Audio Book Club

Recommended books

 

A Crazy, Holy Grace

By: Frederick Buechner

The Healing Power of Pain and Memory 

Frederick Buechner has grappled with the nature of pain, grief, and grace ever since his father committed suicide when Buechner was a young boy. He continued that search as a father when his daughter struggled with anorexia. In this essential collection of essays, including one never before published, Frederick Buechner finds that the God who might seem so silent is ever near. He writes about what it means to be a steward of our pain, and about this grace from God that seems arbitrary and yet draws us to his holiness and care. Finally, he writes about the magic of memory and how it can close up the old wounds with the memories of past goodnesses and graces from God. 

Here now are the best of Buechner's writings on pain and loss, covering such topics as the power of hidden secrets, loss of a dearly beloved, letting go, resurrection from the ruins, peace, and listening for the quiet voice of God. And he reveals that pain and sorrow can be a treasure - an amazing grace. 

Buechner says that loss will come to all of us, but he writes that we are not alone. Crazy and unreal as it may sometimes seem, God's holy, healing grace is always present and available if we are still enough to receive it. 

Abba's Child

By: Brennan Manning

The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging 

Is an imposter robbing you of God's love?

Many Christians have bought into the lie that we are worthy of God's love only when our lives are going well. If our families are happy or our jobs are meaningful, life is a success. But when life begins to fall through the cracks and embarrassing sins threaten to reveal our less-than-perfect identity, we scramble to keep up a good front to present to the world - and God. We cower and hide until we can rearrange the mask of perfection and look good again.

Sadly, it is then that we wonder why we lack intimate relationships and a passionate faith. Yes all this time God is calling us to take the mask off and come openly to Him. God longs for us to know in the depth of our being that He loves us and accepts us as we are. When we are true selves, we can finally claim our identity as God's child - Abba's child - and experience His pleasure in who we are.

Brennan Manning encourages readers to let go of the imposter lifestyle and freely accept our belovedness as a child of the heavenly Father. In Him there is life, our passion is rekindled, and our union with Him is His greatest pleasure.

And the Angels Were Silent

By: Max Lucado

The Final Week of Jesus 

You can tell a lot about a person by the way he dies. 

In the last week of his life, Jesus deliberately sets his face toward Jerusalem - and certain death. This is no ordinary week. Even the angels are silent as they ponder the final days of Jesus Christ. 

This is no ordinary walk. Jesus doesn't chatter. He doesn't pause. He is on his final journey. 

He walks determinedly to the holy city, angrily into the temple, wearily into Gethsemane, painfully up the Via Dolorosa. And powerfully out of the vacated tomb. 

Master storyteller and best-selling author Max Lucado invites you: "Let's follow Jesus on his final journey. For by observing his, we may learn how to make ours. And discover what matters to God."

Anxious for Nothing

By: Max Lucado

Finding Calm in a Chaotic World 

Anxiety is at an all-time high, but there's a prescription for dealing with it. Max Lucado invites listeners into a study of Philippians 4:6-7, where the Apostle Paul admonishes the followers of Christ, "Do not be anxious about anything...."

Philippians 4:6 encourages the believer to "be anxious for nothing". As Lucado states, the Apostle Paul seems to leave little leeway here. "Be anxious of nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zero." 

What's he suggesting? That we should literally be anxious for absolutely nothing? Lucado says, "The presence of anxiety is unavoidable, but the prison of anxiety is optional. It's the life of perpetual anxiety that Paul wants to address. Don't let anything in life leave you perpetually in angst." 

Basic Christianity

By: John Stott

'If Jesus was not God in human flesh, Christianity is exploded,' writes John Stott. 'We are left with just another religion with some beautiful ideas and noble ethics; its unique distinction has gone.' 

Who is Jesus Christ? If he is not who he said he was, and if he did not do what he said he had come to do, the whole superstructure of Christianity crumbles in ruin. Is it plausible that Jesus was truly divine? And what would that mean for us? 

