Section Title

Porterfield Memorial United Methodist Church

Resources for Personal Discipleship

 

Wanda Mitchell and John Ashley

September 28,2018

 

Contents

Frequently Asked Questions. 2

What is a disciple?. 2

What is the goal of discipleship?. 2

How do I grow as a disciple?. 2

What are some training means for discipleship?. 3

Why read the Bible?. 3

How do I start reading the Bible?. 4

Help!  I have a hard time reading the Bible! 4

What are the differences between reading, devotions, and studying the Bible?. 5

What are devotional books?. 5

What Bible Version should I use?. 6

What are some helpful reference materials?. 7

Why not just read a daily devotional like “The Upper Room” everyday?. 8

Resource Matrix 9

Bible Reading & Study. 9

Personal Disciplines and Other 10

Recommended Books 11

 


 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a disciple?  <back>

Literally, a disciple is a learner.  The disciples of Aristotle were literally followers.  In his academy, he would walk through the gardens and buildings and his students would follow him and listen to his teaching.  Similarly, Jesus’ disciples…

o   follow Him.  Matthew 4:19. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

o   believe Him.  John 6:35. Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.

o   spend time in His Word.   Acts 17:11b. they received the Word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.

o   abide in His Word.  John 14:23. Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my Word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.

o   bear fruit.  John 15:8. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.

 

What is the goal of discipleship?  <back>

The goal of a disciple is to learn from Jesus, be transformed to be more like Jesus, and to help others become disciples also.

 

How do I grow as a disciple?  <back>

If a disciple is a learner, then ask, “How have I learned anything?”  Learning almost always involves guidance from a teacher combined with personal study and practice.  You can learn much by yourself from sermons, reading, and podcasts, but the most effective and encouraging way to grow and become more like Jesus is through involvement in very small groups and one-to-one relationships.  (I want to be become a disciple (insert link for contact method)).

 


 

What are some training means for discipleship?  <back>

Whether we talk about mathematics, football, or Christian discipleship there are common elements, common types of disciplines…

   SUBJECT

 

METHOD

Mathematics

Football

Christian Discipleship

Personal Study

Read the text, learn the theorems

Learn the rules, watch games & YouTube

Bible reading, devotions, study, memorization, meditation

Being Taught

See examples worked

Coach in Locker Room

Sunday School, Sermons, Small Group Studies, One-on-One instruction

Practice / Imitate / Do

Homework, Tests

Drills, Exercises, Games

Imitate Christ:  Pray, Teach, Serve Others, Tell Others, Teach Other Disciples

Correction

Learn from Mistakes

Coach

Recognize and Confess Sin

 

Why read the Bible?  <back>

  1. The Bible is God’s love letter to you.  In it, God tells you what He has done to demonstrate His love for you and His people.  Would you rather hear of His love first hand or from someone else? 
  2. The Bible is your “owner’s manual.”  It tells you the basic principles you need to know about your mind and emotions (and how to manage them), purpose, physical wellbeing, all relationships, business practices, parenting, care of animals and the environment, and more.
  3. The Bible reveals God to us.  Who is this God who loves you?  The Bible tells us about God - it tells us His attributes.  It tells us everything about who He is that we can understand.  It describes His love, power, holiness, patience, supremacy, goodness, wrath, mercy, and so much more.

 


 

How do I start reading the Bible?  <back>

  1. Choose a version that you find readable.  (See “What Bible Version Should I Use?”).
  2. Come up with a plan.
    1. A Bible reading plan can help you pace yourself and provide variety in your reading.  (see the Resource Matrix).
    2. How often do want to read?  Some plans are based on reading 7 days a week.  These can make catching up more difficult when you get behind.  A 5 day plan is highly recommended.
    3. When will you read?  Choose a time when you are least likely to be interrupted and put it in your calendar.
    4. Where will you read?  Choose a location...perhaps your favorite chair or maybe you need to put a chair in your closet!
    5. Do you want a reading partner?  Perhaps reading through the same plan with your spouse or good friend will be an encouragement for you.  It can also stimulate good conversation.
  1. Do it.  You don’t have to wait until the new year.  Decide to begin a plan and start.  You don’t need to make a promise to God.  You don’t need to feel guilty if you can’t keep on your schedule.  Like Paul says in Philippians, “Forget what lies behind and press ahead.”  Rejoice in what you can accomplish.  (The first time I actually completed a one year reading plan actually took me three years!  But I rejoiced in that!)

