Reading for Faith

Summer Reading Ideas

Even though it is now August, and people are getting ready to shift back in to a different pace of life for the fall, I thought it would be a good idea to join the world of summer reading lists. There are so many things out there for people to read – you can read for fun, to learn new skills, to dig deeper into things going on in the world today or in the past – but among all of the choices we have available, not many people read to deepen their faith.

There is a little phrase that I hear Christians say from time to time, something that I usually laugh at when I hear it spoken: “God said it. I believe it. That settles it.” This phrase is usually spoken out of a deeply rooted belief that the Word of God, the Bible, contains everything we need for salvation. It is usually spoken out of a desire to show that we know what is in the Bible, and understand what it means. And, it is usually spoken as a way to shut down conversation on differing perspectives when it comes to matters of faith. But, the painful truth is that Christians don’t always get it right. In fact, when it comes to understanding the truth found in the Bible, we usually get it wrong.

Exploring Your Faith

So why not explore our faith with the help of others who have done so before us? During these long days of summer, while we are taking time to relax and go on vacations, why not use some of that extra time to read and deepen our faith? There are study Bibles that help explain what we read in Scripture. There are also countless books on spiritual disciplines – practices of faith – that can help us grow in our relationship with Christ. And there are biographies of the faithful that we can turn to in order to gain insight into what it means to trust in God.

Here are some suggestions that I want to offer for you. Take some time to look at these books, pick one up, pour over its words, and ask God to guide you as you draw closer through the words of another person on this journey of faith.

Study Bibles:

New Interpreter’s Study Bible
NIV Study Bible
Renovaré Life with God Bible
Wesley Study Bible

Books about Faith:

“Celebration of Discipline” by Richard Foster
“The Divine Conspiracy” by Dallas Willard
“For the Love” by Jen Hatmaker
“The Imitation of Christ” by Thomas à Kempis
“Mere Christianity” by C.S. Lewis
“Mudhouse Sabbath” by Lauren Winner
“My Utmost for His Highest” by Oswald Chambers
“This Day” by Wendell Berry

Christian Biographies:

“131 Christians Everyone Should Know” by Christian History Magazine Staff

C.S. Lewis:
C. S. Lewis–A Life: Eccentric Genius, Reluctant Prophet” by Alister McGrath
“Surprised by Joy” by C.S. Lewis

Dietrich Bonhoeffer:
“Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy” by Eric Metaxas

John Wesley:
“An Exact Likeness” by Richard Heitzenrater
The Burning Heart: John Wesley: Evangelist” by A. Skevington Wood
“Reasonable Enthusiast” by Henry Rack

Jonathan Edwards:
Jonathan Edwards: A Life” by George Marsden