Book Recommendation for a Non-Christian

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Quatchu

Puritan Board Sophomore
So my parents who are not a Christians have birthdays coming up and I want to try to get them a book that in the very least will make them more open to think about exploring God. The thing is I need something simple and easy to read my mother continually tells me that she does not bother with the Bible because she is not smart enough for it. She has a slew of ridiculous ideas like that if she walks into a church the walls will fall in on her because everyone else will look down at her. Her knowledge and understanding of the Bible is at the lowest minimum. She usually is not a reader except for certain books but I know that any book a gave her she would try to read. My father is only a little bit better then her.

Does anyone have any idea for some books that are simple to understand and for for someone with really no understanding of Christianity.
 

Quatchu

Puritan Board Sophomore
I guess another way of putting this would be is there any good books that simple present the gospel?
 

MLCOPE2

Puritan Board Junior
"How Good is Good Enough?" by Andy Stanley is a short (92 pgs.) book that confronts the "good people go to heaven" view and counters with a clear presentation of the gospel.

From the book: "The good news is that good people don't go to heaven - forgiven people do."
 

Quatchu

Puritan Board Sophomore
Thanks you i took a look at it and the writing style seems along the easy style i was hoping for, I will keep it in mind.

I did some research and "Right With God" by John Blanchard came up however I cant find any preview of it online. Can anyone tell me what the writing is like from this book is it easy to follow and understand for the a person knowing little to nothing about Christianity?
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Professor
It sounds like they have a moralistic impression of what Christianity is about, and so have little understanding of the true gospel. If so, Keller's The Prodigal God might be helpful. The language is easy and present-day, the tone compassionate, the page count low. It speaks directly to people who're struggling with Pharisee-type churches and does so by showing them the grace of God in Christ.

Not The Reason for God, which is for people who think they're too good for church. Rather The Prodigal God, for those caught up in church-is-for-good-people syndrome.
 

Quatchu

Puritan Board Sophomore
Jack I have been looking at the Prodigal God, I highly enjoy Keller. I have not yet read his books however i regularly listen to his sermons. My biggest concern was whether it would be too wordy or scholarly as i know Keller can draw from allot theological, philosophical and other sources. My parents are country, working class people who did not finish high school I have given them thing before to read but to my fault they have often gone over there heads because of words and terms used.

You observations are correct in that there impression of Christianity is moralistic, if pressed they say they believe in God why have anything to do with church when people in church are hypocritical. To them God is something you bring out at funerals and Jesus is a swear word.
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Professor
Jack I have been looking at the Prodigal God, I highly enjoy Keller. I have not yet read his books however i regularly listen to his sermons. My biggest concern was whether it would be too wordy or scholarly as i know Keller can draw from allot theological, philosophical and other sources. My parents are country, working class people who did not finish high school I have given them thing before to read but to my fault they have often gone over there heads because of words and terms used.

You observations are correct in that there impression of Christianity is moralistic, if pressed they say they believe in God why have anything to do with church when people in church are hypocritical. To them God is something you bring out at funerals and Jesus is a swear word.

As you know, Keller tends to speak to an urban and educated audience. But The Prodigal God has less of that "culturally informed" thing going on than some of his books and sermons do. And it clearly makes churchy hypocrites out to be as needy of the gospel as the unchurched. So it might still work. You know, it's so short you can read the thing in just an hour or two. It'd be easy for you to pick up and see if you think it would work, and a good book to have on hand even if you decided it wasn't right for them.
 

Andres

Puritan Board Doctor
Justin, I think a perfect book for your parents would be What is the Gospel? by Greg Gilbert. Gilbert is on Mark Dever's staff and has written an theologically sound, easy-to-read book on exactly what the gospel is. The book is small and can be read in only a couple of days, but the truths are so profound that by the end your parents will be confronted with the gospel and they will be forced to come to terms with what to do about their sinful condition. If my recommendation isn't enough, here are some endorsements from the Amazon page.

Review
"Greg Gilbert is one of the brightest and most faithful young men called to serve the church today. Here he offers us a penetrating, faithful, and fully biblical understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ. There is no greater need than to know the true gospel, to recognize the counterfeits, and to set loose a generation of gospel-centered Christians. This very important book arrives at just the right moment."
—R. Albert Mohler Jr., President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

"Two realities make this a critically important book: the centrality of the gospel in all generations and the confusion about the gospel in our own generation. What Is the Gospel? provides a biblically faithful explanation of the gospel and equips Christians to discern deviations from that glorious message. How I wish I could place this book in the hands of every pastor and church member."
—C. J. Mahaney, Sovereign Grace Ministries

"Greg Gilbert contends that the current evangelical understanding of the gospel is lost in a fog of confusion. He burns away that fog by shining fresh light on an old subject. Gilbert writes in a clear, concise, and colloquial style that will especially appeal to young adults. What Is the Gospel? will sharpen your thinking about the gospel, etching it more deeply on your heart so you can share the good news of Jesus Christ with boldness. It will leave you pondering the extent to which the gospel has impacted your own life. It will cause you to cry out with thankfulness to God for what Christ has accomplished."
—James MacDonald, Senior Pastor, Harvest Bible Chapel, Chicagoland Area; radio teacher, Walk in the Word