 

Help!  I have a hard time reading the Bible!  <back>

You are not alone!  Don’t give up.  There may be days (or even many days in a row) when you may not feel like you understand it or even find it interesting.  These ideas may help:

1.     Partner with someone.  Ideally this would be someone who is more mature in the faith.

2.     Choose a readable translation. (See “What Bible Version Should I Use?”)

3.     Before each reading session, pray that God will speak through the scriptures.

Ask yourself “what is your greatest obstacle”?  Is it time?  Make reading the Bible a priority.  Put it on your calendar where all events are given a priority time slot.  If you are a morning person schedule reading your Bible first thing in the morning (giving God the first fruits of your day).  If you are an evening person set aside time right after dinner (before TV) or just before bed (as you end your day).  Of course, there is no limit on how often you read it, but getting in the habit of scheduling time every day is the first step.  Is it what to read?  You might begin with choosing a topic, a verse or a chapter or two. Start with something you are interested, perhaps the sermon verses, or something you want to know more about (what does the Bible say about marriage, sex, managing anger, homosexuality, finances, etc.).  Is it understanding?  Ask people you know who read the Bible to give you advice on which translations is most reader friendly and truest to the original text.  Go to the Christian Book store or try BibleGateway online and read a certain text and see which one is easiest to understand. The object is to read your Bible every day and to begin to incorporate the scripture into your life.


 

What are the differences between reading, devotions, and studying the Bible?    <back>

These are all important activities for anyone wanting to be a disciple.  The difference between them is the amount of effort required and what you expect to get out of it.  The following table contrasts them.

 

READING

DEVOTION or

QUIET TIME

STUDYING

G

O

A

L

Increased familiarity with the Bible.

Hear God’s Word to you for the day and express your heart to God through prayer.

Understand a particular topic or scripture passage.  

S

C

O

P

E

The focus is limited to a specific set of passages or set amount of time.  Usually with a goal of reading the entire Bible over an extended period of time.

Usually includes a short scripture reading, prayer, meditation, and journaling (note taking)

A study should look at all scriptures related to the topic (like “idolatry” or passage.  Will likely include the use of multiple reference books (dictionary, concordance, commentary, etc.).

E

F

F

O

R

T

Easy.

(5-30 minutes/day)

Moderately Easy.

(7-30 minutes/day)

(How to have a quiet time)

Most challenging and time consuming.  A particular study can take an hour or years depending on the topic and depth to which you wish to understand it.

Adapted From Ligonier Ministries’ “Knowing Scripture Study Guide”

 

What are devotional books?  

Materials (pamphlets, magazines, emails) written to describe what they have learned from the Bible and their experience in following God.  They are typically short daily readings for inspiration.  They can be used as a springboard for further study in that they may arouse your curiosity.  They frequently will reference a scripture passage related to the writing.  See the resource matrix for examples.


 

What Bible Version should I use?    <back>

You may choose different versions for different uses.  If you are just starting out, the one that is most easily read by you is the one you should choose.  It will likely be a paraphrase like The Message by Eugene Peterson.  As you mature in your Bible reading and as you begin studying the scriptures, then you will likely begin to choose a translation.

 

Paraphrases and Translations.

 

Paraphrase:  an attempt to express the original text in contemporary language usually with many additional words, current idioms and expressions.  They are good for getting a first understanding of what is being said but shouldn’t be used for serious study as they may more likely reflect the beliefs and biases of the author. (examples:  The Message, The Living Bible)

 

Translation:  The intent of a translation is to very accurately express the original words with clarity.  The chart below highlights different translation strategies and lists popular versions by type.

 

Word-for-Word

Thought-for-Thought

Hybrid

“Verbal equivalence”

“Dynamic equivalence”

Emphasis is on reproducing the modern English equivalent of the ancient words, with tendency to use same word order as the ancient language.

Emphasis on reproducing the functional meaning of the ancient words with freedom to rearrange the order of the words (syntax) in the target language.

