We are committed to the authority, sufficiency, and trustworthiness of Holy Scripture and to the Christian faith passed down through the creeds and confessions of the early church (Nicene, Apostle's, Athanasian, and Chalcedonian). Here are some accessible books that will equip you to better know the historic Christian faith. Many of these are great for small group studies.

 

The Color of Compromise: The Truth About the American Church's Complicity in Racism

by Jemar Tisby

The Color of Compromise is both enlightening and compelling, telling a history we either ignore or just don't know. Equal parts painful and inspirational, it details how the American church has helped create and maintain racist ideas and practices. You will be guided in thinking through concrete solutions for improved race relations and a racially inclusive church.

The Color of Compromise is not a call to shame or a platform to blame white evangelical Christians. It is a call from a place of love and desire to fight for a more racially unified church that no longer compromises what the Bible teaches about human dignity and equality. A call that challenges black and white Christians alike to standup now and begin implementing the concrete ways Tisby outlines, all for a more equitable and inclusive environment among God's people. Starting today.

 

Hope for Us: Knowing God through the Nicene Creed

by Natasha Sistrunk Robinson

(recommended by Wendy Alsup)

God desires that we know him. It is not until we come to understand who God is, that we can confirm who we are as the people of God, his church. Knowing and loving God, and affirming our identity in Christ are both necessary if we are to love our neighbors well. It is with this understanding—this desire to gain “Knowledge” or “Know God”—that we humbly approach our study of the Nicene Creed.

Through this study, readers will first answer the question: What does the Nicene Creed say about God and about the church? Then we will answer the question: What does the Nicene Creed mean? Finally, we will explore together the significance of these truths for our own lives.

None Like Him: 10 Ways God is Different Than Us (and Why That's a Good Thing)

by Jen Wilkin

(recommended by Wendy Alsup and Hannah Anderson)

God is self-existent, self-sufficient, eternal, immutable, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, sovereign, infinite, and incomprehensible.

We're not. And that's a good thing.

Our limitations are by design. We were never meant to be God. But at the root of every sin is our rebellious desire to possess attributes that belong to God alone. Calling us to embrace our limits as a means of glorifying God's limitless power, Jen Wilkin invites us to celebrate the freedom that comes when we rest in letting God be God.

 

In His Image: 10 Ways God Calls Us to Reflect His Character

By Jen Wilkin

(recommended by Wendy Alsup and Hannah Anderson)

Sometimes we ask What is God’s will for my life? when we should really be asking Who should I be? The Bible has an answer: Be like the very image of God.

By exploring ten characteristics of who God is―holy, loving, just, good, merciful, gracious, faithful, patient, truthful, and wise―this book helps us understand who God intends for us to be. Through Christ, the perfect reflection of the image of God, we will discover how God’s own attributes impact how we live, leading to freedom and purpose as we follow his will and are conformed to his image.

 

 

Is the Bible Good for Women? Seeking Clarity and Confidence through a Jesus-centered Understanding of Scripture

by Wendy Alsup

Is it possible to embrace the inherent dignity of womanhood while still cherishing the Bible? Many people, both inside and outside the church, are concerned that an orthodox understanding of the Bible is threatening and even harmful to women. After all, the Bible has a number of passages regarding women that are deeply troubling and hard to read.

But is that assessment accurate?

Using a Jesus-centered understanding of the Bible to look at both God’s grand storyline and specific biblical passages, Alsup gives practical and accessible tools for understanding the noble ways God speaks to and about women in its pages and the dignity He places on His daughters.

 

Practical Theology for Women: How Knowing God Makes a Difference in Our Daily Lives

by Wendy Alsup

Have you ever wanted to understand the deep things of the Word but been put off by the intimidating vocabulary of theologians? Have you assumed that studying the attributes of God is for seminary students only? Have heavy doctrinal themes felt beyond you and your everyday world? If you've ever thought theology was too deep, too impractical, or too irrelevant for your life as a woman, this book is for you.

Alsup writes: "Truly, there is nothing like a good grasp of accurate knowledge about God to enable you to meet the practical demands of your life-the practical demands of being a daughter, mother, wife, sister, or friend." Practical Theology for Women shows readers the everyday difference that knowing God makes.

 

 

Reading the Bible with Rabbi Jesus: How a Jewish Perspective Can Transform Your Understanding

by Lois Tverberg

(recommended by Michelle Van Loon and Rachael Starke)

What would it be like for modern readers to sit down beside Jesus as he explained the Bible to them? What life-changing insights might emerge from such a transformative encounter?

Lois Tverberg knows the treasures that await readers willing to learn how to read the Bible through Jewish eyes. By helping them understand the Bible as Jesus and his first-century listeners would have, she bridges the gaps of time and culture in order to open the Bible to readers today.

Combining careful research with engaging prose, Tverberg leads us on a journey back in time to shed light on how this Middle Eastern people approached life, God, and each other. She explains age-old imagery that we often misinterpret, allowing us to approach God and the stories and teachings of Scripture with new eyes. By helping readers grasp the perspective of its original audience, she equips them to read the Bible in ways that will enrich their lives and deepen their understanding.

