Christian Books - Christian Book Reviews on survival.org.au

Christian Books

See also: Reasons to Become a Christian, Jesus.

This is a new page as of 23 August 2017, which will improve over time. Survival, Self Sufficiency and Sustainable Living The page is still UNDER CONSTRUCTION. It will be fixed up soon but I really want to get it online.

This page shows some Christian Books which have helped and inspired me. I've been a Christian for about 10 years. This web page is new as of late August 2017 and will be updated and expanded. I'll also improve the book reviews and add more links to a bigger variety of booksellers. I've still got a lot more books on my shelves to add, and much more I could write about them... Which will happen gradually as I get the time to do it (like everything else on this website).

What's On This Page?

The Bible
Children's Bibles
Comic Book Style Bibles
Bible Dictionaries
Bible Guides and Commentaries
Books for Considering Christianity
Books about God's Love and Forgiveness
Books about Christian Martyrs
Christian Survival Books
Christian Nature Books
Books about Christian Purity
Christian Books about Psychology and Inner Issues
Christian Books about Addictions
General Christian Books

The Bible

The most obvious and important Christian book is of course the Bible. I'll be doing a whole web page about the Bible soon (like in the next month or two).

Especially if you're new to reading the Bible, the first thing to know is that you don't have to start at the first page and then read all the way through to the end. In fact that's one of the worst ways to begin. I tried to do that when I was nine years old and got up to halfway through Exodus, the second book. And that was enough for me for a long time.

The Bible is divided into two parts, the Old Testament (OT) and the New Testament (NT). The Bible is also divided into much smaller sections called books, which have names like Genesis, Exodus, Psalms, Proverbs, Matthew, John, Revelation, etc. They are called books because in the ancient world, each would have been written on a separate document. It wasn't until the year 325 C.E. that all the books of the Bible were bound together into one single large book.

This itself is a good reason why you don't need to feel like you're missing out if you don't read the entire Bible from front to back. Because the Bible isn't really just one book, it's a collection of many different ancient books translated into English. When you go to visit a library (even a small one), you probably don't get concerned if you don't start reading with the first book on the first shelf, and then read through all the books, in the order they store them on the shelves, finishing with the last book. You don't really need to do that with the Bible either.

Each book is divided into chapters and each chapter into verses. The chapters and verses have numbers, which were not part of the original manuscripts but added around 1200-1600 A.D. The numbering makes it much easier to refer to specific parts of the Bible.

Reading the Bible
Photo: Priscilla Westra.

The Old and New Testament

The Old Testament is about three times as long as the New Testament, i.e. the New Testament is about 1/4 of the whole Bible in length.

The Old Testament begins with the creation story in the book of Genesis, and ends about 400 years before Jesus was born. The Old Testament is also used by Judaism, the religion of the Jewish race. The New Testament begins around the time Jesus was born, and contains all the words and stories of Jesus, the stories of the early Christian church, and other Christian documents.

Therefore the New Testament is entirely Christian. The Old Testament is Jewish, rather than Christian, and there is much ongoing debate about to what extent Christians are supposed to follow it. At one extreme, some people say that Jesus came to replace the old system of law that was given by Moses, and Christians can ignore most of the rules of the OT. At the other extreme, some people say that Christians should still follow the entire Old Testament law, which includes some quite specific things like not eating pork or shellfish. There is support from the Bible for both of these views, for example:

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

Jesus speaking in Matthew 5:17, New International Version (NIV).

By "Law", Jesus is talking about the Law of Moses, which is given in the first five books of the Old Testament, especially the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy. "Prophets" usually refers specifically to the last 17 books of the Old Testament: Isaiah to Malachi. This first five books in this series (Isaiah to Daniel) are called the Major Prophets and the last twelve books (Hosea to Malachi) are called the Minor Prophets. However it's likely that by "the Law and the Prophets", here Jesus just means the entire Old Testament.

The opposite view (that Christians don't have to obey the Old Testament) is supported by Acts 15:

Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, “The Gentiles [non-Jews] must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses.” The apostles and elders met to consider this question... Acts 15:5-6, NIV.

“It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. Acts 15:19-20, NIV.

Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas, men who were leaders among the believers. With them they sent the following letter:

The apostles and elders, your brothers,
To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia:
Greetings.
We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said. So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul — men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing. It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things.
Farewell.

Acts 15:22-29, NIV.

So perhaps we can say that Christians are supposed to obey the New Testament completely, and also to obey the Old Testament but only in a limited and less strict fashion.

There is also a third collection of books, which Catholics call the deuterocanonical books, and Protestants call the apocrypha. Most of these books fall into the time period between the Old and New Testaments. They are included as part of the Old Testament in most Catholic Bibles and not included in most Protestant Bibles.

Reading the Bible
Photo: Aaron Burden.

How to Begin Reading the Bible

To begin reading the Bible I recommend starting with the New Testament. You can just flick through the pages and browse-read different parts that catch your eye.

If you have enough commitment, I recommend reading the whole Book of Mark, from front to back. You don't have to read it all at once. It's got 16 chapters so if you read two chapters a day, you'd finish the book on the same day of the following week.

There are several reasons why Mark is a good book to read first, which I'll list more fully sometime later. One reason that you won't see in many other places is that the book of Mark (in many translations) mentions the word "wilderness" four times on the first page. Which is obviously a good way to begin reading the Bible from the perspective of a wilderness survival website. Some other translations use the word "desert" instead of wilderness, presumably because in that part of the Middle East, the wilderness largely was a desert.

Next perhaps the Book of John. Matthew and Luke contain many stories that are also in Mark, plus a lot of additional ones. You could read all or parts of the book of Acts. You could also browse from Psalms and Proverbs in the Old Testament. The Book of Romans describes the basics of the Christian faith perhaps more than any other book. The last book, Revelation, is cool but uses a lot of poetic language which is hard to understand.

You can read the Bible online in many places, such as Bible Gateway, and also download Bible apps for mobile devices. Nearly all the free apps either have ads and/or don't actually contain the Bible itself — but are really only a specialised browser that connects to an online server which actually stores the Bible. This means you can only read while you have an active internet connection. The apps which actually have the Bible text included in the app are usually called "offline Bibles".

Bible Translations

There are many different English translations of the Bible, which can be confusing at first.

English Bible translations are made from old documents written in ancient languages (Ancient Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek). Sometimes the original ancient language was translated into another ancient language, for example the very first translation of the Hebrew Bible was into Greek. This is known as the Septuagint (LXX), and was used by the early Christian church.

Roughly, you could group the Bible translations into three categories: 1. Very old style translations, by far the most popular of these today is the King James Version; 2. Modern translations; and 3. Paraphrases. Where the word "paraphrase" is used for a version of the Bible which has had the text changed significantly more than the non-paraphrase versions (which are usually just called translations).

Some well known versions in each of these categories are:

  1. The King James Version (abbreviated KJV)
  2. The New International Version (NIV), New Living Translation (NLT), New King James Version (NKJV), English Standard Version (ESV), Revised Standard Version (RSV), New Revised Standard Version (NRSV), New American Standard Bible (NASB).
  3. The Message Bible, The Living Bible, The Good News Bible (this one could go in group 2 or 3).

The more literal translations are harder to read but more accurate (assuming you know the ancient meanings of the words used, which are often different to modern meanings). The less literal translations are easier to read and easier to understand, but have been changed more than the literal translations, so you're relying on the translators to accurately convey the meaning from ancient language to modern language. Somewhere in the middle of the spectrum is a good compromise for most people.

The most popular translation used in Protestant churches in Australia is the NIV, with the KJV second. The most popular Catholic translations are (I think) the RSV and the NRSV. The translations I read the most are the NIV, KJV, and The Message; I also have the NRSV with the deuterocanonical books though I'd like to get an RSV since I think I'd prefer the more traditional version to the NRSV.

Types of Bible Translations: From Most to Least Literal
Popular English Bible translations, arranged from the most literally equivalent to the ancient language originals on the left to the most heavily edited on the right. Original image source unknown.

