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Recommended Books - Christian Living

Click on each book picture for a link to purchase the book.

anchored grace

Anchored in Grace: The Bible delights to reveal the riches of God’s mercy in Christ Jesus toward sinners, to display his grace to the praise of his glory. These are the very realities upon which redemption hangs. When our expectation and enjoyment of salvation are not anchored in grace, God is robbed of his glory and we are deprived of hope, comfort, and happiness. Christians therefore need to grasp what the Bible says about these things. We need to know these sweet and substantial strands of revelation – to delve into, to delight in, and then to declare the exceeding riches of God’s grace in his kindness toward us in Christ. We need to learn and to love these bedrock truths in which spiritual life is grounded, the health of our souls is fostered, genuine humility is developed, and eager service is established.

 

Basic Christianity

Basic Christianity: Who is Jesus? "If Jesus was not God in human flesh, Christianity is exploded," writes John Stott. "We are left with just another religion with some beautiful ideas and noble ethics; its unique distinction has gone." If Jesus is not who he said he was, and if he did not do what he said he had come to do, the whole superstructure of Christianity crumbles in ruins to the ground. Is it plausible that Jesus was truly divine? And what might this mean for us? John Stott's clear, classic statement examines the historical facts on which Christianity stands. Here is a sound, sensible guide for all who seek an intellectually satisfying explanation of the Christian faith.

 

Basis of Christian UnityBasis of Christian Unity, The: Christian unity is the result of a shared faith in Christ and His gospel. This is what emerges from Dr. Lloyd-Jones’ consideration of John 17 and Ephesians 4 in the addresses to the Westminster Fellowship republished here. His presentation was given against the background of the ferment of discussion and debate engendered by the ecumenical movement of the time and demonstrated that unity is never something arrived at by ignoring or minimizing truth. The debates have moved on, but this lucid examination of the issues underlying Christian unity remains as relevant as when first presented in 1962. It points to timeless truths which should never be obscured.

 

Christians grieve too

Christians Grieve Too: Donald Howard was minister of St. Peter's Church of England, Sydney when his wife, Diana, at the age of forty contracted cancer. She was to live a further six years but, he writes, although through faith in Christ 'we were ill-prepared for death, I was ill-prepared for grief'. This ill-preparedness, he found, arose from a lack of understanding and two years later he wrote these pages for the help of others. They contain a blend of biblical, pastoral and personal elements and serve to fill a gap on the subject of bereavement.

 

 

9781433533389Crazy Busy: I'm too busy! We've all heard it. We've all said it. All too often, busyness gets the best of us. Just one look at our jam-packed schedules tells us hard it can be to strike a well-reasoned balance between doing nothing and doing it all. That's why award-winning author and Kevin DeYoung addresses the busyness problem head on in his newest book, Crazy Busy—and not with the typical arsenal of time-management tips, but with the biblical tools we need to get to the source of the issue and pull the problem out by the roots. Highly practical and super short, Crazy Busy will help you put an end to "busyness as usual."

 

 

9781434705945Crazy Love: Revised & Updated Edition! God is love. Crazy, relentless, all-powerful love. Have you ever wondered if we're missing it? It's crazy, if you think about it. The God of the universe—the Creator of nitrogen and pine needles, galaxies and E-minor—loves us with a radical, unconditional, self-sacrificing love. And what is our typical response? We go to church, sing songs, and try not to cuss. Whether you've verbalized it yet or not, we all know something's wrong. Does something deep inside your heart long to break free from the status quo? Are you hungry for an authentic faith that addresses the problems of our world with tangible, even radical, solutions? God is calling you to a passionate love relationship with Himself. Because the answer to religious complacency isn't working harder at a list of do's and don'ts—it's falling in love with God. And once you encounter His love, as Francis describes it, you will never be the same. Because when you're wildly in love with someone, it changes everything.

cruciformCruciform: Living the Cross Shaped Life: Employing the symbols of the cruciform cathedral and the Celtic cross, the aim of this book is to cast a vision for the Cruciform Life, living as disciples of Jesus who are being shaped by the cross (gospel) into people and churches who share and show the cross (gospel) as they live the vertical life of loving God with all their head, heart, and hands and the horizontal life of loving people as Christ has loved them.

 

 

 

Does God listen to rapDoes God Listen to Rap?: A lot of people think that if there is one style of music in the world that God hates, it has got to be rap. Some have even gone so far as to call rap, “An unclean thing before the Lord,” and to insist that anyone who listens to rap (whether it’s made by Christians or not) risks spiritual harm. Lots of other people love and accept rap as their preferred form of musical expression. Many of these who are Christians can’t imagine why God would have any issues with rap—at least, not with songs by believers that encourage and edify them in the faith. Who’s right? Does God Listen to Rap? covers two areas. First, it presents a sociological history of the emergence and development of rap. If you enjoy rap and hip hop culture, you’ll love this part of the book. Then the book explores the Scriptures to bring some biblical (not just personal or anecdotal) resolution to the question of God and rap. Ultimately, this involves a set of larger questions involving God and the arts. So while the immediate focus of the book is rap music, you’ll find here a set of tools for thinking biblically about all forms of human artistic endeavor. 

