On our bookshelf: 6 books to read in 2018

January 12, 2018

On our bookshelf: 6 books to read in 2018

In the first few weeks of the new year, many of us are thinking about books we’d like to read over the next 12 months. So we asked the OMF UK Directors to recommend a book or two each, either one they’d enjoyed last year or one they have just started themselves.

Here are their suggestions. Happy reading!

Mike – Director for Candidates

 America’s Pastor: Billy Graham and the Shaping of a Nation by Grant Wacker

Themes:

Billy Graham is a global phenomenon that God used to bring unity in local churches, between races, between political parties and even between cold war states.  No one is perfect and this book graciously addresses some of the mis-steps of such a visible figure.

Why I read it:

It revealed something significant about the culture that shaped me.  I could see myself and my American up-brining “in living color” as I followed this gripping story.

Read it yourself: 

 Available from Amazon.co.uk.

12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You by Tony Reinke

Themes:

Reinke doesn’t ignore the benefits we receive through our phones, nor does he overlook the great temptations that they put before us.  He suggests that we should proceed with caution realising that the instant gratification our phones give us makes us short-tempered with those we love, it makes us fear missing out, and although we seek connection through it, our phone can make us lonely.

Why I read it:

I’m a technophile.  I love exploring the latest cutting-edge features, but I didn’t realise how it was changing me!

Read or listen to it yourself:

This title is available for free at ChristianAudio.com in January. Or as a standard paperback from 10ofthose.com.

Darren Wall – Director of Finance & Corporate Services

The Day the Revolution Began by Tom Wright

Themes:

Wright challenges that for many of us interpreting ‘Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures’ we have platonised our eschatology, moralised our anthropology and paganised our soteriology;  in slightly broader terms, its not just about being saved to go to heaven, seeing sin as primarily a personal issue and God being seen an angry deity pouring this out on Jesus to sort the problem out.

Instead, Christ dying on the cross enables us to be freed from the power of idolatry to take up the vocation of being those who God created us to be, ‘created to live as worshipping stewards within God’s heaven and earth reality, rather than as beings who by moral perfection qualify to leave earth and go to heaven instead’p78.

Why I read it:

I’ve read it twice and will probably read it again this year.  Although I don’t agree fully with Wright’s paganizing conclusion, there’s much which helpfully challenges our view of what we’re saved for and how we understand sin, something which Wright helpfully wraps up in challenging our understanding of ‘mission’ as he brings the book to a close.

Read it yourself:

Available from Amazon.co.uk.

Beverlea Parkhill – Director for Member Care & HR

Deep Calls to Deep: Spiritual Formation in the Hard Places by Tony Horsfall

Themes:

This book looks at a selection of Psalms that all use the phrase ‘out of the depths’ in some way and gives ‘insights into the reality of life with God’.

Why I will read it:

I have valued Tony Horsfall’s writings in the past and it has been recommended to me!

Read it yourself:

Available from Bible Reading Fellowship (BRF) online.

Trevor Warner – Assistant Director for Mobilisation

More drops, Mystery, Mercy, Messiology by George Verwer

Themes:

‘Messiology’ is George’s word for the mistakes and messes of the church. In this book he openly and honestly takes a look at God working in the midst of mistakes and messes in the church, in people’s lives and in his own, and see where there is mess God’s grace abounds more.

Why I read it:

George is a world statesman in mission and openly and honestly writes about his own life in a way that few others are willing to do, and brings deep biblical insights to bear on these issues.

Read it yourself:

Available from CWR.org.uk.

The scandal of the Evangelical Mind by Mark A Noll

Themes:

Noll addresses the issue of why the evangelical church, particular in America, has not engaged in society, he argues that Evangelicals have not been taught to think about how to apply Christian thinking to the world but to withdraw.

Why I read it: 

The book tackles some difficult issues of why evangelicals don’t engage in politics, the environment, science etc. from Christian worldview, whereas Christians in a previous generation or other streams of the church believe that they should.

Read it yourself: Available from Amazon.co.uk.

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