It’s been about a year since I’ve last blogged, and I’ve decided to revamp my blog and kick it off with a few of my favorite book recommendations on topics pertaining to living the Christian life. Over the last couple years, I’ve found a few books that have become my “GoTo” guides for various topics that I find myself constantly repeating to people when asking for book recommendations. So here goes some of my top “GoTo” guides for hot topics in the Christian life…
1. The Will of God: Just Do Something, by Kevin DeYoung
By far the best book (or possibly the only theologically correct book) out there on discerning the will of God. I love almost anything DeYoung writes, as he skillfully combines wit and humor with biblically rich content. DeYoung always has a way of writing in a way that is relevant and applicable to today’s culture.
What’s his basic premise? (warning, SPOILER!)…The will of God isn’t something we mysteriously “pray about” or wait for God to “reveal” to us; rather, the will of God is something that is not always specifically revealed to us, liberating us to act not out of fear, but out of love for God and to stop sitting around waiting to figure out “God’s will,” and to start getting up from our couches and “just do something.”
You should read it if you’re…
- a college student trying to figure out what to study
- a young adult out of college picking a career path
- a single or dating guy/girl trying to figure out how to choose who do date/marry
- or just a confused Christian trying to figure out what to do with your life and how to live for the Gospel.
2. Christian Dating: Holding Hands, Holding Hearts, by Richard and Sharon Phillips
Speaking of dating, there’s no better book than the Phillips’ on dating from a Christ-centered worldview. As this book weds (no pun-intended) theology with practical wisdom, you’ll put this book down knowing not only why you should date, but also how you should best go about it. From everything from the roles of guys/girls, to what to look for in the opposite sex, to dealing with singleness, this book is worth reading for both dating couples (and married couples I’d argue) and singles alike.
What’s their basic premise? …Dating is not a means of fulfillment; Christ is. If dating is no longer meant to fulfill us, then we’ll stop manipulating one another to get what we want or fulfill our needs, start serving one another to build each other up in Christ, and experience the sanctifying fruit of a Christ-centered relationship.
You should read it if you’re…
- a single guy or girl not knowing why or when you should start dating
- a single Christian who’s never dated and kind of confused as to how to go about it
- a hopeless Christian who has dated all the wrong ways and trying to find a better way (where I was while reading this book
- a dating couple seeking not just to say you want to “make Christ the center of our relationship,” but really make it happen
- or even a godly couple (dating or married) wondering how to better fix your gaze on Christ rather than one another.
3. Missions: Salvation to the Ends of the Earth, by Andreas Kostenberger and Peter O’Brien
- you’re a student preparing for a short-term mission trip
- you just got back from a short-term trip and you want to learn more
- you’re seeking to pursue mid-term or life-time missions
- you’re just a pastor/faithful believer wanting to catch a passion and fire for worldwide missions.
- you’re a worship leader. Period.
- Anyone involved in worship leading or music ministry will benefit greatly from reading this book. I lament the fact that too many worship leaders think they’re “trained” so long as they’re musically gifted and vocally competent. Sorry, worship just doesn’t work that way. Get over yourself and go buy this book. Your church will thank you, your pastor will thank you, and Jesus will honor you when you return home to heaven.
- Pastors will also greatly benefit from this book to guide your worship leaders and suppor them in their ministry – too many pastors also neglect this ministry of corporate worship as a whole, thus doing a disservice to their congregations.