I was going to review these two books separately because they are so good, but 10ofThose currently have a deal that you can buy multiple copies of each for £10, what a bargain!
There are some books that you think ‘Yeah, that was nice’ but then there are books that convict, challenge, encourage and excite you all at the same time; here are two books that have challenged and encouraged me this week. Both of these books are short and can be read in one sitting, but you will want to return to them both, time and time again, to see the beauty of the good news and to check if we are living and communicating it as we should be.
Different – David Martin
Different is a short book, but boy does it pack a punch! David Martin identifies four sins that are rife in our churches and that can seriously damage our witness of Jesus. The book is only 75 pages long, but the impact that it will have on you will be much bigger. Martin challenges and encourages Christians to think through their attitudes, their lives and how distinct they are for the cause of the gospel.
As you read this book you will see your own sinfulness come to light and you will see an accurate diagnosis of the modern Western church. But you will also be constantly pointed to the glorious truths of the gospel that will encourage you and build you up. One of the many things that I loved about this book is how serious Martin takes the local church and its identity.
“The church is not simply a social cub that meets the interests of a select few in any particular community. Neither is the church the property of any small group of people with membership cards and voting rights. It is not an alternative source of entertainment, a platform for a political party of person, or a hobby for a few enthusiasts and a take-it-or-leave-it option for your average Christian. The church is the clearest sign to the world that Jesus has indeed been raised from the dead and that all who truly trust in him are destined for glory…. If your relationship with your church and with the people in your church has no claim on you, your resources and your time, then something is wrong somewhere.”
Take a moment to re-read that quote and let it sink in.
As Christians our greatest desire should be to live for, to submit to and to glorify God… we are called to be different. To do this we need to know and love Jesus, we need to talk to and learn from older saints and their walk with the Lord and we need to actively be living examples of what it means to be a follower of Jesus to the watching world.
I cannot recommend this book enough! 1 for £4.99 or 5 for £10.
Prophetic from the Center – D. A. Carson
My general rule is this; if Carson writes it, I must read it!
I was not disappointed!
‘Gospel’ is a word that is thrown around in Christian circles, but very rarely defined, most would say that it is the death, resurrection and return of Jesus, but it is far more than that. Not many churches take time to explain the whole gospel as we are satisfied with a very reductionist gospel which does not do justice to what we see in the Bible. Churches can assume that people know what the gospel, Carson warns us of the dangers of this approach.
“If the gospel is merely assumed, while relatively peripheral issues ignite our passion, we will train a new generation to downplay the gospel and focus zeal on the periphery.”
The book has three chapters all absolutely packed with gems! Eight summarising words, five clarifying sentences and one evocative summary all explaining and pointing the reader to the gospel and its beauty from 1 Corinthians 15:1-19. I couldn’t add in all of the great quotes from this book, but I highly recommend that you pick up this book and read it.
Prophetic from the center is only 54 pages long, it is very small, but it will challenge how you speak about, think about and live out the gospel in your own life.
“The good news must be announced, heralded, explained; God himself visits and revisits human being through his word”
Therefore, we must understand and know what we are heralding to the world. If we are to be followers of Jesus, then we must be faithful to His Word and all of our speech should be rooted in a faithfulness to the gospel that He has revealed to us in the Bible.
Buy a copy for £2.99 or 10 for £10, an absolute bargain!