Tuesday, February 10, 2009

FREE BOOK GIVEAWAY!

John Stott’s book Basic Christianity has recently been released in a special 50th Anniversary Edition (InterVarsity Press). Stott is one of CPYU’s favorite writers. In fact, we are offering our favorite Stott book for $3 off the regular price during the month of February!

Click here to purchase The Contemporary Christian for only $16 (shipping included!).

John Stott’s recent book The Living Church: Convictions of a Lifelong Pastor won a prestigious CPYU Bookshelf Award. You can read an excerpt from The Living Church on pages 12-13 of the Winter 2008 edition of Engage: The Journal of Youth Culture from CPYU.

In honor of Basic Christianity’s 50th year anniversary, here’s the FREE book question:

What book do you think offers the best introduction to the Christian faith?

(There needs to be at least 10 comments to qualify. Winner will be chosen randomly from list of participants and will get to choose from a LONG list of FREE books. Only one comment per person.)

63 comments:

JSend said...

I think the book of John provides the best introduction to the Christian faith of any book ever written. This may be held true due to the fact that other books would really have had no where to start with, were it not for some of John's accounts.

John Mulholland said...

I really liked Christianity: A Short Global History, by Frederick Norris.

It did a great job of showing Christianity as viewed through various cultural context throughout it's 2000 year history.

pastorjimt said...

I'll have to go with the classic on this one: Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis. Despite it's age, my high seniors still like it on an annual basis.

russ said...

I think the Case for Christ by Lee Strobel is a great introduction into faith. I've used this book on several occasions to speak with non-believers and skeptics to faith. The book starts where they are and leads them through some wonderful facts your forced to deal with.

David Ketter said...

While Scripture is certainly primary, I imagine that'd be something of a trump card/cop-out on a question like this...

I think Knowing God by J.I. Packer wins it for me. I haven't even finished it yet (very, VERY intense read) and it has reminded me clearly the truths of the Gospel.

lilkup said...

i really like Mere Christianity by Lewis

Synago Bloggin' said...

I just read a book that puts a different spin on faith... Stumbling Toward Faith, by Renee Altson

It's an autobiography of her hard struggle to find God amidst of the evil in her life... How she finds Him and what it means to believe.

I feel she is the most real Christian I have ever read from. It would be a great book as an introduction to faith for any person who is in a tough part of life or has really suffered/struggled.

jill benson said...

I loved Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. I read it after I had been a Christian for some time and remember thinking that it would have been helpful to have earlier on. Lewis has such a great way of explaining things and since it was originally a series of BBC radio talks, to me, it reads as though you're having a conversation with Lewis.

Glen Davis said...

The Fight, by John White.

Lantz said...

Simply Christian by N.T. Wright has to be one the best reads that paints a picture of God's redemption. This is a good book for beginners and those who are looking to renew the simple teachings of God.

PK said...

I would also have to go with MERE CHRISTIANITY by Clive Staples Lewis.

EpworthUMC youth minister said...

I am currently reading - Welcome to the Revolution- A Field Guide for New Christians by Brian Tome. It provides real stories and a current day view of why many are turned off by the church.

Bobby said...

Besides the Bible, The best book in my opinion is Classic Christianity by Bob George. It is an older book, but it is an incredible read for new believers and seasoned vets of the Christian Faith.

JBaze said...

Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller gives a great introduction to the Christian faith. The sub-title to the book is "Non-Religious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality". The book is an account of one man's journey to truly know God and what it means to be a Christian in today's world. The author, Don, uses simple, yet very eloquent language to describe his feelings throughout his experiences. In my opinion, it's a book that a "seeker" would find very appealing.

Mike Conner said...

Agree with others here.

Bible is primary. Book of John is where I always begin when mentoring a new believer.

Also, Mere Christianity by Lewis is great.

Kevin Vinay said...

Depends on the reader... generally, I'd recommend:

"The Cross-Centered Life"
by C.J. Mahaney.
It is short, clear, and powerful.

"The Truth of the Cross"
by R.C. Sproul
Different angles of atonement.

brianmetz said...

Outside of God' Word, i would go with Vintage Jesus by Mark Driscoll, after all it's all about Jesus.

Dan Greco said...

There are lots of great books that accomplish this purpose. One that I often give and recommend to new believers is "Hinds Feet in High Places" by Hannah Hurnard. It is a great allegory about the reality of our journey with Christ.

