People frequently ask me for book recommendations. It may have to do with me being a big reader, me being a pastor, or me being a book review blogger; I am not certain why. I love recommending books to people for specific reasons or issues, but here are some of the books I most frequently recommend. (not necessarily my FAVORITE books, but certainly the ones I keep finding myself recommending) Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning For anyone wanting to know more about grace, God's relentless love, what it looks like to accept that in theory AND practice. No surprise to those who know me. It is simply my favorite book. It allowed me to accept grace and my faith in moments when it was difficult to do so. Manning is my favorite author to read for his tender portrayal of grace that simply stunts our understanding.
Abba's Child by Brennan Manning (okay, anything by Brennan) For anyone struggling to see and relate to God as "Father". The only book to make me weep at one point.
The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen For anyone who feels the distance from God that comes with sin, guilt, shame, and pride. After Brennan Manning, Henri Nouwen would be a very close second in favorite authors. (Also love The Wounded Healer, In Jesus Name, The Beloved, and The Inner Voice of Love)
The Artist's Way by Julie Cameron For any creative person who lacks inspiration at any given point. (This description describes every human being I've ever met.) This book by Cameron is the best book I've ever read about creativity, artistic expression, and inspiration.
Primal by Mark Batterson For anyone who wants to know what it really means to love God with all that they are. What does it mean to love God with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength. I just read this book for the first time last year, and I've already taught classes through it and recommended it to several people.
Seizing Your Divine Moment by Erwin McManus For anyone wanting to know God's will for their life. As a college pastor, this is likely the most common question I spend time talking to students about, but I imagine you don't have to be in college to be wracked with wonder over God's will for your life. This is maybe the best book I've read about God's will. (McManus basically re-released this book under the title Chasing Daylight)
Where is God When it Hurts by Phillip Yancey For anyone who has ever asked that question. *period*
Reaching for the Invisible God by Phillip Yancey For anyone trying to understand faith in a God they cannot see, touch, feel, smell, etc. For anyone who is struggling to have faith in a God that is so far beyond our senses. I read this book at that point in my life, and I have recommended the book to others who are in that place.
They Like Jesus But Not The Church by Dan Kimball For anyone who wants to know what it looks like to love, reach, and minister to the "postmodern" "post-Christian" culture. It is one of the very best books I've ever read that hits on this culture. It is not even the most recent book (considering cultures change so rapidly), but the questions Kimball asks in this book get at the real challenge for Christians in any culture. You will see answers in this book from people you will not typically get answers from, but they are exactly the people we are trying to love and reach.
A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Don Miller (what? not BLJ?) For anyone who feels like life is stuck, boring, stagnant, or lacks passion. Yes, I realize Blue Like Jazz is the big Miller favorite, and I really did love BLJ. I not only think Million Miles is Miller's best book yet, but it also has more driven purpose and focus than BLJ.
Which books do you most frequently find yourself recommending to others?