A balance of verbal and dynamic equivalence to increase readability.

English Standard Version (ESV)

New American Standard (NASB)

New Revised Standard Ver. (NRSV)

New Living Translation (NLT)

Good News Bible (TEV)

Common English Bible (CEB)

New International Ver. (NIV)

 

The United Methodist Church (UMC) does not have an official version.  In most UMC publications, Bible quotations are typically from the Common English Bible (CEB) and the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV).

 


 

What are some helpful reference materials?    <back>

The following table explains several types of references which can be very useful during reading or studying.  The Resource Matrix provides links to many of these types of materials.

 

Dictionary

A standard English dictionary in use with a good Bible translation is very helpful.  Dictionaries which provide the differences in shades of meaning for synonyms can be especially enlightening.  (hardcopy or online)

Concordance

A list of words with a list of scriptures showing where each particular word is used in the Bible.  For example, you could look up the word “love” and find all the scriptures where that word occurs.  (book, online, and abridged versions are found in the back of most Bibles)

Cross References

Usually these are notations found on many verses listing (in the margin or page bottom) other related scripture passages.

Bible Dictionary

A dictionary of words found in the Bible.  A good one (Vines) is almost a combination between a dictionary and a concordance.  It will explain how the word is used differently throughout the Bible.  They are frequently organized on words used in a particular translation.  (For example, if you want to look up “love” as used in 1 Corinthians 13, you may have to look up the word “charity” since that is how it was translated in the King James Version.)

Commentary

Commentaries are exactly that.  They are verse-by-verse comments whereby the author attempts to explain his/her beliefs about the verse.  Commentaries may be of the whole Bible or may be published book-by-book.  They can be very helpful in understanding how the scriptures have been traditionally understood.  Multiple commentaries should be used because no one commentary is 100% correct.  Commentaries will reflect the beliefs of the author (Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Baptist, etc.)

Bible Encyclopedia

This is like any other encyclopedia but is limited in scope to biblical topics.

Bible Atlas

A set of maps of the middle east showing ancient and modern boundaries, nations, empires, and travels (like Paul’s journeys and the exodus of Israel from Egypt).

Topical Bible

Like a concordance, but it lists scriptures related to a particular topic.  The exact word may not be used in scripture, but the idea is… for example, “abortion”

Interlinear Translations

Usually limited to New Testaments.  Between every line of English text is the Greek equivalent.  This is helpful for allowing the student to know exactly which Greek words were used in that particular verse.

Study Bible

Study Bible are available in numerous translations.  They tend to include many references such as extensive cross references, concordance, commentary, maps, and topical discussions.

 

Why not just read a daily devotional like “The Upper Room” everyday?   <back>

There is nothing wrong with reading a devotional magazine or email, but if you do, it is recommended that you read the related scripture passage and think carefully about it before reading what the devotional’s author has to say.  God’s word is powerful -- give God the opportunity to speak to your heart directly from His word before listening to others.

 

Devotional publications differ in depth.  As a disciple, you want to get to know Jesus and God’s character in depth.  You also want to allow God’s word to transform your mind (Romans 12:2) and your life.  Be sure the devotional you chose challenges you to grow according to God’s word.




 

Resource Matrix

 

Bible Reading & Study  <back>

 

Bible Reading

Bible Study - Tools

Reading Plans

·       5 Day Plan - 1 Year Whole Bible

·       Many Others

Concordance & Topical Bibles

·       Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance

·       Nave’s Topical Bible

Bible Translations – Recommended

·       New Revised Standard Version

·       New International Version

·       English Standard Version

·       New American Standard Bible

Dictionaries

·  Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words

·  Holman Bible Dictionary

·  Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old Testament Words

Scripture Memory

·       Topical Memory System

·       Remem.me

 

Commentaries

·  John Wesley (Methodist Founder/England/late 1700s)

·  Interpreters’ Bible *

·  Thomas Coke (Methodist/UK-US/early 1800s)

·  Joseph Benson (Methodist/England/late 1700s)

·  John Calvin (Reformed/Swiss/1500s)

·  Martin Luther on Romans & Galatians (Lutheran/Germany/1500s)

·  The Knowledge Bible Commentary (2 vol, OT & NT)

·  The Teachers’ Commentary (Richards)

