- Religion and Philosophy
5 Books that Have Impacted My Faith Journey
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
Book have always been an incredible source of encouragement for me as I learn and grow in my faith. We can read the thoughts and experiences of some of the “great cloud of witnesses” that have gone on before us. I spend a lot of time in research in some really old books, but a lot of great contemporary authors have had a sizeable impact on me. This list is not exhaustive, but these are five books that I find myself referencing often and I would encourage others to read.
The 7 Principles of an Evangelistic Life by Douglas M. Cecil
Some would say that faith is a private thing. I believe that it’s too hard to keep something this good to yourself. With the heart of a teacher, Douglas Cecil provides seriously practical steps to an outward focused life. His refreshing style combined with his vast knowledge and experience supply some much-needed guidance for our daily activities. Sharing your faith is a hard thing to do. There is a lot of pressure from all sides. This book will get you pointed in the right direction with some fundamentals that have the potential to change our perspective.
Crazy Love by Francis Chan
I cannot overstate the passion of this book. It is not often a book can drive me to tears but there were several times reading this where I was overwhelmed. I give this book away often and I have two extra copies on my shelf right now in case the opportunity arises. It is an impassioned look at authentic Christianity through the lens of God’s amazing love for us. How does one respond to a love so powerful?
Come Thirsty by Max Lucado
When all of the distractions we place in our life fade, we can feel this longing for something more. Max Lucado describes this longing and the only thing that satisfies. Lucado is the consummate storyteller and his books always draw you in and give you something good. The topic of this volume is especially important. There are times in everyone’s life when our souls feel like they are walking through a desert. When you these experience dry seasons in your life, where do you turn to find refreshment?
The Spirit of the Disciplines by Dallas Willard
This is by far the most intellectually challenging book on the list. Willard takes on the topic of spiritual formation. This is looking at the idea of how God changes someone’s life. There is always this tug of war between faith and works. We are redeemed by grace through faith, but that kind of faith changes the way we act. It is more than just an intellectual acknowledgment. This book delves into the disciplines that God uses to nurture and grow disciples. Weighty at times, it provides valuable insight that I have not found anywhere else. If you are ready to tackle something a little more substantial, I highly recommend this book.
New Testament History by F.F. Bruce
Context is key when reading through the Bible. This book really helped me to understand the backdrop of the New Testament. I read it for the first time in college and have made several trips back to mine its riches. It describes people groups that were influential at the time as well as culture and significant events. I love history and this book delivers. The ability to place the biblical text within the proper setting makes certain passages come alive. It is a little more technical than others on this list but I believe it is well worth the time invested.
Always More Books
There are so many books I would recommend but this is a good place to start. I am so thankful for those who have put pen to paper and passed on what they have learned from the scripture. These and many others have made an enormous impact on me and my ministry. I pray that they will bless many more people in the future.
What are your favorite books to read?
© 2017 David VanAtter