Various books that we have found interesting, encouraging and informative are listed below. We think you will find these books to be uplifting in your daily walk.
Lies We Believe about God
by Wm. Paul Young
From the author of the twenty million plus copy bestselling novel The Shack and the New York Times bestsellers Cross Roads and Eve comes a compelling, conversational exploration of the wrong-headed ideas we sometimes have and share about God.
Wm. Paul Young has been called a heretic for the ways he vividly portrays God’s love through his novels. Here he shares twenty-eight commonly uttered and sometimes seemingly innocuous things we say about God. Paul exposes these as lies that keep us from having a full, loving relationship with our Creator.
With personal anecdotes and sharing the compassion readers felt from the “Papa” portrayed in The Shack—soon to be a major film starring Sam Worthington and Octavia Spencer—Paul encourages readers to think anew about important issues including sin, religion, hell, politics, identity, creation, human rights, and helping us discover God’s deep and abiding love.
Meeting the Muse
by Mick Mooney
What does it take to achieve our creative aspirations, and how do we bring to life the ideas and the stories deep within us? Milton Green had an answer to this very question: He just had to meet his muse. If he could only find his inspiration, then all Milton’s greatness within would surely burst forth and he would finally write a prolific and critically acclaimed novel. Well, as fate would have it, after an unexpected event (getting fired) and an impulsive reaction (getting drunk) Milton finds himself in an out of body experience to meet the very person he’s been seeking: The Muse! So what does the Mansion of the Muse look like? What wild and wonderful rooms does it contain? How many adventures and revelations can one have there? Milton discovers the answers to all these questions as he is taken on a tour by the Muse, from room to room, and along the way learns just what it means to not only find your inspiration, but to truly connect with it. Meeting the Muse is a funny, thought provoking story that weaves a tale of how inspiration and perspiration work together to create art that makes a difference in the world and our own lives.
It’s Life Jim
by Jim Marjoram
This book is a journey through a life of battling homosexuality, self-hatred, religious obsession, suicidal desperation, guilt, shame, loss, and into a world of unconditional love and acceptance. It’s a spiritual journey that breaks through tradition and dogma to discover the depth of what it means to live loved.
by Keith Giles
What if the greatest threat to Christianity in America was American Christianity? As the Church has become increasingly entangled in the pursuit of politics, the Gospel has become tarnished and often abandoned as the primary focus of the Body of Christ. Jesus Untangled is a prophetic call for the Church to awaken from the “American Dream” and to return to Her first love. Because, as the author powerfully demonstrates in these pages, you can’t convert a culture that has already converted you.
What if the Gospel is not about making the Godless Godly, but making the godly godless? What if Jesus isn’t interested in calling us to add one more deity to our list of priorities, but to abandon the notion of the divine as we’ve imagined it altogether, and to follow him down a path so contradictory to our concepts of God, that it looks more like forsaking him than following him? In The Atheistic Theist, Jeff Turner argues that the only way to find God is to lose God, and that many of us who think we’ve found God, have lost God. This book is a radical call to recapture the Church’s ancient, atheistic legacy, and to purify our understanding of God by purging it of the notion of “god.” It is a call to lose “god,” and to find “God;” to follow Jesus, and to forsake our idols; to becomes atheists that we might become theists.
While millions of believers around the world are finding their understanding of Christianity to be outdated and untenable, Matthew Distefano has managed to paint the Gospel in such a way that even an atheist could appreciate its beauty. Rather than a message of rapture, or rewards and reprisals, Distefano presents the good news of what God has done in history to stem the tide of our own violence and evil–inviting us into a whole new way of living and being in this world. By integrating RenE Girard’s “mimetic theory” and Ernest Becker’s “death anxiety,” Distefano is able to diagnose the root causes of human violence and then offer the life-giving solution in the person of Jesus. Both the struggling evangelical and unbeliever alike can take refuge here, finding in this Gospel the thing their soul–and the disintegrating world around them–is thirsting for.
