If the Christian wants to be a practical player in the 21st century then he’s going to have to put some spiritual meat on his skinny bones. With a lot of pulpits occupied by puppets that are poisoned with political correctness and have bought into a therapeutic approach to ministry, there’s about as much “meat” in postmodern churches as there is animal protein at a PETA party. Since the substantial pickin’s have become quite slim within certain craven and capitulating sectors of Christendom, the believer who wants to live for something worth Christ’s death has got to seek sustenance elsewhere. That’s where the books come in.
The following book list is not a cure-all, nor is it exhaustive; and although I do not agree with everything within the individual books, if you take the time to read them and mediate upon their contents, it will:
1. Shoot hope in your soul,
2. Establish God’s call as THE priority in life,
3. Breathe faith into your flagging spirit,
4. Put balls on believers,
5. Hand you a workable blueprint for action,
6. Shore up sagging convictions,
7. Give you a new attitude,
8. Hand you answers for tough questions,
9. Build you into an adept spiritual warrior and
10. Make you more proficient in prayer.
For ‘07, why don’t you put down your little feel good tofu-type of books and get these bad mambajambas for the New Year?
Paradise Restored: A Biblical Theology of Dominion by David Chilton. This is an excellent read regarding the biblical hope that good will triumph over evil in time and not just eternity. That’s even with Pelosi in the House and Barack Obamanation on the rise. Chilton slays the inactive, marginalized Christian theology that wants to do nothing more than sit and wait for the rapture, while simultaneously fueling the victorious believer with the biblical premise that Christianity is the answer for the world’s woes and will be successful in its mission. If you’re tired of the typical end of the world, doom and gloom, pin the tail on the beast TBN prophecy novels, well then, this Bud is for you. From Eden to the cross and beyond, David Chilton unfolds an eschatology of victory. Good luck finding one, though, as it’s out of print. But believe me, it’s worth the search.
The Call: Finding and Fulfilling The Central Purpose to Your Life by Os Guinness. The Call continues to stand as a classic, reflective work on life's purpose. Rick Warren’s book is lame compared to this soul-plumbing work. Best-selling author Os Guinness goes beyond our surface understanding of God's call and addresses the fact that God has a specific calling for our individual lives. Why am I here? What is God's call in my life? How do I fit God's call with my own individuality? How should God's calling affect my career, my plans for the future, and my concepts of success? Guinness now helps the reader discover answers to these questions. According to Guinness, "No idea short of God's call can ground and fulfill the truest human desire for purpose and fulfillment." With tens of thousands of readers to date, The Call is for all who desire a purposeful, intentional life of faith. (From the back cover)
In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day: How to Survive and Thrive When Opportunity Roars by Mark Batterson. If you’re currently careening through serious crap in life, cheer up. Mark, via 2nd Samuel 23, lines out how to come forth, in faith, both kicking butt and taking names in life. A brilliant, speedy read for those who need the faith and courage to face the claws and fangs that life sinks into them.
Ruling In Babylon: Seven Habits of Highly Effective Twentysomethings by me, Doug Giles. Y’know I had to shamelessly plug at least one of my own books. This compilation of twenty-seven scripts from my radio show is for twentysomethings who are sick of picking lint from their navels while the secular regressives systematically take over our nation. I show in a scant 116 pages what caused the prophet Daniel and his three compadres to influence a crappy environment 2,600 years ago. Buy a stack of them and hand them out to your church’s college students and let the revolution begin.
Prophetic Untimeliness: A Challenge to the Idol of Relevance by Os Guinness. Never have Christians tried to be so relevant. But never have Christians ended up so irrelevant. How can this be? The problem, says Os Guinness, is that our views of relevance and our efforts to redefine ourselves are captive to the seductions and pressures of our modern clock culture. Ironically, we end up as neither relevant nor faithful. And in the process we are in danger of losing not only our identity but our authority, our significance, and even our very soul. Prophetic Untimeliness is a hard-hitting critique written with deep love for the church. It offers constructive suggestions for living with integrity in the midst of modern pressures and explores how to be truly relevant without being trivial or trendy. (From the back cover)
The Serrated Edge: A Brief Defense of Biblical Satire and Trinitarian Skylarking by Doug Wilson. Satire is a kind of preaching. Satire pervades Scripture. Satire treats the foibles of sinners with a less than perfect tenderness. But, if a Christian employs satire today, he is almost immediately called to account for his "unbiblical" behavior. Yet Scripture shows that the central point of some religious controversies is to give offense. When Christ was confronted with ecclesiastical obstinacy and other forms of arrogance, he showed us a godly pattern for giving offense. In every controversy, godliness and wisdom (or the lack of them) are to be determined by careful appeal to the Scriptures and not to the fact of someone having taken offense. Perhaps they ought to have taken offense, and perhaps someone ought to have endeavored to give it (from Canon Press). Doug Wilson shows the Christian how to serve a nice satirical slice of sardonic pie to the willfully impenitent in this blistering read. Tasty.
Defending Your Faith: An Introduction to Apologetics by Dr. R. C. Sproul. There is a widespread belief that reason and faith are incompatible and opposed to each other. Faith is viewed as subjective, emotional, a crutch for those who find the real world too hard. Though many of the world’s finest minds hold this view, the Bible teaches that it is the fool who says there is no God. Sproul clearly and simply argues that at its core Christianity is rational. He focuses on defending the basic truth claims for two of the most crucial issues of apologetics: God’s existence and the Bible’s authority. In this primer of apologetic thought, Dr. Sproul affirms four logical principles that are necessary for all real discussion and teaches you how to defend your faith in a faithless world. Using the writings of church fathers and philosophers throughout the ages, he uncovers the common ideologies that work against faith. The defense of the faith is not a luxury or an intellectual vanity. It is a task appointed by God that you should be able to give a reason for the hope that is in you as you bear witness before the world. (From Amazon.com)
The Christian In Complete Armour by William Gurnall. Gurnall's The Christian in Complete Armour is one of the classic Puritan books on practical spiritual warfare and how it plays out in daily living. John Newton said that if he might read only one book beside the Bible he would choose, The Christian in Complete Armour. This book is a veritable battery for the believer intent upon putting a deep gaping wound in Satan’s crumbling kingdom.
Why Revival Tarries by Leonard Ravenhill. If the Christian really wants to change our nation then prayer for reformation needs to be on his to-do list. My old mentor Leonard Ravenhill lines out in this eyebrow melting tome what happens to a nation when the believer stops merely blathering on about how bad it is and they hit their knees in prayer.
All of the above make up a high protein, low fat meat feast that I guarantee will set the Christian on course to be a massive disaster to el Diablo and his defeated minions. Now, go to Amazon.com, click your mouse, melt your plastic and make 2007 the year of crazy-over-the-top-insane growth for Christ and His kingdom.