Encounters with Jesus by Timothy Keller
Tim Keller’s passion and skill for reaching and connecting with the unchurched (and the dechurched) spills over every page of this book. It is based on a series of talks Keller gave in Oxford (England) to a campus group of (mainly) skeptics, and you can sense the love of the pursuing shepherd in every line.
If The Reason for God started with where people are, Encounters with Jesus starts with who Jesus is. If The Reason for God tried to push people to God with argument and logic, Encounters with Jesus draws people to Christ with His beauty and attraction. That’s not to say that Encounters is lacking in logic and argument, far from it, simply that the book’s greatest impression is upon the heart more than the brain.
Although I’ve said in the title that this is a book for the skeptic in your life, it’s also for Christians. I can honestly say that it’s a long time since I read a book that made me love Jesus so much. It will also draw you into the biblical text with a renewed desire and motivation to encounter Jesus in His Word.
Despite Doubt by Michael Wittmer
Mike Wittmer wants us to “embrace a confident faith” but does so by addressing doubt. Instead of denying it, he calls us to honestly admit it. And instead of staying in it and glorying in it, he shows how to escape it and enjoy a more assured faith. As such, it’s really a book for us all; for who can deny that doubt and unbelief often plague our lives.
In effect, Wittmer says, “OK, let’s stop hiding and pretending. Let’s reach deep into our souls, grab those slippery doubts, put them on the table, and deal with them in a brave and biblical way.” It’s so deeply personal and richly experiential, that it really could be a classic “Puritan Paperback” in three hundred years time. But why wait? Get the first edition, add it to your will, enrich your great-great-great-grandchildren, and your own soul in the process.
As usual, Mike’s writing is brief, clear, simple, to the point, and loaded with cultural references and personal anecdotes. He’s one of those authors you really do get to know (and is worth knowing) through his books.