Nickname unavailable said...

I believe the entire New Testament is the best introduction to Christianity.

The Reality said...

The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning is a great book. I didn't read it until later in my Christian life, but I remember it making me reconsider the Christ I thought I knew.

Mark said...

Especially if someone has negative stereotypes of Christianity, I believe that The Ragamuffin Gospel would be a great read for a true introduction to Christ and the Gospel.

corinthian said...

Although I'd like to adhere to the classics like Mere Christianity, i think for today's audience they are a little too difficult. Mark Driscoll's book Vintage Jesus is actually quite good ( and I am certainly not enamored with most things "emergent") . Best overall, I'd have to go with Strobel's The Case for Jesus for readability combined with intellectual firmness, theological clarity and enough personal commentary to be really readable.
BTW , our Elders read Stott's newest book for our annual Elder's retreat. it made for great conversation.

Rachael Day said...

I am going to say Knowing God by J.I. Packer, it does a good job of clearly explaining most of the basics of the faith.

dana said...

While Mere Christianity has already been soundly recommended, I would add "The Gospel for Real Life" by Jerry Bridges. It is an eloquent explication of salvation through Christ's death. Without this, there is no Christianity. What better place to start?

wewonafterall said...

The Wonderful Spirit Filled Life, by Charles Stanley.

It is a great book that clearly lays out - in a Word-centered approach - the importance of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer.

Christ died and He rose again, and in rising again He allowed the Holy Spirit to come and indwell us.

Dr. Roger D. Butner said...

I gotta go with the book of James for the best basic "how-to" of the Christian life.

(Although I'm with JSend that the Gospel of John gives the best understanding of Christ and His Message.)

jwright said...

For my money, literally, Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby is extraordinary.

I know it is a workbook, but it still fits and from a personal standpoint has been incredible in shaping my faith and is built around the true cop out answer of The Bible

The Waggoner Family said...

I was about to say Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis but the most recent I've read that fits this bill is "God is the Gospel" by John Piper. A reward--heaven--isn't what saves or even WHY we should so choose to "be born again." It's Jesus Christ. He's the reason and the real reward! Heaven is empty and meaningless without Him, which may be obvious to most, but how often to people get presented a gospel that focuses mostly on what I get out of it?

tmac said...

Knowing God by J.I. Packer is one of the greatest books in giving an understanding of the attributes of God. This is a must read for new and old believers, from high school age and up.

kevinkos said...

Tim Keller's The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith does not provide an overview like many of the other good books on this list, but gets to the heart of the issue by contrasting the biblical Gospel with religion and irreligion by looking at the parable of the lost sons. A great book to get into the hands of believers and unbelievers.

Dave said...

I have to go a bite old school and suggest Luther's Small Catechism, a classic still widely in use today for the expressed purpose of teaching the basics of the Christian faith.

The Parents Page said...

Mere Christianity-C.S. Lewis
The Case for Christ - Lee Strobel
The Bible- God

no in that order though

Jeff Bouman said...

So Much More: An Invitation to Christian Spirituality by Debra Rienstra (Jossey-Bass,2005) is the one I give to folks that I want to invite to consider Christian faith. Hospitable, winsome, intellectual, inviting.

amytouchette said...

Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller was very influential to me.

Annie said...

I think Mere Christianity is the best, other than scripture itself, of course.

Hammer said...

I think "The Faith" by Chuck Colson is a fair one to check out in this topic.

youthpastorcland said...

The book of James is the most practical book in the entire Bible so a new believer can start there. For a good resource of outside the Bible, I would recommend Growing Your Faith by Jerry Bridges because he does with issues such as godliness and holiness as part of Christian maturity. I would also recommend Vintage Jesus by Mark Driscoll for a indepth study on the person of Christ.

The LaMotte's said...

My vote goes for Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis or Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller. I will recommend either based on who I am making the recommendation for.

Pressing on! said...

If I was to choose a book of the Bible, I would use the book of John.

If I was to choose a book outside of the Bible, I would pick Crazy Love by Francis Chan. It is extremely easy to read and challenges the heck out of you about what it means to be a Christ-follower.

Haley said...

"More Than a Carpenter" by Josh McDowell. His story, similar to that of Lee Strobel's, is of a person with hostile intensions and opinions about God, Jesus and faith. His story can relate to many non-believers today in a society that is hostile to Christianity.

