and points to the true path and purpose of Christianity.

 

Why is there suffering in the world? How could a loving God send people to Hell? Why isn’t Christianity more inclusive? Shouldn’t the Christian God be a god of love? How can one religion be “right” and the rest “wrong”? Why have so many wars been fought in the name of God? These are just a few of the questions even ardent believers wrestle with today. In this book, Tim Keller uses literature, philosophy, real-life conversations and reasoning, and even pop culture to explain how faith in a Christian God is a soundly rational belief, held by thoughtful people of intellectual integrity with a deep compassion for those who truly want to know the truth.

Simply Jesus : A New Vision of Who He Was, What He Did, and Why He Matters

N.T. Wright

In Simply Jesus, bestselling author and leading Bible scholar N.T. Wright summarizes 200 years of modern Biblical scholarship and models how Christians can best retell the story of Jesus today. In a style similar to C.S. Lewis’s popular works, Wright breaks down the barriers that prevent Christians from fully engaging with the story of Jesus. For believers confronting the challenge of connecting with their faith today, and for readers of Timothy Keller’s The Reason for God, Wright’s Simply Jesus offers a provocative new picture of how to understand who Jesus was and how Christians should relate to him today. 

Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church

N.T. Wright

In Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church, top-selling author and Anglican bishop, N.T. Wright tackles the biblical question of what happens after we die and shows how most Christians get it wrong. We do not “go to” heaven; we are resurrected and heaven comes down to earth--a difference that makes all of the difference to how we live on earth. Following N.T. Wright’s resonant exploration of a life of faith in Simply Christian, the award-winning author whom Newsweek calls “the world’s leading New Testament scholar” takes on one of life’s most controversial topics, a matter of life, death, spirituality, and survival for everyone living in the world today. 

Not the Way It's Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin

Cornelius Plantinga

This timely book retrieves an old awareness that has slipped and changed in recent decades. The awareness of sin used to be our shadow. Christians hated sin, feared it, fled from it--and grieved over it. But the shadow of sin has now dimmed in our consciousness. Even preachers, who once got visibly angry over a congregation's sin, now speak of sin in a mumble.Cornelius Plantinga pulls the ancient doctrine of sin out of mothballs and presents it to contemporary readers in clear language, drawing from a wide range of books, films, and other cultural resources. In smoothly flowing prose Plantinga describes how sin corrupts what is good and how such corruption spreads. He discusses the parasitic quality of sin and the ironies and pretenses generated by this quality. He examines the relation of sin to folly and addiction. He describes two classic "postures" or movements of sin -- attack and flight. And in an epilogue he reminds us that whatever we say about sin also sharpens our eye for the beauty of grace.

Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation (Cultural Liturgies)

James K. Smith

Malls, stadiums, and universities are actually liturgical structures that influence and shape our thoughts and affections. Humans-as Augustine noted-are "desiring agents," full of longings and passions; in brief, we are what we love. James K. A. Smith focuses on the themes of liturgy and desire in Desiring the Kingdom, the first book in what will be a three-volume set on the theology of culture. He redirects our yearnings to focus on the greatest good: God. Ultimately, Smith seeks to re-vision education through the process and practice of worship. Students of philosophy, theology, worldview, and culture will welcome Desiring the Kingdom, as will those involved in ministry and other interested readers.

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