Thursday, 23 December 2010

5 books that have inspired me in 2010

Its the time of year for lists Lists are actually quite a useful way of reflecting on what has happened in the last year so I am starting with my top 5 books that have inspired me this year

Missional Renaissance by Reggie McNeal.There is a lot of confusion between terms like emerging church and missional church. Reggie describes what he means by missional
 church..It is thoroughly orthodox,and radically evangelistic . I am convinced Reggie is on the right lines when he suggests the kind of changes that churches need to make if we are to be faithful to the gospel of Jesus Christ in the 21st century and make an impact on our post modern world.

William Wilberforce by William Hague
It is striking that the best biographies of great evangelicals are often written by those who do not share their evangelical faith,(for example Roy Hattersley's biography of John Wesley.) Hague's work on Wilberforce falls into the same category.It is well researched; sympathetic without being sycophantic ,shows a great grasp of how Wilberforce's faith motivated his entire life and demonstrates the huge difference just one committed person can make

Surprised by Hope by NT Wright
One of Wrights gifts is to force readers to engage with the biblical texts .Often he demonstrates, to me at least ,that the Bible doesn't always say what we think it says, but something else! Keep a bible nearby to refer to when you read this book

In Surprised by Hope  Wright  articulates a gospel and hope for so much more than disembodied bliss.Wright thinks biblical hope is not for an escape from this earth, but to the glorious day when God will make all things new. Well worth reading to get what  one reviewer has called "a biblical perspective on life after life after death"

The Peoples Preacher CH Spurgeon   by Peter Morden
 . Peters book is not only a good read but also presents Charles Spurgeon as a more rounded human being who suffered from depression among other things
The book taught me  4 lessons from Spurgeon's life; a passion for prayer ,a passion for the Bible,a passion for evangelism and above all these a passion for Jesus and honouring him in word and in deed!

Untamed- -reactivating a missional form of discipleship by Alan and Debra Hirsch
This is a book on discipleship.It  is a challenge to, and a protest against, the tame discipleship that passes for christianity in much of the western world.
In my view it is not as good as "The Forgotten Ways" but is illustrated with wonderful asbojesus cartoons and in the last chapter contains the best retelling of the Kierkegaard parable of the geese I have ever read.One quote sums the book up quite well " As disciples we are called to an untamed existence.....we are meant to live wild and dangerous lives....instead \we have allowed ourselves to be dulled into a life of mediocrity where the only wild adventures we take are in our dreams"

If you have read any of the books mentioned, and have comments to make, please feel free to do so.

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