* In Porterfield Library


 

 

Personal Disciplines and Other  <back>

 

Prayer

Podcasts

Witnessing

ACTS - A Guide for Personal Prayer

Request Prayer Through the Upper Room

Morning & Evening Prayers

Truth for Life

Renewing Your Mind

United Methodist Podcasts

The Whitehorse Inn

Theology in the Raw

The Bridge to Life

The Roman Road

 

 

 

Devotional Sites

Denominational Links

John Wesley

The Upper Room

TableTalk

My Utmost for His Highest

Jesus Calling (Sarah Young)

This Day with the Master (Dennis Kinlaw)

Global Homepage

What We Believe

South Georgia Conference

Southwest Georgia District Office

Sermons

 


 

Recommended Books  <back>

 

Title

Author

Category

About

Pages

Prodigal God:  Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith

Keller, Timothy

Apologetics

In "The Reason for God," Keller offered a rational explanation of why people should believe in God. In his latest work, he uses one of the best-known Christian parables to reveal an unexpected message of hope and salvation.

160

The Reason for God:  Belief in an Age of Skepticism

Keller, Timothy

Apologetics

Keller uses literature, philosophy, real-life conversations and reasoning, and even pop culture to explain how faith in a Christian God is a soundly rational belief, held by thoughtful people of intellectual integrity.

336

The Case for Christ

Strobel, Lee

Apologetics

Is there credible evidence that Jesus of Nazareth really is the Son of God Retracing his own spiritual journey from atheism to faith, Lee Strobel, former legal editor of the Chicago Tribune, cross-examines a dozen experts with doctorates from schools like Cambridge, Princeton, and Brandeis.

320

Can Man Live Without God

Zacharias, Ravi

Apologetics

Ravi Zacharias provides a brilliant and compelling apologetic defense of the Christian faith — the likes of which we haven’t seen since C.S. Lewis. With forceful logic, insightful illustrations, and passionate convictions, he shows how affirming the reality of God’s existence matters urgently in our everyday lives.

 

Classical Apologetics

Sproul, R.C., Gerstner, John, Lindsley, Arthur

Apologetics

Drs. R.C. Sproul, John Gerstner, and Arthur Lindsley provide a rational defense of Christianity. They assert that Christianity is eminently reasonable and provide tools for sharing the faith. This book is divided into three parts. Section I is a prolegomenon dealing with the problems and methods of apologetics. Section II develops the theistic proofs and authority of Scripture. Section III is given over to a critique of presuppositionalism in apologetics.

 

Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity

Qureshi, Nabeel

Apologetics/
Evangelism

Nabeel Qureshi describes his dramatic journey from Islam to Christianity, complete with friendships, investigations, and supernatural dreams along the way. Providing an intimate window into a loving Muslim home, Qureshi shares how he developed a passion for Islam before discovering, almost against his will, evidence that Jesus rose from the dead and claimed to be God. Unable to deny the arguments but not wanting to deny his family, Qureshi's inner turmoil will challenge Christians and Muslims alike. Engaging and thought-provoking, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus tells a powerful story of the clash between Islam and Christianity in one man's heart--and of the peace he eventually found in Jesus.

224

Knowing Scripture

Sproul, R.C.

Bible Study - Hermeneutics

This book is divided into three parts. Section I is a prolegomenon dealing with the problems and methods of apologetics. Section II develops the theistic proofs and authority of Scripture. Section III is given over to a critique of presuppositionalism in apologetics.

152

Living by the Book.

Hendricks, G.Howard & Wiliam D.

Bible Study

In a simple, step-by-step fashion, the authors explain how to glean truth from Scripture. It is practical, readable, and applicable. By following its easy-to-apply principles, you'll soon find yourself drawing great nourishment from the Word—and enjoying the process!

356

How to Enjoy Your Bible

Blanchard, John

Bible Study

.This book is written by an ordinary Christian to other ordinary Christians, explaining very simply from his own study and experience why and how we can enjoy the Bible and find it to be a daily source of spiritual power.

 

Confessions

Augustine of Hippo

Biography - Augustine

Augustine (354-430 AD) stands as one of the greatest Christian thinkers.  This book relates his ascent from a humble farm to the edge of the corridors of power in Milan, his struggle against his sexual nature, his renunciation of ambition and marriage, and the recovery of the faith.