John Stott's clear, classic book, now updated, examines the historical facts on which Christianity stands. Here is a sound, sensible guide for all who seek an intellectually satisfying explanation of the Christian faith. 

Born Again

By: Charles Colson

What Really Happened to the White House Hatchet Man 

Born Again is the autobiography of one of the most influential men of our time. It is not only a remarkable story of one man's redemption in Christ, but a fascinating look inside the events of one of America's most riveting sagas. 

In the 1970s, against the backdrop of the explosive Watergate scandal, Charles Colson revealed the story of his own search for meaning during the tumultuous investigations that led to the collapse of the Nixon administration. A convicted former special counsel to the president, Colson paradoxically found new life - not with success and power, but while in national disgrace and serving a prison sentence.

Bruchko

By: Bruce Olson

What happens when a nineteen-year-old boy leaves home and heads into the jungles to evangelize a murderous tribe of South American Indians? 

For Bruce Olson, it meant capture, disease, terror, loneliness, and torture. But what he discovered through trial and error has revolutionized the world of missions.

Bruchko, which has sold more than 300,000 copies worldwide, has been called "more fantastic and harrowing than anything Hollywood could concoct." Having lived with the Motilone Indians since1961, Olson has won the friendship of four presidents of Colombia and made appearances before the United Nations because of his efforts. Bruchko includes the story of Olson's1988 kidnapping by communist guerrillas and the nine months of captivity that followed. This revised version of his story is an amazing reminder that simple faith in Christ can make anything possible.

Case for Christ, Revised & Updated

By: Lee Strobel

A Journalist's Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus 

Is there credible evidence that Jesus of Nazareth really is the son of God? 

Retracing his own spiritual journey from atheism to faith, Lee Strobel, former legal editor of the Chicago Tribune, cross-examines a dozen experts with doctorates from schools like Cambridge, Princeton, and Brandeis who are recognized authorities in their own fields. 

Strobel challenges them with questions like: How reliable is the New Testament? Does evidence for Jesus exist outside the Bible? Is there any reason to believe the resurrection was an actual event? 

In this winner of the Gold Medallion Book Award and two-time nominee for the Christian Book of the Year Award, Strobel's tough, point-blank questions play like a captivating, fast-paced novel. But it's not fiction. It's a riveting quest for the truth about history's most compelling figure. 

The new edition includes scores of revisions and additions, including updated material on archaeological and manuscript discoveries, fresh recommendations for further study, and an interview with the author that tells dramatic stories about the book's impact, provides behind-the-scenes information, and responds to critiques of the book by skeptics. This updated edition will prove even more valuable to contemporary listeners. 

Confess Your Sins - The Way of Reconciliation

By: John Stott

An evangelical classic for a new generation of Christian listeners. Back for the first time in many years, John Stott's classic treatise on confession discusses a neglected Christian practice. Though the Bible clearly teaches that confession is a necessary part of the redemption story, many Christians are uncertain how and to whom they should confess their sins. Stott offers vital answers in Confess Your Sins: The Way of Reconciliation.

After presenting the necessity of confession, Stott distinguishes between three types of confession - in secret to God, in private to a person whom our sin has injured, and in public in the presence of a Christian congregation. He shows how this threefold distinction is biblically grounded, and he critically examines the practice of confessing to a priest. Offering assurance of forgiveness to Christians, this audiobook opens the door to fruitful conversation about the practice of confession.

Counterfeit Gods

By: Timothy Keller

The recent economic meltdown has cast a harsh new light on these pursuits. In a matter of months, fortunes, marriages, careers, and a secure retirement have disappeared for millions of people. No wonder so many of us feel lost, alone, disenchanted, and resentful.

But the truth is that we made lesser gods of these good things – gods that can’t give us what we really need. There is only one God who can wholly satisfy our cravings – and now is the perfect time to meet him again, or for the first time.

