CHRISTIAN BOOKS TO SHAPE YOUR 2021 Hannah Thiem Living in a content-saturated society, we have seemingly unlimited options in terms of what we read, listen to and watch. There’s always something new and, usually, there’s an algorithm ready to recommend it. Why not take a moment as the year starts and consider what content would be helpful for your Christian walk this year? Rather than consume what’s directly in front of us, together let’s choose to be equipped, encouraged, challenged and reminded of the love of Jesus. We’ve compiled a list of books designed to help you stop, reflect and make 2021 the best year yet for your relationship with God. We’ve included recommendations for books that will help grow your faith, whatever you’re looking for. BE EQUIPPED TO SHARE THE GOSPEL
THE INTERSECTION BETWEEN CHRISTIANITY AND CULTURE One of the casualties of the pandemic for many of us was that evangelism slid off the list of priorities. Rather than focusing on who we could invite to a Christmas service, we might have been worrying instead whether that service would be able to go ahead.
If you’re looking to get your zeal for sharing the gospel back (or discover it in the first place!), we recommend Sam Chan’s How To Talk About Jesus (Without Being THAT Guy). Short and funny, Sam brings an awareness of our current context and urban loneliness, demonstrating again and again how the gospel is good news for Australia. LOOKING TO GROW THE FAITH OF YOUR KIDS? The beautiful picture book Wherever You Go, I Want You to Know by Melissa B. Kruger is a prayer from a parent to child that whatever they do in life (even if they go skydiving!), their deepest hope is that their child will love Jesus. Quirky and fun, Kruger’s book provides an opportunity to discuss with our kids what following Jesus might look like at different life stages. Sarah Cameron from the EQUIP team says the book is a firm favourite among her kids and helps her reflect and refocus her priorities for them, too. HELP TO SEE LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS Ruth Baker’s Are We There Yet? was written to encourage those feeling lost or stagnant in their journey of faith. In her review on our website, Verity Stead shared that this book is perfect for anyone experiencing feelings of frustration or inadequacy in their faith, providing understanding and a way forward. “It was incredibly helpful for my own faith... [It] enabled me to critically reflect on the influences that negatively affect me”.
Stephen McAlpine’s Being The Bad Guys – How to Live for Jesus in a World That Says You Shouldn’t recognises the changing position of the Church in society, and how this will affect Christianity going forward. McAlpine explores key points of tension between secular society and the Bible, and shares strategies to hold onto and share the truth. Scheduled for release this month, the book is full of hope and opportunities to continue to be the light in a society that seems to be rejecting it. THE POWER OF FAITH IN LIGHT OF SEXUAL ABUSE Rachael Denhollander’s powerful memoir What Is a Girl Worth? explores her experiences once she decided to expose the sexual abuse by US sports physician Larry Nassar. The book is challenging, but showcases the power of God working through Denhollander, allowing her heart to forgive. Her faith is interwoven right throughout the book, which highlights institutional abuse. This is my favourite book for the year (I know it’s a little early to be calling that!) and I cried reading her prayer for those complicit in the abuse. STILL REELING FROM THE IMPACT OF THE PANDEMIC? Where is God in a Coronavirus World? by John Lennox is a simple, easy-to-read defence of the Christian understanding of God in the face of what Lennox calls “a perplexing and unsettling time” when “most of our old certainties have gone”. In his review on our website, Bishop Robert Forsyth said the book points clearly to Jesus, “reminding us of the resurrection and guarantee of welcome and justice.”
The news magazine for Sydney Anglicans