311

The Final Days of Jesus

Kostenberger, Andreas J

Biography - Jesus' Death, Bruial and Resurrection

This leads us to reexamine and meditate Jesus's arrest, trial, crucifixion, and empty tomb. Combining a chronological arrangement of the Gospel accounts with commentary, charts, and maps, this book will help you better understand what actually happened --and why it matters today.

224

The Apostle: A Life of Paul

Pollack, John

Biography - Paul

The Apostle masterfully combines careful adherence to biblical text, detailed research, and a storyteller's gift to create a book equally relevant for both casual readers fascinated by Paul's life and serious biblical scholars.

304

The Gospel According to Daniel

Chapell, Bryan

Book Study - Daniel

God is the hero of this story and he is in the midst of his unrelenting plan to rescue his people from their sin and its consequences. We should never miss the point that the book of Daniel is, like all of Old Testament Scripture, pointing us toward the grace of God, ultimately revealed in Christ.

226

To Live Is Christ, To Die is Gain

Chandler, Matt & Wilson, Jared

Book Study - Philippians

The short book of Philippians paints a picture of a mature Christian faith. Chandler offers tangible ways to develop a faith of pursuing, knowing, and loving Jesus.  If we clean up our lives but don't get Jesus, we've lost! So let the goal be Him. To live is Christ, to die is gain.

225

Hidden Christmas:  The Surprising Truth Behind the Birth of Christ

Keller, Timothy

Christmas

Timothy Keller takes readers on an illuminating journey into the surprising background of the Nativity. By understanding the message of hope and salvation within the Bible's account of Jesus's birth, readers will experience the redeeming power of God's grace in a meaningful and deeper way.

 

The Untold Story of the New Testament Church

Viola, Frank

History - Early Church

After the Day of Pentecost, the power of Holy Spirit prompted a massive harvest of souls yet a great persecution surged against those preaching. Get up-close with apostles Paul, Peter and John and learn of their personal strugglesamidst a backdrop of in-house strife and foreign tyranny.

208

Christians Get Depressed Too – Hope and Help for Depressed People

Murray, David P.

Hard Issues - Depression

Many Christians mistakenly believe that true Christians don't get depressed, and this misconception heaps additional pain and guilt onto Christians who are suffering from mental and emotional distress.  Murray what depression is, and the approaches caregivers, pastors, and churches can take to help.

112

Depression: Looking Up from the Stubborn Darkness

Welch, Edward T.

Hard Issues - Depression

This book gives real hope for those who struggle with depression, and for the people who love them. Dr. Ed Welch writes compassionately on the complex nature of depression and sheds light on the path toward deep, lasting healing. Welch considers carefully the spiritual, medical, and emotional factors that contribute to depression. Even more important is his insight into the impact of these factors. If depression has touched your life in any way, you can be helped by this practical and far-reaching approach.

 

The Practice of the Presence of God

Lawrence, Brother

Desiring Jesus

Three hundred years ago, an uneducated lay cook in a French monastery discovered how to enjoy a profound awareness of God moment by moment, even in the midst of busyness and distraction.

117

The Furious Longing of God

Manning, Brennan

Desiring Jesus

This is a love story for the brokenhearted. For those who are burdened by heavy religion. For those who feel they can never measure up. It is a provocative and poignant look at the radical, no-holds-barred love of our Heavenly Father.

144

A Hunger for God.

Piper, John

Desiring Jesus

Do you have that hunger for Him? As John Piper puts it: “If we don’t feel strong desires for the manifestation of the glory of God,...it is because we have nibbled so long at the table of the world. Our soul is stuffed with small things, and there is no room for the great.” 

208

The Root of the Righteous.

Tozer, A.W.

Desiring Jesus

Poverty of soul has but one relief:  Communion with God. To neglect Him is to neglect the Fount of the Living, to toil and sweat from a thirsty heart. Tozer calls us from the deserts we wander to the life we need: Christ Jesus the Lord.

185

Called to be Holy

Oswalt, John N.

