Note: All pictures taken from Amazon.
Sometimes people sharing the truth of the Gospel can be frustrating. So many people pass by virtual folks on the Internet or men and women on the street and say “Jesus loves you” or “Here’s how Jesus saves you from your sin” without ever explaining themselves. It can seem like all unbelievers have heard that before and all believers long to hear something “deeper.” Consequently, the devil tempts us to “grow” by moving farther from the roots of our faith, telling us that all the grand and fancy words only the most learned theologians use are more important than the simple truth that the beauty of heaven has come to us in the person of Jesus Christ.
Nevertheless, everything upon which our faith is based stems from the Gospel. Its success at breathing new life and hope into humanity remains and will remain unparalleled, unhindered, unmeasured. We can never overstate its importance, yet sometimes we lose sight of it. It is with this temptation in mind, then, that I now share with you three great works of Christian nonfiction, specially written to combat this all-too pervasive lie of Satan.
- The Story of Reality by Gregory Koukl | I talked about this book in a previous blog post, but what I said then is just as true now, so I’ll attach it below:)
The Story of Reality by Gregory Koukl— In one of the book’s featured testimonials, Frank Turek compares Koukl’s book to Mere Christianity. I cannot think of any other way to describe what Koukl did here. If you look at the back cover, it sounds simple enough:
In The Story of Reality, bestselling author Gregory Koukl unpacks the story of our world through a wide-angle lens, introducing you to some of the most important questions every person must ask about life, death, the evil in this world, and why we are here. This is the story of the Bible told through five simple and easy-to-remember words: God, Man, Jesus, Cross, and Resurrection. These five words capture the meaning of our humanity and of all human history from beginning to end.
Yet, as I have found, this book is far from simple. I opened it out of curiosity (my father is a fan of Koukl) and was not expecting anything new; I closed it bewildered that I had thought it would not be worthwhile. It’s that wonderful, and, as J. Warner Wallace once said, it is “a must-read for anyone who wants to understand Christianity.”
The Story of Reality is one of my all-time favorite works of nonfiction ever, and it’ll definitely be a re-read for me in 2019. This book goes into the details of the Gospel’s pervasiveness throughout Scripture, emphasizes its depth while always pointing to the true story.
2. This Changes Everything: How the Gospel Transforms the Teen Years by Jaquelle Crowe | When I joined Crowe’s writing workshop over a year ago, my fellow students always ranted about this book—and, as it turned out, for good reason. I was impressed beyond whatever measure I thought I would be. This is a book that has the potential to completely alter everything one has ever thought about teenagers (and Christian ones, for that matter!), and it’s written in as straightforward a syntax, as genial a tone, and as down-to-earth a structure as you could want it. If you’re younger than the specified age but still want to live for God’s glory, read it; if you’re older than the specified age but you want to see why this author’s first book received the eager applause of the Christian publishing community, read it. If you are that age—well, the same exhortation applies to you, too!
3. A Gospel Primer for Christians: Learning to See the Glories of God’s Love by Milton Vincent | If you’re looking for a short book to top off this Gospel-centered trilogy, look no further than Vincent’s Gospel Primer. Lent to me by another young woman of the faith, this book surges with simplicity, humility, and power. It is, in addition, much shorter than the other two described above. Where Story of Reality succeeds in being the best presentation of the Gospel story and This Changes Everything in focusing on the tangible elements the Gospel affects in our lives, A Gospel Primer succeeds in discussing the immaterial manners in which the Gospel should dwell in our hearts. It also has the Gospel in prose, in poetry, and in a testimony from the author, which is such a wonderful bonus.
No matter how mature we are in our Christian walks, the Gospel must always stand at the center and at the fore, reaching into lost souls, shining in the darkness, and helping us keep the world salty (Matthew 5:13-16). If you want to grow significantly in your Christian walk, pick up these books and let them refocus your view of the Gospel. It will never be the same afterwards.
October 20, 2018