Ever wonder why there are so many different interpretations of the Bible? A book that apparently has all the answers but winds up being understood in a thousand different ways? Could it be that it was never meant to provide objective solutions to the world but to instead serve individual believers as a map for their respective walk? Have we misinterpreted the purpose and place of the New Testament today? This book suggests that yes, we have – and it’s high time to see the Bible for what it is – a gift from God to bless individuals and not a knife to kill one another.
Following the Rabbi
by Daniel R. Skillman
The most famous Jewish Rabbi who ever lived, Jesus of Nazareth, issued a simple directive, “Come, follow me.” He believed that you can do it. There are many voices outlining what following Jesus is supposed to look like. It can get pretty confusing. The key to cutting through the clutter is simple: Listen to the Rabbi Himself. Listening to many teachers and preachers, it’s easy to get the impression that the voice of God is essentially one of judgment and condemnation. But when you listen to Rabbi Jesus, you hear a voice of acceptance, forgiveness, and love. If it doesn’t flow from love, and lead to love, it doesn’t come from Jesus; it doesn’t come from God. That is why I contend that the unmistakable fruit of the one following the Rabbi is love. Come, follow the Rabbi with me.
The Unkingdom of God: Embracing the Subversive Power of Repentance
by Mark Van Steenwyk
Christianity is carrying a lot of baggage. Two thousand years of well-intended (and sometimes not so well-intended) attempts to carry forward the good news of God with us have resulted in some murky understandings of the teachings of Jesus and the culture of God’s kingdom. To embrace Christianity, sometimes we have to repent of what we’ve made of it. In The Unkingdom of God Mark Van Steenwyk explores the various ways we have failed our mission by embracing the ways of the world and advancing our own agendas. He shows us that the starting place of authentic Christian witness is repentance, and that while Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world, it remains the only hope of the world.
Christianity Without Churchianity
by Richard Jacobson
Millions of believers are currently leaving the organized church, without giving up their faith. Sadly, many are only defining themselves by what they don’t do, as Christians who simply “don’t go to church.” It’s time for these believers to catch a vision for genuine spiritual community, outside the walls of organized Christianity, a way of being the church without going to church. Unchurching: Christianity Without Churchianity will challenge everything you thought you knew about church. Unchurching boldly examines whether organized churches are even biblical. It thoroughly deconstructs the idea of special church buildings, paid pastors, weekly sermons, mandatory tithes and offerings, gender inequality in church leadership, and much more. Unchurching is intended to empower believers who are done with organized church but aren’t ready to abandon their faith. It will give non-churchgoing Christians a vision for genuine spiritual community that simply functions like an extended spiritual family. And it will equip them with the language to finally articulate that vision to others. Here’s what others are saying about Unchurching: “Lots of books that invite Christians to follow Jesus outside of the four walls of churchianity are filled with harsh judgment and criticism of how others ‘do church.’ But not this book! Unchurching by Richard Jacobson is full of love and grace. There is no judgment, condemnation, or guilt-casting of any kind. Beginning with the Trinity of God, Jacobson presents a grand vision of what the church can be and how we can truly have community as followers of Jesus. Read this book and be encouraged to take the next step of your journey!” ~ Jeremy Myers, author and blogger at RedeemingGod.com “Unchurching: Christianity without Churchianity validates and empowers the rapidly growing number of people who are in the transition between traditional church and an informal community of disciples meeting outside the four walls of the church building. Richard Jacobson has been on both sides of this shift and is uniquely qualified to write about it—which he does well, with insight, humility, and scholarship. I especially valued his comments on the freedom that women have to do and be everything God is calling them to. Highly recommended.” ~ Felicity Dale: author, An Army of Ordinary People; co-author, Small is Big “Unchurching presents us with a picture of a church that is all about one person—Jesus. As I read this book I felt my pulse quicken and my heart leap for joy because everything Richard writes about is centered on, around, and in relation to the One who would rather die than live without us. Anyone who loves Jesus and who longs to take hold of Him in a gathering where He is the focal point will delight in this book. It’s truly amazing what happens when we get out of the way and allow Jesus to take center stage. This book shows us what that can look like, if we are willing to let go of our traditions and embrace the living, breathing Christ who longs to share His life with us throughout eternity, starting right now!” ~ Keith Giles, author of This Is My Body: Ekklesia As God Intended; author of Jesus Untangled.
