It’s easy to get callused by the needs of the world. We are overwhelmed by need and we become immune.
That’s why a deep dive into a book beats an internet post or news article.
These five books highlight the need, in full color, but they also shine a light on the answer to humanity’s greatest need.
They explore the divine economy, which doesn’t work like ours. It often doesn’t feel fair. It often feels upside down.
These books will rock your world and grip your heart and challenge your assumptions. Let them.
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Something Needs to Change
by David Platt
After listening to Annie F Down’s interview with David Platt on her podcast about his book I knew I needed to read it.
Platt traced his one week trek through the Himalayas and the impact it had on him to see such a dark place first hand.
He recorded in his journal the people he met, the scripture he read on the trip and his thoughts and emotions in response.
He witnessed human trafficking, extreme persecution of believers, children in isolated mountain villages without the most basic education and scores of people who had no knowledge of Jesus.
Platt was overwhelmed by a first hand experience with a dark corner of the world in desperate need, spiritually as well as physically. He eloquently invites believers into his pain as the first step to impacting the world.
The Insanity of God
by Nik Ripken with Gregg Lewis
Nik and Ruth Ripken (not their real names) left Kentucky and moved with their family to Somlia to serve God. They encountered a shocking world of spiritual warfare and the persecution of Christians.
Nik Ripken pulls back the curtain to this world.
Believers who are imprisoned and tortured and martyred for their faith. Those who sing to Jesus and can’t resist sharing him with others, no matter the price.
Human life is not valued. Women and children are not valued. Freedoms and dignity are not valued. All stemming from a world view so foreign it is difficult even to conceive.
They have since interviewed 600 believers in 60 countries to give voice to their stories.
These are their stories and Nik Ripken and Gregg Lewis share them so well.
The Heavenly Man
by Brother Yun and Paul Hattaway
Brother Yun’s story highlights the incredible religious persecution of Christians in China.
The verses of scripture they cling to are not the same ones that are familiar to us because they live a different reality.
It’s good to have that world opened up to us and to spend some time thinking about it.
Christians throughout history have been imprisoned and tortured and persecuted and martyred for their faith. The fact that it’s still happening today often doesn’t impact us.
by Bruce Olson
Nineteen year old Bruce Olson left the United States to bring the gospel to a stone age tribe of Indians in Columbia.
He learned their language and fully integrated into their culture. The contrast between their way of life and his upbringing in Minnesota is stark.
He paints such a vivid picture you can almost feel the creepy crawlies. At great personal sacrifice, he accomplished his mission.
Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus
by Nabeel Qureshi
This is the raw, treacherous journey that Nabeel Qureshi took to find faith in Jesus including the sacrifices he made, the intellectual, emotional and relational barriers that kept him from finding faith in Jesus and the story of overcoming those barriers.
Why do we need to know Nabeel’s story?
There are millions of devout Muslims on the planet. If we understand his story, we come closer to understanding them.
To understand the Muslim mindset opens the door to greater compassion, to a better chance of building bridges to individuals who are seeking.
Statistics are one thing.
One person’s story is something else altogether. What difference can one person’s story make?
We are faced with the same choices as Nabeel Qureshi. Are we going to accept what we were taught growing up? Or are we going to search for something else?
These are the questions that individuals from every devout family faces. These are the issues that we wrestle with. These are the answers that we must find. This is the peace that we must come to.
Irregardless of the belief system we choose, the struggle is universal. It’s the dragon we all must fight.
Which books would you recommend for this list?
P.S. Did you miss these posts?