 

Getting Back in the raceGetting Back in the Race: Backsliding is a season in the life of a professing Christian when his sin grows stronger and his obedience to God declines. The beginning of the book uncovers signs of sliding into a spiritual rut, for this is often more subtle than falling into scandalous sins. The rest of the book shows that there is hope for the backslider. God is so amazing! Even though our backsliding insults him, dishonors him, grieves him, and pushes away his love, still He calls us to return to him. When you grasp hold of God's methods by faith, you discover that Christ has grasped hold of you. Our spiritual Physician has potent medicines to heal his people from their injuries and get them back on track to finish the race. This book is a wake-up call to careless Christians and an encouragement to all believers to keep running to the Lord.

 

Good news about satanGood News About Satan: For authentic Christians, the bad news of Satan and the kingdom of darkness, while serious, is overshadowed by the good news of Jesus and the Kingdom of God. ••• Yes, there is a cosmic clash. Yes, we are in the middle of it. Yes, we need to become equipped to recognize and resist the enemy. But those who are united to Christ by genuine faith need not fear Satan. Not now. Not ever. ••• The truth can be summed up in this simple statement: The good news about Jesus, the victorious one, far outweighs the bad news about Satan, the evil one.

 

 

 

Hole in holinessHole in Our Holiness: The hole in our holiness is that we don't seem to care much about holiness. Or, at the very least, we don't understand it. And we all have our reasons too: Maybe the pursuit of holiness seems legalistic. Maybe it feels like one more thing to worry about in your already overwhelming life. Maybe the emphasis on effort in the Christian life appears unspiritual. Or maybe you've been trying really hard to be holy and it's just not working! Whatever the case, the problem is clear: too few Christians look like Christ and too many don’t seem all that concerned about it. This is a book for those of us who are ready to take holiness seriously, ready to be more like Jesus, ready to live in light of the grace that produces godliness. This is a book about God's power to help us grow in personal holiness and to enjoy the process of transformation.

 

HolinessHoliness: What does the Bible mean by holiness and how can we attain it? This is an easily read and modern treatment of one of the most important teachings of Scripture. It shows that holiness is primarily a matter of relationships, that its power lies in the Holy Spirit within the believer, and that its fruit is of supreme importance for the progress of all true Christianity.

 

 

 

HumilityHumility: True Greatness: God clearly states that He is drawn to the humble. He's also clear that He opposes the proud. These two, humility and pride, cannot coexist. Where one is fostered, the other is defeated. Which will you pursue? C. J. Mahaney paints a striking picture of the daily battle quietly raging within every Christian and asks whether you will passively accommodate the enemy of your soul, pride, or actively cultivate your best friend, humility. When you acknowledge the deception of pride and intentionally humble yourself, you become free to savor abundant mercies and unlikely graces. You will find a new life is yours " a life God richly favors. A God-glorifying life you don—t want to miss.

 

Just do somethingJust Do Something: Hyper–spiritual approaches to finding God’s will don’t work. It’s time to try something new: “Give up.” Pastor and bestselling author Kevin DeYoung counsels Christians to settle down, make choices, and do the hard work of seeing those choices through. Too often, he writes, God’s people tinker around with churches, jobs, and relationships, worrying that they haven’t found God’s perfect will for their lives. Or—even worse—they do absolutely nothing, stuck in a frustrated state of paralyzed indecision, waiting... waiting... waiting for clear, direct, unmistakable direction. But God doesn’t need to tell us what to do at each fork in the road. He’s already revealed His plan for our lives: to love Him with our whole hearts, to obey His Word, and after that, to do what we like. No need for hocus–pocus. No reason to be directionally challenged. Just do something.

 

licensed to killLicensed to Kill: A Field Manual for Mortifying Sin: The Christian life is not a playground, but a battleground. One of the fiercest foes in this battle dwells within our own hearts: the enemy of indwelling sin. The Scriptures command us to "put sin to death." This is what pastors and theologians of another generation called the "mortification" of sin. But how do we mortify sin? And what role does the gospel play in this effort to apply lethal force against sin? How can we avoid falling into legalism while still maintaining a passion for holiness? And what kinds of strategies actually work in the daily battle? These are questions I have personally wrestled with as both a Christian and a pastor. This book is my attempt to answer those questions and provide a biblical and practical guide for the war against sin.

