Christian books to read over summer

Christian books to read over summer

It is almost Christmas, and many of us are looking forward to some time off from work. We can relax in the air conditioning and sit back and just watch Netflix series over and over. Well, you could, but I’d argue that’s not making the best use of the time you have! I recommend that you find some time to read a Christian book or two. You have time and space to read and think, even if you are not naturally a reader.

Of course, as my first book was published last month, I would recommend that you consider reading that! I have been encouraged that some people from a range of cultures have told be that they found it useful. It’s called ‘Fear Not: What the Bible has to say about angels, demons, the occult, and Satan’. You can find all the information here if you haven’t seen it already.

Some easy reads

I recently finished a book that I found very helpful and challenging, which I highly recommend. It is:

Strange, Daniel 2020, Plugged In: Connecting Your Faith with what you Watch, Read and Play

This is a short book about connecting the gospel to the culture we live in. It is very practical, giving both guidelines and worked examples of how you might think carefully about how we can offer hope to our culture. Have you ever tried to explain the gospel to a friend and find they simply don’t care? This book will help you to be strategic in using the topics people are talking about anyway to offer a better vision of the world through Jesus. The examples used include soccer in the UK, how Japanese people think about toilets, and the rise of adult colouring books. Definitely worth a read and some deep thinking afterwards to apply it to the culture you live in.


I have been reading a lot of church history this year, so if this is an area you don’t know much about or want to go deeper in, consider these:

Challies, Tim 2020, Epic: An around-the-world journey through Christian History

Having read extensively in church history before, I didn’t expect to find much new here, but I was pleasantly surprised. History does come to life when you make it specific, and each chapter focussed on one item that was important to some person or event. It is weighted towards more modern church history, in the past few centuries, but that is exactly the part you might know little about. Highly recommended, as are all of Tim Challies’ books and his popular blog. There is also a companion documentary for Epic if you prefer to watch rather than read.

Moore, Natasha 2019, For the Love of God: How the church is better + worse than you ever imagined

Have you ever argued with a friend about the church? How it is corrupt, causes violence, and supported slavery? So often, these arguments are based on pretty flimsy foundations as we don’t know enough about the history underpinning the issues. This book helps address this. I appreciated the fact that it didn’t shy away from pointing out where the church got it wrong on issues, but it also pointed out the many positive influences the church has had on the world. So before you start typing an angry response to some Facebook comment, make sure you have a basic grasp of what really happened in the Inquisition and what the Crusades were all about.

Page, Nick 2013, A nearly Infallible History of Christianity: Being a history of 2000 years of saints, sinners, idiots and divinely-inspired troublemakers

This one is a few years old now, but if you have a sense of humour and don’t want a church history book that takes itself too seriously, this is for you. Nick Page is quite prolific and very casual and easy to read. He helps the reader to understand the big issues in church history while including so much that is quirky or interesting.


A harder but worthwhile read

The book that I found most helpful in understanding our culture and key issues this year was:

Pearcey, Nancy R 2020, Love Thy Body: Answering Hard Questions about Life and Sexuality

Nancy Pearcey is a professor at a Christian university in the USA, and she has done Christians a great service in this book. As we think through the difficult issues regarding the body that are all around us – such as the transgender issue and the casual sex promoted by Tinder – so often we get angry and confused. Many Christians simply cannot understand how most in our culture can think and act in such odd ways. This book explains the philosophy that underpins our cultural views on the body, and once you have that clear, you will better understand why people hold to the views they do. That will, in turn, help us to address the issues in helpful ways instead of talking across people. I’ll be honest: this is detailed and not a casual read before bed, but it is worth the effort.