What book do you give people at the brink of becoming a Christian?

I thought it might be a good idea to sometimes turn this blog over to you my readers to allow you to share ideas or resources.

What I am wondering today is what books do you give to people who have either just made a response to the gospel or who seem at the brink of doing so.

For today’s exercise I am not looking for books of apologetics that seek to answer the questions of unbelievers. Not am I asking for basic discipleship books. I am interested instead in books that you might call a “midwife” book. A tool to help someone make the transition from unbeliever to Christian. What do you use in your church?

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  • Milly

    It depends on the person of course, but I have a few staples I turn to. My three favourite are Dead Sure by J John and Mere Christianity by CS Lewis, and Who Rolled the Stone by Frank Morison.

  • Evan

    Not to be a damper on the idea or anything, but when I have a friend or acquaintance at that threshold, right as God is presenting their hearts with The Decision, the very last place I want to guide them is to another book-not-the-Bible. Presumably we’ve perused excerpts from several books, even been through the book-bingo that some seem to prefer, but by the time they start to feel God knocking down their objections and slowly, inexorably drawing them closer to that Decision, the scales falling by degrees from their eyes, I’m not going to want to shove them away and into a book.

    For a brand-new Christian, I would hope their thirst for God’s Word would lead them to that well, and I’d stand ready to aid them in beginning that journey through the halls of treasure that are the pages of His revelation of Himself to us.

  • I would hand them “What is the Gospel?” By Greg Gilbert (9 Marks) Forward by D.A. Carson

    Or I might hand them “Gospel: Rediscovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary” By J.D. Greear Forward by Tim Keller

    These are both great books that go over the Gospel and it’s implications for daily life.

  • If you want a bible supplementary book for the new Christian then definitely The Cross-Centred Life by CJ Mahaney, very short, but incredibly clear on the place of the gospel in daily Christian life – don’t let them miss out on this fundamental before they deal with anything else.

    Depending on who they are, Knowing God by JI Packer is also superb, but may be more of a challenge depending on the person and their background.

  • Excellent question.

    We have found a really ancient book has a pretty impressive track record in this area… it’s called the Bible. It’s a collection of 66 ancient books, 39 of which are the Hebrew Scriptures (also called the Old Testament) , and 29 of which date from the 1st Century, and are considered, by Christians, to be equally inspired by God (aka the New Testament). We especially recommend that “seekers” start with the Gospel of John, which is part of the New Testament.

  • In addition to the Bible, we frequently give away “Finally Alive” by John Piper and “The Truth of the Cross” by R. C. Sproul. We have previously given away “Christ Our Mediator” by C. J. Mahaney.

  • Dorfl

    I might recommend ‘Lost Christianities’ or ‘Who Wrote the Bible?’. Or possibly just the Bible itself. But of course, I’m an atheist.

    On the other hand, if your objective is to actually encourage the reader’s conversion, then ‘Mere Christianity’ might work. I don’t think it has aged as well as most Christians seem to think it has, but it’s still quite readable.

  • The book of John and we study it together

  • Really depends on what the person’s needs are at the time. I’ve recommended or given the following to such people in the past:

    More Than a Carpenter – Josh McDowell
    Mere Christianity – C.S. Lewis
    Beyond Opinion – Ravi Z.
    Simply Christian – N.T. Wright
    The Purpose Driven Life – Rick Warren


    Psalm 115:1

  • Mike Hitchings

    It’s a really good question.

    What book would you give to people to explain what closing the deal looks like, for those who say they believe the facts but are stuck at making the response?

    • That’s the question. Anybody got an answer? I think there are lots of apologetic books and lots of basic discipleship or basic theology for those who’ve made the jump but not much for those who just need a final bit of guidance.

  • Matt Jones

    It’s very little known in the UK, but I was greatly impacted myself years ago by a book called The God You Can Know, by Dan DeHaan. I’ve since recommended it to others. The theme is obviously similar to Knowing God (in fact Packer wrote the foreword), but it’s much shorter and more accessible (it’s probably easily readable for teenagers or suitable to be read to children). I agree with your point Evan, that you want to be directing people to the Word, but I don’t think that other books are necessarily unhelpful in that respect. Depending on where people at, the Bible can at first glance seem forbidding to people, or they may not know exactly how to approach it. This particular book has been helpful to me again since in actually reminding me what the whole point of reading Scripture is.

  • Books such as More Than a Carpenter by Josh McDowell and Sean McDowell, Simply Christian by N. T. Wright and Timothy Keller’s The Reason for God I believers really works. I think there are still heaps of books around that but may I suggest http://booksforevangelism.org since that site pretty lists down books that believers can give to non believers. 🙂