Vanishing Grace: What Ever Happened to the Good News? by Philip Yancey
From the Amazon synopsis: Yancey explores what may have contributed to hostility toward Evangelicals, especially in their mixing of faith and politics instead of embracing more grace-filled ways of presenting the gospel. He offers illuminating stories of how faith can be expressed in ways that disarm even the most cynical critics. Then he explores what is Good News and what is worth preserving in a culture that thinks it has rejected Christian faith.
The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism by Tim Keller
For the last two decades Tim Keller has ministered in Manhattan to reach an educated and largely unchurched urban population. In this book he draws on his experience to discuss seven common questions posed to deconstruct Christian belief, demonstrating that none of these need be “deal breakers.” He then spends the second half of the book reconstructing “The Reason for God” and of course, the orthodox Christian faith.
The book is revisited in more detail in a second series of posts.
Posts: In an Age of Skepticism, All Religion is Culturally Conditioned Truth, How Could a Good God Allow Suffering?, Absolute Truth is the Enemy of Freedom, (In)Justice in Jesus’s Name, Revisiting Hell, I Believe in Genesis, You Can’t Take the Bible Literally – Right?, The Historic Christian Faith, Echoes of a Voice, Keller and THE PROBLEM, Cosmic Consequences?, Gospel or Religion, The (True?) Story of the Cross, The Reality of the Resurrection, The Divine Dance, Now What?
The Future of Faith by Harvey Cox
Cox is the Hollis Professor of Divinity emeritus at Harvard and is best known for his 1965 book The Secular City. He also wrote When Jesus Came to Harvard: Making Moral Choices Today, a very thoughtful and thought provoking book. The Future of Faith explores the trends that Cox sees in the history of the church and his thoughts on the future of faith, including Christian faith. From his very liberal perspective – the future “Age of the Spirit” is both a good thing (away from the legalism of conservative Chrisitanity) and a bad thing (too many non western Christians actually take the Bible and the supernatural seriously).
From the Publishers description: Lifelong educator Mary Poplin, after experiencing a newfound awakening to faith, sent a letter to Calcutta asking if she could visit Mother Teresa and volunteer with the Missionaries of Charity. She received a response saying, “You are welcome to share in our works of love for the poorest of the poor.” This book describes her experiences and her realization that she could “find her Calcutta” in her home surroundings at the University.
God is Red by Liao Yiwu.
Liao Yiwu is a Chinese dissident, critical of the communist regime. In his travels around China he interviewed a number of Chinese Christians, many of whom were persecuted quite severely for their faith. He is not a Christian, but their stories interested him. He starts with a doctor who left the halls of academe to serve the poor, but from here he moves to relate the accounts of many who suffered after the communist victory and in the cultural revolution, including several who were executed. This is an interesting portrait of Christian faith through the eyes of an outsider.