Five Good Books To Read

If you read English, I urge you to read these books. They provide excellent insights about apologetics and worldview. For each recommendation I provide a link to Amazon, an excerpt from the book’s description, an interesting quote, and a brief comment by myself.

 

Fool’s Talk: Recovery The Art Of Christian Persuasion

(Kindle edition available)

Os Guinness

“In our post-Christian context, public life has become markedly more secular and private life infinitely more diverse. Yet many Christians still rely on cookie-cutter approaches to evangelism and apologetics. Most of these methods assume that people are open, interested and needy for spiritual insight when increasingly most people are not. Our urgent need, then, is the capacity to persuade―to make a convincing case for the gospel to people who are not interested in it.”

“Whenever and however God is not seen for who he is, but stands in the dock falsely frames and wrongly accussed, we must reframe the issue and so defend God’s name and restore the truth to the distorted view of reality.”

If you only read one of the five books, this is the most important text.  Chapter five, “The Anatomy of Unbelief,” is worth the cost of the book.

 

The Faith of Christopher Hitchens: The Restless Soul of the World’s Most Notorious Atheist

(Kindle addition available)

Larry Alex Taunton

“In The Faith of Christopher Hitchens, Taunton offers a very personal perspective of one of our most interesting and most misunderstood public figures.  Writing with genuine compassion and without compromise, Taunton traces Hitchens’s spiritual and intellectual development from his decision as a teenager to reject belief in God to his rise to prominence as one of the so-called “Four Horsemen” of the New Atheism.  While Hitchens was, in the minds of many Christians, Public Enemy Number One, away from the lights and the cameras a warm friendship flourished between Hitchens and the author; a friendship that culminated in not one, but two lengthy road trips where, after Hitchens’s diagnosis of esophageal cancer, they studied the Bible together.”

(Tuanton writes:) “I speak exclusily to Christians when I say this: how are we to proclaim our faith if we cannot even build bridges with those who do not share it?”

This book models in both form and content apologetics today. It is also full of creative analysis and inspiration.

 

Popologetics: Popular Culture in Christian Perspective 

(Kindle edition available)

Ted Turnau

“It’s everywhere . . . all around us . . . so widespread it’s like part of the air we breathe. Some people love it, some people hate it, and some just try to shrug it off or pretend it’s not there. But, like it or not, notice it or not, popular culture plays a huge role in our day-to-day lives, often influencing the way we think and see the world. Some people respond by trying to pull away from it altogether, and some accept it without question as a blessing. But Turnau reminds us that the issue is not so black-and-white. Popular culture, like any other facet of society, is a messy mixture of both grace and idolatry, and it deserves our serious attention and discernment.”

“Popular culture has become not only a sign of the times, but something fo a rudder of the spirit, a touchstone for our deepest desires and aspirations.”

Ted is a friend from my days at seminary and was a fellow missionary in Prague, where he continues to serve with Global Scholars. I highly recommend his book for its presentation of worldview, general revelation, and creative apologetics. Ted is introduced as one of my mentors in this site and he posted a quest blog: La Puerta Trasera del Corazon.

 

Long Journey Home: A Guide to Your Search for the Meaning of Life

Os Guinness

“Have you woken up to the journey of life? Have you reached a point where you long for “something more”? Have the things you have striven to achieve turned out to be far less than enough? Do you desire to unriddle life’s mystery and pursue a life rich with significance? Long Journey Home is a seeker’s road map to the quest for meaning. Rich in stories and profoundly personal as well as practical, it explores the great philosophies of life and charts the road toward meaning taken by countless thoughtful seekers over the centuries.”

“The observation by Socrates in his trial that ‘the unexamoned life is not worth living’ may be the most famous saying from the classical world — and also the least followed. Todays challenge is to lead an examined life in an unexamining age.”

This text provides excellent  illustrations and arguments to help someone who is seeking for the truth and for meaning in life.

 

The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert 

(Kindle edition available)

Rosaria Butterfield

“Rosaria, by the standards of many, was living a very good life. She had a tenured position at a large university in a field for which she cared deeply. She owned two homes with her partner, in which they provided hospitality to students and activists that were looking to make a difference in the world. There, her partner rehabilitated abandoned and abused dogs. In the community, Rosaria was involved in volunteer work. At the university, she was a respected advisor of students and her department’s curriculum. And then, in her late 30s, Rosaria encountered something that turned her world upside down-the idea that Christianity, a religion that she had regarded as problematic and sometimes downright damaging, might be right about who God was, an idea that flew in the face of the people and causes that she most loved. What follows is a story of what she describes as a “train wreck” at the hand of the supernatural. These are her secret thoughts about those events, written as only a reflective English professor could.”

“If he [God] ever was alive, the fact of poverty, racism, sexism, homophobia, and war was proof that he didn’t care about his creation.”

I highly suggest this book to understand the worldview of a postmodern unbeliever. It is also a valuable description of what radical repentance means. (The first two chapters deal with these themes, whereas the remaining chapters are less relevant.)

 

 

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