Ok. Here are a couple of decent recommendations!
Jesus in Beijing is a very interesting account of the development of the church in China, with a focus on the persecuted believers and the underground church. I like that it focuses on the theological challenges and leadership struggles that have dogged the Chinese church rather than simply its phenomenal growth. It is quite a real (if at times drab) portrayal of events, and for those who worry that house churches will wander into heresy, you only have to read the statement of faith in the appendix to see how effectively the self correcting mechanisms of the church work.
I picked it up a couple of days ago at the local Clarkson library and am enjoying it.
Also from the local library was The Journey, by Alistair McGrath. McGrath is best known for his theological works but this book begins by stating that we need to be careful to balance the cognitive and affective approaches to the Bible, so that we do’t simply ‘think’ about God, but that we encounter him.
It is a book about spiritual formation and ‘the journey’ we take in that direction. He uses the exodus as a central motif, an interesting idea, but I’m not sure it really works, because to do this it involves captivity to freedom, but with 40 years of wandering in the desert in between! I don’t think anyone wants to see their journey as 40 years of shuffling around in circles… Still it was an interesting read – again from the Clarkson Library!
This is an easy read, but also a very subversive book!
It describes the Christian story in one of the most engaging ways I have seen in a long time. I would recommend it anyone exploring questions of faith and wanting a book that is more than simply apologetic or factual in nature. Sheridan makes a great case for the authenticity of Christian faith, but he seems to do it almost without you noticing.
I am impressed and have already been recommending this one far and wide. I had a coffee with Sheridan in October last year just before the book-launch, but sadly its taken me this long to finish reading it. It will connect particularly well with the Gen X cynical types and those who enjoy story more than raw fact.
So there you have it – 3 books all worth a look!