are Compiled by Brenda Cox and include information on style and content to help you better know which selections best suite your interests and needs.
Deeper Life Suggested Reading
Dietrich Bonhoeffer:The Cost of Discipleship
A book that takes no prisoners on the battlefield of discipleship, Bonhoeffer challenges Christians with the distinctions between cheap grace and costly grace, between comfortable Christianity and a life sold out to the lordship of Jesus Christ. Published when he was 31, Bonhoeffer wrote in the bitterest crisis of German Christianity, the ascension of Hitler to political power and a German "Reich Church" that saw him as the Fatherland's messiah. It was not a time in Germany to soft-pedal Christian wares nor, in Bonhoeffer's mind, was there ever a time to dilute one's adherence to Christ. A demanding read, it will take time to digest his thoughts and let the challenge of Christ's call on a person's life find its resonance in your soul.
The Cost of Discipleship is the first selection from the Christian Classics Book Club that will be starting back up this fall for the first time in 4 years. If you would like to participate in the club this fall - or - If you would like Brenda's study guide to accompany your own reading of Bonhoeffer's book, contact us via the comment page on this site or by phone: 972-722-1905; 1-866-722-1905
Hannah Whithall Smith:The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life
Hannah Smith's book is a classic in Christian literature. Written in the 1880's it is a must read for anyone who takes seriously the call of Christ to follow Him. A timeless work that remains pristine in its presentation of faith and the pitfalls and challenges that attend the walk of discipleship, her understandings come from the challenges of her own life and resonate, not as untried, theoretical principles but as knowings that have been worked out in the trenches and found to be more than enough.
This book is the second offering covered in the Classics Book Club and also has a study guide that is available at minimal cost.
John Eldridge/Brent Curtis: Sacred Romance
Not of the same intensity or depth as the others, this beautifully written book nonetheless calls us to a God who yearns for us with a holy love and who ever woos us to Him. Both men write from the base of their own experiences and struggles and are refreshingly honest with the obstacles life throws at us to obstruct a love-relationship with God.
Abundant Life Suggested Reading
Ken Gire: Windows of the Soul
Wonderful in every way, this book is a modern classic, though not in the same vain as Annie Dillard's more problematic book below. Ken Gire's magnificent words bathe both mind and soul in inspiration and beauty. The reader finds himself wanting to see others differently and live life more vividly. The only disappointment with the book is that it ends.
Windows of the Soul is our first selection in the Christian Dinner Book Club that will be resuming this fall after a year's break. We will be discussing it around the table as this season's second selection. If you are interested in the Dinner Book Club which meets 3 times a year please contact us via our web comment page or by phone.
Anne Morrow Lindberg: Gift from the Sea
not designated as a "Christian book" it still is a thoughtful and inspirational challenge to a vibrant life lived in the midst of ordinary life. Written in the 1950's, it is as though she is peering through a looking glass at a woman's world today. Though in the context of her life as wife and mother of 5, her insights are for all.
Annie Dillard: Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
Though not represented as a Christian book, Annie Dillard is often quoted in Christian circles. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek is a modern spiritual classic of extraordinary insight and exquisite writing. You will either fall in love with this book or find it hard to wade through the detailed, almost laborious, descriptions that seem at times to meander randomly through the pages only in the end to be twined together in purpose and meaning. Her abstract thoughts and spiritual excursions tease the reader with questions of the meaning and purpose of a violent world that riddles its occupants with pain and suffering. In the end her questions find resolution in her own soul as she walks the banks of Tinker Creek in Virginia and comes to grips with the diametrical realities of a fallen world and of a loving God.
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek is more suited to the Interior Journey reading list, but if you should cherish this book, it will inspire you to a more abundant living.
Winged Life Reading List
Larry Crabb Books
Inside Out Shattered Dreams Connecting Finding God
Dan Allender Books
Healing the Wounded Heart The Cry of the Soul The Healing Path
John Eldridge: Waking the Dead
Robert McGhee:The Search for Significance
Note: Though these books are very helpful and often ground-breaking in application of God's principles to our bruised and wounded places, these reccomendations are not a blanket endorsement of all their doctrinal views. There are occasional places, particularly with Eldridge, that are shakey. This does not, however, negate the positive contribution they make to the liberation of our souls.
Let the Holy Spirit be a discerning filter in all you read or hear.
Interior Journey Reading List
*Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ *Union with God
Brother Lawrence *Practicing His Presence
Watchman Nee *Release of the Spirit
William Law Wholly For God Freedom From a Self-Centered Life
St. Teresa of Avilla *Interior Castles
St. John of the Cross *Dark Night of the Soul
Many of these books cover territory unfamiliar to modern Christian thought and all take the reader to deep places. Jeanne Guyon's Union With God and the books of William Law, St. Teresa and St. John of the Cross are particularly deep and challenging to contemporary Christian thought as they speak to the pilgrimage of the believer into transformational living. These are not "how to" books but rather works that lay forth the markers to expect along the way, the confusing patches of the soul such pilgrims pass through and what is happening in the desert places and silences that come to those who have chosen to become fully His.
All but William Law are Catholic. Law was a contemporary and friend of John and Charles Wesley and participated with them for a while in the Holiness Movement of the early 1700's. Guyon of France also wrote in the same approximate timeframe as did Law.