Majority vs. Minority Text

There is also the debate concerning the Majority Text (a.k.a. the Byzantine text-type) versus the Minority Text (a.k.a. the Alexandrian text-type). The majority text refers to the Manuscripts of the Byzantine family, which represent the vast majority of the 5700 manuscripts that have currently been found and collated. Supporters of the Majority Text say that this means these manuscripts are more accurate, because there are so many of them.

The minority text refers to older manuscripts, which are believed by their supporters to be more accurate because they are older (and therefore presumably more original) and because of certain other literary details. According to Wikipedia, "the Alexandrian text-type is witnessed by around 30 surviving manuscripts", which is a lot less than 5700.

However the difference between these two types is not huge. Wikipedia says "All extant manuscripts of all text-types are at least 85% identical and most of the variations are not translatable into English, such as word order or spelling".

Most translations used today are based on the Minority Text. The KJV and the NKJV are based on the Majority Text.

People With Two Names in the Bible

When I started reading the Bible, something I found pretty confusing is that so many people have two names. Some examples are: In the Old Testament, Abram becomes Abraham, Sarai becomes Sarah, Jacob becomes Israel. In the New Testament, Simon becomes Cephas (also written as Peter or Simon Peter), Saul becomes Paul, and there is "John whose other name was Mark" (from Acts 12:12 and 12:25) who is often called John Mark and is the traditional author of the Gospel (Book) of Mark. There's probably a lot more examples that I can't think of right now.

After a while you get used to this.

Here is a quiz based on this.

Which Bible Translation to Read First?

For Protestants I would go with the NIV just because it's the most popular (so the most likely you will hear used in church services) and also it's in the middle between translated literally and heavily modified. Alternatively, starting with a paraphrase can also be good, as these are even easier to read — which usually means you will both read more, and get more out of it. You could try looking at the Message Bible and see if you like it or not. Some people may wish to start with the KJV though this is a harder path, as the old-style language is much less clear in meaning than modern english when you're not used to reading it. Again you can have a look and see what you like the best. The New King James Version is another good choice, especially if you want a Bible based on the Majority Text but don't want the difficulty of the old style language in the KJV.

Some people have already read parts of the Bible a long time ago, perhaps as a child, and didn't get anything that positive out of it. Perhaps it was forced on them even. In this case, changing to a different style of translation can be a very good way to re-experience the Bible as if it was fresh and new to them.

To sum all this up in one sentence, the best Bible translation is the one you're going to read the most.

Study Bibles

If you're the kind of person that likes to have more information available, rather than less; or you like to have things explained in detail, you could begin reading the Bible with a study bible. These contain the text of the Bible and then, usually lower down on the page, notes which are written by someone else that explain some of the verses.

The New International Version (NIV) Bible

The NIV comes in three variations, the original 1970s version, the 1984 version and the 2011 version. The differences are quite minor from what I understand.

Read the NIV Bible online.

The NIV Bible, Various EditionsThe NIV Bible, Various Editions.

Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

The Daily Bible, by F. LaGard SmithThe Daily Bible, by F. LaGard Smith.

If you want to read the Bible all the way though, this is a very good way to do it. The Daily Bible has dates marked out so that each day of the year has a selection of pages to read. There are about six pages per day which takes about 20-30 minutes. This is the only Bible I've read all the way though. I bought it in 2004 when I was considering becoming a Christian. I read a little and then it sat on the shelf for another three years. Then I started reading it but since it was around the middle of the year, I didn't begin at the start but I ended up reading the entire "Prophets" part of the Old Testament, which is the final 17 books. After that I didn't read any more till the following year when I made it my New Year's resolution to read the whole Bible. I started on January 1 and I did read the rest of it in that year. Since I'd already read the Prophets the year before, I figured it was going to be more of a benefit to read the New Testament twice rather than the prophets twice. So I read the New Testament in The Message Bible in the space of the prophets, and then read it again in the NIV/Daily Bible.

A feature of The Daily Bible is that the ordering of the books has been changed, and parts are swapped around within the individual books of the Bible, so that it's arranged into more of a chronological story. That is, it's written here in the order that it happens, or at least as close as can be determined since the original dates of some parts of the Bible are still unknown.