Discipleship

An eminent Old Testament scholar guides us on a thoughtful tour of the Bible's teaching about a Spirit-filled life

208

The Class Meeting:  Reclaiming a Forgotten (and Essential) Small Group Experience

Watson, Kevin M

Discipleship

Watson’s book is a clarion call to recover the Methodist class meeting as a vital means of grace with an eye on the renewal of the church. He invites readers to embrace not only the generous value of the class meeting and to participate in what promise it holds for raising up disciples of Jesus Christ.

 

The Band Meeting:  Rediscovering Relational Discipleship in Transformation Community

Watson, Kevin M. & Kisker, Scott T.

Discipleship

Thoughtfully weaving church history, Wesleyan theology, and personal testimony, the authors invite us one and all to shed our masks and superficiality. They graciously invite us to be clothed in the garments of spiritual intimacy. I pray for the faith to say yes.

256

The Imperfect Disciple: Grace for People Who Can't Get Their Act Together

Wilson, Jared C.

Discipleship

Too many discipleship books are written for clean, perfect people who know all the right Sunday school answers. The Imperfect Disciple is for the rest of us--people who screw up, people who are weary, people who are wondering if it's safe to say what they're really thinking.

240

Humility, the forgotten virtue

Mack, Wayne A & Joshua

Discipleship - Character

Most sins turn us away from God, but pride is a direct attack upon God. It lifts our hearts above him and against him. Wayne Mack guides readers through Scripture and shows us how we can take steps to develop humility and diminish the destructive pride in our lives.

184

Humility

Murray, Andrew

Discipleship - Character

“Humility is perfect quietness of heart-- to expect nothing, to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me, to be at rest when nobody praises me, and when I am blamed or despised. It is to have a blessed home in the Lord, "when all around and above is trouble.”

46

The Master Plan of Discipleship

Coleman, Robert E.

Discipleship - Disciplines

Discipling is not an option for believers---it's a priority. How should we carry out Christ's Great Commission? Coleman draws on the Book of Acts, showing how to apply the early church's principles of ministry to contemporary congregations with practical guidelines.

159

The Biblical Principles of Discipleship.

Coppedge, Allan

Discipleship - Disciplines

The church should be the change agent in the world - making a people for His own glory...Everything a Christian does is to glorify God in “three ways” through a growing relationship between God and oneself, the development of Christ-likeness, and fruitful service.

175

Crazy Busy

DeYoung, Kevin

Discipleship - Disciplines

DeYoung explains why a life of constant chaos is far from what God intends, and helps you strike a balance between doing nothing and doing everything. Discover the restful cure you've been too busy to find!

160

Meditation

Downing, Jim

Discipleship - Disciplines

Scripture suggests three ways in which modern-day disciples can share in the life of Jesus: through the mind in meditation, through the affections in communion, and through the will in choosing and obeying. 

112

Celebration of Discipline.

Foster, Richard J.

Discipleship - Disciplines

Describes three movements of the Spirit  to help us shed superficial habits -- Inward Disciplines of meditation, prayer, fasting, and study; Outward Disciplines of simplicity, solitude, submission, and service; and Corporate Disciplines of confession, worship, guidance, and celebration.

226

Spiritual Classics: Selected Readings on the Twelve Spiritual Disciplines.

Foster, Richard J.

Discipleship - Disciplines

From nearly two thousand years of Christian writing comes Spiritual Classcs,fifty–two selections complete with a profile of each author, guided meditations for group and individual use, and reflections containing questions and exercises.

380

Streams of Living Water

Foster, Richard J.

Discipleship - Disciplines

Decribes six dimensions of faith and practice that define Christian tradition. He lifts up the enduring character of each tradition and shows how a variety of practices, from individual study and retreat to disciplines of service and community, are all essential elements of growth and maturity.

425

Essential Truths of the Christian Faith

Sproul, R.C.

Doctrine

The author offers a basic understanding of the Christian faith that is interesting and easy to read. More than 100 doctrines are categorized under major headings for easy reference.

302

Core Christianity: Finding Yourself in God's Story

Horton, Michael

Doctrine - Basics

This introduction to the basic doctrines of Christianity is a helpful guide ...  is perfect for those who are new to the faith, as well as those who have an interest in deepening in their understanding of what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ.