The Bible tells us that the human heart is an “idol-factory,” taking good things and making them into idols that drive us. In Counterfeit Gods, Timothy Keller applies his trademark approach to show us how a proper understanding of the Bible reveals the unvarnished truth about societal ideals and our own hearts. This powerful message will cement Keller’s reputation as a critical thinker and pastor, and comes at a crucial time–for both the faithful and the skeptical.

Crazy Love

By: Francis Chan

Overwhelmed by a Relentless God by Francis Chan

God is love. Crazy, relentless, all-powerful love. Revised and updated edition of the best-seller, now with a new preface and a bonus chapter. 

Have you ever wondered if we’re missing it? It’s crazy, if you think about it. The God of the universe - the Creator of nitrogen and pine needles, galaxies and E-minor - loves us with a radical, unconditional, self-sacrificing love. And what is our typical response? We go to church, sing songs, and try not to cuss. Whether you’ve verbalized it yet or not, we all know something’s wrong. Does something deep inside your heart long to break free from the status quo? Are you hungry for an authentic faith that addresses the problems of our world with tangible, even radical, solutions? 

God is calling you to a passionate love relationship with Himself. Because the answer to religious complacency isn’t working harder at a list of do's and don'ts - it's falling in love with God. And once you encounter His love, as Francis describes it, you will never be the same. Because when you’re wildly in love with someone, it changes everything.

Disappointment with God

By: Philip Yancey

Philip Yancey has a gift for articulating the knotty issues of faith. In Disappointment with God, he poses three questions that Christians wonder but seldom ask aloud: Is God unfair? Is he silent? Is he hidden? This insightful and deeply personal book points to the odd disparity between our concept of God and the realities of life. Why, if God is so hungry for relationship with us, does he seem so distant? Why, if he cares for us, do bad things happen? What can we expect from him after all?

Yancey answers these questions with clarity, richness, and biblical assurance. He takes us beyond the things that make for disillusionment to a deeper faith, a certitude of God's love, and a thirst to reach not just for what God gives, but for who he is.

Desiring the Kingdom

By: James K. A. Smith

Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation 

 

Malls, stadiums, and universities are actually liturgical structures that influence and shape our thoughts and affections. Humans - as Augustine noted - are "desiring agents", full of longings and passions; in brief, we are what we love. 

James K. A. Smith focuses on the themes of liturgy and desire in Desiring the Kingdom, the first book in a three-volume set on the theology of culture. He redirects our yearnings to focus on the greatest good: God. Ultimately, Smith seeks to re-envision education through the process and practice of worship. Students of philosophy, theology, worldview, and culture will welcome Desiring the Kingdom, as will those involved in ministry. 

Eat This Book

By: Eugene H. Peterson

A Conversation on the Art of Spiritual Reading 

Eugene Peterson is convinced that the way we read the Bible is as important as that we read it. Do we read the Bible for information about God and salvation, for principles and "truths" that we can use to live better? Or do we read it in order to listen to God and respond in prayer and obedience?

The second part of Peterson's momentous five-volume work on spiritual theology, Eat This Book challenges us to read the Scriptures on their own terms, as God's revelation, and to live them as we read them. With warmth and wisdom Peterson offers greatly needed, down-to-earth counsel on spiritual reading. In these pages he draws readers into a fascinating conversation on the nature of language, the ancient practice of lectio divina, and the role of Scripture translations; included here is the "inside story" behind Peterson's own popular Bible translation, The Message.

Countering the widespread practice of using the Bible for self-serving purposes, Peterson here serves readers with a nourishing entrée into the formative, life-changing art of spiritual reading.

Don't Waste Your Life

By: John Piper

John Piper writes, "I will tell you what a tragedy is. I will show you how to waste your life. Consider this story from the February 1998 Reader's Digest: A couple 'took early retirement from their jobs in the Northeast five years ago when he was 59 and she was 51. Now they live in Punta Gorda, Florida, where they cruise on their 30-foot trawler, play softball and collect shells. . . .' Picture them before Christ at the great day of judgment: 'Look, Lord. See my shells.' That is a tragedy.