 

Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus: How the Jewishness of Jesus Can Transform Your Faith

by Lois Tverberg

(recommended by Michelle Van Loon and Rachael Starke)

A rare chance to know Jesus as his first disciples knew him.

What would it be like to journey back to the first century and sit at the feet of Rabbi Jesus as one of his Jewish disciples? How would your understanding of the gospel have been shaped by the customs, beliefs, and traditions of the Jewish culture in which you lived?

Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus takes you on a fascinating tour of the Jewish world of Jesus, offering inspirational insights that can transform your faith. You will hear the parables as they must have sounded to first-century Jews, powerful and surprising. You will join the conversations that were already going on among the rabbis of his day. You will watch with new understanding as the events of his life unfold. And you will emerge with new excitement about the roots of your own Christian faith.

Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus will change the way you read Scripture and deepen your understanding of the life of Jesus. It will also help you to adapt the rich prayers and customs you learn about to your own life, in ways that both respect and enrich your Christian faith. By looking at the Jewishness of Jesus, authors take you on a captivating journey into the heart of Judaism, one that is both balanced and insightful, helping you to better understand and appreciate your own faith.

 

Gender Roles and the People of God: Rethinking What We Were Taught about Men and Women in the Church

by Alice Mathews

(recommended by Dorothy Greco and Hannah Anderson)

Most women in the church don't aspire to "lord" it over men, nor do they want to scramble for position. Instead, they want to be accepted as full participants in God's work, sharing in kingdom tasks in ways that use their gifts appropriately.

In Gender Roles and the People of God, author, radio host, and professor at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Alice Mathews surveys the roles women have played in the Bible and throughout church history, demonstrating both the inspiring contributions of women and the many hurdles that have been placed in their path. Along the way, she investigates the difficult passages often used to preclude women from certain areas of service, pointing to better and more faithful understandings of those verses.

Encouraging and hopeful, Mathews aims for an "egalitarian complementarity" in which men and women use all of their gifts in the church together, in partnership, for the glory of God.

 

Preaching that Speaks to Women

by Alice Matthews

(recommended by Hannah Anderson)

In most twenty-first century congregations, women outnumber men by as much as fifty percent or more. Unfortunately, masculine anecdotes and a lack of understanding of the different ways women and men listen, learn, and perceive ideas of leadership and power leave many women feeling detached from the messages conveyed from the pulpit.

How can a pastor effectively minister to both men and women? How do the ways in which women understand sermons differ from those of men? Preaching That Speaks to Women invites preachers to consider how gender affects the way sermons are understood and calls them to preaching that relates to the entire congregation.

Drawing from her experience as a teacher of ministry students, as well as her experience as a missionary, conference speaker, and radio Bible teacher, Alice Mathews explores both the myths and legitimate boundaries for speaking about women as listeners. She considers the ways women think about themselves, make ethical decisions, handle stress, learn, and view leadership and power and applies the results to the task of preaching. Mathews advocates effective preaching that does not ignore women or merely typecast women in narrowly defined roles.

 

Women, Leadership, and the Bible: How Do I Know What to Believe? A Practical Guide to Biblical Interpretation

by Natalie R. Wilson Eastman

Dr. Natalie Eastman introduces women to a five-step, easy-to-follow process for studying the Bible and interpreting what they study. This book encourages women that they can think for themselves and analyze significant theological issues, despite any hesitations they may have, any conflict surrounding an issue, or any lack of formal theological training.

 

 

The Morals of the Story: Good News About a Good God

by David and Marybeth Baggett

Christianity Today 2019 Book of the Year Award of Merit, Apologetics/Evangelism
What arguments best support the existence of God? For centuries the moral argument―that objective morality points to the existence of God―has been a powerful apologetic tool. In this volume, David and Marybeth Baggett offer a dramatic, robust, and even playful version of the moral argument. Tracing both its historical importance and its contemporary relevance, they argue that it not only still points to God's existence but that it also contributes to our ongoing spiritual transformation.

 

 

Blessed and Beautiful: Multiethnic Churches and the Preaching that Sustains Them (Lloyd John Ogilvie Institute of Preaching Series)

by Lisa Washington Lamb
Wendy Alsup's Amazon Review: Given the current tendency toward polarization in our country, author and pastor Lisa Washington Lamb's new book Blessed and Beautiful: Multi-ethnic Churches and the Preaching that Sustains Them addresses one of the most salient questions of the day; What does it take to create and maintain healthy, multi-ethnic churches? Whether or not you find yourself facing a congregation on Sunday mornings, Lisa Washington Lamb's text will make you a better communicator. And perhaps more importantly, a more sensitive, empathetic follower of Christ. This book is challenging, thoughtful, and prophetic.

 

 

A Theology of the Ordinary

(recommended by Tish Harrison Warren)

 

 

 

His Testimonies My Heritage