192

Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church

Horton, Michael

Doctrine - Idolatry

This alternative "gospel" is a message of moralism, personal comfort, self-help, self-improvement, and individualistic religion. It trivializes God, making him a means to our selfish ends. Horton skillfully diagnoses the problem and points to the solution: a return to the unadulterated gospel of salvation

256

Counterfeit Gods:  The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power

Keller, Timothy

Doctrine - Idolatry

Exposes the error of making good things (i.e., success, true love, and security) into idols, and shows readers a new path toward a hope that lasts.

210

Shaped by the Gospel:  Doing Balanced, Gospel-Centered Ministry in Your City

Keller, Timothy

Evangelism

How do we communicate the concepts of sin grace, and atonement in our culture and context? … Keller provides a vision for gospel-centered ministry that is defined neither by religion nor irreligion but by relating to God through grace. 

 

Gospel Wakefulness

Wilson, Jared C.

Evangelism

Wilson’s book will stir churches to live out the power of the gospel with a fervent, genuine zeal. After an explanation of the term “gospel wakefulness,” Wilson unpacks implications for worship, hyper-spirituality, godly habits, and sanctification, as well as other aspects of church life. Pastors, church leaders, and all in ministry, especially those who are tired or discouraged, will be uplifted, emboldened, and empowered by this book. 

224

The Screwtape Letters.

Lewis, C.S.

Fiction

A masterpiece of satire with a sly and ironic portrayal of human life and foibles from the vantage point of Screwtape, a highly placed assistant to "Our Father Below." At once wildly comic, deadly serious, and strikingly original, it is the most engaging account of temptation and triumph ever written. 

 

Moving Forward, (SixSteps to forgiving yourself and breaking free from the past)

Worthington, Everett L.

Forgiving Yourself

Sometimes the hardest person to forgive is yourself. The partial truth about us is hard to accept: We hurt those we love. We fail to step in when others need us most. We do wrong--and we need forgiveness. From others and from God, but also from ourselves.

240

The Story of Everything: How You, Your Pets, and the Swiss Alps Fit into God's Plan for the World

Wilson, Jared C.

God's Plan

The gospel isn't just our ticket into heaven; it changes everything about everything. In this book, Jared Wilson shows what the gospel means for every aspect of our lives and our world--nothing remains unchanged by God's story.

240

Can God Be Trusted?  Faith and the Challenge of Evil

Stackhouse, John G., Jr.

Hard Issues - Evil

If God is all-powerful and all-loving, why is there so much evil in the world? John Stackhouse takes a historically informed approach to this dilemma, examining what philosophers and theologians have said on the subject and offering reassuring answers for thoughtful readers.

212

The Problem of Pain

Lewis, C.S.

Hard Issues - Pain

Why must humanity suffer? In this elegant and thoughtful work, C. S. Lewis questions the pain and suffering that occur everyday and how they contrast with the notion of a God that is both omnipotent and good'the answer to this critical theological problem is within these pages.

160

The New Testament in Antiquity

Burge, Gary M.; Cohick, Lynn H.; & Green, Gene L.

History - Early Church

This shows how Jewish and Hellenistic cultures formed the essential environment in which the New Testament authors wrote their books and letters. It argues that knowing the land, history, and culture of this world brings remarkable new insights into how we read the New Testament itself.

  480

The Seven Festivals of the Messiah

Chumney, Edward

History - Hebrew

Study of  the feasts listed in Leviticus. In a step-by-step examination of each festival, you will learn foundational truths and the prophetic connections to Jesus' first and second comings. This book will give tremendous insight into your personal relationship with God!

230

The Storytelling God: Seeing the Glory of Jesus in His Parables

Wilson, Jared C.

Jesus' Parables

Helps us to see how Jesus's parables reveal profound spiritual truths about God, humanity, the world, and the future.

192

Jesus + Nothing = Everything

Tchividjian, Tullian

Jesus' Sufficiency

A proclamation of Christ's sufficiency that frees us from self-righteousness and keeps us anchored through storms. Stemming from a year of great turmoil, Tchividjian details the power of the gospel in his life.

220

The Marriage Builder

Crabb, Larry

Marriage

The deepest needs of human personality ultimately cannot be satisfied by a marriage partner. We need to turn to the Lord to satisfy our needs. This frees us to minister to our spouse's needs rather than manipulating them to meet our own needs.