"God created us to live with a single passion: to joyfully display his supreme excellence in all the spheres of life. The wasted life is the life without this passion. God calls us to pray and think and dream and plan and work not to be made much of, but to make much of him in every part of our lives."

This work is a passionate call for this generation to make their lives count for eternity. John Piper acknowledges that the risks for those who seek to accomplish something in life - risks in relationships for the sake of righteousness and authenticity, risks with money for the cause of the Gospel, and risks in witnessing to the truth and beauty of Christ. Readers will find their passion for the cross of Christ enlarged as a result of listening to this title.

Facing Your Giants

By: Max Lucado

The God Who Made a Miracle Out of David Stands Ready to Make One Out of You 

Giants. We must face them. Yet we need not face them alone.

This profound look at the life of the biblical figure David digs deeply into the defeats he suffered, and the victories he won, as he faced the giants in his life. When David focused on God, giants tumbled. But when David focused on giants, he stumbled.

Goliaths still roam in our world: Debt. Disaster. Dialysis. Divorce. Deceit. Disease. Depression. These super-sized challenges swagger and strut into our lives, pilfering our sleep, embezzling our peace, and robbing us of our joy. And while these giants try to dominate our lives, we know what to do! We've learned what David learned, and we do what David did. We become God focused. We pick up five stones. We make five decisions. And we take a swing.

Enemies of the Heart

By: Andy Stanley

Breaking Free from the Four Emotions That Control You 

In this compelling and helpful book, previously published as It Came From Within!, pastor and author Andy Stanley wrestles with what he calls"four invaders of the heart": guilt, anger, greed, and jealousy. One or another of these caustic emotions sabotages lives on a daily basis and destroys relationships. But Stanley assures listeners that there is hope. 

In his trademark style - smart, engaging, and popular - he examines where these powerful forces come from and reveals effective strategies for overcoming them and moving toward healing and maturity.

Foundations

By: R. C. Sproul

In Foundations: An Overview of Systematic Theology, R.C. Sproul shows that the truths of Scripture relate to each other in perfect harmony. This eye-opening series addresses a myriad of questions about the origin and authority of the Bible, God, the Trinity, man, sin, salvation, revelation, miracles, the church, the end times, and more.

Forgotten God

By: Francis Chan

Remembering Our Crucial Need for the Holy Spirit 

A follow up to the profound message of Crazy Love, Pastor Francis Chan offers a compelling invitation to understand, embrace, and follow the Holy Spirit's direction in our lives.

"In the name of the Father, the Son, and ... the Holy Spirit." We pray in the name of all three, but how often do we live with an awareness of only the first two? As Jesus ascended into heaven, He promised to send the Holy Spirit - the Helper - so that we could be true and living witnesses for Christ.

Unfortunately, today's church has admired the gift but neglected to open it. Breakthrough author Francis Chan rips away paper and bows to get at the true source of the church's power - the Holy Spirit. Chan contends that we've ignored the Spirit for far too long, and we are reaping the disastrous results.

Thorough scriptural support and compelling narrative form Chan's invitation to stop and remember the One we've forgotten, the Spirit of the living God.

Foundations of the Christian Faith, Revised in One Volume

By: James Montgomery Boice

A Comprehensive & Readable Theology 

In this revised edition of a formerly four-volume work, James Boice provides an overview of all the major doctrines of Christian theology in one volume. 

Boice carefully opens the topics like the nature of God, the character of his natural and special revelation, the fall, and the person and work of Christ with scholarly rigor and a pastor's heart. 

The text then covers the work of the Holy Spirit in justification and sanctification and closes with careful discussion of ecclesiology and eschatology. 

Throughout the book Boice maintains a remarkable practicality and thoroughness that will benefit both students and pastors alike and will make Foundations of the Christian Faith a standard reference and text for years to come. 