Another feature is there is a small amount of commentary by F. LaGard Smith. There is much less commentary than a study Bible would have. I liked the commentary as it was easier to figure out what was going on.

I'll have to get my one out of storage to check the exact date, but since the New Testament is about 1/4 of the whole Bible, that means it would start around the start of October in the Daily Bible. Which means if you wanted to start with reading the New Testament first, now (the end of August) would be a good time to get one.

Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

The Daily Bible, by F. LaGard SmithThe Daily Bible, by F. LaGard Smith.

This is the softcover version of The Daily Bible.

Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

The Daily Bible, by F. LaGard SmithThe Daily Bible, by F. LaGard Smith.

This is a new leather bound edition of The Daily Bible. It's coming out on the 1st of September 2017 and before that it's available for preorder.

Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

The King James (KJV) Bible

There's a lot I really like about the King James Bible. I think the old-fashioned language is really cool, and it makes reading the Bible seem a bit more special, and different to reading other books.

The biggest disadvantage by far is that the old style words and use of language are hard to understand — which can make the meaning a lot less clear. See the section below on Bible dictionaries which can help a huge amount with this.

A good thing is that the KJV will always be the KJV, it won't go out of date and be replaced by another edition, which is what eventually happens to nearly all the more modern Bible translations. There is a never version of the KJV called the New King James Bible, but that is so different to the KJV as to be considered a completely different translation.

The KJV has less words than almost all the other English translations. But don't think that means you will read it faster. The complexity of the old-style language means that even with less words, it's slower to read than the modern english translations.

The most expensive Bible I own is an Allan's Longprimer KJV. I chose the KJV to buy as an expensive, super-well-bound version partly since I love it and it seems so classic, and also partly because I didn't want to spend $200 on a Bible that might be out of date in 10 years when an updated version of the translation is released.

Read the KJV Bible online.

The Allan's Longprimer King James Bible
The Allan's Longprimer King James Bible. This feels like a real luxury item, costing around $200 AUD. I think if you were to own even just one luxury item, why not make it a Bible?

Another thing I like about the KJV is that it's in the public domain (though in the United Kingdom this is not the case and there it's owned by the Crown, I think). But I like that the text itself is not owned by a publishing company.

First Known Use of the Smiley Emoticon

It's a little known fact that the oldest known use of the smiley :) and also the winking smiley ;) emoticons occurs in the King James Bible. For example:

And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)

Hebrews 12:21, KJV Bible.

There are many other cases of the smiley used in the KJV. This page lists several more examples.

King James Bible, Various EditionsKing James Bible, Various Editions.

This is the KJV.

Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

The Message Bible

Read the Message Bible online.

The Message Bible, Various Editions, by Eugene PetrsonThe Message Bible, Various Editions, by Eugene Petrson.

Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

The Revised Standard Version RSV Bible

Description coming soon.

Read the RSV Bible (including the deuterocanonical books) online.

Revised Standard Version (RSV) Bible, Various EditionsRevised Standard Version (RSV) Bible, Various Editions.

Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

The New Revised Standard Version NRSV Bible

New Revised Standard Version Bible, Various EditionsNew Revised Standard Version Bible, Various Editions.

I bought my copy of this fairly recently (in 2017, May or June I think). During my visits to the Australian Museum to photograph spiders, I kept noticing the amazing and beautiful St. Mary's Cathedral in Sydney near Hyde Park. One time I went in and sat for a while. I looked in their bookshop, and I was attracted to this Bible. The price was $40.00. Exactly $40.00, not $39.95 or $39.99. After looking through my wallet and my pockets, I found that I had exactly $40 on me in cash, which I took to be a sign that I was meant to buy it.

It's the first Bible I've owned with the deuterocanonical books (a.k.a. apocrypha), which is the main reason I got it. I didn't know much about this translation at the time other than that it's a very popular one used by Catholics. After some internet research, it seems to be a very highly regarded translation, though some people don't like it because it uses inclusive language. Meaning that the gender of many words in the original Bible text was changed from masculine to a neutral gender. The NRSV is an update of the Revised Standard Version (RSV). Most people seem to agree that the NRSV has better "scholarship", meaning it's regarded as a more accurate translation from the original meanings. The differences between the two are probably not that great though.

