On Sunday I previewed a couple of books that would certainly strengthen your soul this Summer.
Evangelism by J. Mack Stiles. This is a great little book full of encouragement about sharing our faith not just as individuals, but as a church family. We can slip into thinking about evangelism as something we do on our own and we can view the church as the people or gathering that are involved after people become Christians. Stiles presents from Scripture a better way. He writes, “I long to share my faith in the context of a church that understands what I’m doing and is pulling with me. In such a culture when I bring a friend to church, others don’t assume that person is a Christian. They are not shocked when I introduce someone and say, ‘This is Bob, and he’s checking out Christianity.’ And not only are they not shocked, but they respond with something like this: ‘I’m so glad you are here. I was in the same place a couple years ago, and I’d love to hear about it. Tell me, what are you thinking through?’ I long for a culture where we are all working together toward the goal of being witnesses for Christ” (p. 54). I say “Amen!” to this. We all need fresh vision, fresh encouragement to share out faith and this little book is full of it.
How Does Sanctification Work? by David Powlison. Mike Lee recommended this to me and I’m about half way through. On this side of eternity we spend every day being sanctified. Everyday we are becoming more like Christ in what we believe, trust, and how we act. Everyday we are involved with one another in the same. Powlison writes, “We are all tempted to oversimplify. We long for one ‘key’ truth, a ‘secret’ principle, the foolproof technique, some life-changing experience that makes everything different from now on. If only there were some one thing to make Christian growth certain! But there is no single key. You often hear people say things like, ‘He should just remember that…’ Or ‘If I could just experience…’ You’ve probably said things like that yourself. I certainly have. Preachers, teachers, counselors, authors and friends instinctively gravitate toward naming some truth, some spiritual discipline, some action step, or some experience as the key that will unlock everything” (p. 23). Powlison unpacks how God meets us in personal and particular ways.
You can pick up a copy via the links above or I still have a few that I will put at the back counter on Sunday for $10.