As each year goes by, I am increasingly conscious of how short life is and that my primary calling is to point others to God. I don’t know whether this is true for you, but the older I get, the less I want to tip-toe around. I find that I am becoming increasingly bold about sharing my faith.
However, in a world that is progressively more hostile to the Christian message, this is becoming increasingly difficult. Anti-religious sentiment abounds. The Christian message which was once listened to, if not gladly, then at least respectfully, is now openly derided. Attempts by people of faith to share their faith with others are now widely denounced as insensitive, intolerant and disrespectful. Increasingly the Christians in the Western world are becoming marginalised and, dare I say it, repressed.
Christmas, however, is the one time of the year when we are effectively invited to celebrate and even share our faith. Despite the fact that most people completely ignore or are unaware of the real meaning of Christmas, this annual festival provides us with an opportunity to openly proclaim the wonderful news that God came into our world in order to save us.
I want to encourage you to think about giving a Christmas gift this year that has some kind of Christian message. What about giving your friends or relatives a book that explains and defends the truth of the Christian faith? You can still give them that quirky gift – that electric sock folder or that humorous BBQ apron – but why not pop a book with meaning into their pressie as well? Then you can have a chat with them about it and say something like, “I know you’re not particularly religious, but I’d love you to read this and tell me what you think.”
Are you bold enough to do that? Are there people in your life with whom you’ve never really got around to speaking about your faith? Giving a book could be a great way to open an ongoing conversation with them.
I have a few suggestions of books that could be helpful. Two of them are mine and two are by other authors. Purchase links are provided.“7 Reasons to Believe” is my latest book and is aimed directly at people who are not yet Christians. It provides an explanation of the seven most compelling pieces of evidence for the existence of God and the truth of the Christian message. It ends with a personal challenge and an explanation of how someone can respond to God in faith and repentance.
“Finding God When He Seems to be Hiding” is my first book, providing answers to the top 12 commonly raised objections to Christianity, such as the problem of suffering, the issue of Christians behaving badly and Christianity’s supposed violent history.
“The Reason For God”, by Timothy Keller, also provides well-reasoned answers to most of the common objections against Christianity. Very well written but considerably longer than my books.
“The Problem of God”, by Mark Clark, responds to the top ten common objections against Christianity. Mark Clark was once a sceptic who is now a believer and a Pastor.
You can give any of these books with confidence, knowing that they present an intelligent, compelling defence of the Christian faith and a clear explanation of the Gospel.
I encourage you to be bold this Christmas!