6 Non-Fiction Christian Books To Check Out This Summer
No other book has had the greatest impact on my life than the Bible. However, God has used many Christian writings that have literally changed me from the inside out. These are the books that I revisit every couple of years to keep myself on the right track. The following “oldies, but goodies” always make a great summer reading list:
#1) Prayer by Philip Yancey
“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up” (Luke 18:1).
I stumbled on Philip Yancey’s What’s So Amazing about Grace many years ago and I was immediately intrigued by his honest look at difficult questions and situations in our Christian walk. I would recommend any of his many books without question; however the one that really gave me a rich insight into God and my life was Prayer.
This isn’t an easy book to put down as Yancey brings his readers face-to-face with the complexities of how we pray, what we pray for, and how God does or doesn’t answer our prayers. This book won’t leave you without questions, but it will challenge your faith in a wonderful and satisfying experience even if you never have all the answers.
#2) Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
“A new command I give you: Love one another” (John 13:34).
Love is wonderfully complicated and complexed on all levels. From puppy love to infatuation or friendship to marital love—there’s a language for each one of us. Gary Chapman does an exceptional job of breaking down the different types of love we give and receive as individuals.
Chapman describes the five love languages as words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. This book is a must for those who’ve always seemed to struggle with understanding either why they don’t feel loved or why those they do love don’t seem to know it. Chapman’s books on the five long languages has expanded beyond just marriage, but also towards the children and teens, the workplace, the military, and even knowing how much God loves you.
#3) The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkerson
“The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out” (Proverbs 20:5).
The first line of this book immediately grabbed me, “Not long ago and not far away, a Nobody named Ordinary lived in the Land of the Familiar.” I followed along each part of Ordinary’s journey towards discovering his big dream. This book is for those who know in their deepest soul that God has a calling on their lives that’s much bigger than them.
The first part of The Dream Giver tells of Ordinary’s journey out of his familiar comforts towards an exceptionally uncomfortable road trip. Wilkerson uses the second half of this book to reawaken his readers towards practical application of Ordinary’s experience to their lives. This book stretches your imagination and compels you towards living the life God desires for you.
#4) Celebration of Discipline by Richard J. Foster
“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:11).
Over time many believers become complacent in their faith walk. They’ve learned the Christian jargon, sang the songs, memorized the verses, and established a regular fellowship with other believers. Yet Richard Foster challenges those who want more out of their spiritual walk to grow up through being more disciplined.
This book offers a solid balanced approach towards living a disciplined Christian walk without apology or becoming extra-Biblical in nature. Foster focuses on the inward disciplines of meditation, prayer, fasting, and study. He also incorporates the necessary outward disciplines of simplicity, solitude, submission, and service. Because we are part of the body of Christ—there’s a focus on the corporate disciplines of confession, worship, guidance, and celebration.
#5) Love and Respect by Dr. Emmerson Eggerichs
“Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral” (Hebrews 13:4).
The market is flooded with books about marriage and given the state of marriage in our culture—the demand will always be out there. This is because our natural bent is to marry for life without the hardship and pain of divorce or separation. The secular society can keep changing the definition of marriage, but it can’t squash what God has ordained in the hearts of men and women throughout the world.
Dr. Eggerich’s book gives one of the best balanced looks at what it means for a man to love a woman and for a woman to respect her husband. It’s written with much grace, wisdom, and insight to help married couples stay together when everything in the world is pulling them apart.
#6) Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36)
It would be an understatement to write how much this book changed my life. When a man or woman learns to let God be in control of their lives rather than other people—there is incredible freedom. Learning how to say “yes” or “no” without shame, regret, or guilt and taking back control of your life is liberating in the Spirit.
Drs. Cloud and Townsend take spiritual and psychological concepts to give readers an understanding of the definition of a boundary and how it applies in families, friendships, marriages, children, yourself, and God. There’s also direction on how to develop healthy boundaries so a person can be free to be who they are in Christ rather than what other people think they should be.
Build your Personal Library today…
This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it’s a great start for those who want to use the summer months as an opportunity to refresh and stretch their faith. The Bible ultimately needs to be your first and last choice to read from every day. Keep in mind that the Lord uses writers from every generation to elaborate and encourage us to stay stronger in our faith walk.
Article by Crystal McDowell
Crystal McDowell is a writer, speaker, and teacher with a passion to encourage believers to know and grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ through practical application of God’s word.
Crystal and her husband, Marshall, raise their five children in the Bloomington, IL. As a freelance writer and editor for over 13 years, Crystal has published numerous Christian curriculums for Sunday School and VBS as well as many articles dealing with marriage, motherhood, and relationships. She’s a weekly staff writer for www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com as well as writing her own blog at http://crystalmcdowellspeaks.blogspot.com.