What We've Been Reading

2021 in Books

Jubilee Church Teesside | Sat, 18th Dec 2021

As we reach the end of 2021 we wanted to share some of the books we have read this year and recommend them to you! These books haven’t necessarily been written this year -  these are just the ones that we have been most impacted by during 2021. You may want to grab a copy of some of them as we start the new year!



The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

Publisher: HarperCollins

So far Joey and I have read The Magician’s Nephew, The Boy and His Horse, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and Prince Caspian. These are thrilling books with great insights into CS Lewis’ great mind and his Christian faith and theology. Brilliant!

Available: https://www.thegoodbook.co.uk/the-complete-chronicles-of-narnia

The God of All Things by Andrew Wilson

Publisher: Zondervan

As with every book of Andrew's, his phenomenal brain and exuberant faith come together to make difficult things easy and applicable and joyful. On my weekly walks, this book has changed how I see the normal things around me and especially the God behind them!

Available: https://www.eden.co.uk/christian-books/personal-life/god-of-all-things/

Reading While Black by Esau Mcaulley

Publisher: IVP

As a student of NT Wright, this black American Anglican vicar helps show us how we apply good exegesis from a different cultural standpoint. He helps us to see theology from a different lens. He opened my eyes to the trauma of black people who loved Jesus and were abused by the church. It helped me lament in the midst of the tragedy of George Floyd but also hope in the truthfulness of God’s word. Loved it.

Available: https://www.eden.co.uk/christian-books/bible-study/academic-bible-study/hermeneutics/reading-while-black/

The Plausibility Problem by Ed Shaw

Publisher: IVP

Another Anglican writer who addresses the difficulties of gay and lesbian Christians being welcomed into the church. The traumas they have faced and the discrimination they have experienced. In many ways it's about biblical community and the openness of the church to those who feel marginalised because of difference. And, in the midst of all his practicality, he helps us understand why the bible is so challenging to all of us as believers…the journey of sanctification. Check out livingout.org for more resources from Ed.

Available: https://www.thegoodbook.co.uk/the-plausibility-problem

We Need To Talk About Race by Ben Lindsay

Publisher: SPCK Publishing

Making a commitment as a younger man to Jesus in one of our Newfrontiers Churches in London, Ben opens up the potential for tension in the church for black people and also possible solutions to work out as team leaders. This is a practical and helpful book, full of stories of highs and lows. It’s relevant to all of us who want to build Multi-coloured Churches and be welcoming to people from all nations!

Available: https://spckpublishing.co.uk/we-need-to-talk-about-race

Eternity is Now In Session by John Ortberg

Publisher: John Murray Press

Another beautifully written book by this funny and theologically uplifting church pastor. Makes me realise how important this life is now in the bigger picture of forever with Jesus. Wow!

Available: https://www.eden.co.uk/eternity-is-now-in-session/



10 Questions Every Teen Should Ask (and Answer) about Christianity by Rebecca McLaughlin

Publisher: Crossway

We worked through this book with the older youth group in Jubilee this year - it has been phenomenal! Don’t be put off by the title as this book certainly isn’t just for teenagers. As one of the youth leaders, I got just as much from this book as the young people did. This might be one of the most helpful books I’ve read for engaging with some of the most common questions and issues that people have with Christianity. Written in a really relaxed and simple way, drawing on a number of examples from films and books, Rebecca manages to draw simplicity from some of the most complicated topics, equipping us to be able to deal with these confidently in our own lives. I can’t recommend this book enough to you if you want to be equipped to reach out to those around you, confident of being able to answer questions about your faith. As we think about inviting more and more people to Alpha in the new year, this book will help you grow in confidence to start conversations. If the title puts you off, she has also written a ‘fuller’ version called Confronting Christianity.

Available: https://www.crossway.org/books/10-questions-every-kid-should-ask-and-answer-tpb/

Reappearing Church by Mark Sayers

Publisher: Moody Publishers

One of the statistics often given to us from the media and society in general is that church attendance is dwindling and our society is getting more and more secular. This excellent book by Australian pastor Mark Sayers argues that there is Hope for renewal in the church despite what we see around us, and that actually what looks like decline in the Church may well be the beginning of a spiritual reawakening. People no longer have the same expectations of church and Christianity, and our increasingly secular world can be seen as a blank canvas, a new way of doing things as we look to reach out. I read this book at the start of this year when, as a nation, we were in partial lockdown, I was struggling with online church and wondered how bleak the future may be for us as we move out of the pandemic. This book certainly gave me something to think about!