I read this book twice finding it a joy to read because it was so un-condemning in its approach to what the church was meant to be. Richard Jacobson writes in a way that brings up questions and gives his opinion on what some of the answers might be. He does not write from a know-it-all perspective nor in a judgmental way. ‘unchurching’ covers many areas of the traditional church as we know it today compared to how the Church was in its beginning. Could it be that Church was a community of believers living day by day under the headship of Christ and the leading of the Holy Spirit without the hierarchy and organization we have today? If you have left the organized church and modern-day religion, or if you are contemplating doing so this book is for you. It brings up many questions and gives common sense opinions of what church is and what it was meant to be. One point that really hit me was when Richard used the verse about Jesus telling Peter to follow him, yet Peter turned around and saw John and ask Jesus ‘what about him’? Jesus said to Peter you follow me and don’t worry about him. That can be applied today to people who have or have not left the organized church. If God calls you to leave or stay do what He says and don’t worry about what others think. Take some time to read through this book and see for yourself if you don’t come away with a clearer view of what the Church is that Jesus is building.
Free Range Faith is a companion memoir for people who have left the institutional church, but not the faith.
Glenn Hager addresses the question, “Is there is a more real and meaningful way to try to follow Jesus and express your faith without having to deal with all of the baggage of the institutional church?”
He honestly admits, “I was trying to figure out what’s next. I did not want to re-enter the institution that we call the church, but I never ceased being amazed by Jesus. I decided that however I expressed my faith, it needed to be real, personal, and a part of everyday life.”
The author does something I have not encountered before. He suggests a potential path forward for irreligious friends of Jesus. He examines each of the practices generally believed to be important for nurturing spiritual formation by looking at the conventional way they are expressed, then digging deeper to uncover the foundational principle for the practice, and lastly, considering a more open, meaningful, and honest means of expression.
He also devotes several pages to what he calls “lessons that I haven’t mastered.” These “lessons” are things that every honest person of faith struggles with, like the tension between trusting God and personal responsibility, our hunger for certainty and things that seem to be unanswerable, and the inner battle between grace and guilt.
It is an invaluable resource for honest seekers, people who have questions, but haven’t been finding answers in the institutional church, and for those who are re-examining their faith and are looking for meaningful avenues of expression.
This book is about breaking out of the cage and flying free by forging a personal faith rather than outsourcing it an institution.
I enjoyed reading this book so much I read it twice. It is an easy read and held my interest throughout the book. Glenn writes in a way that is informative and interesting, relating his thoughts and feelings and asking questions that many of us who are or who were in the church have asked over time. Having grown up in the institutional church I certainly relate with many of the things mentioned. It was almost like reading my own story with the church and the thoughts and questions I had over time but was afraid to admit to having. If you have left the organized church and are feeling a little guilty or if you are questioning your decision, this book will help make some sense as to why you left and what you can do to move on with life with God outside of organized religion. If you are still in the institution this book will help you understand those who have left and why they did, yet without any feeling of condemnation toward anyone. If you are having some questions about the organized church and you find yourself questioning your faith and what you have been taught reading this book will be a help and encouragement to you. As a former pastor and active member of the organized church Glenn has been there and knows what he is talking about. There is a better way, a way that God intended for His Church in the first place.
Craft Brewed Jesus
by Michael Camp
What if the modern American church has its Christian history wrong? According to ex-evangelical Michael Camp, most American believers fail Christian History 101. Drawing on his own historical research and missionary experience, he discovers that most popular Christian views of the Bible, church, sin, salvation, judgment, the kingdom of God, the “end times” and the afterlife–pretty much all religious sacred cows–don’t align with the beliefs of the original Jesus movement. Some of them not even close. Camp’s Craft Brewed Jesus paves a fascinating journey of a group of disillusioned evangelicals and Catholics. When they decide to meet regularly over craft beers to study the historic foundations of their faith, their findings both rock their world and resolve ancient mysteries. They examine well-documented narratives of the early Jesus saga, Eastern streams of a lost Christianity, and the roots of our modern religious assumptions, all while striving to steer clear of either a conservative or liberal bias. What they uncover is a vital, refreshing spiritual paradigm no longer at odds with reality. Grab your brew of choice and trace this transformational journey based on a true story that will encourage you in your walk of life and faith.
by Josh Packard
As millions of church members fall into inactivity each year, they’ve probably also started skipping church on Sunday.
