Recommended Books

We’ve asked some people in the church for a few recommendations of books they’ve found helpful, and here are their suggestions. If one appeals to you, give it a try – and we hope it will be a blessing and an inspiration to you.

Plan B – Pete Wilson
What do you do with a shattered dream? Or an unmet expectation? What do you do when your life isn't turning out the way you thought it would? What do you do when you have to turn to Plan B?
In Plan B pastor and author Pete Wilson uses real life stories of disappointments and hurts along with the biblical stories of men and women like David, Joseph, and Ruth to help readers come to grips with the truth that they will face situations that in themselves they are completely unable to handle but that in them God is simply trying to get them to surrender their plans so that they can receive His. He identifies our common responses to difficulties and offers hope, helping us to

  • Understand what God might be up to
  • See how surrender helps us to receive God's plan
  • Embrace the community of believers
  • Reconcile a God of love with a life of tragedy and suffering

Wilson points readers to the cross as not just the starting line but the centrepiece of our story with God and shares that it is there we turn in our Plan B and find the undeniable relationship between crisis and our hope followed by true spiritual transformation. "God wants to live inside the questions" says Wilson and then reminds us that "the cross is proof that He does not always change the circumstance but that He always has a purpose in every circumstance. He will never let go of us. He will hold us and His cross will be an anchor for us." (Quintin Abrams) 

Chasing the Dragon - Jackie Pullinger
This was a book I could not put down once I started. It is an amazing story of how God led, provided for and protected this lady in an incredible journey. I like it because it shows that even today, God can do amazing things and change people, beyond what we can imagine. Though I read it a long time ago, it has always remained in my mind. (Allan Kirui)


The Heavenly Man – Brother Yun with Paul Hattaway
Watch the book of Acts come to life in a thoroughly contemporary setting as great miracles take place and prison doors open (quite literally!). See how powerfully God is moving in the Chinese house churches against the backdrop of sustained and relentless state persecution. A brilliant reminder that absolutely nothing is impossible for our God. David Lambourn


The Normal Christian Life – Watchman Nee
A thorough and painstaking examination of the first eight chapters of Paul’s letter to the Romans backed up by an extraordinary depth of spiritual insight. This is a marvellously fresh presentation of the great truths of our salvation, backed by some beautifully chosen imagery from real life. David Lambourn


The Screwtape Letters - CS Lewis
This is a very interesting book written in the form of a series of letters from a "senior" demon to his nephew, advising him of various methods to ensnare a "patient". I liked it in how simple it is to read and also how insightful it is on the human nature and living out the Christian faith. It really made me think! Allan Kirui


Rees Howells: Intercessor – Norman Grubb
This book shows how one man with a mustard seed of faith is able to impact the course of history. See how a totally ordinary man can do totally extraordinary things for God by taking him absolutely at his word. A powerful challenge to all of us to push through with God and not accept second best. David Lambourn


 The Case for a Creator – Lee Strobel
The strap line on the cover states, ‘A journalist investigates scientific evidence that points to God.’ He interviews many scientists who are experts in their field and asks them the awkward questions. Science, which once seemed to make God an irrelevance, is now allowing us to discover that our universe is ever more complex, suggesting an intelligent creator. The book is filled with examples. One part in particular stood out for me: Strobel investigates the evolutionary concept that things improve themselves, developing what works and losing what doesn’t, then he counters that with the evidence of molecular ‘machinery’ in living things that is only of use in its finished state – and that could not arise through such a process because none of the earlier stages would have any function.
It is truly fascinating stuff, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. It’s an easy read, despite its complexity. I don’t pretend to have understood all of it, but I was left with a real sense of how amazing our creator God is. I would highly recommend it. Cathy Sherwood

The Prodigal God – Timothy Keller
This book defines prodigal as ‘recklessly extravagant and having spent everything’. It looks at the story of the prodigal son, observing each of the characters – pleasure-loving son, judgmental brother and loving father. Both boys are lost, both resented their father’s authority, and both tried to turn the tables – one by being bad and one by being good. Neither loved and served the father for himself, yet he was willing to draw them both back in. Which brother am I? Keller shows that the father’s forgiveness came at a cost to the unwilling older brother. We have a perfect brother in Jesus. I found it a challenging read – a new insight into a well-known story. Cathy Sherwood

Church on the Edge – Chris Stoddard and Nick Cuthbert
The sub-title is ‘Principles and real life stories of 21st century mission’. I felt it was a really refreshing and stimulating read, especially in the light of BCCs’ current emphasis on missional communities. Its language and interest is user-friendly even for those who are not avid readers. Mark Greene’s bit on the back says, ‘An inspiration for mission possible. Here are new horizons for the imagination, thoughtful principles for the mind and compelling stories of God at work through people prepared to have a go, with him.’ Marilyn Denning

Velvet Elvis - Rob Bell
Rob Bell is the founding leader of Mars Hill in Michigan, USA, and is featured in the short films called NOOMA. I found this book refreshing as it stretched my thinking about God, the Bible and the way we live as Christians. I did not agree with everything Rob says, but it did affirm some other areas as well! I particularly liked the section where he explains the culture and role of rabbis in Jesus’ day - very insightful. This is one of those ‘post-modern’ Christian books, so it may not appeal to everyone. However, it does cause you to think about what you believe and how you live out your faith in the 21st century. Read it and then let’s have a chat! Gary Bastin

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Town Centre Community Church

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