Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Five of Josh's Favorite Christian Books

I started to title this post "Top Five Christian Books You Should Read," but something just felt odd about that. It seems like I should include the Bible, but you know that already, so then my list of five just became a virtual list of four. So this isn't a list of the top five books. It's just a list of a few that I've read and enjoyed... and that I would recommend. In no particular order (except the order in which they popped into my head):

1. Messy Spirituality by Mike Yaconelli
I read this when I was in college, at a time when I was so irritated with some of the Christians I was around that I didn't want to be associated with them. It had a huge impact on how I saw myself as a Christian as well as how I saw my Christian peers. I would suggest it to anyone in the midst of self-doubt and/or frustration with our "better-than-thou" brethren.

2. The Shack by William Paul Young
I'll be honest... the first part of this book is tough to get through. One of the early chapters (#2 if I remember correctly) details a tragic event that has huge consequences for the main character, and I found it hard to read. It's worth it, though, because the rest of the book is phenomenal. Ignore the controversy. It's worth reading.

3. Unchristian by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons
This is not my usual sort of book. I'm not a big numbers person... but this work is the culmination of a ton of research on what young people today think of Christianity. Most of what I read didn't surprise me because I also share some of the same frustrations, but the points that are made as a result of the research really made me think. I'm betting it will make you think pretty hard as well.

4. Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller
This was an early topic of conversation for Lauren and me, and I ordered a copy shortly after we started dating. She mentioned that it was a Christian book that was one of her favorites, and I wanted to know what it was all about. You can tell a lot about a person based on what they read, and the more of this I read, the more I liked Lauren.

5. Who We Are and How We Relate by Dr. Larry Crabb
This book is written for counselors, but it isn't so full of counseling vernacular that you'd need a counseling degree to understand it. Crabb does a great job of explaining how our existence revolves around relationships. I found this book simple but fascinating. For those with a tight budget or short on time, this is also the cheapest and shortest book on this list!

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