We need answers—not statistics. We need to understand and hear from people who are leaving church so we can find a way to turn around the trend.
This book uses in-depth sociological research to get to the heart of the issue. The data is collected from interviews with real people about why they left and who they really are. These aren’t the “nones” who have no religious affiliation. They’re the “dones” who’ve been faithfully serving in local churches for years. This is their story.
I enjoyed reading this book and found it quite easy to read. Since leaving the institutional church a couple years ago, I found the stories of people who have done the same quite interesting and encouraging. Just to know there are others who feel the same way helped me to realize I am not alone in the way I feel. If you have left the organized church, are thinking about it, know someone who has left or just not satisfied with the modern day church, this is a good source of information from others who are going through similar situations.
God and the Gay Christian
by Matthew Vines
The landmark book exploring what the Bible actually says—and doesn’t say—about same-sex relationships.
As a young Christian man, Matthew Vines harbored the same basic hopes of most young people: to some-day share his life with someone, to build a family of his own, to give and receive love. But when he realized he was gay, those hopes were called into question. The Bible, he’d been taught, condemned gay relationships.
Feeling the tension between his understanding of the Bible and the reality of his same-sex orientation, Vines devoted years of intensive research into what the Bible says about homosexuality. With care and precision, Vines asked questions such as:
• Do biblical teachings on the marriage covenant preclude same-sex marriage or not?
• How should we apply the teachings of Jesus to the gay debate?
• Can celibacy be a calling when it is mandated, not chosen?
• What did Paul have in mind when he warned against same-sex relations?
Unique in its affirmation of both an orthodox faith and sexual diversity, God and the Gay Christian has sparked heated debate, sincere soul searching, and widespread cultural change on the issue of what it means to be a faithful gay Christian.
Interesting book and easy read. Matthew gives us many things to consider in regard to the Bible and the subject of being gay. He gives us many things to think about and a different view of several verses that talk about homosexuality. Is he right or is it just one man’s opinion? Read this good book on the subject and decide for yourself. Whatever you decide, this book gives us a different way of interpreting some questionable Biblical verses on the topic.
Repenting of Religion: Turning from Judgment to the Love of God
by Gregory Boyd
We human beings are burdened by our tendencies to harshly judge others and ourselves. Unfortunately for believers, this bent is as prevalent in the church as in the world. Pastor and author Gregory A. Boyd calls readers to a higher standard through understanding the true manner in which God views humanity: as infinitely worth-while and lovable. Only an attitude shift in how we perceive ourselves in light of God’s love can impact how we relate to people and transform our judgmental nature. Believers wrestling with the reality of God’s love and Christians struggling with judging in the local church will appreciate this examination of how we move from a self-centered to a Christ-centered life.
As a teenager and young man, Justin Lee felt deeply torn. Nicknamed “God Boy” by his peers, he knew that he was called to a life in the evangelical Christian ministry. But Lee harbored a secret: He also knew that he was gay. In this groundbreaking book, Lee recalls the events–his coming out to his parents, his experiences with the “ex-gay” movement, and his in-depth study of the Bible–that led him, eventually, to self-acceptance.
But more than just a memoir, TORN provides insightful, practical guidance for all committed Christians who wonder how to relate to gay friends or family members–or who struggle with their own sexuality. Convinced that “in a culture that sees gays and Christians as enemies, gay Christians are in a unique position to bring peace,” Lee demonstrates that people of faith on both sides of the debate can respect, learn from, and love one another.
