It’s a little late to still be doing Christmas shopping (like I am), especially for anything that needs to be shipped. Even so, books that pass on Christian worldview are worth the hassle, and I’ve got four to recommend for you this Christmas. In fact, you might want to self-gift some of these…
The first is the best book I know of that teaches the “how” of communication in a tough culture: “Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions” by my friend Greg Koukl. Every Christian needs this book because every Christian, in this day and age, will find themselves in conversations about controversial topics, called upon to defend their beliefs, and even Christianity itself. “Tactics” teaches, well, tactics. In other words, this book gives you the rhetorical strategies you need to speak up in such a way as to generate light, not heat.
If you’re thinking, “Wait, hasn’t that book been out for a while?” Yes, it has. Ten years, in fact. And now, it’s been expanded and re-released in a 10th– anniversary edition. This edition not only has updated stories of Greg’s tactics in action (which are very helpful), it has more tactics. Honestly, I didn’t think this book could really be improved, but Greg has done it.
He and I discussed the book on the BreakPoint podcast at BreakPoint.org. As I told Greg, the book should come with a warning: Anyone who reads it no longer has an excuse for not sharing their beliefs and convictions, even on the tough topics.
The second book is for children, especially for little girls: Rachael Denhollander’s “How Much Is a Little Girl Worth?” Denhollander, as you might remember, is the force of nature that bravely and persistently worked to expose the hundreds of cases of abuse by U.S.A. Gymnastics doctor Larry Nasser.
Rachael Denhollander understands that in a culture that victimizes little girls in so many ways, they need to know who they are, as made in the image of God. Her beautifully written and illustrated book teaches that their worth is beyond price, and that they can meet any challenges they will face with God’s help. It’s an especially important gift for the little 4- to 8-year old girl in your life, but I bought it for my daughters, who are older.
My third recommendation is a bit self-serving… “A Practical Guide to Culture: Helping the Next Generation Navigate Today’s World,” which I co-authored with Brett Kunkle, is an ideal resource for parents, grandparents, teachers, and youth pastors who are in the cultural deep end with their kids. The book unpacks the major issues in our culture, from the obvious ones like LGBT issues, social media, drugs, and smartphones, to the unseen undercurrents in our culture that parents often miss, such as identity struggles and the overwhelming amount of information students face today.
The best part is that “A Practical Guide to Culture” is exactly that: practical. In fact, it’s proven especially helpful for grandparents, believe it or not. There’s always been a generation gap, but many sense that the gap is more vast today – especially when it comes to technology, sexuality, and politics. We hear consistently from parents and grandparents that “A Practical Guide” has helped them make sense of the culture their kids face, so that they can connect with the students in their life and help them to navigate the tricky cultural waters.
And speaking of students and culture, I’m pleased to announce that on January 1, a student edition of “A Practical Guide to Culture, called A Student’s Guide to Culture,” will be released. This book is written directly for junior high and high school students, and covers the same crucial issues in our culture from a Christian worldview.
It’s not yet released but is available for pre-order.
Why not give a great book this Christmas? You can find these books at our online bookstore. Whenever you purchase books at our online store, it benefits the ministry of the Colson Center.
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