One of the joys of being a book reviewer is that I receive books on a huge variety of topics. I can open a parcel and find books on parenting, church life, discipleship, evangelism, Christian identity, and so on. Two topics that I probably haven’t read much on over the years are generosity and sports. Partly because the topic of generosity is normally plays a minor role on a book about finances and because I don’t play sports. Here are two books that I’ve enjoyed reading this past week on the topics of generosity and sport…
The Generosity Project by Tony Payne & Geoff Robson
This is a great wee book that is designed to be a course that is designed to be worked through with other people, a small group for example. Each study involves a Bible study, imputes from a Bible teachers (in written form or through an online video), questions to reflect on and case studies to think through.
When we hear the word generosity our minds probably turn to money. We might determine how generous a person is based on how much their financial giving is to good causes. But generosity is far more than just how we deal with our finances, we can be generous with our time, our energy, our gifts, our talents. Basically we can be generous with every area of our lives. Why should we do this?
“We’ve been set free from the prison of our own self-regard and from all the destructive consequences that flow from it. The generous grace of God liberates us to be different people – people of lavish generosity rather than greed.”
I enjoyed this book because it tackled a neglected topic in the church (in my opinion) but in a really helpful way of expounded Biblical texts and asking thought provoking questions. The contributions from pastors and church leaders were really helpful and the videos were really good. If you’re wanting to study generosity as a small group or as a church, this would be a great resource for you.
I would say though that whilst the book does mention a lot that generosity means more than just money, it doesn’t really go into huge detail of other things. Also, in terms of money I would have liked to have seen a bit more of a focus on sacrificial giving, not just an exhortation to be generous.
I still think it’s a good book that could work well in a small group setting. Let me know what you think of it.
The Good Sporting Life by Stephen Liggins
I’ve never been hugely into sports, largely because I’m not very good at playing any sport. But reading this book I got a glimpse into someones life who really does enjoy their sport. Stephen Liggins opens up about his own journey through sports and how sport and Christianity are not incompatible.
In this book you’ll find the story and encouragements of a man who loves Jesus and sport, Liggins takes his readers to the Bible and teaches them about how they can play sport for God’s glory. Liggins touches on topics like sportsmanship, joy, evangelism and support. Whilst the book is written for the person playing sport, it also has sections for coaches, ministers, chaplains, referees and parents. Liggins tackles some of the big questions and heated areas of debate surrounding sports too which are thought provoking.
If you’re interested in sport, or you know someone who is, this could be a great wee gift for them to consider how they can play sport to the best of their ability for God’s glory and be examples of following Jesus.
Stephen Liggins serves as a pastor at a church in Sydney, is a visiting lecturer at Sydney Missionary and Bible College, and writes short articles on evangelism for a Christian website. He is married with two children, and enjoys sport, movies, reading, and reminiscing about his backpacking days.