How Far is Heaven?
by Ronnie McBrayer
Ronnie McBrayer explores the “kingdom parables of Jesus” and finds in them an urgent challenge for Christians to reassess the gospel they believe and the role their professed faith plays in the world today. He argues that the gospel cannot be reduced to apocalyptical escapism, whereby the true believers will one day be rescued from the sufferings of planet Earth; nor can faith be used as a type of benefits program, providing the individual with the privileged comfort of membership. Instead, the gospel audaciously enters the sufferings of this present world with transforming love, as Jesus can never be locked away “in our hearts.” He, his message, and his followers break defiantly free to renew and reshape not only tomorrow, but also the here and now. Thus, the gospel according to Jesus is not just about a harp-playing, cloud-riding, pie-in-the-sky heaven. It is holistic, all-encompassing, redeeming deliverance for people today, not tomorrow. And the follower of Jesus is called to live out the active, participating presence of Christ in the world of now—right here where we live, work, love, and serve—because heaven is far closer than we think.
Another enjoyable read from Ronnie McBrayer. I love Ronnie’s interpretations of some popular Bible stories. The Kingdom of God is within us, and it is here and now. Enjoy reading this book and take into consideration some different ways to look at some popular stories in regard to Kingdom living.
Leaving Religion, Following Jesus
by Ronnie McBrayer
Leaving Religion, Following Jesus is a book about running after Jesus, about a journey with the Christ—his journey and yours. It is a book about looking and listening to the unexpected. It is a book about opening our eyes, unstopping our ears, and soaking up the gracious wonder that he is, the wonder that surrounds us. We do not know where Jesus will lead us; we have no idea of the long journey that waits for any of us. But it begins with that first step; that first halting, timid step that puts you on the road away from religion and onward to the Christ.
The author has a way of writing that is interesting, informative and holds my attention. This book makes good points on living for Christ without all the religious, rules, do this – do not do that, better than others way of living. It is by the grace of God that we come to be followers of Christ, and living for Him is not what we are normally taught. Loving God and loving others, even those who most ‘church people’ try to stay away from, is the way to show the love of Christ, not making them feel condemned and good for nothing. I thought this book made some interesting points on subjects that for so long I felt were pretty basic and unquestionable. I’m looking forward to reading some other books by this author.
Church is More than Bodies, Bucks, and Bricks
by Jeremy Myers
From the Author: I first heard the idea that church is more than bodies, bucks, and bricks from a seminary professor. I do not remember who.
But the idea stuck with me, and as a pastor I tried to both live and teach the idea that as wonderful as it was for people to give to the building fund, show up for Sunday morning services, and invite people to church, the true church of Jesus Christ was when they went out from the building to love and serve people in the world.
If all we do is gather together, give money, and construct buildings, we are not being the church. In this book, I invite the reader to consider what the church is, and how we can be the church in the world, even if we don’t have budgets, buildings, or large crowds.
Enjoyed reading this book. It gives some alternative thoughts about modern-day church and some of the traditions we think are supposed to be part of our christian lives. Also gives some thoughts and ideas of how to gather together without relying on having a building, with the purpose of using the money to help the community rather than pay salaries, mortgage and expenses. Very informative.
Awareness: Conversations on Grace, Awakening, and Breaking Free from Religion is about finding that profound place of contentment. As a grace filled awareness rises in your heart you can be guaranteed one thing: you will never look at life the same way you always have. The writhes and twists that self-inflicted religion can impose on our inner life are both addictive and disturbing – sapping our spirits like a corrosive vapor oozing out of our limited perceptions. We hear a lot about awareness, enlightenment, or awakening – what do we really understand by those terms and how does that integrate in the day to day life of the average person as they go to work, feed the dog, and navigate hectic traffic on a crowded city street? Is awareness all about that mountain-top experience but of no real practical benefit? Do we all need to find a lonely wooden cabin and retire there for the next 30 years in solitude and bliss? What if awareness is not what we have been led to believe? What if God is not as complicated as we think he is? What if God is actually nice? Perhaps the human race, through our matrix of shame, brokenness and determined efforts to appease a deity (any deity will do) have complicated the simplicity, joy, and freedom of walking in divine love. In Steve’s ongoing fashion of ‘thinking outside the box‘ here is a patchwork of parables and reflections to help draw us away from the shadowy mausoleum of religious angst.
