Must-Read Books

Apart from reading the Bible, there is arguably no better way to grow in your knowledge of God and his Word than by digging into a godly book. Here are a few recommendations from the Good News staff that are well worth the $10 Amazon purchase.

Prodigal God by Timothy Keller
Anyone who has been a Christian for more than five minutes has heard the biblical parable of the prodigal son. The overwhelming majority of the time, the storyteller recounting these words of Jesus zeroes in on the fall and redemption of the son who was wayward and wild. In Prodigal God, Keller reminds us that, in fact, there are two sons in the story, and that it is actually the prideful and self-righteous older brother who we see far from God as the curtain closes. Keller paints a powerful picture of sin, pride, justification and the heart of God that is sure to resonate with every believer.

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
This true classic of the faith was compiled from a series of radio broadcasts given by British theologian and author C.S. Lewis during the height of World War II. With intellect and eloquence, Lewis lays out a strong, rational case for a faith in Christ that supersedes lip-service religion and denominational distinctions to focus on the only One who really matters. Regarded as a literary master by those both inside and outside of the faith (he also authored the Chronicles of Narnia series of books), Lewis’s Mere Christianity is a must-read for any Christian.

Jesus + Nothing = Everything by Tullian Tchividjian
While nearly any Christian will likely be quick to agree with the statement that “Jesus is all I need,” belief in that statement is easily tested in the moments when the things most important to us are shaken or removed. Tchividjian gives an honest and candid glimpse into his own personal pain that led him to a place of comprehending the sufficiency of Christ at the heart level. This valuable work puts forth that it is not Jesus plus respect, success, earthly relationships, righteousness by works, or any other thing that equals everything, but that, truly, Jesus plus nothing equals everything, every day, for everyone.

10 Things Jesus Never Said by Will Davis, Jr.
For many, the results of sitting under misleading and manipulative Bible teaching, having a relationship with God based on guilt and fear, and having formulated wrong ideas about God through our own experiences of failure and pain have caused us to create an idea of an angry and frustrated Jesus who simply doesn’t exist. In 10 Things Jesus Never Said, Davis dismantles statements commonly attributed to Jesus such as “If you really loved me, you’d try harder,” and “I can’t believe you call yourself a Christian,” replacing those lies with the truths of love, redemption and forgiveness found at the foot of the cross.

Desiring God by John Piper
The subtitle of this pivotal work by Pastor John Piper is “Confessions of a Christian Hedonist.” Piper puts forth that the pursuit of pleasure in one’s relationship with God is not just possible, but is actually exactly how God intends for the relationship to be. Piper’s recurring theme in Desiring God is that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him, showing that truly loving God and enjoying all areas of life, despite our circumstances, is possible with a proper perspective of the Christian life as delight and not duty.

Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
As both a German citizen and a Christian during Adolph Hitler’s rise to power in Nazi Germany, Deitrich Bonhoeffer experienced a crisis of faith that is simply unfathomable to most from the comfort of our cozy American church pews. As Bonhoeffer watched injustices of the highest order taking place all around him, he took a stand in Christ’s name and was eventually executed in a German concentration camp for his vehement opposition to Hitler’s insane genocide. The Cost of Discipleship is Bonhoeffer’s signature work, and gives Christians a vivid picture of the unbreakable marriage between Christian theology and Christlike social activism and engagement.

Love Does by Bob Goff
In recounting a series of entertaining and insightful stories from his life, Bob Goff weaves in a strong challenge to his readers; a challenge based on the fact that when Jesus said to love your neighbor, he really meant it. With the fruits of the Spirit literally blooming from his writing, Goff tells about his experiences of showing real love to real people in real need. As the book’s title partially reveals, the bottom line of Love Does is that love doesn’t just wish, think or plan, love gets up and does. Prepare to be challenged and changed from the very first page.

The Reason for God by Timothy Keller
In this New York Times bestseller, Keller has done for our generation what Lewis did for our grandparents’ with Mere Christianity. Keller leaves no stone unturned in addressing common intellectual and cultural roadblocks to Christianity, as well as taking a wise and detailed look at questions that every Christian faces in contemplating God’s nature, sovereignty and relation to sinful man. Whether you are a skeptic with more questions than answers or a seasoned believer in Jesus, The Reason for God is sure to deeply enrich your understanding of God and His Word.

A good book about Jesus has the ability to implant truth down deep into your soul. Pick up one of the above titles today and be blessed as that truth takes root and bears fruit!

Justin Young :Justin Young is a Staff Writer for the Good News. Justin can be reached at justiny@goodnewsfl.org or twitter.com/thejustinyoung.