Tuesday, December 15, 2015

If I could Buy every American Christian a Gift Bag of Books and DVDs it would Include

Christmas gifts are fun to exchange during the holiday season.  We often do it at work or with friends.  Most often we'll exchange gifts with family around the holiday.  I was thinking about what I might give to American Christians to help them live out the truth of the scriptures and the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I came up with this list of ten hypothetical items.  Sorry, I'm not Oprah Winfrey, these items won't turn up under your chair tomorrow.  If I had that kind of money I might consider it though!  

This list is not exhaustive, and I could've included many great books over history but I focused on fairly recent books based around ideas that need to grow within evangelicalism.  Thanks and enjoy :)

1. The Bible - even within evangelical Christianity the Bible needs to be read.  It needs to be read much more.  We can watch sermons, listen to Christian rock, and view snappy small group curriculums... but none of those things are the Bible.  The open Bible is the most deadly world changing force in the universe.  Yet many Christians, and I myself have been guilty of this from time to time; we're enveloped in all the evangelical culture, but our bible is closed.  First gift: Here's a fresh new Bible and multi-colored highlighters friend, lets get to work.  It's all in there.

2. How Shall We Then Live? By Francis Schaeffer.  The next gift from me to you is a great title by the late Dr. Francis Schaeffer.  I'm also including the DVD companion.  This is a must read for Christians: Audiobook, DVD series, kindle, nook, even the honest to goodness paperback copy, read this now.  Read it many times.  Worldview, it's about worldview and the shifts happening in western culture. It was written over 30 years ago yet it's spot on for the moments we face today.

3. The Truth Project DVD by Focus on the Family.  Hosted by Del Tackett this DVD series is simply astounding.  I thought it might be tacky or boring, but it was a shockingly powerful march through the foundations of the Christian worldview and Christian apologetics.  Vital, absolutely vital.  Every Christian needs to view this series. 

4. Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton - This is a classic read on the philosophical defense of the Christian faith.  Chesterton wrote powerfully on the paradoxes within our faith.  This one is a must read, your welcome.  Available free on Librivox in audiobook form.

5. The Sky is Not Falling by Chuck Colson - The writings of Chuck Colson are vital to the current Christian generation who are often theologically illiterate, incapable of defending their faith, ignorant to religious liberty threats and the importance of Christian activity within politics. Chuck Colson speaks directly to current Christianity with his critiques on political issues and worldview, as well as engaging culture with the gospel. I have the audiobook version, because I love audiobooks.  Paperback is just as good too though.

6. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis - Everyone should read Mere Christianity.  It's become a staple of modern evangelicalism, which is a very good thing.  C.S. Lewis in this book describes the reason behind believing in the God of the Bible.  This book was formed from a series of broadcasts given on BBC radio by C.S. Lewis regarding belief in God long ago.  But this book remains highly relevant today.  Enjoy.

7. The Conviction to Lead by Albert Mohler - We live in a time in history when there is a great vacuum in leadership.  Good men are prevented from leading while small men intent on enriching themselves tend to lead in government and in religious fields.  It's an ugly state of affairs.  But thankfully Dr. Mohler has written a wonderful treatise on how to boldly lead based on biblical convictions.  Audiobook format I enjoyed greatly... your welcome.  Be a great leader, do it for Jesus, not for dollars.  We're tired of clowns on television who do it for dollars.  We're tired of "evangelical" rock stars and pastors intent on making money and showing how important they are.  Instead of that, be a leader of conviction.

8. Unraveling the Origins Controversy by David DeWitt - We need to understand our own origins.  We're taught evolution, over billions of years, from rocks to men, but that just isn't biblical.  It doesn't make sense either.  Therefore I'm including an excellent book by Dr. David DeWitt which covers everything on the origin of the universe.  It's an incredible book.  I studied it for a class at Liberty University.  It's great, enjoy.

9. The Weight of Glory and other Addresses by C.S. Lewis - This is a great read/audiobook.  I love it actually.  I got it for you specifically because of one of the essays on it called "Why I am Not a Pacifist."  It was by given C.S. Lewis to a pacifist society in the United Kingdom, during World War II.  A lot of people today seem to think that Jesus was some sort of nicer-than-nice pacifist hippie.  I think it's pretty clear from the King of kings descriptions in Revelation and other books of the Bible that Jesus is not a pacifist.  But this essay in particular changed everything.  I thought Jesus meant love and submission "unqualified" in the scriptures and that any violence or fighting back was wrong.  C.S. Lewis changed my mind.  I went to the scriptures to see if Lewis was right, sure enough, he was.  Enjoy.

10. The Gospel of John (movie) - This movie changed my life.  Well, Jesus Christ changed my life.  But you get what I mean.  I was never very good at reading.  Ironic, since I write so much.  Anyway, when my cousin gave me this movie, which is word-for-word John's gospel (GNT) I must've watched it over one hundred times.  Why?  The words of the scriptures bring the Spirit of God.  So I listened and watched.  Eventually this led me to cry out to Jesus Christ in submission and request for help.  Then my life changed forever.  It's very well done, not corny at all.  Use it as another way to expose yourself to the scriptures.  

I almost got you...
Mining for God (DVD) featuring William Lane Craig, others.
Has Christianity failed You? by Ravi Zacharias
Evolution vs. God by Living Waters (DVD)
Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

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