Hearing God

By: Dallas Willard

Developing a Conversational Relationship with God 

Being close to God means communicating with Him-telling Him what is on our hearts in prayer and hearing and understanding what he is saying to us. It is this second half of our conversation with God that is so important but that also can be so difficult. How do we hear his voice? How can we be sure that what we think we hear is not our own subconscious? What role does the Bible play? What if what God says to us is not clear?

The key, says best-selling author Dallas Willard, is to focus not so much on individual actions and decisions as on building our personal relationship with our creator. In this updated classic, originally published as In Search of Guidance, the author provides a rich, spiritual insight into how we can hear God's voice clearly and develop an intimate partnership with Him in the work of His kingdom.

How Now Shall We Live

By: Charles Colson

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Long Obedience in the Same Direction

By: Eugene H. Peterson

Discipleship in an Instant Society 

This world is no friend to grace. God has given us some resources, however. As we grow in character qualities like hope, patience, repentance and joy, we ill grow in our ability to persevere. The biblical passages in these studies offer encouragement to continue in the path Christ has set forth for us.

Hunger for God

By: John Piper

Desiring God Through Fasting and Prayer 

There is an appetite for God. And it can be awakened. I invite you to turn from the dulling effects of food and the dangers of idolatry, and to say with some simple fast: "This much, O God, I want you."Our appetites dictate the direction of our lives - whether it be the cravings of our stomachs, the passionate desire for possessions or power, or the longings of our spirits for God.

But for the Christian, the hunger for anything besides God can be an arch-enemy. While our hunger for God - and Him alone - is the only thing that will bring victory. Do you have that hunger for Him?

If we are full of what the world offers, then perhaps a fast might express, or even increase, our soul's appetite for God. Between the dangers of self-denial and self-indulgence is this path of pleasant pain called fasting. It is the path John Piper invites you to travel in this book. For when God is the supreme hunger of your heart, He will be supreme in everything. And when you are most satisfied in Him, He will be most glorified in you.

He Chose the Nails

By: Max Lucado

Max Lucado invites you to examine the cross, contemplate its purpose, and celebrate its significance in He Chose the Nails. Go ahead and linger on the hill of Calvary. Rub a finger on the timber and press the nail into your hand. Taste the tinge of cheap wine and feel the scrape of a thorn on your brow. Touch the velvet dirt, moist with the blood of God. Allow the tools of torture to tell their story. Listen as they tell you why the hope of all humanity balances on the truth of the claims of the cross. See just how much God did to win your heart. 

Knowing God

By: J. I. Packer

A lifelong pursuit of knowing God should embody the Christian's existence. According to eminent theologian J.I. Packer, however, Christians have become enchanted by modern skepticism and have joined the "gigantic conspiracy of misdirection" by failing to put first things first. Knowing God aims to redirect our attention to the simple, deep truth that to know God is to love His Word. What began as a number of consecutive articles angled for "honest, no-nonsense readers who were fed up with facile Christian verbiage" in 1973, Knowing God has become a contemporary classic by creating "small studies out of great subjects." 

Each chapter is so specific in focus (covering topics such as the trinity, election, God's wrath, and God's sovereignty), that each succeeding chapter's theology seems to rival the next, until one's mind is so expanded that one's entire view of God has changed. Author Elizabeth Eliot wrote that amid the lofty content, Packer "puts the hay where the sheep can reach it - plainly shows us ordinary folks what it means to know God." 

Having rescued us from the individual hunches of our ultra-tolerant theological age, Packer points the listener to the true character of God with his theological competence and compassionate heart. The lazy and faint-hearted should be warned about this timeless work - God is magnified, the sinner is humbled, and the saint encouraged.

Loving God

By: Charles W. Colson

Jesus tells us that the greatest commandment is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” But how many of us know what this looks like in daily life? Does loving God mean going to church, tithing, having regular prayer times? Is it a feeling in our hearts?