I loved this book. The author talked about several of the same thoughts and feelings I have been having and wondering. The grace of God is still so misunderstood by the religious world. Some controversial questions were also brought up that truthfully, many of us wonder about but are afraid to ask. The difference between grace and religion are made clear, and the unconditional love of God for all of us is plainly shown. I thought the author did a very good job of showing true grace, unconditional love and the fact that God lives within us, not way up in heaven, separated from us. Very enjoyable and informative book.
The Church in the Wilderness
by Chip Brogden
Other than politics, there is nothing that stirs the deep feelings and emotions of people more than a discussion about religion. Christians have discussed and debated the proper way to worship God for two thousand years, and have often separated from one another in an effort to restore what they (rightly or wrongly) believed to be the “correct” way of practicing their faith. It is into this area of great contention that we submit our perspective. The premise is simple. Jesus, in obedience to His Father, has a specific purpose and vision in mind for what His people should be and what they should do while representing Him on the earth. The early believers grasped that vision. They lived it out to the best of their ability, and God blessed that humble beginning. But something took Christianity away from its simple, Christ-centered roots. Today, the original vision and purpose is largely unknown, and has been replaced with something else. This “something else” looks similar on the surface, but is actually far removed from the faith, practice, and spirit of the New Testament. Those who are concerned for God’s Kingdom and Will, who love God’s people and care about their spiritual growth and maturity, have looked at the history of the Christianity and have been compelled to ask: what happened? How did it happen? Why did it happen? And what can be done to bring us back into alignment with God’s purpose once again? We believe that God has answered these questions. We believe He is restoring that vision and is calling all of us back to that original foundation. This book calls attention to the difference between what God wanted from His people and what He actually received from us instead.Our prayer is that God will use this book to encourage those of you who are “outside the camp” and let you know that you are not alone. And we hope it will provide some answers to all of God’s people (both inside and outside the religious system) as to why so many have been led by God to take this difficult path out of Organized Religion and into the wilderness. Ultimately, the reader must weigh the things that are said, search the Scriptures, seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and decide how to respond.
Very good book on Christ being our everything. I have become disillusioned with modern-day christianity and this book explained the reason why and what can be done about it. I started reading this book and literally couldn’t put it down. Anyone who has questions about the organized church of today should read this book.
The Revelation of Grace: Book 1 of the Founded Upon Grace Series
by Eddie Snipes
One of the greatest hindrances within the church is that Christians don’t believe what God has declared, that those who are in Christ have been freed from both sin, and the law that condemned sin. Scriptures teach that through one man, Adam, sin came into the world, and through that offense, mankind came under bondage to sin. Yet the Bible then explains that the grace that came through Christ much more abounded over the sin that came through Adam, and that Jesus appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.
God declared that His grace much more abounded over sin, but the church believes that sin abounds over the grace that came through Christ. We have been taught to believe that our sin can defeat the work of Christ, instead of being taught that as we learn to walk in grace by faith, sin cannot stand. People resist what has been called hypergrace because they fear sin, when the Bible teaches that sin cannot have dominion over those who walk by faith.
God has revealed grace so we can understand that there is no barrier between us and perfect fellowship with God. The Old Testament believers were forbidden to come into God’s presence, but once Christ conquered sin, the veil that stood between us and God’s holiness was torn from heaven’s side down to man. Now we are commanded to come confidently before God without fear, because Jesus made and end of sin. Until you understand grace, and how it is the defeat of sin, you will never grow beyond superficial Christianity. My prayer is that this book will be a tool to guide you into faith in His grace.
This was a very informative and eye-opening book to the truth about grace. For so long, religion has accepted grace as only a starting point, then added law and good works into the mix to continue living for God. The author shows many truths about grace and the difference from the Old and New Covenant way of living. It is all about Jesus and his work, not ours. If you’ve gone to organized church for a long time, or if you have stayed away because of the rules and regulations, this book will make clear the freedom we have in Christ, and the love God has for each of us.
