I’ve read or started reading 5 books in the last month that have fueled my faith and challenged my thinking in good ways. None of these are “worship” books, but they all relate to lifestyle worship.
5 Books to Fuel Your Faith
Scotty Smith is a well-known pastor in the Nashville area who has influenced many with his gospel-saturated teaching and ministry. The prayers in this book come from a long walk with Jesus that has required soul-searching along with scripture-digging to grapple with life’s challenges and joys. After a month of praying these prayers, I’ve come to depend on this books as a trusted source to reconnect my heart and mind with the hope and truth of the gospel. If you’re looking for ways to help you “preach the gospel to yourself” (per Jerry Bridges), this is a great daily resource.
Fueling your faith: This book demonstrates how one man moves from scripture and real life challenges to an unwavering grasp of the Gospel. I find my faith and belief in the Gospel bolstered each day. God’s words truly are words of life and Scotty helps me seem them.
Glenn Beck enjoys his role as provocateur and catalyst in the national media. While I don’t agree with all his conclusions, his fresh unconventional approach challenges my thinking. I found the same to be true of this book on George Washington. He debunks many myths spread in classroom textbooks and gives us a vision of the faith, leadership, vision and weaknesses of our first president. I found myself inspired and using a different standard as I watch the presidential debates happening across the United States. I also find myself challenged with what vision I have for myself and my children.
Fueling your faith: George Washington faced daunting odds and circumstances in his pursuit of establishing the American experiment. I didn’t realize the internal fights he had to fight. His is a story that shows the importance of character that was formed earlier in life–reinforcing to me the need to instill these qualities in my own children. I also see a man who recognized God’s hand in all of history–seeing even the discovery of Benedict Arnold’s treason as a gift from God, saving the Revolution from a crushing defeat.
Joel Rosenberg is a messianic Jew. As such he has unique perspectives on Israel, End Times prophecies and current events. He also is an incredible storyteller. I find his books mesmerizing and am intrigued by how many of the things he writes are playing out in modern history (NOTE: he writes many of these things prior to them playing out historically). Frankly, my eschatological views are challenged whenever I read his novels. Even if you end up disagreeing with his eschatology (which many do), you’ll find his novels to be page-turners and the story lines to be captivating.
Fueling your faith: There are many who teach vigorously on End Times issues. Some of the attempts to portray these through literature are built on much speculation and a faulty hermaneutic (in my opinion). Rosenberg, however, looks at current events from a thoughtful perspective which helps me read the news differently and pray for the return of Jesus more passionately, while still going about His daily kingdom business.
4. Revolution in World Missions by K.P. Yohannan
I mentioned this book in a previous post. K.P. is an Indian pastor, missionary and evangelist. His organization, Gospel for Asia, has started a revolution in how the church thinks about and does global missions. He advocates training and releasing national missionaries to reach their own country as far more cost effective and long-term impacting. They know the culture, which speeds up translation and adaption issues, and can live at the same standard of living, saving tons of missionary dollars. He doesn’t write off the role of Western missionaries, but says we should reevaluate our relationship and form strategic partnerships in our areas of strength. And, of course, he holds no punches when discussing the state of the Western church. This will challenge you, but it’s worth the read.
Fueling your faith: The call to take the gospel to all nations couldn’t be more clear in Scripture, yet the Western Church has distracted itself through all of its ministries, programs and buildings. Very few churches give 10% or more of their annual budget toward global missions and yet struggle little over raising millions for building projects. Yohannan challenges me to not only support church planting here in America, but to partner with his indigenous evangelists as they plant churches throughout the many nations of Asia.
5. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein
I make it a habit every year to either read or watch the Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein. This year I also decided to re-read The Hobbit, first read to me by my fifth grade teacher (thanks, Mr. Sanders). We’re also reading it aloud to our daughters. Since the movie is coming out next year, I figured it was a good to revisit this classic story. I highly recommend reading it before you see the story through Peter Jackson’s (the director) eyes.
Fueling your faith: Bilbo models for me a blundering faith. He didn’t believe in himself and discredited Gandalf’s belief in him. Nonetheless he joins the quest and finds ways to use his assets (a quick wit and a magic ring) to help his jolly band achieve victory. How often do I overlook the gifts God has granted me and feel they are inadequate?
What books have you read that have fueled your faith? What books are on your current reading list?