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Christian Union: The Magazine
January 5, 2022

From New Releases to Classics

Everyone needs a good book on hand. To help you decide where to start in the new year, Christian Union ministry faculty and staff have put together a recommended booklist for 2022. Ranging from new releases to old classics, there is sure to be something that will bless and challenge you this year. Take a look! 


Fady Ghobrial, Ministry Fellow at Harvard
Recommendation: Bury Your Ordinary: Practical Habits of a Heart Fully Alive
Author: Justin Kendrick 


17 bury“Many Christians wonder, “Why am I stuck spiritually when I read the Bible, pray, and go to church?” In Bury Your Ordinary, Pastor Justin Kendrick offers a clear map for spiritual growth to help readers develop seven habits that lead to explosive spiritual growth; realize the number-one ingredient God looks for in a disciple maker; share their faith as a way of life; learn to follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit; and live out the truth that God is deeply satisfied with who they are. Bury Your Ordinary is a field manual to an entirely different way of life that starts with digging a deep hole, putting the ‘ordinary you’ inside it, covering it with dirt, and walking away as a transformed person. Through intentional changes to your habits, you will discover a deeper love for God and a heart fully alive.”


Cory Lotspeich, Ministry Director at Penn
Recommendation: Prayer in the Night: For Those Who Work or Watch or Weep
Author: Tish Harrison Warren


1A prayer in night“How can we trust God in the dark? Framed around a nighttime prayer of Compline, Tish Harrison Warren, author of Liturgy of the Ordinary, explores themes of human vulnerability, suffering, and God's seeming absence. When she navigated a time of doubt and loss, the prayer was grounding for her. Harrison writes that practices of prayer ‘gave words to my anxiety and grief and allowed me to reencounter the doctrines of the church not as tidy little antidotes for pain, but as a light in darkness, as good news.’ Where do we find comfort when we lie awake worrying or weeping in the night? This book offers a prayerful and frank approach to the difficulties in our ordinary lives at work, at home, and in a world filled with uncertainty.”


Stan Thomas, Ministry Director at Columbia
Recommendation: A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World
Author: Paul Miller


1 a distracting world“Prayer is hard. Often, unless circumstances demand it―such as an illness or saying grace before a meal―most of us simply do not pray. This kind of prayerlessness can leave us with a distressed spirit and practical unbelief characterized by fear, anxiety, joylessness, and spiritual depression. A Praying Life has encouraged thousands of Christians to pursue a vibrant prayer life full of joy and power. A life of prayer invites you to a life of connection to God. When Jesus describes the intimacy that He seeks with us, He talks about joining us for dinner (Revelation 3:20). This book reminds readers that prayer is simply making conversation with God a rhythm of life.”


Caitlin Vera, Ministry Fellow at Penn
Recommendation: Spiritual Leadership: Principles of Excellence for Every Believer
Author: J. Oswald Sanders 


1 Aoswald“The need for talented, vigorous leaders in the church cannot be overemphasized. Such times demand active service of men and women who are guided by and devoted to Jesus Christ. With more than 1 million copies sold, Spiritual Leadership stands as a proven classic for developing such leadership. J. Oswald Sanders, a Christian leader for nearly seventy years and author of more than forty books, presents the key principles of leadership in both the temporal and spiritual realms. He illustrates his points with examples from Scripture and biographies of eminent men of God, such as Moses, Nehemiah, the apostle Paul, David Livingstone, Charles Spurgeon, and others.”


Qwynn Gross, Ministry Fellow at Princeton
Recommendation: The Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth
Author: Richard Foster


1a celebration disc“Hailed by many as the best modern book on Christian spirituality, Celebration of Discipline explores the ‘classic Disciplines,’ or central spiritual practices of the Christian faith. Along the way, Foster shows that it is only by and through these practices that the true path to spiritual growth can be found. Dividing the Disciplines into three movements of the Spirit, Foster shows how each of these areas contribute to a balanced spiritual life. The inward Disciplines of meditation, prayer, fasting, and study offer avenues of personal examination and change. The outward Disciplines of simplicity, solitude, submission, and service help prepare us to make the world a better place. The corporate Disciplines of confession, worship, guidance, and celebration bring us nearer to one another and to God.”

Anne Kerhoulas, Writer and Communications Associate
Recommendation: Culture Care: Reconnecting with Beauty for Our Common Life
Author: Makoto Fujimura


1 MAKO“Many bemoan the decay of culture. But we all have a responsibility to care for culture, to nurture it in ways that help people thrive. In Culture Care, artist Makoto Fujimura issues a call to cultural stewardship, in which we become generative and feed our culture’s soul with beauty, creativity, and generosity. We serve others as cultural custodians of the future.” This is a book for artists, but artists come in many forms. Anyone with a calling to create―from visual artists, musicians, writers, and actors to entrepreneurs, pastors, and business professionals―will resonate with its message. This book is for anyone with a desire or an artistic gift to reach across boundaries with understanding, reconciliation, and healing. It is a book for anyone with a passion for the arts, for supporters of the arts, and for "creative catalysts" who understand how much the culture we all share affects human thriving today and shapes the generations to come.”


Patrick Dennis, Vice President of Communications
Recommendation: Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers
Author: Dane C. Ortlund 


1 gentle“Christians can easily feel that Jesus is perpetually disappointed and frustrated, maybe even close to giving up on them. They know what Christ has done for them―but who is he? How does he feel about his people amid all their sins and failures? In Matthew 11, Jesus describes himself as ‘gentle and lowly in heart,’ longing for his people to find rest in him. This book reflects on his words, diving deep into Bible passages that speak of Christ’s affections for sinners and encouraging believers as they journey, weary and faltering, toward heaven.”


(All book summaries are from Amazon.com)

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