Grace for Grown Ups
by Paul Anderson-Walsh
In my opinion Paul Anderson-Walsh has stepped into the centre of a raging, world wide spiritual reformation, and amidst its fire and chaos has brought simplicity, order, reason and clarity in his latest book, Grace for Grown Ups. It is no secret that the grace movement has exploded across the world, infiltrating and affecting nearly every Christian denomination to its very core. This book is for the Christian person who truly wants to grow in grace; if you want more out of the grace message than just a spiritual pain killer to be taken as needed, Grace for Grown Ups is a spiritual roadmap that will lead you to that end. Truly a masterpiece….Darin Hufford (best selling author of The Misunderstood God).
The King and His Kingdom
by Peter Whyte
This is a book about King Jesus and life in His Kingdom. The Kingdom of God is the only thing Jesus ever called the Gospel. This book is for servants, disciples and genuine lovers of God. It is sure to challenge your faith, shake your traditions and renew your heart.
Very good and interesting book. So few of us realize that we are living in the Kingdom of God now. It’s not a future place after we die. And most of us don’t understand what living in Babylon means, but it will greatly surprise you when you find out in the closing chapters of this book. This book was broken down into mostly 4 to 5 page chapters making it very easy to read.
The Hyper-Grace Gospel
by Paul Ellis
Silver Medal Winner: 2015 Illumination Book Awards: God’s love for you is greater than you know! It extends beyond what you can conceive or imagine. Just as you cannot measure the universe, you cannot fathom the limits of His love for you. Grace is how God’s love appears. God’s grace is extreme, super-abundant, and over-the-top. His hyper-grace exceeds your wildest dreams. In this book, Paul Ellis draws a line between the muddled messages of manmade religion and the hyper-grace gospel of Jesus Christ. Drawing on insights gleaned from more than 40 grace preachers, he addresses common misperceptions and accusations some have made against the modern grace message. The Hyper-Grace Gospel will leave you marveling at the relentless love of your Father. It will show you how to walk in His amazing grace and help you rediscover the joy that is found in Jesus.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book by Paul Ellis, ‘The Hyper-Grace Gospel’. It made clear the grace message and very respectfully answered many of the comments and claims made in a book by Michael Brown. This book did a great job of explaining grace and how God freely made it available to everyone. Paul showed how grace and works are two separate covenants and not meant to be a combination in the way we live.
In the first part of the book, many points are gone over making clear what grace, or hyper grace, is and is not. After Christ rose from the dead, a new covenant began. A covenant of grace and love, not rule keeping and law.
The second part of the book goes over many arguments made in the book by Michael Brown, explaining clearly some of the misunderstandings and arguments made against hyper grace.
I found this book to be very interesting and enlightening. It explained some questions I had, and encouraged me in regard to many thoughts I have had in regard to grace and the common teaching by organized religion. I highly recommend reading this book. By doing so, you can easily understand the grace message and the difference of trying to live by both grace and works.
Grace Disco: Escape to Reality Greatest Hits, Volume 1
by Paul Ellis
The good news that Jesus revealed is the soundtrack of your new life. His grace is the tune you can dance to. In this collection of the best articles from Escape to Reality, Paul Ellis cranks up the volume on the gospel jukebox and blows out the cobwebs of gloomy religion. The happy rhythms of grace that pulsate through this book will bring joy to your heart and strength to your soul. They will lift you up and bring you face to face with the Lord of the dance.
Finding Church: What If There Really Is Something More
by Wayne Jacobsen
If, like many other people, you have questioned whether there is something more to Jesus’ church than the religious institutions we’ve inherited after two thousand years, you’ll want to read Finding Church. Here is straight talk from a man who has sought authentic New Testament community for more than fifty years and who has discovered it in the most unlikely places.
Now Wayne wants to help you find this incredible bride Jesus is shaping by looking at the church as God sees her and by recognizing her as she takes shape around you. His church is a living temple, springing up in the individual heart and then knit into a worldwide community of people whose very relationships put God’s glory on display.
There’s no way human effort can build it or sustain it, which is why our attempts fall so woefully short. She is the fruit of a new creation of men and women who live beyond the human conventions of society and share a life in Jesus that satisfies their most ardent hunger.
