I read a fair number of books in the course of a year. Here are a couple I’ve just finished.
You’ll have to look a long time to find someone with greater evangelistic passion than Bill Hybels. Beyond modeling this value (and practice) for his congregation the past few decades, he’s written books and developed video courses to help others join the adventure. This book focuses on simple things ordinary Christians can do to help people connect with Jesus. At the heart of evangelism, Hybels suggests, is a love for people that compels us to build relationships. In some of these relationships we might have the privilege of seeing someone come to faith. In others – probably the majority – we’ll simply have the role of introducing some questions or providing resources. We can be certain there will be no harvest without sowing, watering and cultivating.
Timothy Keller, The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism
Keller is pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City. Far from the religious safety of the bible belt, Keller has planted this church in the largest city in America and seen it grow to several thousand (while assisting in the planting of numerous other churches in the region). His primary audience is composed of young, educated people, many with little or no Christian background. This book addresses many of the questions he’s heard people asking over the years. Having read the book, I can attest that I hear the same questions here in Pittsburg. Some of the challenges he addresses include, “There Can’t Be Just One True Religion,” “How Could a Good God Allow Suffering?” and “How Can a Loving God Send People to Hell?” Keller handles these and other issues with a well-reasoned, biblical and gracious approach. Though he is a Presbyterian of a strong Calvinist bent, he succeeds in his aim of writing in the context of what C.S. Lewis called “Mere Christianity,” the faith shared by mainstream Christians throughout the ages and around the world.