What are the best books that you would recommend for a new believer in Christ?

What are the best books that you would recommend for a new believer in Christ?

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Dear Joe,

Thanks so much for your question. We love that you are asking this question, because it is a very good sign that not only are you sharing your faith, but that you’re committed to continuing to journey with people to become disciples of Jesus Christ!

We have shared some practical advice in our response to Mitch about the importance of blending discipleship with both apologetics and evangelism, so that new believers are encouraged to grow in both knowledge of, and intimacy with, the Lord.

Here we want to share with you some resources for helping new believers begin their journey (although this is by no means a comprehensive list, just a starting point!):

1. Book Resources:

  • Seeker Bible Studies . Of utmost importance to a new believer is learning to hear from God through reading Scripture, and we believe that the best place to begin to do this is by participating in Bible study with both Christians and other new believers. Our top pick for this would Becky Pippert’s seeker Bible study on the gospel of Luke, Uncovering the Life of Jesus . If you’re looking for guidance on how to lead these effectively, then read her book, How to Lead a Seeker Bible Discussion . Becky is an experienced and passionate evangelist, and if you haven’t already, I encourage you to check out her resources: https://www.thegoodbook.com/authors/rebecca-manley-pippert

In terms of personal Bible study, we recommend that new believers both get a Study Bible and make use of a Bible reading plan to help them get into the Word. In addition, here are some recommended reading resources for new Christians both on how to read the Bible, and coming to terms with who Jesus is, and what it means to follow him:

The Life: A Portrait of Jesus – J. John

Jesus: A Short Life – John Dickson

Every Day with Jesus: First Steps for New Believers – Greg Laurie

The Walk: Steps for New and Renewed Followers of Jesus – Stephen Smallman

New Believers Guide to Effective Christian Living – Greg Laurie

The Jesus I Never Knew – Philip Yancey

The Cross of Christ – John Stott (more advanced, but brilliant for getting to grips with what the atonement means)

2. DVD Resources for Group Study.

  • The Alpha Course . During our years living in the UK, time and again we have seen people come to faith, or new believers grow in their faith, through this 10-week introductory course to Christianity. Leaders can either play the DVDs before a discussion, or follow the Alpha booklets and guidelines to construct your own talks on the topics. Alpha has now modified it’s resources to be more accessible globally, and in terms of creating an accessible, informal and comfortable space to introduce people to Christianity and give them the freedom to ask their questions, this is a brilliant program.

  • RZIM’s Everyday Questions . This RZIM DVD resource is designed for a church community groups to think through apologetic questions together, and it is also a clear introduction to apologetics for new believers who are beginning to think through the implications of the Christian worldview in regards to some of life’s biggest questions.

  • Jesus Among Secular Gods study guide. This six-week apologetics study from Ravi and Vince is designed for discussion groups to help Christians (new and old) consider contemporary worldviews and apologetics questions in an accessible format, as well as equipping them for evangelism. http://rzim.org/global-blog/jasg-study/

  • Towards belief and Jesus the Game Changer. These are two other helpful DVD series produced by Olive Tree Media (based in Australia). Based around interviews with apologists and academics from around the world, the first series engages with key apologetics topics, while the second looks at the impact of Jesus’ teaching in transforming the world. These series are designed for small study groups, and are ideal as a way of introducing seekers or new believers to the robust message of the Christian faith.

  • The Life of Jesus: Who He Is and Why He Matters. This DVD series, designed for study groups and produced by Dr John Dickson, founder of the Center for Public Christianity in Australia, is a great introduction to the historical evidence for Jesus, and the significance of his life.

3. Other Resources:

  • RZIM Academy. For believers who are trying to understand the implications of their new worldview for how they engage with culture today and answer the big questions of life, RZIM Academy’s core module is an excellent overview of the major apologetic questions that they themselves may be wrestling through, and which others will certainly ask them about their new-found faith. As a follow up, the Faith and Reason elective offers a helpful doctrinal foundation for the Christian faith.

  • Ask Away podcast. Along with our host, Michael Davis, Vince and I are recording a weekly podcast specifically designed to answer the common questions that both believers and skeptics ask about the Christian faith. Each show responds to real questions submitted by listeners, so this is an opportunity for new believers to have their questions answered, both the ones they are already wrestling with, and the ones they may not yet have thought of!

  • Bethinking.org . This is a website that we often point seekers and new believers towards, because it is both robust and accessible. Depending on what questions people are seeking answers to, they can choose their topic of interest (e.g. Bible, Science, Other Religions etc.), and then pick their level of entry into the topic (introductory/intermediate/advanced), followed by the medium (articles/podcast/video). One way to help disciple a new believer might be to pick different topics or articles to read together over the week, and then discuss them.

For other recommendations, check out RZIM’s ‘recommended reading’ (http://rzim.org/about/resources/recommended-reading/) and ‘apologetics resources’ (http://rzim.org/about/resources/links/) pages.

Finally, here are some recommended readings from our colleague, Tom Tarrants, in three critical areas:

Knowing God:

  • The Knowledge of the Holy , A.W. Tozer

  • The Pursuit of God , A.W. Tozer

  • Knowing God , J.I. Packer

  • The Holiness of God , R.C. Sproul

Spiritual Disciplines:

  • Ten Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Life , Donald Whitney

  • Spiritual Disciplines of the Christian Life , Donald Whitney

  • Prayer , O. Hallesby

  • Prayer Power Unlimited , J. Oswald Sanders

  • Meditating on the Word, Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Discipleship:

  • In His Image , Michael Wilkins

  • The Cost of Commitment , John White

  • Humility , Andrew Murray

  • The Sermon on the Mount , Martyn Lloyd-Jones

  • The Cost of Discipleship , Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  • Discipleship Essentials , Greg Ogden

We hope this is helpful to you, and please feel free to share any resources that you in turn have found useful as you disciple new believers.

Grace,

Vince and Jo

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