Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Reading List: 2014

This is our first ever release of our top ten suggestions of books to read in the new year. We have compiled ten books that cover a variety of different subjects from apologetics to prayer. These are listed in no particular order, but are all of great importance. We hope to continue this trend every year, providing good material for a generation who wants to know the Word and Jesus Christ at a deeper level. 

1. God's Not Dead by Rice Broocks
Description: "Faith in God is rising, yet so is skepticism. The evidence for the existence of God must be grasped and clearly articulated to answer this challenge, "says author Rice Broocks. "The success of the atheistic agenda is mostly due to the fact that the theistic responses to atheists' claims have not been widely circulated." God's Not Dead guides seekers and reminds believers that: real faith is not blind -- it is based on evidence, life is no accident -- there is meaning and purpose in the universe, good and evil are no illusions, and the God who exists has revealed Himself in history through Jesus Christ. Drawing from the areas of philosophy, science, history, and theology, we can form persuasive arguments for God's existence and His presence in our lives. This book equips us with the tools, providing clear, easy-to-follow explanations of the key concepts and controversies. God's Not Dead is apologetics for the twenty-first century.   

2. Radical by David Platt
Description: In Radical, David Platt challenges you to consider with an open heart how we have manipulated the gospel to fit our cultural preferences. He shows what Jesus actually said about being his disciple -- then invites you to believe and obey what you have heard. And he tells the dramatic story of what is happening as a "successful" suburban church decides to get serious about the gospel according to Jesus. 

3. Follow Me by David Platt
Description: Is it possible for people to say they believe in Jesus but not truly be born again? Is it possible for people to claim they have accepted Christ into their hearts yet not actually be Christians? Not only is it possible, but according to Pastor David Platt, it's also highly probable. The author of the bestselling book  Radical is convinced that many people
in our churches today are misled as to what it truly means to be a follower of Christ. Western culture has drained the lifeblood out of Christianity and replaced it with a watered-down version of the gospel that is so palatable it isn't even real anymore. "Follow me," Jesus calls. Two simple words that change everything. You will never be bored. You will always have purpose. You will never lack joy. But it will cost you. This call is not an invitation to pray a prayer. It is a summons to lose your life.

Description: The supernatural power and authority of God are available for today's believers -- just as they were during ancient biblical times -- for healings, miracles, and deliverances. To help you grasp the full revelation of God's supernatural power, Apostle Maldonado shares biblically based insights and tremendous testimonies to show you how to: experience God's anointing to be more effective in ministry, understand and operate in the supernatural, minister healing to the sick, hear the voice of God, protect yourself from deception, and develop a faith for the miraculous.  

5. Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris
Description: A growing movement of young people is rebelling against the low expectations of today's culture by choosing to "do hard things" for the glory of God. And Alex and Brett Harris are leading the charge. Do Hard Things is the Harris twins' revolutionary message in its purest and most compelling form, giving readers a tangible glimpse of what is possible for teens who actively resist cultural lies that limit their potential. Combating the idea of adolescence as a vacation from responsibility, the authors weave together biblical insights, history, and modern examples to redefine the teen years as the launching pad of life. Then they map out five powerful ways teens can respond for personal and social change. 

6. Great for God by Dr. David Shibley 
Description: It only takes one courageous life to change the world.......what about you! An inspiring number of biographical accounts from some of history's greatest missionaries like David Livingstone who answered God's challenge to impact the world. Taking the message of Christ and salvation to the unexplored lands of those who had never heard the truth, he was among the faithful men and women who risked death, disease and poverty so others might know and receive Jesus as Savior. These examples remind Christians that greatness and success is to love God and love others selflessly like He has done for us. Here is a bold presentation of how faith, obedience, and love conquered isolation and fear. The accounts of these 23 obedient servants to Christ exemplify a decision to live for God and not ourselves. 

7. The Reason for God by Timothy Keller
Description: Why does God allow suffering in the world? How could a loving God send people to Hell? Why isn't Christianity more inclusive? How can one religion be "right" and the others "wrong"? Why have so many wars been fought in the name of God? These are just a few of the questions and doubts even ardent believers wrestle with today. As the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, Timothy Keller has compiled a list of the most frequently voiced "doubts" skeptics bring to his church. And in The Reason for God, he single-handedly dismantles each of them. Keller uses literature, philosophy, real-life conversations, and reasoning 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. Writing for atheists, agnostics, and skeptics, Keller also provides an intelligent platform on which true believers can stand their ground when bombarded by the backlash to religion created by the Age of Skepticism. The Reason for God challenges such ideology at its core and points to the true path and purpose of Christianity.  

8. Power Through Prayer by E.M. Bounds
Description: Do you want to pray with power? Are you experiencing the abundant life? You can discover how effective prayers will transform you into a dynamic Christian with a deeper understanding of the Word. Personal and direct communication with God will revitalize and invigorate you. If you make prayer a key factor in your life, you will know the fullness of divine power. E.M. Bounds wrote this book for Christians who want to be mighty prayer-warriors. Here's how you can have power through prayer. 

9. Honor's Reward by John Bevere 
Description: In Honor's Reward, bestselling author John Bevere unveils the the power and truth of an often-overlooked principle -- the spiritual law of honor. If you understand the vital role of this virtue, you will attract blessing both now and for eternity. In characteristic fashion, John Bevere digs deep into Scripture to show that how you value, respect, and treat others determines your rewards. He begins with God's promise: "Those who honor me I will honor." This insightful book teaches you how to extend honor to your Creator, family members, authorities, and those who fill your world. John demonstrates how popular culture fights against the practice of honoring parents, leaders, and children as well as society's resistance to authority and the consequences of that disobedience. 

10. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
Description: 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.

Although all of these books are fantastic, we strongly encourage you to get into the Word on a daily basis. These books are all great at helping expound our knowledge of the Bible, but they can never replace actually reading the Bible. Before you read anything else, make sure knowing the Word of God takes precedence. If you have any questions about getting into the Word on a daily basis and aren't sure exactly where to start, e-mail us and we will help provide you with a reading plan and do our best to answer any of your other questions.