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Summer Book List - Week 2

Collated by Tom Peryer in no particular order. Most of these books are available on Amazon and St Andrews bookshop:Summer Reading

The Biography of Hudson Taylor by James Hudson Taylor

Hudson Taylor was the most amazing man. His faith, vision commitment, sacrifice and achievement are extraordinary. The presence of so many Christians in China today must in large part be because of what Hudson Taylor started with the China Inland Mission.

If you want to walk on water, you’ve got to get out of the boat by John Ortberg

Ortberg has a very flowing style of writing and this book is challenging but encouraging too. Taking the story of Peter’s half successful attempt to follow Jesus in walking on water, he challenges Christians to leave their comfortable safety zones and walk with God into potentially difficult circumstances.

Holy Living by Jeremy Taylor

Taylor was a seventeenth century high churchman who was not in favour of or with the Puritans or Cromwell. This book is a companion to “Holy Dying” and has advice and rules as to how we should conduct ourselves. It is of a different age but it is good to be reminded of the disciplines and lifestyles of other devout Christians.

Modern Art and Death of Culture by Hans Rookmaker

This book was a best-seller in the 1970’s when a new breed of intellectual evangelical writers and thinkers were challenging contemporary thinking and culture. He and Francis Shaeffer were part of the L’Abri community in Switzerland. This book seeks to demonstrate how modern art reflects a dying western culture which is adrift in a sea of relativism and negativism without anchors.

Prepare for Exile by Patrick Whitworth

As we know Patrick (a former curate of David Watson’s) is now a prolific author but I have always felt this was one of his better books. As Christians we increasingly feel a minority and sometimes a beleaguered minority in the UK. This book basically says ‘welcome to the experience of most of God’s authentic people down through the centuries.’

Discipleship by David Watson

When I was a student in York in the 1970’s I sat in a crowded church at the feet of David Watson, a truly gifted evangelist, teacher and pastor. His 1971 book “My Good is real’ must have brought many people to faith. He died in his fifties at the height of his ministry. This book is a clarion call for a life of unequivocal discipleship.

Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns

This is a magisterial account of the rise to the presidency of Abraham Lincoln and how he led his Cabinet – men who had been his rivals for the presidency or were rivals with each other. They were med of talent and ambition and it took an exceptional man to lead them, especially through the Civil War. Lincoln was that man. One or two episodes in the book became the basis for the film ‘Lincoln’ who was wonderfully portrayed by Daniel Day Lewis.

The Return of the Prodigal by Henri Nouwen

Nouwen is a much admired Roman Catholic priest who has written a number of devotional books. This book is an extended meditation on the Prodigal Son looking at the different characters in the story and using also the famous Rembrandt painting of the story that hangs in the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg.

What’s so amazing about grace? by Philip Yancey

Yancey is a great Christian writer, full of good stories and always honest. This is one of his most well-known books and it is full of stories and truths about the power of grace but also about the narrow-minded legalism of many Christian traditions and the damage that does.

Credo by Melvin Bragg

I must have read this 20 years ago. As it happens, I don’t read many novels but this one has stayed with me. It is set in seventh century Britain mainly in Northumbria and the plot or themes cross-crosses the differing cultures of Irish paganism, Celtic Christianity as inspired by Iona and Holy Island and Roman Christianity. Rome wins!

Mark Searle, 09/07/2020