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YA books to help believe?

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message 1: by Jesus (new)

Jesus Villalobos (jetski) | 9 comments I recommend a book titled "A Case For Christ."

message 2: by Kitty (new)

Kitty Foth-Regner (kittyfoth-regner) | 13 comments Hello, Bethany,
Thanks in part to my public-school and public-university education, I was alternately an agnostic/atheist until sorrow over my mother's death made me search for ultimate truths at age 47. (How sad is that?) I had to discover, to my own satisfaction, whether there indeed was a god at all, and if so, which one that might be (I sincerely hoped that it wouldn't turn out to be the God of the Bible, because I thought Christians were generally pretty boring.)

My quest was exhaustive, single-minded and comprehensive, and I recounted it in the critically acclaimed memoir Heaven Without Her (Thomas Nelson, 2008). I wrote this book specifically for people like you and me, Bethany, so I hope you'll look for it in your library (I believe they'll order it if they don't already have it?).

The book also includes a bibliography of 42 books that helped me along the way to truth, with brief descriptions of each one's significance for this quest -- it includes Lee Strobel's The Case for Christ, as Jesus suggests, which was for me a helpful piece of a highly complex puzzle.(I suspect you could see this section of Heaven Without Her by looking it up on Amazon, searching inside and searching for the word Bibliography.)

The good news -- great, overwhelming, eternally joyful news! -- is that the truth can be known beyond any doubt, and it is completely life-changing.

Many blessings to you Bethany; know that the Lord has said, "You will seek me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart" (Jeremiah 29:13).
Kitty Foth-Regner

message 3: by Cintya (new)

Cintya Ruiz | 2 comments There is a book call "THE BIBLE" everything you need to know is there, God, his love for you, Jesus, his sacrifice for you and the freedom your soul is hungry for.
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

message 4: by Deborah (new)

Deborah McCarragher (debitsdeb) | 12 comments Bethany,

May I recommend any book by the author Josh McDowell (you can get them at any bookstore or on Amazon. He also wrote "Reasons", "More Than a Carpenter", and one of his most famous "Evidence That Demands a Verdict". He visits universities and has spoken to millions of people in over 50 countries. Check him out - you'll be amazed at his writings.

Deborah McCarragher
Author of "Mission Possible"

message 5: by Adekemi (new)

Adekemi | 2 comments i would recommend Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. he was also an atheist who became a christian.

message 6: by Kitty (new)

Kitty Foth-Regner (kittyfoth-regner) | 13 comments I would highly recommend against anything by C.S. Lewis for the seeker. He is practically all I read from the "Christian" side of things the first many months of my quest, and he totally confused me, especially when I started studying the Bible and found that it contradicted him.

Mere Christianity was my first Lewis book; while I took away a key fact about Jesus' identity, it was buried under a lot of non-biblical teaching about the atonement. His was a very works-based theology, in which we have to clean up our own acts and turn our own souls to God -- we're on our own, so be good! And he said it wasn't important how we understood Jesus' crucifixion or resurrection. In his most famous works of fiction, he promotes a non-biblical purgatory with almost no mention of Jesus (The Great Divorce), self-righteousness again with almost no mention of Jesus (The Screwtape Letters), and universal salvation, even if you happen to be serving Satan (Chronicles of Narnia, I believe The Last Battle). Lewis may be entertaining, but he is extremely dangerous for someone who does not already have a solid grasp of the gospel.

message 7: by Kitty (new)

Kitty Foth-Regner (kittyfoth-regner) | 13 comments If you can't find Heaven Without Her, Bethany, let me know --

Interesting what you found about The Case for Christ. I think it was one of the first books I read in this genre and I was still amazed that there was any proof at all, so maybe that colored my opinion of it!

message 8: by Carl (new)

Carl | 6 comments I'm inclined to recommend something by NT Wright-- but that might be a bit more difficult reading, even with his "popular" books like Simply Christian or Surprised by Hope. NT Wright is a scholar in Biblical lit, in addition to being a bishop in the Anglican church (for those who aren't happy with a non-evangelical writer, remember that CS Lewis was Anglican!), and regardless of whether you are won over by his arguments, he will give you a much more accurate picture of Christianity in light of the original context of it's texts (aka, the Bible). I tend to be very skeptical of books like Case for Christ-- I think they just serve as a "pat on the back" for Christians to make them feel OK about being Christians, but it is probably still worth reading (just don't take it for Gospel in it's own right!).

I do also recommend Lewis' work, but he can be a bit annoyingly dogmatic at times-- and he was certainly capable of appreciating doubt, as his later book Til We Have Faces shows.

I think one thing to keep in mind is that "proving" Christianity is very problematic-- it is an ancient text, after all, and if God is there, he doesn't often seem interested in giving people incontrovertible evidence-- for the most part the Christian life seems to involve taking a "leap of faith" (sorry for the cliche) and taking God's "wager", if you'll excuse the metaphor. The bible isn't a text book, and God, according to most Christian doctrine I know of, is 1) the creator of the universe, and so 2) separate from it, even if involved with it-- so he isn't physics or any other object of scientific study which we can dissect and "prove" in that sense. That isn't to say that you can't critically examine Christianity, it's texts, etc, and decide whether they seem coherent, convincing, worth living out-- just beware of people who offer "proofs" as though God were a geometry problem. Making a "case" is good, but again, don't fall for the "proof" trap. Listen to people's testimonies, and keep exploring the Bible. And while I agree that the basics of the faith are clear enough in the bible, remember that it IS an ancient text written in a very different context than ours, and not everything is going to be as transparent as some people seem to believe.

