Monday, August 9, 2021


The hot days of summer are coming to end (for some people, definitely not for me, lol!), and as school looms on the horizon, I thought I'd drop a reading list of Christian non-fiction book recommendations that I have for you guys this year. I generally do fiction recommendations - and I still will do that for fall - but I thought it would be fun to mix it up a little bit and do something different. 

I've been reading an unprecedented (apparently this is a very overused and unpopular word right now) amount of Christian non-fiction this year. I'm pretty sure I've read almost every non-fiction book in the church library, so I'm now moving on to other things that I find at book stores and thrift shops and Amazon. For those of you who aren't into Christian non-fiction, this post might not interest you. That being said, maybe there's something here that looks fresh and exciting for you to read. I hope so! 

I've always been very open and honest about my aversion to Christian fiction. I have never been able to get into it. I've never found a Christian book series (as an adult) that has interested me at all. Maybe you guys know of something that I would like. I'm hard to please. I want gritty, unforgiving realism and messy, organic romance stories. For me, it's hard to find that in a Christian novel. But I'll keep trying. 

Now, when it comes to Christian non-fiction, I will read that all day. Until the cows come home, literally. I often look out the window and see the cows across the field loping home for dinner and I know that it's time to stop reading and start cooking for my own family. 

I find that when I read Christian non-fiction, I have an idea of what I want to read next based on a question or idea that was raised in the book that's in my hands. I have been meaning to share my reading list with you guys for a while now, so I'm excited to post this compilation for anyone who is looking for a compendium of theologically-sound recommendations for the upcoming fall and winter season! Most of them I have read, and some of them are on my soon-to-read list. I try to be very careful about who I recommend in terms of trustworthy and theologically-sound authors. I also encourage you to examine these books yourselves and compare them to the only standard of truth that matters: the Bible. I have personally found that the following books and authors have offered profound insight and wisdom into the Scriptures overall. 

I hope you enjoy and check out these authors' books!

Ethics, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer 

As his final work, this was to be the crowning jewel of Bonehoeffer's theological writings. This is a celebration of the cogency of his work. It was written during the height of Nazi tyranny and destruction in Germany. It is an examination of Christian ethics and its application to a post-war era. Many of you may already know that Bonhoeffer was hanged in Flossenberg and died a martyr's death, both a faithful follower of Christ and a passionate leader of resistance against Nazism. 

Tactics, by Gregory Koukl 

This book is not one that I have read yet, but I plan on doing so before the end of the year. It is a game plan for having productive and logical discussions with anyone who insists on having arguments with you over illogical OR controversial topics. Koukl teaches you how to navigate such situations with unshakable debate skills that are grounded in simple and foundational truth. If you're like me, you might avoid hard topics and shy away from engaging in any type of discussion that may invoke strong opinions (about anything - whether it's religion or politics). This book is perfect for someone like me! I have already learned a few points from this book from other people before even reading it, so I know it's going to be good.  

Love Thy Body, by Nancy Pearcey 

Another winner. This book is perfect for you to read if you are searching for some kind of an anchor with which to ground yourself in a society of ever-shifting ideas about sexuality, gender identity, and sex itself. Why does media detach gender from biology? What does that actually mean? What do the statistics, scientific studies, and the experiences of doctors and their patients tell us about transgenderism in both children and adults? Why is it important and empowering to love the body that we have been given? In fact, why does any of this matter at all? Pearcey, according to the book blurb, was once an agnostic, and approaches this incredibly volatile subject with common sense, evangelical intellectualism, and love. I highly recommend this book to everyone. 

Cold Case Christianity, by J. Warner Wallace

If you are anything like me, I always have had questions about the historical and contextual history of the Bible. Agnostics and secularists today will tell you that the Bible is "just a book that was thrown together by a council of old white guys." Is that true? Or is there a lot more to this story? The answer is no, the Bible wasn't just written by a bunch of musty old white guys, and yes: the Bible is the most historically verifiable document in the history of the world - and J. Warner Wallace, a former homicide detective, uses his knowledge of compiling evidence to help readers truly understand this. He also has a podcast that's worth listening to.

Judge Not, by Todd Friel 

If you are in the mood for a book that will pull no punches and completely eviscerate your sense of Biblical understanding, you will find it here. Friel is absolutely savage. A little over the top, I think, in his sarcasm at times, but he makes excellent points about the modern church and its failure to proclaim truth in a society that is offended by basically everything. This book will hurt your feelings. That's the point. I don't agree with him on every single detail, but he is one of the most unfiltered (refreshingly so) theological intellectuals I have ever read. He also has a podcast that broadcasts on Wretched Radio. Check him out.  

Anxious for Nothing, by John Macarthur 

I really like listening to Macarthur's sermons when I get a chance, and one of his other books was actually what started my journey down the theological rabbit hole, as I like to call it. This is a nice, short compilation of how to cast your anxiety on He who cares for you. I will say that I don't necessarily agree with him entirely on his approach to anxiety, as I believe he is a little quick to dismiss how debilitating anxiety and depression can be when it's borne from genuine trauma. That being said, he is absolutely right that, from a Biblical perspective, we are commanded to not be anxious. Does this mean that not being anxious is a choice? I don't think it's that simple. God knows everything, therefore God also knows that anxiety is something that humans constantly wrestle with. In fact, it's such a problem that Jesus Himself specifically talks about anxiety, realizing that humans are intrinsically wired to worry. I don't think anxiety is necessarily something that we are supposed to just "stop doing," although working toward improvement is always a good goal. I think it's something that, sometimes, must be endured, but during those moments, we should cling to Jesus. Am I a theologian? No. I respect Macarthur's opinion, but sometimes, I feel that some people who have never suffered from anxiety fail to understand what it's like in the real world. 

