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15 Book Recommendations from The Crossing Staff

15 Book Recommendations from The Crossing StaffIn an effort to bring you some fresh reading material that will grow and stretch your faith, I have compiled a list of book recommendations from the staff here at The Crossing. *Disclaimer* Sarah Kilgore was under the weather today, so I’ll have to add her recommendations later. Hers will probably be the best, so be sure to check back.

Libby’s Top 3

1. The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson

From Amazon: According to Pastor Mark Batterson in his book, The Circle Maker, “Drawing prayer circles around our dreams isn’t just a mechanism whereby we accomplish great things for God. It’s a mechanism whereby God accomplishes great things in us.” Do you ever sense that there’s far more to prayer, and to God’s vision for your life, than what you’re experiencing? It’s time you learned from the legend of Honi the Circle Maker―a man bold enough to draw a circle in the sand and not budge from inside it until God answered his prayers for his people. What impossibly big dream is God calling you to draw a prayer circle around? Sharing inspiring stories from his own experiences as a circle maker, Mark Batterson will help you uncover your heart’s deepest desires and God-given dreams and unleash them through the kind of audacious prayer that God delights to answer.

2. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

From Amazon: In the classic Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis, the most important writer of the 20th century, explores the common ground upon which all of those of Christian faith stand together. Bringing together Lewis’ legendary broadcast talks during World War Two from his three previous books The Case for Christianity, Christian Behavior, and Beyond Personality, Mere Christianity provides an unequaled opportunity for believers and nonbelievers alike to hear this powerful apologetic for the Christian faith.

3. The Armor of God by Priscilla Shirer

From Lifeway: All day, every day, an invisible war rages around you — unseen, unheard, yet felt throughout every aspect of your life. A devoted, devilish enemy seeks to wreak havoc on everything that matters to you: your heart, your mind, your marriage, your children, your relationships, your resilience, your dreams, your destiny. But his battle plan depends on catching you unaware and unarmed. If you’re tired of being pushed around and caught with your guard down, this study is for you.

Kenny’s Top 3

1. Experiencing God by Henry and Richard Blackaby

From Amazon: The Experiencing God ministry is even more vibrant today than when it began. As it continues to rise, and the world continues to change, the Experiencing God book has been revised and expanded with more than seventy percent of its material newly written. A modern classic that has sold millions of copies worldwide, Experiencing God is based on seven Scriptural realities that teach us how to develop a true relationship with the Creator.

2. The Life You’ve Always Wanted by John Ortberg

From Amazon: You can live a deeper, more spiritual life right where you are. The heart of Christianity is transformation—a relationship with God that impacts not just our spiritual lives but every aspect of our daily lives. John Ortberg calls readers back to the dynamic heartbeat of Christianity—God’s power to bring change and growth—and reveals how and why transformation takes place.

3. The Unlikely Disciple by Kevin Roose

*Disclaimer* This is not a “Christian” book, but a book from the perspective of a nonbeliever toward believers, specifically at Liberty University.

From Amazon: Liberty is the late Reverend Jerry Falwell’s “Bible Boot Camp” for young evangelicals, his training ground for the next generation of America’s Religious Right. Liberty’s ten thousand undergraduates take courses like Evangelism 101, hear from guest speakers like Sean Hannity and Karl Rove, and follow a forty-six-page code of conduct that regulates every aspect of their social lives. Hoping to connect with his evangelical peers, Roose decides to enroll at Liberty as a new transfer student, leaping across the God Divide and chronicling his adventures in this daring report from the front lines of America’s culture war.

Hud’s Top 3

1. Fight by Craig Groeschel

From Amazon: Author and pastor Craig Groeschel helps you uncover who you really are―a man created in the image of God with a warrior’s heart―and how to fight the good fight for what’s right. You will find the strength to fight the battles you know you need to fight―the ones that determine the state of your heart, the quality of your marriage, and the spiritual health of your family.

2. Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman

From Amazon: Are you a follower of Jesus? Don’t answer too quickly. In fact, you may want to read this book before you answer at all. Consider it a “Define the Relationship” conversation to determine exactly where you stand. You may indeed be a passionate, fully devoted follower of Jesus. Or, you may be just a fan who admires Jesus but isn’t ready to let him cramp your style. Then again, maybe you’re not into Jesus, period. In any case, don’t take the question—Are you a follower of Jesus?—lightly. Some people don’t know what they’ve said yes to and other people don’t realize what they’ve said no to, says Pastor Kyle Idleman. But Jesus is ready to clearly define the relationship he wants with his followers. Not a Fan calls you to consider the demands and rewards of being a true disciple. With frankness sprinkled with humor, Idleman invites you to live the way Jesus lived, love the way he loved, pray the way he prayed, and never give up living for the One who gave his all for you.

3. Messy Grace by Caleb Kaltenbach

From Amazon: Caleb Kaltenbach was raised by LGBT parents, marched in gay pride parades as a youngster, and experienced firsthand the hatred and bitterness of some Christians toward his family. But then Caleb surprised everyone, including himself, by becoming a Christian…and a pastor.

Jay’s Top 3

1. Desiring God by John Piper

From Amazon: Satisfaction…Happiness…Joy. According to John Piper, the pursuit of pleasure in God is not only permissible, it’s essential. Desiring God is a paradigm-shattering work that dramatically alters common perspectives on relating to God. Piper reveals that there really is no need to choose between duty and delight in the Christian life. In fact, for the follower of Jesus, delight is the duty as Christ is most magnified in His people when they are most satisfied in Him.

2. Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer

From Amazon: The Knowledge of the Holy by popular evangelical author and Christian mystic A.W. Tozer illuminates God’s attributes—from wisdom, to grace, to mercy—and in doing so, attempts to restore the majesty and wonder of God in the hearts and minds of all Christians. A modern classic of Christian testimony and devotion, The Knowledge of the Holy shows us how we can rejuvenate our prayer life, meditate more reverently, understand God more deeply, and experience God’s presence in our daily lives. 

3. Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller

From Amazon: “I never liked jazz music because jazz music doesn’t resolve. I used to not like God because God didn’t resolve. But that was before any of this happened.” – Donald Miller

In Donald Miller’s early years, he was vaguely familiar with a distant God. But when he came to know Jesus Christ, he pursued the Christian life with great zeal. Within a few years he had a successful ministry that ultimately left him feeling empty, burned out, and, once again, far away from God. In this intimate, soul-searching account, Miller describes his remarkable journey back to a culturally relevant, infinitely loving God.

Brandon’s Top 3

1. God’s Pursuit of Man by A.W. Tozer

From Amazon: In these pages, Tozer says what it means to truly be saved. It is not merely to assent to Jesus and go on our same old way, but to be conquered by the Almighty God and invaded by His Spirit. A saved person is a transformed person. Let Tozer upend you in this moving prequel to The Pursuit of God. And being upended, may you be found standing upright in an upside-down world.

2. Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl by N.D. Wilson

From Amazon: “The round kind. The spinning kind. The moist kind. The inhabited kind. The kind with flamingos (real and artificial). The kind where water in the sky turns into beautifully symmetrical crystal flakes sculpted by artists unable to stop themselves (in both design and quantity). The kind of place with tiny, powerfully jawed mites assigned to the carpets to eat my dead skin as it flakes off . . . The kind with people who kill and people who love and people who do both . . .

This world is beautiful but badly broken.

3. The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

From Amazon: What can the call to discipleship, the adherence to the word of Jesus, mean today to the businessman, the soldier, the laborer, or the aristocrat? What did Jesus mean to say to us? What is his will for us today? Drawing on the Sermon on the Mount, Dietrich Bonhoeffer answers these timeless questions by providing a seminal reading of the dichotomy between “cheap grace” and “costly grace.” “Cheap grace,” Bonhoeffer wrote, “is the grace we bestow on ourselves…grace without discipleship….Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the girl which must be asked for, the door at which a man must know….It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life.”

What About You?

What are your top 3 books? Share them with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!

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