A few years after Chuck Colson became a Christian, he realized that the more he learned about God’s love for him, the more he wanted to know how to love God. This book is the masterpiece Colson wrote after searching Scripture, history, and his own difficult experiences to answer his deepest question. He discovered that loving God is obeying God - rarely easy, sometimes inconvenient, often painful, and entirely satisfying. When we love God, we know the pleasure of living out our true calling.

Billy Graham considers Loving God “one of the most spiritually satisfying books I have ever read.” Joni Eareckson Tada refers to it as “the complete volume on Christian living.” With fascinating stories and engaging theological insights, Loving God has been bringing people closer to Jesus for over 30 years. In this hour of opportunity for the church and for our own spiritual lives, Loving God will inspire you to love God with your whole being. It’s what you were created to do.

Ordering Your Private World

By: Gordon MacDonald

We have schedule planners, computerized calendars, and self-stick notes to help us organize our business and social lives every day. But what about organizing the other side of our lives - the spiritual side? 

One of the great battlegrounds of the new century is within the private world of the individual. The values of our Western culture incline us to believe that the busy, publicly active person in ministry is also the most spiritual. 

Tempted to give imbalanced attention to the public world at the expense of the private, we become involved in more programs, more meetings. Our massive responsibilities at home, work, and church have resulted in a lot of good people on the verge of collapse. 

Orthodoxy

By: G. K. Chesterton

Written by G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy addresses foremost one main problem: How can we contrive to be at once astonished at the world and yet at home in it? Chesterton writes, "I wish to set forth my faith as particularly answering this double spiritual need, the need for that mixture of the familiar and the unfamiliar which Christendom has rightly named romance." 

Chesterton likens orthodox Christianity to a man who set out in a boat from England and was quite excited to land on an island only to soon discover he had, in fact, landed on England. "I am the man who with the utmost daring discovered what had been discovered before." This is Chesterton's autobiography. It is his story of finding the familiar and unfamiliar in Christianity. It is his hunt for the gorgon or griffin and in the end discovers a rhinoceros and then takes pleasure in the fact that a rhinoceros exists but looks as if it oughtn't. 

In Orthodoxy, Chesterton argues that people in Western society need a life of "practical romance, the combination of something that is strange with something that is secure. We need so to view the world as to combine an idea of wonder and an idea of welcome." Drawing on such figures as Fra Angelico, George Bernard Shaw, and St. Paul to make his points, Chesterton argues that submission to ecclesiastical authority is the way to achieve a good and balanced life.

Mere Christianity

By: C.S. Lewis

One of the most popular and beloved introductions to the concept of faith ever written, Mere Christianity has sold millions of copies worldwide. 

This audiobook brings together C. S. Lewis' legendary radio broadcasts during the war years, in which he set out simply to "explain and defend the belief that has been common to nearly all Christians at all times." 

Rejecting the boundaries that divide Christianity's many denominations, Mere Christianity provides an unequalled opportunity for believers and nonbelievers alike to absorb a powerful, rational case for the Christian faith.

Prayer

By: A. W. Tozer

Communing with God in Everything - Collected Insights from A. W. Tozer 

"Some churches now advertise courses on how to pray. How ridiculous! That is like giving a course on how to fall in love." - A. W. Tozer 

Tozer understood prayer as few do: as a way of life. Now listeners can share that same grand vision. 

Prayer combines the best of Tozer on prayer into one volume. Tozer was captured by the great wonder of God, and he regarded prayer as the primary means of coming into his presence. But if our everyday life is filled with the barrenness of busyness and there is no serious urgency to pray, we forfeit the wonder of being conformed to the image of Christ and knowing our God more intimately - the true Christian life. 

Prayer is doable. God is accessible. And Tozer provides the wisdom and encouragement to help us encounter him daily. With commentary and reflection questions provided by compiler W.L. Seaver, Prayer takes our understanding of prayer to new depths and helps us have a life that prays. 

Renovation of the Heart

By: Dallas Willard

Putting on the Character of Christ 

We aren't born again to stay the way we are. But how many times have we looked around us in dismay at the lack of spiritual maturity in fellow believers?