Sorry, getting down off my soapbox...

message 9: by Kitty (new)

Kitty Foth-Regner (kittyfoth-regner) | 13 comments Oh, my goodness. The Bible is an "ancient text written in a very different context than ours, and not everything is going to be as transparent as some people seem to believe"? Well, I guess that's no surprise coming from someone who would recommend Wright and Lewis. Heed the apostle Paul's warnings, folks, about ear-tickling false teaching and deception.

As far as God not offering proof -- remember the apostle Thomas. Jesus did not hesitate to provide him with proof of His resurrection, did He? Nor did He hesitate to fill His creation with evidences that foolish man would not "discover" on his own for hundreds or thousands of years -- such as the fact that the sun has its own orbit, and the sea its own streams, mountains and valleys. All evidence that the Bible is the word of God.

message 10: by Adekemi (new)

Adekemi | 2 comments i want to apologize in advance for my comment. i think most of the comments are deviating from the original intention of this post: to find a book to help Bethany believe in God. We are beginning to put our own personal beliefs first. this books that have been recommended by all of you have both their merits and demerits. we are not to come here to highlight them. if i were Bethany i would become confused. we are all taking different opinions that we are not considering the person that we came to "help". how many of us have prayed for this girl to find christ, to have have the holy spirit convince her(i am guilty of not doing this) of His truth. lets leave our differences about these books and focus an God and Betahny, that they may become friends.
To Bethany God wants u to understand him. He will make himself clear to you. what i would recommend is that you ask him to show himself to you just like we have all done. that's how i came to know him
God loves you, so he will not leave u in this dilemma. Stay blessed

message 11: by Carl (new)

Carl | 6 comments Kitty wrote: "Oh, my goodness. The Bible is an "ancient text written in a very different context than ours, and not everything is going to be as transparent as some people seem to believe"? Well, I guess that's ..."

What could be more obvious and uncontroversial than the facts that 1) The Bible IS an ancient text-- in fact, a collection of ancient texts, which 2) were written in a different context than our own? The Gospels are "ancient" and from first century Israel, aren't they? That sounds like a "different context" to me. Doesn't it make sense in that case to try to understand, for example, who exactly the Pharisees were and which of their teachings Jesus was reacting against? Isn't the dangerous "ear tickling" coming from those who claim to just "know" what God is saying, even in the difficult passages, without even thinking them through or? Yes, the Holy Spirit guides us, but he doesn't keep us from doing our own work, and he doesn't instantly make all the mysteries of the universe clear to us. If we want to be certain that we are worshiping God and not the Bible or our own interpretation of it, then shouldn't we be able to say "God, not all of this is clear, but I'm putting my trust in you even though I don't have everything figured out"? I find that it is a respect for a scholarly approach to the Bible that produces humility, rather than a naive "God speaks King James" approach. I apologize if this is sounding harsh, but I believe it is the truth-- and no, I'm not saying scholarship has everything figured out, certainly scholars disagree and have been wrong as well.

Also, I believe I made the point that proof of the sort we find in the Gospels is not an everyday occurrence-- I agree that God is certainly capable of offering "clear proof", but that doesn't seem to be a typical occurrence in most Christian lives. Instead, the sort of "proof" we are offered is usually of the more humble sort, the daily evidence of God's work in our lives, or the testimony of others whose lives he has worked in-- so not "proof" that you can put in a text book (people who don't agree with it can always explain it away, at any rate), but yes, we can still consider it "lived proof". As for proof from creation-- well, it doesn't count as "proof" if you are assuming one particular interpretation for the data. That understanding of the glory and consistency of God's creation comes with a Christian perspective-- others looks at the same evidence and come to very different conclusions.

Adekemi, thanks for the reminder that in the end this is between Bethany and God-- I agree, but I also want to insist that our task is not to "make sure she becomes a Christian"-- she has to decide for herself (again, it's between her and God), and we can't take this as an opportunity to force her into a shallow acceptance of all this. I recommend the books I do because it seems to me that they offer a good possibility for working through the Gospel-- but hey, maybe they aren't best for a 19 year old. Depends on the person. But let's have it be an honest pursuit of God, in any case.

message 12: by Deborah (new)

Deborah McCarragher (debitsdeb) | 12 comments Bethany

May I recommend any book by the author Josh McDowell (you can get them at any bookstore or on Amazon. He also wrote "Reasons", "More Than a Carpenter", and one of his most famous "Evidence That Demands a Verdict". He visits universities and has spoken to millions of people in over 50 countries. Check him out - you'll be amazed at his writings.

Deborah McCarragher
Author of "Mission Possible"

message 13: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Grace (LisaGraceBooks) | 21 comments Hi Bethany. I wrote a Christian fiction book that is helping those who are undecided. Angel in the Shadows, Book One by Lisa Grace. It is about a fifteen year-old who sees angels and demons. I have Bible footnotes in the back. I have a free reader's guide on my website. In the book, you see an atheist come to know Jesus as her saviour.
I'm giving away two copies of my book this month (ends April 15th)here on goodreads. Please go and register to win. Please email me if you have any questions I can help you with. Lisa

message 14: by Kay (new)

Kay | 1 comments Hi Bethany -
I realize this is a very old post (from 2010!) but I would be interested to know if you ended up finding any books that helped you in your journey towards faith?

message 15: by Kate (new)

Kate Motaung | 2 comments Seekers of the Lost Boy is a fiction middle novel that incorporates the gospel very well and accurately.

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