I think it's interesting, and also kind of funny, how the names of so many Bible translations have the words "new" or "revised" in them — when at the same time Christians generally regard the Bible as God's perfect, eternal, unchanging instructions for us. The NRSV has both of these words, which does make me wonder what the next version of it will be called.

Personally I think it's not that important which translation you use. Just check out a few translations and pick one (or perhaps more than one) that you like.

Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

The Waterproof Bible

The Waterproof Bible is entirely made of plastic and you can read it outside, in the rain, in the pool, underwater, etc., without harming it. I've written an entire page about the Waterproof Bible here.

Children's Bibles

These are meant to be children's Bibles but they can also be read by adults — which is a really good way to become familiar with the most well known Bible stories.

Children's Illustrated Bible, by Victoria ParkerChildren's Illustrated Bible, by Victoria Parker.

This is called a "Children's Bible" but it could easily be read by adults, especially if you're new to the Bible. Like all (or at least almost all) children's Bibles, it doesn't contain the actual entire text of the Bible, with all the books and verses. The writing is much smaller and there's more of it than the Illustrated Children's Bible by Janice Emmerson-Hicks. There are a lot of pictures, diagrams, drawings, side-bars with extra info, and maps.

Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

Purchase from Australia (Angus & Robertson)

The Illustrated Children's Bible, by Janice Emmerson-HicksThe Illustrated Children's Bible, by Janice Emmerson-Hicks.

This is a great Children's Bible, I really liked the photos and the stories aren't too basic to be read by adults. There seems to be two versions a Great British one and a US one. I've got the British one by North Parade Publishing with ISBN 9780755498383. It's more basic than the Children's Illustrated Bible by Victoria Parker.

Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

Purchase from Australia (Angus & Robertson)

Comic Book Style Bibles

The Action Bible, by  Doug Mauss (Editor), Sergio Cariello (Illustrator)The Action Bible, by Doug Mauss (Editor), Sergio Cariello (Illustrator).

Subtitle: God's Redemptive Story. This is a comic book style version of the Bible, old and new testaments in one volume. Booktopia says this is for ages 9-12 but it can definitely be read by teenagers and adults. I would have thought it was more written for teens and young adults and anyone who likes comic books. I've never been much into comics but I very much like comic versions of the Bible.The text is of course highly summarised and not every Bible story or proverb etc. is included. The pictures are great and really bring to life the stories.

Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

The Kingstone Bible Vol. 1, by Art A. Ayris (Author), Ben Avery (Author), Kelly Ayris (Editor), Danny Bulanadi (Illustrator), Jeff Slemons (Illustrator), Ben Prenevost (Illustrator), Javier Saltares (Illustrator), Rich Bonk (Illustrator), Geof Isherwood (Illustrator), Emily Kanalz (Illustrator) The Kingstone Bible Vol. 1, by Art A. Ayris (Author), Ben Avery (Author), Kelly Ayris (Editor), Danny Bulanadi (Illustrator), Jeff Slemons (Illustrator), Ben Prenevost (Illustrator), Javier Saltares (Illustrator), Rich Bonk (Illustrator), Geof Isherwood (Illustrator), Emily Kanalz (Illustrator) .

This is my favourite comic book style Bible though you need to buy three large hardcover volumes to cover the whole Bible. It used to be sold as 12 thinner paperback volumes and many of these can still be found.

The product description says, "The Kingstone Bible is the most complete graphic adaptation of the Bible ever published. Volume I in this epic trilogy covers Genesis through I Samuel - the time period spanning creation through the life of David. This one-of-a-kind hard cover graphic Bible is illustrated by top comic artists in stunning, full color art."

Purchase from Amazon

The Kingstone Bible Vol. 2, by Art A. Ayris (Author), Ben Avery (Author), Kelly Ayris (Editor), Danny Bulanadi (Illustrator), Jeff Slemons (Illustrator), Ben Prenevost (Illustrator), Javier Saltares (Illustrator), Rich Bonk (Illustrator), Geof Isherwood (Illustrator), Emily Kanalz (Illustrator) The Kingstone Bible Vol. 2, by Art A. Ayris (Author), Ben Avery (Author), Kelly Ayris (Editor), Danny Bulanadi (Illustrator), Jeff Slemons (Illustrator), Ben Prenevost (Illustrator), Javier Saltares (Illustrator), Rich Bonk (Illustrator), Geof Isherwood (Illustrator), Emily Kanalz (Illustrator) .

