Additions to the Bookshelf

I’ve been working on reading through a few new books lately and I thought I’d take a minute and share some helpful stuff that I’ve been reading.

The Case For Christ Study Bible, By Zondervan/Lee Strobel

I first heard about this Bible at the Family Christian Stores event that Journey helped out with and I managed to pick it up when they were having their half off sale on Bibles. (A steal at around $15!) I like Lee Strobel and his books – they’re well thought out and easy to read while still being very informative and intelligent. This bible adds the notes of a NIV study bible and excerpts from his different books along side relevent portions of scripture. I’ve found it very useful at our weekly Bible study discussion group at Journey.

The Christian Atheist, By Craig Groeschel

This one has been sitting on my desk waiting to be read for a couple of months now and I’m so glad that we’re reading it now for our staff devotions every week. We’re only three chapters in and already we’re formulating a message series out of the book. The book is powerful and convicting and something that I think every Christian should probably read at some point in their life because I’m sure there are times when we’ve all believed in God yet lived like he doesn’t exist.

Faith to Faith, By Dan Scott

This one I’ve had for a while and have been reading in little bits over the last few months. I like learning about other religions because it helps to understand them better and know how to approach them with some degree of intelligence. For example, one thing that I learned right away about a key difference between Christians and Muslims is how they regard their sacred texts. Christians see the Bible as the word of God, written by men under the direction of the Holy Spirit. It is thus a reflection of that individuals culture and era of history. The Muslim connection to the Koran is different. They see the Koran like we see Jesus – as the Word made flesh. It did not flow through Mohammed, it was delivered to him.  The phrases and cadences were as purposeful as the thoughts they express. Thus, the Koran cannot really be translated, only interpreted. At face value, it’s a minor difference, but it’s a key to better understanding and communicating with people from other religious backgrounds.

Transforming Church in Rural America, By Shannon O’Dell

I picked this one up for free online a while back. The author was giving away copies to the first 100 commenters on their site and I was one of them. I’m looking forward to reading through the book and seeing what it has to say. Journey isn’t exactly a “rural” church but I’m sure some of the same ideas and principles apply across the board.

Lots of good stuff to read up on – I just have to find time for all of it! Any other “must read” books out there that should be on my list? Let me know in the comments!

About Matthew Starner

Matthew Starner is pastor of Journey of Faith Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where they help people take their next step on their journey with Jesus.

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