#TheBookshelf - Helen Campbell
Helen Campbell is a junior doctor who goes to Ballydown Presbyterian church; where she works with young people and serves musically. She lives with her husband Josh and is also the sister of one of our interns – Hazel – who says she’s a great cook!
Christian Classics - Mere Christianity - C.S. Lewis
I grew up reading the Chronicles of Narnia and I would consider anything by C.S. Lewis to be a Christian Classic. Mere Christianity strips back Christianity to its foundation using the moralist argument for God and builds on this using rationale and Lewis’ penchant for analogy to lead the reader on a journey through fundamental Christian thought. Its succinctness does not compromise its depth; this book teaches me something new each time I return to it.
Theological Foundations - The God I Don’t Understand - Christopher J.H. Wright
Dr Wright uses the wealth of his theological training, pastoral experience and lived wisdom to address four topics that Christians often struggle to reconcile with the God they know. He provides a theological framework to consider Evil and Suffering, the defeat of the Canaanites, the Cross and the End of the World. His approach is pastoral and one of humility, acknowledging that ultimately God is God and some things are not for us to know (#spoilers). In his own words, “as life goes on, my love and trust [in God] grow deeper, but my struggle with what God does or allows grows deeper too.
Discipleship & Development - Dig Deeper - Nigel Beyon & Andrew Sach
One of the foundations of the Reformation was the necessity for God’s people to have his word in their own language; to gain wisdom for living, grow in knowledge of the Almighty and be transformed. This book is a “toolkit”, wherein each chapter works through a different “tool” to be used in Bible study to equip readers to understand the passage more clearly. This book uses worked examples and is far from abstract. It has transformed my approach to personal and corporate Bible study.
Church & Mission - Red Moon Rising - Pete Greig & Dave Roberts
I read this book nearly 10 years ago upon the recommendation from a friend who is now my husband. It is the story behind 24/7 Prayer but it is rooted in the character of God and prayer movements throughout church history. It is full of stories of how God moves in individual lives and communities when his people take seriously the call to seek his face (2 Chronicles 7:14).
Culture & Literature:
Thinking, Fast and Slow - Daniel Kahneman
Kahneman won the Nobel Prize for Economics in recognition of his work in behavioural economics. This is the summary of his life’s work and a jarring exposition on how truly irrational we are. It explores some of the theories and evidence behind how and why we make judgements and decisions. This book should cause you to reflect on the factors that really influence your choices and the biases in your judgements.
Troubled Minds – Amy Simpson
Mental illness and the church’s mission. The author wrote this book after witnessing her mother’s journey with schizophrenia. It highlights the prevalence of mental illness both in society and in the church, exposes the stigma that is so often demonstrated by the church, provides clear explanations for different mental illnesses and compares helpful and harmful strategies that the church might adopt in supporting someone journeying through mental ill-health. Although written from an American context, it is nonetheless a helpful starting point for understanding the reality of mental illness.