Thursday 10 March 2016
Easter is an opportunity to reflect more deeply on the historical focal point of Christianity – the death and resurrection of Jesus. A long weekend is also a good opportunity to read a new book – or at least start reading one! Here is a quick selection of books to consider adding to your Easter reading list in 2016.
Mike McKinley’s book Passion goes straight to the 24 hours before Jesus died. He highlights the amazing history detail in the Gospel of Luke and encourages the reader to see how the death of Jesus changed history – not just our future hope, but our life right now. You can watch Mike McKinley discuss why he wrote the book here.
In The King’s Cross Tim Keller also looks to the events before Jesus’s death. He follows the structure of the gospel of Mark, where Jesus revealing first his identity as God’s chosen King and then his purpose in dying on a Cross. Adapted from Keller’s sermons, The King’s Cross is easy to read and accessible to Christians, atheists, and agnostics alike.
While the death of Jesus is central to the Christian faith, Adrian Warnock noticed that teaching on the resurrection of Jesus was often being neglected in our churches. To address this he wrote Raised with Christ. He begins with an overview of the historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus, and then invites us to find rediscover joy in knowing that Jesus is alive today.
If you don’t have time to read a whole book, you might like to explore one of these devotional collections.
Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross is a collection of sermons and shorter writings on the theme of Easter. Nancy Guthrie’s selection includes contemporary writers such as R.C. Sproul, Joni Eareckson Tada and John Piper; as well as classics from the past including C.H. Spurgeon, Francis Schaeffer, and Jonathan Edwards.
The Centre for the Study of C.S. Lewis and Friends have compiled a selection of Lent and Easter Wisdom From G K Chesterton. Chesterton was a renowned Catholic journalist, Christian apologist, and lay theologian with a good wit. Each chapter includes a daily scripture reading, a matching excerpt from the timeless writings of Chesterton, a prayer and a suggested activity for personal growth.
Finally, no Easter reading list is complete without the modern Australian classic Dave the Donkey by Andrew McDonough. In this children’s picture book Dave represents the donkey who carried Jesus on Palm Sunday. Dave saw the crowds adore Jesus and welcome him as King. He asks his grandfather (another donkey) “what happened next to the King?” Children will learn the Easter story in an age-appropriate way, as the tale of a King who – strangely – was not treated like a King. The ultimate surprise comes when Dave the Donkey asks his grandfather, “is the King dead then?” to which, of course, the answer is no!