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Books, books, books!

A couple of weeks ago, the Online Pastor Facebook Group began to collect together a list of Christian books we’d read and found helpful. I haven’t read all of these personally, so I can’t vouch for them, but I hope you’ll find something here of interest.
 
Enjoy Your Prayer Life, Mike Reeves

Sadly, most of us struggle to set aside time to pray. But, fear not, this is not another book that will pile on the guilt, simply saying pray better and more often. Instead, Michael Reeves shows us not only why prayer is so essential, but also how we can enjoy it too. Taking his cue from Calvin s definition that prayer is the chief exercise of faith, Reeves helps us understand that prayer should be a natural expression of our faith. Just as faith is awakened as we grasp the wonders of the gospel, so prayer follows as our hearts respond to these glorious truths. Enjoy your prayer life is a delightful read; and as you turn the pages, it’ll show you that prayer doesn’t have to be a duty to be performed, but is rather a gift to be enjoyed.

 
 
Cranky Beautiful Faith and Accidental Saints, Nadia Bolz-Weber

Former stand-up comic and unlikely pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber weaves personal narrative, hilarious rants and powerful spiritual insight as she relates her unusual journey of faith, offering a fresh and uncompromising look at the transformative power of grace. As one of today’s most provocative Christian leaders, she blends sardonic irreverence and brilliant theology to offer a new portrait of faith – one that is edgy, outrageous and, above all, real.

 
 
The Screwtape Letters, C S Lewis

This profound and striking narrative takes the form of a series of letters from Screwtape, a devil high in the Infernal Civil Service, to his nephew Wormwood, a junior colleague engaged in his first mission on earth trying to secure the damnation of a young man who has just become a Christian. Although the young man initially looks to be a willing victim, he changes his ways and is ‘lost’ to the young devil.

 
 
Knowing God, J I Packer

KNOWING GOD is one of the most significant and popular Christian books of our time and has deepened the faith and understanding of millions of people around the world. ‘Dr Packer says we’re cruel to ourselves if we try to live in his world without knowing about the God whose world it is and who runs it. I’m convinced we’re cruel if we deny ourselves the wisdom contained in this Christian classic.’ Rico Tice

 
 
How to be a Bad Christian and The Bad Christian’s Manifesto, Dave Tomlinson

In this handbook to Christianity for people who describe themselves as spiritual but not necessarily religious, Dave sketches out some key practices for how to be a ‘bad’ Christian, including how to talk to God without worrying about prayer, how to read the Bible without turning off your brain, and how to think with your soul rather than trying to follow rules.

 
 
The Shack, William P Young

Mack’s youngest daughter, Missy, was abducted during a family vacation and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later, still trapped in his great sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack. Against his better judgement Mack arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon. What he finds there will change his life forever. THE SHACK wrestles with the timeless question, ‘Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain?’ Mack’s experiences when he faces up to his darkest nightmares will astound you, and perhaps transform you as much as it did him.

 
 
The Advent Calendar, Steven Croft

Packed with codes, secrets, biblical parallels, and reminding us of the real meaning of Christmas, this enthralling and touching tale can be read on many levels, and will be loved by adults and children alike. When Alice’s Uncle Sam brings home a mysterious calendar that’s short on chocolate but big on surprises, she is thrown into an Advent she never dreamed of. Codes arrive by text message and open the doors in the calendar, drawing Alice and Sam into fantastical new worlds. Accompanied by famous figures from the Bible, they explore the great themes of Advent and Christianity and find themselves maturing, changing and questioning. Life in their own world will never be quite the same again.

 
 
Surprised by Hope, Tom Wright

What do Christians hope for? To leave this wicked world and go to ‘heaven’ For the ‘kingdom of God’ to grow gradually on earth? What do we mean by the ‘resurrection of the body’, and how does that fit with the popular image of sitting on clouds playing harps? And how does all this affect the way we live in the here and now?

 
 
A Way Through the Wilderness, Jamie Buckingham

Do you sometimes feel that you are wandering in a wilderness of grief, confusion, and faltering faith? If so, you are not alone. Like the lost children of Israel, many have searched for a way through a personal wilderness. But just as those same Israelites followed God’s leading to the Promised Land, you too can find the promised new life in the Spirit. Jamie Buckingham made such a journey – not only figuratively but literally. During a time of intense personal struggle, he traveled to the Sinai.