I really enjoyed the stories and insight about the Church Jesus is building. It is not a building or denomination, but a group of people who love God and are focused on Christ. Formal meetings at set times and in set places do not constitute the Church. When we keep our eyes on Jesus and allow his love to flow through us to those God brings into our lives, we are being the church. It is not sitting in meetings, letting a select few participate in an organized service. The author makes this book interesting and informative, and does not show any condemnation to those who may see things differently.
The church was established to serve the world with Christ-like love, not to rule the world. It is called to look like a corporate Jesus, dying on the cross for those who crucified him, not a religious version of Caesar. It is called to manifest the kingdom of the cross in contrast to the kingdom of the sword. Whenever the church has succeeded in gaining what most American evangelicals are now trying to get – political power – it has been disastrous both for the church and the culture. Whenever the church picks up the sword, it lays down the cross. The present activity of the religious right is destroying the heart and soul of the evangelical church and destroying its unique witness to the world. The church is to have a political voice, but we are to have it the way Jesus had it: by manifesting an alternative to the political, “power over,” way of doing life. We are to transform the world by being willing to suffer for others – exercising “power under,” not by getting our way in society – exercising “power over.”
The author points out and makes clear the difference between the kingdoms of the world and the Kingdom of God. It is certainly two different ways of doing things. As much as we have been taught, and as much as we wish it true, America is not a Christian nation. We can’t legislate morality or vote in the right people to make this a Christian nation. It isn’t by military power or political power that makes a difference, but by serving others, accepting others and letting the love of Christ flow out of us to all we meet.
Was Church God’s Idea?
by Marc Winter
When we ask the right question, it can change everything. For 1700 years there has been a question waiting to be asked. Every reformer in Church history has had the opportunity to ask it, but has not. Perhaps the question was awaiting the proper timing, God’s timing. Tyndale, Luther, and the Anti-Baptist all asked important questions; questions that changed history at that time. Today there is a mass exodus from traditional churches, estimated at one million per year. There are literally untold millions more, who will never darken the doorway of any type of church. This is happening in America, which was, at one time, accepted as the world’s most Christian nation. Everyone who cares about these matters is wondering why this is. Books have been written, blog posts without end, Church growth seminars, and much more. All are attempting to answer this daunting question, “Why has Church failed?” Ask the right question, and you can change your world. If enough people ask the right question, it just might change the entire world. What is the right question? Was Church God’s Idea?
Fantastic. Read entire book in one day, couldn’t put it down. The truths in this book will open your eyes to a new way of thinking about modern-day church and what God really intends for His body.
Simple Church: Unity Within Diversity
edited by Eric Carpenter
What is simple church? This is a simple question that doesn’t have a simple answer.
Simple Church: Unity Within Diversity is an attempt to shed light on the above question and provide some answers. The twenty-four contributors all hope this book will help people, both inside and outside the church, better understand what simple church life is all about.
Far too often discussions about the church descend into arguments that accomplish little. We have no desire to take part in that. Rather, each person who has written a chapter for this book desires that it will lead to increased communication, understanding, and ultimately unity within the body of Christ.
Twenty-four writers means twenty-four somewhat different perspectives. We certainly do not agree on everything. You will see that as you read through the book. What we do agree upon is that simple practices often lead to great opportunities for edification and service both inside and outside the church. We want to share these ideas with other followers of Christ and explain what it is all about. If you would like to know more about simple church from a positive perspective, then this is the book for you!
The Misunderstood God: The Lies Religion Tells About God
by Darin Hufford
This book tells the truth about who the Creator is. This book analyzes what religion says about God’s heart and personality and measures it up to what God calls Himself: Love. It simplifies a generation’s tangled perceptions of God by taking a journey through the sixteen aspects of love described in one of the most well-known Bible passages in the world: 1 Corinthians 13, also known as “the love chapter.” So many Christians have been bombarded with confusing teachings and doctrines that their understanding of God resembles a tightly tangled ball of Christmas tree lights. This book takes that twisted mess and replaces it with one soft, warm light of truth that anyone can embrace: God is love.
Really opens your eyes to the freedom we have through Christ and the love God has for us.