224

The Intimate Marriage

Sproul, R.C.

Marriage

R.C. Sproul offers this practical guide to help married couples-or those seeking to get married-develop the skills of marriage. Diligently scriptural, this book shows how marriages can have an abundance of joy when grounded in the wisdom of God.

163

What Did You Expect? Redeeming the Realities of Marriage

Tripp, Paul David

Marriage

This unique book introduces a biblical and practical approach to those realities that is rooted in God’s faithfulness and Scripture’s teaching on sin and grace. “Spouses need to be reconciled to each other and to God on a daily basis,” Tripp declares. “Since we’re always sinners married to sinners, reconciliation isn’t just the right response in moments of failure. It must be the lifestyle of any healthy marriage.

 

Give Them Grace

Fitzpatrick, Elyse

Parenting

Parents will learn how to connect the benefits of the cross - especially regeneration, adoption, and justification - to their children's daily lives. Includes topics such as our inability to follow the law perfectly, God's forgiveness and love displayed at the cross, and what true heart obedience looks.

215

Answering Your Kids' Toughest Questions:  Helping them Understand, Loss, Sin, Tragedies and Other Hard Topics

Thompson, Jessica & Fitzpatrick, Elyse

Parenting

When it comes to the dark aspects of our world, it can be hard to know what to say and how much. The authors walk you through difficult conversations, one topic at a time. Speaking from personal experience and informed by child development research, this offers age-appropriate guidance.

 

The Consequences of Ideas

Sproul, R.C.

Philosophy

Readers will be challenged to take the consequences of ideas seriously through this expert survey of history's most influential philosophies-philosophies that continue to shape our lives forbetter or for worse today.  (An overview of philosophers from ancient to modern)

224

With Christ in the School of Prayer

Murray, Andrew

Prayer

Prayer was the highest work entrusted to man by God, the root and strength of all our other work in Him. It is only through prayer that the believer taps into the Source of highest power.

288

Intercessory Prayer

Sheets, Dutch

Prayer

Shows how vital our prayers are and how God has always planned to work in partnership. Dutch explains the nuts and bolts of prayer with wisdom, gentleness, and humor.  Readers will find inspiration and courage to pray for the impossible--and the persistence to see prayers to completion. 

320

Praying the Saviour's Way: Let Jesus' Prayer Life Reshape Your Prayer Life

Thomas, Derek

Prayer

Even in today’s post Christian society the Lord’s Prayer remains widely known. Its beauty is that it can be understood by a child but has tremendously profound lessons for those of us who investigate it more deeply. However, our tendency is to allow familiarity to breed complacency. We can repeat the Lord’s Prayer verbatim but do we ponder its message and follow its example?

128

Holman Bible Dictionary

Butler, Trent C., ed.

Reference

Exhaustive definitions of people, places, things, and events - every subject in the Bible. Introductions to every Bible book. - Photos, illustrations, maps, and charts. - Articles on cultures, theology and archaeology. - Time line of biblical history compared to world history.

1488

All the Men of the Bible/All the Women of the Bible

Lockyer, Herbert

Reference

this book puts comprehensive information on men/women of the Bible at your fingertips, including a list of major characters. Besides named individuals, it also classifies the thousands upon thousands of unnamed men. And it explores the attributes of the greatest man of all:

704

An Introduction to the Old Testament

Longman, Tremper, III & Dillard, Raymond B.

Reference

This book emphasizes the study of individual books, interacts in an irenic spirit with the historical-critical method, features points of research history and representative scholars, deals with the meaning of each book, not in isolation but in a canonical context, probes the meaning of each book in its culture

528

The Naves Topical Bible

Nave, Orville, J.

Reference

A comprehensive digest of over 20,000 topics and subtopics with more than 100,000 associated Scripture references. The most significant references for each topic actually include the full text of the verse cited saving the need to separately look up each verse.

1616

Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible

Strong, James

Reference

Lists every use of every word used in the Bible.  Includes Hebrew and Greek dictionaries and a topical index.

1824

Not a Chance

Sproul, R.C. and Mathison, Keith

Science & Faith