Five Books That’ll Change Your Life, Pt. 2
To continue the “Five Books That’ll Change Your Life” series I started back here, and that Jessie continued here, this is part 2 of my list of books that you really need to read because, like the title of the post says, they’ll change your life.
1. The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith (Timothy Keller)
Aaah, I love this short, simple book so much. Whether you’re religious, irreligious, sacrilegious, or some combination of all those, this book has a message for you. I borrowed this from Adiel, pastor of Missio Dei Church, and I read it so much, spent so much time in it, and took it so many places, that when I returned it to him, it looked like it’d gone through a war. I destroyed his copy through love.
Keller takes a look at the familiar parable of the prodigal son, but the book is more a message about the reckless, free, and overwhelming love of the father, in contrast to the harsh criticism of the older brother and the careless selfishness of the younger.
2. Like a Mighty Wind (Mel Tari)
Michael Fisher, my pastor at Cornerstone Church, has recommended a lot of good books to me over the years, but this is one of my all-time favorites. It’s the story of revival coming to the small Indonesian island of Timor. It’s pretty poorly written (I gotta be honest about it), but this book will change your life as you read about what God will do with a group of people who, as Mel Tari puts it, were “stupid enough to believe the Bible and do what it says.” The dead are dramatically raised to life, whole cities come to Jesus, people walk on water, God multiplies food – yeah, it’s a good read. Mel Tari writes, “When we believe the Bible as it is, we will see the power of God move in our lives and in our community as it did centuries ago in Bible times.” Read this book. It’ll change your life.
3. God’s Smuggler (Brother Andrew)
Written by Brother Andrew but co-authored by John and Elizabeth Sherrill, this is one of most well-written and captivating Christian biographies I’ve ever read. John and Elizabeth Sherrill are exceptional writers, so anything they help with is usually worth reading. This book is the true life story of Brother Andrew, a young Dutch man who used to sneak behind the Iron Curtain to smuggle Bibles into the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc. Risking his life time and again, the book reads like a Christian spy novel. Only instead of beating up the bad guys, God blinds their eyes, causes them to look the other way, or turns them into good guys. I still remember reading this book for the first time 12 years ago – it was so good I couldn’t put it down and finished it in a couple days of edge-of-your-seat reading.
4. Jesus Culture (Banning Liebscher)
Like their music? Read the book. The subtitle for this book is “Living a Life That Transforms the World.” Banning Liebscher, leader of the Jesus Culture ministry, isn’t just trying to build a nice worship team – he wants to see a generation of young people transforming the world with the love and power of Jesus Christ, not just one or two exceptional men or women of God, but a generation of people who live, talk, and act just like Jesus. And I like that idea a lot.
What the book says about itself: “A new breed of revivalist is arising to answer the cry of God’s heart. These blazing hearts are calling cities and nations back to the Lord, and challenging societies to be transformed by the power and love of God.”
5. Revolution in World Missions (K. P. Yohannan)
The basic premise of this book is one that’s really close to home for me. Yohannan writes as a native Indian Christian who boldly confronts the failures and sins of modern Western (mostly American) missionaries in his nation. Some of the stories of how missionaries came to his culture only to make more problems than they solved will make you sick, especially compared to the way he describes self-sacrificing native Indian missionaries who have been reaching their own countrymen by the thousands. Yohannan comes down a little hard on anybody ever moving to a foreign country as a missionary when there’s already an established church, but it’s a good, challenging read, especially if you have any thoughts about ever becoming a missionary in a different culture. This book will check your heart so you can do it right.
Now get outta here and read a book already!