Monday, March 06, 2006

'Where Should I Start?'

The other day I was asked by a regular attendee about books to introduce her to the Christian faith. I actually don't have many books that could be considered 'introductory' other than a few church history textbooks, so I went with books of the Bible instead.

So here's the question for my readership: what books of the Bible would you recommend to someone looking into Christian faith?

This is what I passed along to her...

The Gospel of Luke - Illustrates Jesus' purpose to 'bring good news to the proclaim the year of the Lord's proclaim the kingdom of God.' He tells a young man that love of God and neighbor leads to eternal life and follows up with a story about neighbors with a surprise ending. A story of forgiveness and grace is told about two sons and their father. Jesus is revealed in the breaking of bread to two downtrodden disciples. This Gospel is one of hope and challenge.

Philippians - Emphasizes Jesus' obedience and the strength we find as we seek to follow him.

James - 'Faith without works is dead.' 'Religion undefiled before God is to care for orphans and widows.' 'Even the demons believe, and shudder.' This is a letter about faith as reflected in action, not faith that leaves complacent. It is an extension of Luke's Jesus.

Honorable mentions that weren't mentioned are Exodus, with its story of learning what it means to be God's people, Micah with its commentary on what the Lord requires, and 1 John with its commentary on true love.