• Irresistible Revolution, Shane Claiborne
He’s a hippy believer that’s crazy enough to live among the poor in Philadelphia
and bold enough to challenge others to do the same. Beware.

  • Crazy Love and Forgotten God, Francis Chan
Chan resigned from his mega church in order to live among the poor and is in your
face about loving Jesus radically. Watch it, these are dangerous books!

  • The Heavenly Man and Living Water, Brother Yun
Brother Yun is an amazing Chinese believer that has endured intense persecution
and keeps coming back for more. Don’t read his books if you want to continue to
be happy with your present spiritual state.

  • Sub-merge, John Hayes
He’s an educated, brilliant man who has chosen to serve “incarnationally,” that is
living among those he’s serving rather than be a “ministry tourist” once a month. He
started a ministry called, “Inner-Change”.

  • Organic Church, Organic Leadership, and Church 3.0, Neil Cole
If you’re ready to have your view of how we do church wrecked, then go ahead and
read one or more of these books. I recommend the first one first.

  • Not For Sale, David Batstone
He’s a business professor at USF, and if you don’t know much about the blight of
human trafficking, and what to do about it, he’ll “mess you up for good.” Plus, you’ll
go straight to your dresser and get rid of all your Hanes underwear!

  • A New Kind of Christian, Brian McLaren

  • The Story We Find Ourselves In, Brian McLaren
Both of these books by McLaren are fascinating, albeit controversial. I highly
recommend them both, unless you’re too religious to be challenged from outside
your box of presuppositions about God and the Bible. I don’t agree with him at all
points, but boy does he make you think! His explanation of “Post-Modernism” is
priceless. I also happen to love his style of writing using the device of fictional
conversation. I think we need to re-think our way of thinking!

  • God Behaving Badly: Is the God of the Old Testament Angry, Sexist and
    Racist?, David Lamb
I loved this book for two reasons. First, he addresses a bunch of prickly issues that
I have personally wrestled with for many years; and he does it intelligently and
honestly. He’s a professor of Old Testament in some seminary and is a pretty
smart guy. Secondly, his writing is simple and humorous. I think he does a great job
unraveling some of the tough topics in the OT that cause us discomfort (at least
they do me).

  • Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God's Will or How to
    Make a Decision Without Dreams, Visions, Fleeces, Impressions, Open
    Doors, Random ... Liver Shivers, Writing in the Sky, etc. by Kevin DeYoung
    and Joshua Harris
This is the first book I include here that I can only recommend as something either
not to read or to read as a rebuttal of the view I personally have about how God
guides us. I’m writing a paper on “How God Guides” now, and picked the book up in
order to peruse a view unlike my own. Wow, was I right. I don’t agree with these
brothers about divine guidance hardly at any point. They are addressing a form of
Christian apathy about God’s will, one that paralyzes many people from doing
anything at all until they get some sort of sign or angel visitation. DeYoung pastors
in a college town, and no doubt encounters a boatload of this sort of do-nothing-till-
it’s-written-in-the-sky attitude. I agree that this is a problem for many, but his
conclusion is basically that God doesn’t guide at all except by providential
orchestration of events in our lives. He doesn’t lead, direct, speak, or even whisper
to us today like he did in the Bible. Based on what I read in the Bible and my own
experience of his personal guidance for almost 40 years, I couldn’t disagree more!
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and
watch over you. Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding
but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you
.”
(Psalm 32:8-9)

  • Satan & the Problem of Evil: Constructing a Trinitarian Warfare Theodicy, by
    Gregory Boyd

  • God at War: The Bible & Spiritual Conflict, by Gregory Boyd
Boyd is not your run-of-the-mill evangelical author. His views and books are
controversial (very un-Calvinistic), and I don’t agree with many of his conclusions,
but if you’re willing to take the time (these books are long, as in about 450 pages
apiece) you’ll learn a bunch about free will and Satan’s role in this messed up world.
He has a very interesting way of interpreting the existence of suffering alongside of
a good God.

  • Radical, by David Platt
This book is very much like Crazy Love by Francis Chan. It seems that God is
speaking through some famous and “successful” pastors that passive Christianity
and the opulent church is beginning to stink; and the smell is reaching heaven. One
quote summarizes his message:  “To everyone wanting a safe, untroubled,
comfortable life free from danger, stay away from Jesus!” I hope you won’t read it
just out of curiosity, but with a hunger for a more radical form of following Jesus.


  • The Wideness of God’s Mercy, by Clarke Pinnock

  • No Other Name, by John Sanders
These two books by respected (albeit, quite controversial) theologians teach some
extremely provocative things about God’s mercy reaching people with no Christian
witness at all. Both of these men are committed to Jesus being the only road to the
Father, yet they explore how God might go down other roads to reach his beloved.
They’re rather experimental, at least in my view, about how God might be willing to
ride other buses to convince people to “transfer” to the Jesus Bus! My paper on
this site called, “God’s Passionate Pursuit of People” is influenced by their thinking.
I’m not nearly as “free-thinking” as Pinnock and Sanders, but my hope is that
through their books and/or my brief paper you’ll be provoked toward more passion
to bring people back home to the Father.
Book Recommendations
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