Thursday, February 6, 2014

my favourite Christian reads in 2013

What were my favourite reads in 2013? I'm sure you want to know!

Or, at least, Eternity Newspaper wanted to know. So I wrote this. (You can read the whole article - with some great recommendations by others - here.)

I've added one book to the end, because I've wanted to encourage you to read it for years.

Timothy Keller King's Cross
Every year, I read a book on the cross or God's character, slowly and prayerfully, week by week, on my mornings off. This year, I enjoyed Tim Keller's King's Cross (also called Jesus the King). It bears all the hallmarks of his style: it's richly written, profoundly wise, culturally engaging, and deals with familiar themes like idolatry and the trinity. Every chapter brought me face-to-face with Jesus, to be moved, challenged and changed by him. This book deserves to become a classic. It will make a great gift for both believers and unbelievers.

Joni Eareckson Tada and Steven Estes When God Weeps 
There's a point in suffering when you can read books on the topic again. My son has been chronically ill for several years now, and I reached that point about 6 months ago. In the pages of When God Weeps I found wisdom, solace, courage and hope. The writing is colorful and honest, with a blend of Joni's long experience and Steven's tight theology (though I didn't agree at all points). There are terrific reflections on God's character, avoiding bitterness, and hell. As I read the final chapter on heaven, I found myself in tears. This is the perfect book to give someone going through a time of trial.

David Helm One to One Bible Reading
Only 100 pages long, this is a top-of-the-list ministry resource. How does God change lives? Through his word. How can we be involved? By reading the Bible with a friend. Who could benefit? Anyone, Christian or non-Christian, mature or new to the faith. It's that simple; but it can sound intimidating. David Helm first inspires us, and then introduces tools like the Swedish method and COMA, easy-to-use methods that require only an open Bible. I've led one training seminar based on this book, and will continue to put it into the hands of those I teach and train.

Paul David Tripp Lost in the Middle
I'm tempted to review this book without the title. You don't have to be middle aged to struggle with issues like regret, disappointment, loss of identity, the collapse of dreams, and the transience of life. This book helped me at a time when I was questioning many things about myself and the direction I was going in. It's the best book I've read to come out of the biblical counselling movement; almost a handbook of the big issues we're likely to face in life. I'd like to put this book on my "top reads" for every Christian. Whatever your age, I invite you to read it: you're in for a treat.

1 comment:

Fiona McLean said...

Thanks, Jean! I look forward to reading some of these books, and appreciate benefiting from your recommendations. Love, Fiona.