Recently, Outreach Magazine Announced the 7th Annual Outreach Resources of the Year. They asked me to help them choose the best resources to pass along to others who are spiritually curious.
Most Christian authors write books to a Christian audience. We cannot help it! We communicate our struggles, challenges, joys, and successes in the context of our relationship with Jesus. Unfortunately, the downside is we become less effective communicating to those who do not share our relationship with Jesus. It’s as if we forgot what life was like before we chose to follow Him.
Finding a book that communicates to your friends or family members that do not follow Jesus can be difficult. Either the books use references or words that only those with a church background can understand, or they attempt to answer questions people are not asking. Even books that give a very reasonable defense for the Christian worldview take a more, well, defensive posture against our “opponents,” forgetting that those who do not follow Jesus are not the enemy. In the end, these books are actually more helpful for people who are struggling in their faith, who have walked away from their faith, or are new to their faith. Not every person who does not follow Jesus is an outspoken atheist or intellectual. Debates may work with this crowd, but they repel others.
Of the books published in 2009 that they asked me to consider, I found two books I can give to my friends who are spiritually curious.
First, I recommend The Karma of Jesus: Do We Really Reap What We Sow? by Mark Herringshaw (Bethany House). Mark uses engaging stories, pop culture or historical references, and most of all a very relational tone to communicate the message of his book. Since the book was born out of a conversation with a spiritually curious person, he never forgets his audience as he invites people to discover the relevance of a relationship with Jesus.
Second, I recommend The God Question: An Invitation to a Life of Meaning by J.P. Moreland (Harvest House). Taking a more apologetic and intellectual approach, Dr. Moreland sets an incredibly warm tone in the Preface as he identifies with the spiritually curious. He admits that he is “a broken person” who is “easily distracted.” As you read his book, you feel like you are learning from a wise and authentic uncle or grandfather rather than being lectured by a professor or preacher. Dr. Moreland invites the reader to have an open mind as he shares insights from the Scriptures, from scholars, and maybe most powerfully, from his own life.