Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Visitor

"Jane" (not her real name) showed up alone at my church last Sunday. My Mother-in-Law, who's never met a stranger in her life, introduced me to her. New to the church myself, I assumed Jane was a long time church member who wanted to meet the new pastor.  I was wrong.  "I'm a new Christian", said Jane. Apparently, Jane had recently become a follower of Jesus through the influence of a Christian neighbor who spent a long evening over a bottle of wine with Jane and her husband,  discussing his faith in Christ and answering their questions, talking and debating until the wee hours of the morning.

So here she was, by herself (husband and kids at home), and visiting our church in the hopes of finding a place to connect with other believers. This articulate university professor found herself convinced that Jesus was really the son of God.

We emailed the other day and I offered to recommend a few favorite books to help answer the questions she has about her new found faith. She wrote back and said she'll take me up on the offer soon.

So Jane, if you're reading this, here's a couple of books that I reccomend to those who want to investigate Christianity. You might even find these books helpful for that husband of yours who thinks we're all just following a bunch of fairy tales invented to keep people moral.

  • "The Reason for God" by Tim Keller. This New York Times bestseller is one of my all time favorite books on the veracity of Christianity. Keller serves as the senior pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan. His congregation is made up of skeptical New Yorkers, many who came from secular backgrounds and had no belief in God prior to attending Keller's church. My wife attended his church when she lived in Manhattan. She fondly remembered his Q&A time held at the end of each service, where Keller made himself available to those who had questions about Christianity. This book is a composite of those Q&A sessions and is a great resource for those investigating Christianity
Here's a brief clip of Dr. Keller, sharing a little bit about the book:

  • Another favorite book of mine is "The Case for Christ", by Lee Strobel, my friend Kyle's father.  Strobel was an athiest and a legal editor for the Chicago Tribune. He came home from work one day and to his horror, discovered that his agnostic wife had become a follower of Jesus. Intrigued, he began using his journalism skills to investigate Christianity and in the process, became convinced that it was true. Strobel's book is actually a collection of interviews with scholars and theologians. He puts his journalism skills to work interviewing experts and asking tough questions on a search to determine if it is reasonable to believe that the historical person of Jesus Christ is really the son of God. It's an easy, informative read and a great resource.

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