"A wonderful telling of the old, old story in fresh words—and with sound warnings against subtle misrepresentations. As the old gospel song attests, and as is true of Greg Gilbert’s fine book, those who know the old, old story best will find themselves hungering and thirsting to hear this story like the rest."
—Bryan Chapell, President, Covenant Theological Seminary

"Greg Gilbert is someone I have had the honor and privilege of teaching and who is now teaching me. This little book on the gospel is one of the clearest and most important books I’ve read in recent years."
—Mark Dever, Pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington DC; President, 9Marks

"For good reason, Christians love the word gospel. Tragically, however, multitudes of Christians fail to grasp what the gospel fully is. In doctrinally sound and down-to-earth ways, my good friend Greg Gilbert shows just how important it is to understand both the theological nature and the functional necessity of the gospel. We can only hope and pray that this is the first of many books from Greg."
—Tullian Tchividjian, Pastor, Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church; author, Unfashionable: Making a Difference in the World by Being Different

"What is the gospel? This short but powerful book answers that question with a clear and concise presentation. It is a superb treatment of the good news. Read it and then pass it on."
—Daniel L. Akin, President, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

"Greg Gilbert, with a sharp mind and a pastor’s heart, has written a book that will be helpful for seekers, new Christians, and anyone who wants to understand the gospel with greater clarity. I’ve been waiting for a book like this! As a sure-footed guide to a surprisingly controversial subject, it clears up misconceptions about the gospel, the kingdom, and the meaning of the cross."
—Kevin DeYoung, Senior Pastor, University Reformed Church, East Lansing, Michigan.

"What Is the Gospel? demonstrates in a sensitive and intriguing way that the gospel is indescribably profound as well as eminently describable—clear enough for anyone to comprehend."
—Paige Patterson, President, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

"There is no greater challenge in an age of doubt and pragmatism than making the glorious gospel clear. This is the greatest need for the seasoned Christian and skeptic alike. In this thoughtful but accessible work, Greg Gilbert clearly answers the most important question ever asked."
—Darrin Patrick, Founding Pastor of The Journey Church, St Louis, MO; author, Church Planter

"Greg Gilbert cuts through the confusion by searching Scripture to answer the most important question anyone can ask. Even if you think you know the good news of what God has done in Christ, Gilbert will sharpen your focus on this glorious gospel."
—Collin Hansen, Editorial Director, The Gospel Coalition; author, Young, Restless, Reformed

"This book will help you better understand, treasure, and share the gospel of Jesus Christ. And if you think you know enough about the gospel already, you might need it more than you think."
—Joshua Harris, Senior Pastor, Covenant Life Church, Gaithersburg, Maryland

"Amidst a contemporary Christian culture characterized by rampant confusion regarding the central tenets of our faith, Greg Gilbert has given us a portrait of the gospel that is clear for those who have believed and compelling for those who have yet to believe. Word-saturated, cross-centered, and God-exalting, What Is the Gospel? will capture your mind’s attention and ignite your heart’s affection for the God who saves us by his grace through his gospel for his glory."
—David Platt, Senior Pastor, The Church at Brook Hills, Birmingham, Alabama; author, Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream

"Greg Gilbert has called the church back to the source of her revelation. In a simple and straightforward manner, he has laid bare what the Bible has shown the gospel to mean."
—Archbishop Peter J. Akinola, Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion

"Clarity on the gospel brings both confidence in the gospel and conviction concerning core gospel truths. This excellent book is wonderfully clear and biblically faithful, and will repay reading with renewed gospel focus."
—William Taylor, Rector, St. Helen Bishopsgate, London

"When I think of the centerpiece of my Bible, my heart immediately embraces the gospel. I know many people who love the gospel, but I’m always open to loving it more and understanding it better. Greg Gilbert has written this book to help us to know and love the gospel more."
—Johnny Hunt, President, The Southern Baptist Convention

"What makes this book profound is its simplicity. Perhaps the greatest danger in Christianity is making assumptions about what the gospel is without hearing the Bible’s clear and definitive voice. It is not an overstatement to say this may be the most important book you’ll read about the Christian faith."
—Rick Holland, Executive Pastor, Grace Community Church, Sun Valley, California; Director, Resolved Conference

"'Gospel-centeredness' has become the new, vogue term for pastors and churches. Greg Gilbert does a masterful job in this book explaining what that gospel actually is. He shows us that many well-meaning churches have distorted the gospel through false teaching, and others have abandoned the gospel because of embarrassment or simply neglect. This is a profound analysis of the gospel, expressed in a poignant, relevant way. I am very grateful for Greg’s prophetic call to return to the straightforward message of the cross."
—J. D. Greear, Senior Pastor, The Summit Church, Durham, North Carolina

I pray that whatever book you use, the Holy Spirit will work through it to bring your parents to salvation.
 
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