Available: https://www.eden.co.uk/christian-books/spiritual-growth/evangelism-and-followup/reappearing-church/

Letters to the Church by Francis Chan

Publisher: David C Cook

As I write this, I have just finished reading this fantastic book and let me tell you, I was not ready! Many of you know that I’m not the best at reading books, but I’ve absolutely devoured this one in record time (that includes stopping every few pages and processing the challenge that Francis Chan gives). For those of you who don’t know, Francis Chan was the leader of a mega church in America. It was a hugely successful church which was attracting literally thousands of people. A few years ago, he stepped away from it all and decided to do church differently, focusing on a much smaller, discipleship-based model. This book is his reflections on that journey and his challenge to ‘the Church’ - Christians everywhere. If you want to start your new year feeling uncomfortable and challenged then this is the book for you. I really can’t recommend it enough. Be careful though - it might just change our church for good!

Available: https://www.eden.co.uk/letters-to-the-church/



Gentle and Lowly by Dane Ortlund

Publisher: Crossway

The introduction starts This is a book about the heart of Christand it really is! The chapters are fairly short and each looks at a different aspect of Jesus’  hearttowards us. As someone who needs regular reminders that Jesus is able to sympathise with my weaknesses, deals with me gently and will never cast me out, I found it so encouraging. A chapter a day will do your soul good!

Available: https://www.thegoodbook.co.uk/gentle-and-lowly

Overpowering Nemo by Ginny Burgin

Publisher: MD Publishing

Some of you will remember Ginny visiting Jubilee a few years ago. Ginny has a remarkable prophetic gift, but rather than writing a book on prophecy, Overpowering Nemo is primarily the story of her life, how she came to faith in the midst of an extremely difficult childhood and how God has healed, shaped and used her over the years. Its also a book that reminds us that Jesus has a plan and purpose for our lives, no matter how challenging our past or our present are.

Available: https://www.eden.co.uk/christian-books/spiritual-growth/overpowering-nemo/

Called to be Friends by Ian Galloway

Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton

Ian was a leader at City Church Newcastle for over 30 years and, again, is a friend of Jubilee, visiting us on a number of occasions. This is a longer book than the other two, and Ian seeks to show the reader that the Gospel of John has been written to form a temple space, where we are invited in to meet Jesus. I had planned to read this book in a week whilst on holiday, until I read the part where Ian says You can read the book all the way through if that works for you. But I reckon you will get more from it if you pace yourself. So thats what Ive been doing. Reading it slowly and reading it alongside Johns gospel. It might stretch you to read it but it will help you to connect all the accounts and events in that gospel and most importantly it will deepen your friendship with Jesus!

Available: https://www.aslanchristianbooks.com/called-to-be-friends-unlocking-the-heart-of-johns-gospel-9781529356823/ 

More from this series:

Elders Letters
Ha Ha Hallelujah
Lessons about joy and faith from little ones
5th May 2022

Watching my children sing and dance along to their favourite worship song taught me a couple of lessons about joy and faith. Jesus also had a lot of say about having childlike fath when teaching his disciples in Luke 18. 

Gavin Rodgers
Elders Letters
Easter Changes Everything
13th Apr 2022

This will be the first Easter in three years that we’re able in Jubilee to gather together to celebrate, and the Easter message is still as powerful as it was 2,000 years ago!

Simon Rogalski
Elders Letters
Christian Prayer
Equipped to Pray
2nd Mar 2022

Starting on Tuesday 15th March we are committing a whole month to prayer. Prayer has always been the bedrock of a Christian life with God. Prayer is what unites us to God in the here and now. Through prayer we experience the friendship and lordship of God through His Word and Spirit. In prayer we come to all three persons of our One Majestic God.

Raj Saha
Elders Letters
Don't Look Back In Anger
The Joy Of Reminiscing
1st Feb 2022

There is something vitally important about being reminded about the things God has done in our lives, especially when we go through drier periods where we don’t see God working as much or maybe we feel more distant from God. Reminiscing is not bad thing!

Gavin Rodgers