It is evident in the rising rate of divorces among Christian couples. We find it in the high percentages of Christians, even pastors, who regularly view pornography. And we face it each time a well-known leader in the Christian community is found in sexual sin or handling finances dishonestly. Perhaps you have struggled with your own character issues for years, even decades, to little avail. That's good news. You can experience significant growth in your Christian walk, shed sinful habits, and increasing take on the character of Christ. 

In Renovation of the Heart, best-selling author Dallas Willard calls it "the transformation of the spirit"- a divine process that "brings every element in our being, working from inside out, into harmony with the will of God or the kingdom of God." In the transformation of our spirits, we become apprentices of Jesus Christ.

Run with the Horses

By: Eugene H. Peterson

The Quest for Life at its Best 

"If you have raced with men on foot, and they have wearied you, how will you compete with horses?" Jeremiah 12:5

We all long to live life at its best-to fuse freedom and spontaneity with purpose and meaning. Why then do we often find our lives so humdrum, so unadventuresome, so routine? Or else so frantic, so full of activity, but still devoid of fulfillment? How do we learn to risk, to trust, to pursue wholeness and excellence-to run with the horses in the jungle of life? 

 

In a series of profound reflections on the life of Jeremiah the prophet, Eugene Peterson explores the heart of what it means to be fully and genuinely human. His writing is filled with humor and self-reflection, insight and wisdom, helping to set a course for others in the quest for life at its best.

Ragamuffin Gospel

By: Brennan Manning

A Furious Love Is Hot on Your Trail!

Many believers feel stunted in their Christian growth. We beat ourselves up over our failures and, in the process, pull away from God because we subconsciously believe He tallies our defects and hangs His head in disappointment.

In this new edition - now with a foreword by Michael W. Smith, testimony by Rich Mullins and the author's own epilogue, "Ragamuffin Ten Years Later," Brennan Manning reminds us that nothing could be further from the truth. The Father beckons us to Himself with a "furious love" that burns brightly and constantly. Only when we truly embrace God's grace can we bask in the joy of a gospel that enfolds the most needy of His flock - the "ragamuffins."

Reading Romans with John Stott, Volume 1

By: John Stott, Dale Larsen, Sandy Larsen

Reading the Bible with John Stott Series 

Paul's letter to the Romans has for 2,000 years been a touchstone for all who want to understand the power of the Gospel and the righteousness of God revealed from heaven. The truth in Romans transforms our thinking and convicts our hearts as we discover the power of the Gospel for every area of our lives and our world. 

In this volume the first half of John Stott's The Message of Romans is condensed into brief readings suitable for daily use, which take us passage by passage through the Scripture text. Including 10 weekly studies for individuals or groups, this book covering Romans 1-8 allows listeners to enjoy the riches of Stott's writings in a new, easy-to-use format. The remainder of Romans is presented in the companion to this volume. 

Reading Romans with John Stott, Volume 2

By: Dale Larsen, John Stott, Sandy Larsen

Reading the Bible with John Stott Series 

Simply Jesus

By: N. T. Wright

A New Vision of Who He Was, What He Did, and Why He Matters 

We have grown used to the battles over Jesus - whether he was human or divine, whether he could do miracles or just inspire them, whether he even existed. Much of the church defends tradition, while critics take shots at the institution and its beliefs. But what if these debates have masked the real story of Jesus? What if even Jesus’s defenders have been so blinded by their focus on defending the church’s traditions that they have failed to grapple with what the New Testament really teaches? 

Bible scholar, Anglican bishop, and bestselling author N. T. Wright summarizes a lifetime of study of Jesus and the New Testament in order to present for a general audience who Jesus was and is. In Simply Jesus, we are invited to hear one of our leading scholars introduce the story of the carpenter’s son from Nazareth as if we were hearing it for the first time. 