This is my favourite comic book style Bible though you need to buy three large hardcover volumes to cover the whole Bible. It used to be sold as 12 thinner paperback volumes and many of these can still be found.

The product description says, "The Kingstone Bible is the most complete graphic adaptation of the Bible ever published. Volume II in this epic trilogy spans the time frame from the death of King David through the Intertestamental Period. This one-of-a-kind hard cover graphic Bible is illustrated by top comic artists in stunning, full color art."

Purchase from Amazon

The Kingstone Bible Vol. 3, by Art A. Ayris (Author), Ben Avery (Author), Kelly Ayris (Editor), Danny Bulanadi (Illustrator), Jeff Slemons (Illustrator), Ben Prenevost (Illustrator), Javier Saltares (Illustrator), Rich Bonk (Illustrator), Geof Isherwood (Illustrator), Emily Kanalz (Illustrator) The Kingstone Bible Vol. 3, by Art A. Ayris (Author), Ben Avery (Author), Kelly Ayris (Editor), Danny Bulanadi (Illustrator), Jeff Slemons (Illustrator), Ben Prenevost (Illustrator), Javier Saltares (Illustrator), Rich Bonk (Illustrator), Geof Isherwood (Illustrator), Emily Kanalz (Illustrator) .

This is my favourite comic book style Bible though you need to buy three large hardcover volumes to cover the whole Bible. It used to be sold as 12 thinner paperback volumes and many of these can still be found.

The product description says, "The Kingstone Bible is the most complete graphic adaptation of the Bible ever published. Volume III in this epic trilogy begins in the gospels with the birth of Christ, covers the extraordinary life of Christ, the birth of the subsequent church, letters of instruction to the church and closes with a grand finale artistic exposition of the book of Revelation. This one-of-a-kind hardcover graphic Bible is illustrated by top comic artists in stunning, full color art."

Purchase from Amazon

Bible Dictionaries

These are especially relevant for the King James Bible, since a lot of the words are old and no longer well known. Note that many books called Bible "dictionaries" are more like encyclopaedias, containing information about things in the Bible, rather than just explaining the meanings of words in the way that most people think of a dictionary.

The website preservedwords.com contains a really useful dictionary for the KJV. It's only got about 750 words, and they are the words you're most likely to not know. They are actual words which mean things, and not just names of people and places like many of the Bible "dictionaries". Click here to view this dictionary on preservedwords.com.

From the website av1611.com: "This online dictionary of King James Version words contains over 11,000 definitions. This dictionary is derived from Noah Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language, a dictionary published in 1828 which frequently uses Bible verses in the definitions. This is an abridgment of the Webster's 1828. It was created by comparing each word from the Webster's 1828 to a list of words from the King James Bible. If a word from the Webster's 1828 appeared in the KJV, its definition was included in this online text." You have to look up each word manually which is slow. Click here to view this dictionary on av1611.com. The same list in plain text format is available here. This list is in the public domain so it's okay to print it out and keep it next to your Bible.

Pocket Bible Dictionary, by George W Knight and Rayburn W RayPocket Bible Dictionary, by George W Knight and Rayburn W Ray.

This is a small-ish dictionary of Bible terms, based on the King James Version. It's good to have something like this if you want to read the King James Bible but you don't recognise all the words they used in the year 1611. It would fit in your pocket if your pockets are pretty large. It was the best dictionary of old-fashioned terms from the King James Bible that I found from looking through several of them. Most of the books called "Bible dictionaries" seem more like an encyclopaedia than a dictionary. This one is more like an actual dictionary. It's probably on back order but available instantly as an e-book.

Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

Barbour's Bible Dictionary and Concordance, by George W. Knight and Rayburn W. RayBarbour's Bible Dictionary and Concordance, by George W. Knight and Rayburn W. Ray.

