Gift Books for Christians
Wondering what to give that Christian friend or family member who shares your passion for loving God with your mind as well as your emotions? Last year, I featured gift books for both skeptics and believers. This year, I’m focusing in on gifts for your Christian brothers and sisters that will help them grow as ambassadors and disciples of Jesus.
You might consider putting one of these on your wish list if it isn’t already on your shelf. Pick one up for your church library, pastor, Christian family member or friend. Here are 8 great books that rocked my world.
8 Great Books that Rocked my World
Why this rocks: It’s awesome devotional reading that brings spiritual formation and apologetics together. I first discovered this gem while working for J.P. Moreland during my undergrad days at Biola. Josh McDowell said, “This is more than just another Christian book. It is the wake-up call that the church needs today.” I agree. This even helps Christians get why we do what we do as defenders of the faith. I gave this to my dad one year and he was positively challenged by it.
Who will love this: Pretty much any Christian who wants to deepen their relationship with God and is willing to think hard about spiritual things. No apologetics training or experience necessary!
Why this rocks: It’s accessible, super-practical advice that anyone can get—from the high school kid on your list to the working adult. This revolutionized my casual conversations with skeptics. Koukl’s tactics give believers the confidence to get out there are start talking to their friends about the faith. It’s one of the books I personally give as gifts to my Christian friends. I even made this required reading for my apologetics students at Western Seminary and William Jessup University!
Who will love this: Any Christian (high school and older) who talks about the faith on a regular basis. Or any believer who’s tired of not knowing what to say when religion or morality come up in a conversation. It’s an easy read that even new Christians will find extremely useful.
3. Habermas and Licona, The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus
Why this rocks: It’s an excellent training guide to presenting historical evidence for the resurrection. It has helpful evidence charts and even comes with a video game to help you master the material (no joke)! The beauty of the minimal facts approach is that even people who don’t think the Bible is the Word of God still have to makes sense of the historical data. After I finished this book, I was inspired to read it again and master the material!
Who will love this: Ministry leaders. History buffs or college students. Christians who wonder if there’s any historical evidence for the resurrection. Anyone who regularly shares the gospel or wants to be more confident in talking about the resurrection with skeptics and seekers alike.
Why this rocks: Because reading the Bible doesn’t have to be dry and boring! Russell shows you how to get the most out of each kind of book in the Bible and how to unlock the meaning of Scripture. These practical skills helped me connect with the Lord on a more emotional level, too. It opened my eyes to how an academic, informational reading is just the means to being spiritually formed by the living Word of God.
Who will love this: Bible study leaders, college students and any Christian that’s struggling with their Bible reading or spirituality going, “Is this all there is? Really?” This book is for anyone who isn’t afraid to dig deep into the Scriptures and discover truths that will transform their souls. Which should be all of us! Get it.
Why this rocks: 3 words: William. Lane. Craig. When I first read the 2nd edition, I didn’t understand half of it (especially the section on quantum physics) but I knew I had stumbled upon something huge. I was honored to study under Craig at Biola and see how well the faith can be defended—at the same level of scholarship as the most sophisticated arguments from skeptical philosophers, scientists or historians. This is a graduate-level text that defends the faith in the classical apologetic method.
Who will love this: Philosophically and scientifically-minded adults who are looking for a well-argued defense of Christian theism and real answers to the tough questions popularized by the so-called new atheists and other skeptics. Graduate students will also appreciate Craig’s depth and precision.
Why this rocks: It’s logical, clear, has argument charts, and even pictures! You can easily use this for a class or study group. This material builds a positive case for God that’s strong enough to refute objections, too. It’s a great introduction to arguments for the existence of God, the problem of evil, the person of Jesus, the resurrection and a Christian response to religious pluralism. I made this required reading for my apologetics students at Western Seminary and William Jessup University!
Who will love this: College students, small group leaders, student ministries pastors, and most people who aren’t looking for the depth of Craig’s graduate-level presentation in Reasonable Faith.
Why this rocks: Dyck’s research gives you intel on 6 kinds of people who leave the church and the kinds of things that can help draw them closer to Jesus. You’ll know when to use apologetic arguments, when to just listen or even invite someone to join your church in a community service outreach. Many of my grad students found this extremely useful for their pastoral staff, elder boards, and churches. This is required reading for my apologetics students at Western Seminary!
Who will love this: Pastors, seminary students, elders and other church leaders will especially benefit from this. But any believer who knows people who left the church will find this helpful as well. It’s an easy read. No academic degrees required!
8. Habermas and Moreland, Beyond Death: Exploring the Evidence for Immortality
Why this rocks: It explores evidence for the afterlife via two of my favorite topics: The Resurrection of Jesus and Near Death Experiences (NDEs)! This inspired me to do a major paper on NDEs during my graduate studies in the Christian Apologetics program at Biola. It’s a fascinating field of study that brings hope even amidst personal loss and tragedy.
Who will love this: Intermediate readers who are philosophically or scientifically-minded; especially those who dialogue with skeptics or comfort grieving families. Some of the material can get technical, but the payoff is huge. This book rocked my world.
Note: Purchasing resources via the links on this page will help support my accessible apologetics ministry to the local church. Thank you for your support!
Listen to Greg Koukl read part of this blog post on the radio!
Greg Koukl is one of my apologetics influences.
Ever since I first heard him speak while I was in the M.A. Apologetics program at Biola University, his ministry at Stand to Reason has inspired and encouraged me to develop the knowledge, wisdom and character needed to be an effective ambassador of Jesus.
When I was a missionary in the Philippines, I’d burn the MP3s to CD and listen to the show (including ads for events in Hermosa Beach, CA) while driving around the streets of Manila!
His book, Tactics: A Gameplan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions, is definitely a must-read for everyday defenders of the faith and I’m happy to keep promoting it. Glad he noticed this blog post!