“Jesus - the Jesus we might discover if we really looked,” explains Wright, “is larger, more disturbing, more urgent than we had ever imagined. We have successfully managed to hide behind other questions and to avoid the huge, world-shaking challenge of Jesus’s central claim and achievement. It is we, the churches, who have been the real reductionists. We have reduced the kingdom of God to private piety; the victory of the cross to comfort for the conscience; Easter itself to a happy, escapist ending after a sad, dark tale. Piety, conscience, and ultimate happiness are important, but not nearly as important as Jesus himself.” As the church faces the many challenges of the twenty-first century, Wright has presented a vision of Jesus that more than meets them. 

Shadow of the Almighty

By: Elisabeth Elliot

"He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." So wrote Jim Elliot at age 22, sweating over Greek roots and patristics at Wheaton College. "Seven years later," writes his widow Elisabeth, "he and four other young men...sat together on a strip of white sand on the Curaray River, deep in Ecuador's rain forest, waiting for the arrival of a group of men whom they loved, but had never met, savage Stone Age killers, men now known to all the world as Aucas."

The circumstances of the death of these men are by now known throughout the world in one of the great missionary adventure stories of modern times. But this is the first account of the whole life of one of them, a life that, though "hid with Christ in God", was in part revealed in some of the most poignant and moving spiritual writings of our time. Shadow of the Almighty is a tremendous biography of an adventurous and inspirational life.

Souvenirs of Solitude

By: Brennan Manning

Finding Rest in Abba's Embrace 

Beloved author and ragamuffin Brennan Manning writes: "These souvenirs of solitude are the love story of my walk with God. Revisiting the lost silences of the past, I remember and record the intimate moments when I allowed the Lord to lure me into the wilderness and speak to my heart." 

This book is a series of remembrances that Brennan recorded in the late 1970s. But as with all good remembrances, they have a timeless quality and a value for listeners today. Many of the themes that God has made the indelible marks of Brennan’s life are found in this wonderful book. Dominant among those themes is the astonishing, boundless love of God for us.

Surprised by Hope

By: N. T. Wright

Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church 

In this groundbreaking book - available in audio for the first time - renowned Bible scholar, Anglican bishop, and best-selling author N. T. Wright argues that Christians have not distorted the Bible's message about heaven and what happens after we die. 

For years, Christians have been asking, "If you died tonight, do you know where you would go?" It turns out that many believers have been giving the wrong answer. It is not heaven. 

Wright outlines the present confusion about a Christian's future hope and shows how it is deeply intertwined with how we live today. Wright asserts that Christianity's most distinctive idea is bodily resurrection, and provides a magisterial defense for a literal resurrection of Jesus. Wright then explores our expectation of "new heavens and a new earth", revealing what happens to the dead until then and what will happen with the "second coming" of Jesus. For many, including many Christians, it will come as a great surprise to learn that heaven comes to earth instead of us going to heaven. 

Wright convincingly argues that what we believe about life after death directly affects what we believe about life before death. For if God intends to renew the whole creation - and if this has already begun in Jesus's resurrection - the church cannot stop at "saving souls" but must anticipate the eventual renewal by working for God's kingdom in the wider world, bringing healing and hope in the present life. 

St. Francis of Assisi

By: G. K. Chesterton

Saint Francis of Assisi is one of the most influential men in the whole of human history. This acclaimed biography of Saint Francis examines the life of a pure artist, a man "whose whole life was a poem". Here is the Saint Francis who prayed and danced with pagan abandon, who talked to animals, and who invented the crèche. Yet Francis also acknowledged the mystic responsibility to communicate his divine experience. Chesterton examines the existence of the pure eccentric and the devout mystic in one man, offering an understanding of Saint Francis in both body and soul. It has been said that G. K. Chesterton converted to Catholicism in 1922 because "only the Roman Church could have produced a Saint Francis of Assisi". 

This biography, published shortly after Chesterton's conversion, is universally considered the best appreciation of Francis' life, one that gets to the heart of the matter.