It's only day two of quarantine here in Georgia and already we're getting cabin fever (not to mention we've all collectively agreed to ignore recommended screen time limits for kids, right?!) But don't worry - The Gathering's got your back! The staff got together and picked some of the best books for you to check out while stuck in quarantine. Each of these books have helped to shape our faith and understanding of the Bible.*
by Andy Stanley
We all agreed this was a must-read! In fact, it's so important, we have a step in our Growth Track dedicated to the themes that Irresistible addresses.
We all know that people are walking away from religion at an unprecedented rate. Irresistible explains how the way Christians think, talk about, and even understand the Bible can create unnecessary hurdles to faith. This book does an excellent job of explaining the context of the Old and New Testaments and drawing a clear line between the old covenant and the NEW that Jesus created. This book will truly help you let go of religion and rediscover Jesus.
1. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
A simple and classic apologetics book - Lewis uses beautiful metaphors and explanations of the Christian faith without planting his flag in denominational arguments or making assumptions about the faith of the reader.
2. The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel
Lee Strobel was an atheist journalist who set out to prove that Jesus was not who Christians believed him to be, and ended up turning to Jesus because of the evidence he found during the course of the investigation. If you're easily frustrated (like me) when people brush off tough theological questions with condescentions like 'because the Bible says so' or 'you just have to have faith' then you will certainly appreciate this compilation of credible evidence that Jesus is who he says he is.
3. Pharisectomy by Peter Haas
No one infuriated religions leaders like Jesus, but this book may be a close second. Haas is both hilarious and entertaining in his take on the modern church, and how we are sacrificing reaching the unchurched & dechurched for the sake of maintaining religious traditions. As someone who grew up in the church, I LOVED this book that totally embodies our motto of letting go of religion and rediscovering Jesus.
1. Simply Jesus by N.T. Wright
This is a Modern Day Mere Christianity - an excellent book for understanding how the whole bible points to Jesus and how to make sense of the story of scripture.
2. The Power of Vulnerability by
This one is an audiobook, but Brene Brown drives home how you can’t have meaningful relationships and a meaningful life unless you learn how to be vulnerable and not be driven by shame and fear.
3. How to Stop the Pain by James B. Richards
All you really need to read is the first 4 or 5 chapters of this one, but they are life changing! This book shows how judgment of other people creates pain and bitterness in your life. Most consistent book that I hear, “this changed my life”.
Honorable mentions: The Slavery of Death by Richard Beck, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
1. Untamed by Glennon Doyle
I read this book last week in TWO days and literally underlined something on almost every single page. In this book she challenges conformity, misogyny, and stands up to religious bigotry while encouraging the reader to break out of their cultural cages.
2. Interrupted by Jen Hatmaker
I first read this book in 2009 and it changed my walk as a Christian forever. This book follows the author’s messy journey through life and church and into living on mission.
3. Nothing to Prove by Jennie Allen
This book is written by the woman behind the million-strong IF:Gathering women's conference. I keep it bedside and still refer to its commentary weekly!
1. Unoffendable by Brent Hansen
Man, if just everyone would get a little nugget from this one things would be so different. Unoffendable takes a look at this culture of offense we live in and how a Jesus follower is freed to respond a little differently. The book is like a breath of fresh air! You won’t regret it.
2. Everybody Always by Bob Goff
Dude, seriously you need to read this book. It’s a great book to read when you have to take a break a lot… (you know to fill your quarantine duties). Each chapter tells a new story and through each story you see a glimpse of heaven here now in some pretty crazy ways. I HIGHLY recommend this read. They also have a really good audio version if that’s more your style.
3. Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning
This is one I reread at least once a year. It gets my heart refocused on what’s important. It’s a quick read, but there is so much power in it’s simplicity. Highly recommend!
Honorable mentions: Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis, Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis, A Tale of Three Kings by Gene Edwards
What do you think? Are there any must-reads we left out? Have you read any of these on our lists and thought they were great? Terrible? Just ok? Let us know what you think in the comments! We'd love to hear from you!
*No, we did not include the Bible in this list because we think that's a given (so don't @ us)!