Kyle said...

Francis Schaeffer's "True Spirituality"

Bill Hodgeman said...

For the skeptic or cynic: The Reason for God by Tim Keller
For those more amiable toward Christianity: The Ragamuffin Gospel

Steven said...

I really like The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Andrew said...

Tim Keller, The Reason for God. I've given it to several hard core unbelievers and they've loved.

Teens said...

I like any of Annie Lamott's books; they are beautifully (and humorously) written and appeal to less-than-perfect people!

Zane Biddle said...

The book of John followed closely by the book of Job. The first is an easy read that many a theology major has nearly drowned in and the second cuts to the nature of God the Father.

skaiss said...

I think Mere Christianity is a great introduction for someone new in the faith

Calvary Student Ministry said...

I would probably recommend several of the books already mentioned - top of that list 'Mere Christianity'. However, for the sake of interest, I will recommend the GREAT book 'Total Truth' by Nancey Pearcey. I highly recommend it.

tgrosh4 said...

Best intro depends on where the reader is coming from and the place in their spiritual journey ...

The Gospel of John comes first with Philippians not far behind.

As for a supplement to the Word, Francis A. Schaeffer's booklet "Mark of the Christian," Brother Lawrence's "Practice of the Presence of God," and Fee/Stuart's "How to Read the Bible for All It's Worth" all rank rather high on my list with ... and then Athanasius' "On the Incarnation" not far behind.

lebogar said...

I like C.S.Lewis' 'Mere Christianity' as it is clear and concise.

Wes said...

Our small group is currently going through Bitesize Theology by Peter Jeffery, & it gives very concise, easily understood information on many aspects of the Christian faith.

Alvanman said...

This falls into a whole other category than the ones mentioned here but I've found Manga Messiah a good introduction to the Christian faith (it's not just for children either)

Michael said...

Gospel of John. But I liked a lot of the other books that people mentioned!

katiezf said...

I'm going with Mere Christianity. I think it is very engaging and readable. My brother once said, "I'd read a grocery list written by CS Lewis - he's that good."

Freestyle Theologian said...

I actually think the Gospel of Luke is the best book to start an introduction to christianity when in America, because its subversive theology is important to discipleship in main stream culture. As for a book, I think it really depends on where the person is coming from and their experience with Christianity already (possibly negative or none at all). But I'll throw out "Free At Last", by Carl Ellis.

Walt said...

I certainly agree with earlier comments regarding how important reading the Bible is for introducing them to the faith. But, given the amount of public speculation about the Bible and its authority, I think reading Lee Strobel's "The Case for Christ" is probably a good starting point for seekers and new believers.

Noj Rotsap said...

Mere Christianity is the classic intro to Christianity. It would be hard to replace this book in its scope and readability.

Depending on the audience, I might also include Blue Like Jazz (miller) or Simply Christian (wright).

Of course, each should be recommended with one of the gospels.

Jason Weening said...

John Eldredge's book "Epic" is a great introduction to Christianity. Looking at our role in the "Story" of God's, not just being nice Christians. It's a different view on the Kingdom than I've seen in other books.

Mikel said...

Concise Theology, by J.I. Packer. While it is more on the "heavy" side, it provides an excellent overview in short chapters about God, His nature, works, and the Church.

If any person, believer or not, is serious about learning what Christianity REALLY believes, they should go through this book (if they're not scared off by too many Scripture references).

Tim said...

Some great titles here and will check out some that were mentioned like Revolution by Brian Tome - thanks.

For my context, Dan Kimball's "They Like Jesus But Not the Church" has been very helpful. It addresses the judgmental, male-dominant, homophobic, etc, etc, charges against the church and the message of Christ.

Paul Anglin said...

'Introduction' seems to be the key word ... with that in mind, my choice would be '3:16 - The Numbers of Hope' by Max Lucado.

It's simple to understand. A quick read. It's biblically-based. And it calls for a response.

He loves - He gave - We believe - We live.

Cherie said...

Lewis' Mere Christianity continues to top my list as a great book to read in tandem with reading John or Luke, accompanied by earnest prayer on the part of whoever is mentoring/conversing.

Elvin said...

Classic Christianity: Life's Too Short to Miss the Real Thing by Bob George.