This is a newer, larger version of the dictionary by Knight and Ray. Published October 2017 and on pre-order until then.

Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

Purchase from Australia (Angus & Robertson)

Bible Guides and Commentaries

The Baker Illustrated Bible Handbook, by J. Daniel Hays (Editor), J. Scott Duvall (Editor)The Baker Illustrated Bible Handbook, by J. Daniel Hays (Editor), J. Scott Duvall (Editor).

1152 pages. Excellent large, full colour guide to the Bible. A bit over half of it covers the New Testament (meaning that proportionally, the NT gets more coverage than the Old Testament since the NT only makes up about 1/4 of the words in the Bible).

From the publisher, "One of the keys to enjoying an in-depth and rewarding experience of reading the Bible is recapturing the ancient world-it's cultures, customs, and histories. With this innovative guide, readers can enrich their study with fascinating insights into the Bible and the world in which it was written. The Baker Illustrated Bible Handbook offers the most up-to-date evangelical biblical scholarship in a format that is readable and easy to understand. This book-by-book guide brings the Bible to life with more than 1,100 full-colour pages packed with illustrations, maps, and photos, and 112 in-depth articles on a wide range of topics important to students of the Bible. Readers will discover how each part of the Bible fits into and informs every other part, giving them a cohesive understanding of God's Word. No reference collection will be complete without this incredible new handbook to the Bible."

Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible, by Matthew HenryMatthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible, by Matthew Henry.

Matthew Henry's commentary is one of the most well known and most classic. The whole commentary is very long so having a consice (meant it's been summarised) version isn't as bad as it sounds.

Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

You can read Matthew Henry's Bible Commentary online here, here and here.

Believer's Bible Commentary, Second Edition, by  William MacDonald, edited by Arthur L. FarstadBeliever's Bible Commentary, Second Edition, by William MacDonald, edited by Arthur L. Farstad.

I bought this one after reading it for ages in the bookshop (Kooring) and I was expecting to really like it. It's got a type of paper that I'm allergic to and it gives me hayfever symptoms, but I liked it so much I bought it anyway. Unfortunately in my room the paper smell got the better of me and it's now wrapped in plastic inside a storage unit. I can read it when sitting outside though. Assuming you don't have this problem (I don't know anyone else that does), this is a really excellent commentary.

From the publisher: "Make Bible study a part of your daily life with the thorough, yet easy-to-use, Believer's Bible Commentary. William MacDonald tackles the controversial issues head-on, taking a theologically conservative stand, yet presenting alternate views with fairness. The Believer's Bible Commentary is a friendly guide to exploring the deeper meanings of every biblical book. This new edition includes 14 pages of 4-color maps of the Holy Land and other study helps. Features: Nelson's best-selling Bible commentary. Balanced approach to linguistic studies and useful application. Easy to understand. 14 pages of 4-color maps. Use with any Bible translation. Best used with the New King James version of the Bible. The New King James keeps the style and accuracy of the King James but has up-to-date English. About the Author: William MacDonald was President of Emmaus Bible College, teacher, Plymouth Brethren theologian and a prolific author of over 84 published books. MacDonald refused to accept royalties for his books but established a fund for translating his work Believers Bible Commentary into foreign languages."

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Books for Considering Christianity

Christianity in 10 Minutes, by Brian MountfordChristianity in 10 Minutes, by Brian Mountford.

This book gets the credit for perhaps being the first time I thought to myself, "Wow, maybe I can really be a proper Christian; not just someone who reads the Bible sometimes and thinks Jesus is the greatest". It's also the first place I got the idea of reading the Gospel of Mark as an introduction to Christianity. It's one of the first books I read when I was looking seriously into Christianity for the first time, in the late 2000s. I bought it at the Adyar Bookshop in Sydney, when it was still at it's good location in Clarence Street. Adyar was the main place to buy spiritual books, mainly alternative spiritual books but they had sections for most of the major (and minor) religions. In 2009 they moved to a different address in Bathurst Street which was much smaller and had nothing like the inviting atmosphere of the original shop. Not long after that they went out of business and now only have an online store.