Cross centered lifeLiving the Cross Centered Life: Have the extremities taken over and left the core of your faith forgotten? Do you get confused by what you feel versus what is real? Let dynamic pastor C. J. Mahaney strip away the nonessentials and bring you back to the simplest, most fundamental reason for your faith: Jesus Christ. This book is packed with powerful truth that will grip your heart, clear your mind, and invigorate your soul. Chapters include "Breaking the Rules of Legalism," "The Cross Centered Day," and "Assurance and Joy." Get ready to behold a breathtaking view of what God intends to accomplish in and through you every day. You—ll discover how embracing this cross centered life is both our highest privilege and greatest responsibility.

respectable sinsRespectable Sins: Have Christians become so preoccupied with the major sins of our society that we have lost sight of our need to deal with our own more subtle sins? Jerry Bridges returns to his trademark theme of holiness and addresses a dozen clusters of specific "acceptable" sins that we tend to tolerate in ourselves—such as jealousy, anger, pride, unthankfulness, and judgmentalism. Jerry writes not from a height of spiritual accomplishment but from the trenches of his own battles with sin. In his admonitions, Jerry offers a message of hope in the profound mercy of the gospel and the transforming grace of God as the means to overcoming our subtle sins.

seeing and savoringSeeing and Savoring Jesus Christ: You've never met him in person, and you don't know anyone who has. But there is a way to know who he is. How? Jesus Christ—the divine Person revealed in the Bible—has a unique excellence and a spiritual beauty that speaks directly to our souls and says, "Yes, this is truth." It's like seeing the sun and knowing that it is light, or tasting honey and knowing that it is sweet.The depth and complexity of Jesus shatter our simple mental frameworks. He baffled proud scribes with his wisdom but was understood and loved by children. He calmed a raging storm with a word but would not get himself down from the cross. Look at the Jesus of the Bible. Keep your eyes open, and fill them with the portrait of Jesus in God's Word. Jesus said, "If anyone's will is to do God's will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority." Ask God for the grace to do his will, and you will see the truth of his Son. John Piper has written this book in the hope that all will see Jesus for who he really is and will come to enjoy him above all else.

servanthood as worshipServanthood as Worship: Browse a Christian book website or bookstore and notice all there is for leaders and would-be leaders. We are inundated with studies of leaders, keys to leadership, and tips on becoming a leader. But how many books inspire us simply to serve one another? How many books involving servanthood are not tied to leadership and basically about leadership? The appeal of leadership has hijacked the biblical call to servanthood. As a result, we major on a role that will only ever be held by a few, and we largely ignore a role that ought to be held by every Christian. What ever happened to servanthood? Servanthood as Worship offers Christians a biblical understanding of their calling to serve in the local church, motivated by the grace that is ours in the gospel. It has the potential to revitalize service teams in churches across the world, from brand new church plants to long-established congregations.

 

What does God want of us anywayWhat Does God Want of us Anyway?:This overview of the Bible provides readers with an aerial view of the landscape of Scripture, scouting the major truths of the promises of God. Originally delivered as sermons by pastor Mark Dever at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington DC, these three studies are now available in one hardcover volume. Dever guides readers to take a step back and look at the Bible from a broader perspective. As we notice new features of an object when viewed from a distance, so too the major themes of Scripture become more apparent when we take in the Bible as a whole. Part of the IXMarks series, this book considers the central messages of the Bible as seen in the promises of God. Dever examines the general narrative of God's Word to answer the question, "What does God want of us anyway?" Readers looking for a panoramic view of Scripture will be reminded of the faithful, persistent love of God and find themselves drawn into a broader, but deeper, understanding of the maker and keeper of promises.

 

what Jesus demands from the worldWhat Jesus Demands from the World: The four Gospels are filled with demands straight from the mouth of Jesus Christ. These demands are Jesus' way of showing us who he is and what he expects of us. They are not the harsh demands of a taskmaster. For example, the demand that we come to Jesus is like the demand of a father to his child in a burning window, "Jump to me!" Or like the demand of a rich, strong, tender, handsome husband to an unfaithful wife, "Come home!" What Jesus demands from the world can be summed up as: "Trust and treasure me above all." This is good news! In What Jesus Demands from the World, John Piper has gathered many of Jesus' demands from the four Gospels. He begins with an introduction that puts the demands in a redemptive-historical context, then concisely examines each demand. The result is an accessible introduction for thoughtful inquirers and new believers, as well as meditative meat for veteran believers who want to know Jesus better.

 

9781581348248Worship Matters: Combining biblical foundations with real-world application, a pastor and professional songwriter guides worship leaders and pastors to root their corporate worship in unchanging scriptural principles rather than divisive trends. Nothing is more essential than knowing how to worship the God who created us. This book focuses readers on the essentials of God-honoring worship, combining biblical foundations with practical application in a way that works in the real world. The author, a pastor and noted songwriter, skillfully instructs pastors, musicians, and church leaders so that they can root their congregational worship in unchanging scriptural principles, not divisive cultural trends. Bob Kauflin covers a variety of topics such as the devastating effects of worshiping the wrong things, how to base our worship on God's self-revelation rather than our assumptions, the fuel of worship, the community of worship, and the ways that eternity's worship should affect our earthly worship. Combining biblical foundations with real-world application, a pastor and professional songwriter guides worship leaders and pastors to root their corporate worship in unchanging scriptural principles rather than divisive trends. Appropriate for Christians from varied backgrounds and for various denominations, this book will bring a vital perspective to what readers think they understand about praising God. Includes a special addendum for pastors and worship leaders.