Life Changing Books: Following Jesus by NT Wright

UnknownFollowing Jesus by NT Wright is really an old, unimpressive book. I’m really not even recommending it. I remember it being good, but I think there are probably better ones out there that hit on the same topic. The purpose of this series isn’t to show the best books on different topics. It is to simply reveal the books that God has used very powerfully in my own life.

When I was in High School I had a Youth Pastor that I loved and am very grateful to him to this day. Our church was not a very theologically oriented church (understatement), but my Youth Pastor- Brad Klausman, was the first person that challenged me to think theologically and asked me tough questions.

Thankfully, he also handed me books to read, err, devour. This book was one of them. He once asked me, “How was Jesus both God and Man?” I said, “I don’t know, I guess he was like 50-50 of each.” He put “Following Jesus” in my hand and it rocked my world. It was the first time I had ever read “the basics” on who Jesus was and what he accomplished. It was a basic book on discipleship and what it means to follow Jesus, who is both Fully God and Fully Man. He opened my eyes to Jesus being the mediator between God and people and what it looks like to live out of the realities of what Jesus did for me. It was/is earth shattering and life-changing.

I’m incredibly grateful for this book. It became a type of guide to me on what it looked like to read the Bible, understand who Jesus is, and follow in his ways.

When people ask me who my favorite authors are I always include John Piper and N.T. Wright. I usually get strange looks for this, but God has simply used both very powerfully in my life. They both have multiple books that have made it into this series.

Life Changing Books: According To Plan by Graeme Goldsworthy

UnknownIn doing a series of books that God has used to change my life I decided to start with THE book that has by far had the largest impact on me. According to Plan by Graeme Goldsworthy was a serious game-changer for me.

Goldsworthy introduces the book as a “biblical theology for ordinary Christians.” It was exactly what I needed when I read it. I got this book my first semester of Bible College. When I graduated High School I was clueless on three really important issues (though closely tied together):

  • Jesus as the center of all Scripture.
  • The relationship between the Old and New Testaments.
  • Authority of Scripture.

I had never studied biblical theology and my only relationship with it was the internal tensions I felt while trying to understand my Bible, but didn’t know how to reconcile them.

For example:

  • What is the primary theme of the Bible?
  • What does the Old Testament have to do with Jesus?
  • Why does God seem so angry in the Old Testament and so nice in the New Testament?
  • What on earth is Revelation all about?
  • What is with the animal sacrifices and all the rules (laws) in the Old Testament?

In stepped According to Plan and it rocked my world. The reason why it has undoubtedly been the most impactful book in my life is because it helped me understand the Bible. If you have not read this book, please do. Click on the link above and dig in! My copy has an absurd amount of ink and highlighter filling its pages. It changed my life and because it brings great clarity to Scripture it can change yours as well.