Gentle and Lowly, by Dane Ortland 

Beautiful. This book is like a warm embrace. It is gorgeously written. Unlike some of the other books I've read this year, it's literally a borderline lyrical examination of the staggering depth of love and compassion that Christ has for His children. It was so soothing to read. So relaxing. So comforting. If the burdens of the world are weighing you down, read this. It will uplift your heart and soul without selling you prosperity-gospel propaganda. 

Visual Theology, by Tim Challies 

If understanding theology would be easier for you by looking at bright, colorful pictures, you should try checking this book out! Challies efficiently explains the core tenants of Christianity and the gospel with the aid of fun, vibrant illustrations. A good starting place for the study of theology.

Mama Bear Apologetics, by Hillary Morgan Ferrer (and crew) and Mama Bear Apologetics Guide to Sexuality 

Mama Bear Apologetics is a great little podcast (although they don't have a ton of episodes currently), and this book is a great way to dive into the study of apologetics. It is brief and succinct. It's a good read for a busy mom who can only read one or two chapters a day (probably right before bed). I thought it was really well done. Their newest book is currently on pre-order, and it's their Guide to Sexuality, which I'm sure will be excellent, as well. The ladies behind Mama Bear Apologetics focus specifically on how to talk to your children about theology in age-appropriate ways. How to explain critical analysis and how to teach them to examine ideas and topics on their own without losing themselves. In fact, I have learned a lot from their "Chew and Spit" method, and I fully intend to make sure my daughter is equipped with this strategy as she gets older.

Another Gospel? by Alisa Childers 

Okay, I have a lot of feelings about this book. Good feelings. I can relate to Alisa Childers on so many levels. She was a Christian her entire life, but when her faith was challenged by a progressive pastor, she found herself deconstructing everything she had ever known and reconstructing her faith through research, prayer, and Biblical teaching. My story is very similar to hers. I felt disillusioned with Christianity, lied to by the church, scarred by horrible behavior from "Christian" friends or acquaintances, and terrified by some of the secular arguments that attacked the infallibility of Scripture itself. Where do you go from there? You start over. You look at Biblical, historical Christianity and examine every inch of it. Childers discusses how she did this, and it's relatable. Very relatable. I recommend this for anyone who is challenged with progressivism in the church (or in general). I also recommend her podcast, The Alisa Childers Podcast. She constantly talks about the dangers of progressive Christianity, how to identify it, and how to arm yourself against its destructive false gospel. 

Flourish, by Lydia Brownback 

This is a very short book that would be wonderful for a women's book club. I wish I had a book club or a women's Bible study to share this with, but alas, I just read this one by myself. It's an examination of the Biblical definition of flourishing. More importantly, it talks about how to free yourself from self-focus. We cannot be both the source of our own problems and the empowering goddess who fixes them. Worth the read and the discussion if you have ladies to read it with. 

Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis 

Always a classic. C.S. Lewis is a legend in the Christian fiction and non-fiction world, and this book is basically his compilation of the apologetic faith that he held deeply and faithfully. 

Reformation Women, by Rebecca Van Doodeward 

A short book about some of the incredible, fearless women who gave everything for Jesus during the Reformation. Most people don't realize the absolute horror that was inflicted on Christians by the Catholic church and by Catholic monarchs during this time period. St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre is just one bloody example. Christian women like Lady Jane Grey, Katie Luther, Renee of Ferrara, and Louise de Coligny are discussed. It's a brief history book, but it's a good one. It will really make you appreciate how immeasurably blessed Christians have been in America. 

The Pursuit of God, by A.W. Tozer 

A.W. Tozer is new to me. Of course, I have heard about him and seen his books everywhere, but I'm new to reading his work. This is one of his biggest spiritual masterpieces, according to my research, and I'm looking forward to his examination of pursuing our relationship with God and Christ, and how we can draw ever closer into His presence. 

The Long Line of Godly Men Series by Steven J. Lawson

This is a series of short, historical books that I started reading because I picked up one about Martin Luther from my church library. I intend on purchasing the entire set, as I would love for my daughter to read this when she gets older. The series gives a short but efficient overview of the lives of incredible men of faith like John Calvin, John Knox, Charles Spurgeon, and more. I can honestly say that I don't know nearly enough about any of these people as I should. It's time to brush up on my history. 

Fault Lines, by Voddie Bauchum Jr. 

Voddie Bauchum is one of those rare gems of evangelicals who aren't afraid to talk about hot button topics. In this book, he talks about modern social justice movements, with a special emphasis on the poison and destructive nature of Critical Race Theory. He talks about how CRT and social "justice" propaganda has infiltrated seminaries, churches, and missions. It's an absolutely integral read for every Christian in America. It will shake you up and pull no punches. If more pastors in America would read this book - and realize the danger CRT and so-called social justice poses to Christians everywhere - we'd all be a lot better off. 


All right, guys. That's the short version of my reading list. You can get every one of these books on Amazon, either on Kindle or paperwork format. I encourage you to check them out. I recommend everything here and hope that there is something here that catches your eye. It's important to continue learning and filling yourself with truth and good, Bible-based intellectualism if for no other reason than to know what you believe and why you believe it. Trust me when I say this: we are living in a world where there is no room for a neutral Christian. You will either agree with the world, or you won't. Someone will eventually question why you believe what you believe. Do you have an answer for that? One of the reasons I started devouring apologetics is because I wanted to have an answer. The world is subjective and ever-changing. Morality fluctuates daily. The Bible does not. Christ does not. He is who He says He is. It's very simple and it's very freeing. This is one of my favorite verses that illustrates the importance of being educated on a Biblical basis: 

1 Peter 3:14-16

But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.

I hope you have a wonderful week, and I'll see you back here soon with some writing updates and fiction recommendations! 

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