The review on Booktopia says "You want to know about Christianity? Maybe you've visited a church or cathedral or looked at religious paintings in an art gallery and wondered what the meaning is behind them, why they evoke some sense of mystery and wonder. This short, but profound, "ten minute guide" will help begin to unfold that mystery. Starting with the gospel story, it moves on to the intuitive response to God, the desire for meaning, and how the story can change your life. It answers for the modern reader the lawyer's question to Jesus; "What must I do to inherit eternal life?" If you want to begin at the beginning with the Christian faith, I can't think of a better way than by sitting down and reading this little book through. Plain-spoken, straightforward, succinct, here is a fresh introduction to the essentials-what Christians believe, how and why they believe what they do, what difference it can all make. If you've been around churches all your life and never fully grasped what it's all about, this is a superb refresher. If Christian faith is brand new to you, what a helpful first step you're holding in your hands. Rev. Dr. Sam Lloyd, Dean of the National Cathedral, Washington DC The most valuable 10 minutes you will spend this year. Gospel truth. The essence of Christianity, simply and memorably explained. Read it."

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Books About How to Live as a Christian

The Disciplines of the Christian Life, by Eric LiddellThe Disciplines of the Christian Life, by Eric Liddell.

This is an awesome, powerful book that was almost lost to the world. It's quite old-fashioned in its style and message .

Eric Henry Liddell (16 January 1902 - 21 February 1945) was a Scottish athlete, rugby union international player, and missionary, who chose his religious beliefs over competing in an Olympic race held on a Sunday. At the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris, Liddell refused to run in the heats for his favoured 100 metres because they were held on a Sunday. Instead he competed in the 400 metres held on a weekday, a race that he won. He returned to China in 1925 to serve as a missionary teacher. Aside from two furloughs in Scotland, he remained in China until his death in a Japanese civilian internment camp in 1945. Liddell's Olympic training and racing, and the religious convictions that influenced him, are depicted in the Oscar-winning 1981 film Chariots of Fire,

. I'll have to try and find what the original date of writing was, it seems to be around 1940. Perhaps nobody knows. This book was put together from two pamphlets provided by Eric's widow Mrs. Florence Liddell Hall, and a manuscript that was written by Liddell and privately circulated among the internment camp where he was kept.

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Fresh Start: The New You Begins Today, by Joel OsteenFresh Start: The New You Begins Today, by Joel Osteen.

From the publisher, "God loves to give people fresh starts. He wants to give you a new vision for your life and your relationship with Him. In this one-of-a-kind guide, Joel Osteen provides practical insight and encouragement to help you stay connected to God so you can receive His strength and be empowered to accomplish all that He has for you. Here are eight keys to living your life in the fullness of God's blessings and flavor, help in not allowing your past to be a barrier between you and the pathway of new beginnings with God, and a treasure of insight into living by the power of God's word and His promises for your every need. In Fresh Start, readers learn how to experience God's goodness and make Him a part of their everyday life. About the Author: Joel Osteen is the senior pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. Listed by several sources as America's largest and fastest-growing congregation, Lakewood church has approximately 45,000 adult attendees every week. Millions more watch Joel's messages as they are broadcast on national and international television networks. He resides in Houston with his wife, Victoria, and their children."

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Books about God's Love and Forgiveness

Destined to Reign: The Secret to Effortless Success, Wholeness and Victorious Living, by Joseph PrinceDestined to Reign: The Secret to Effortless Success, Wholeness and Victorious Living, by Joseph Prince.

Several years ago I was with a group of people meeting up after a service at Hillsong, which is Australia's largest church. I've been to their services a few times but not been a regular member. I asked the group what would be a good book to read about how to feel more forgiven, and to get over my ideas that had to be perfect all the time and basically be a super-achiever. This book is what they recommended.

The product description says, "Find everything you need to know about the Gospel of grace in one definitive book! Grace is one of the most talked about and important subjects in Christianity. In Destined to Reign, Joseph Prince reveals that the completeness of Christ's work on the cross has been realized by very few, but that it is available to all!"

A longer description reads, "Discover the secret of reigning over every adversity, lack and destructive habit that is limiting you from experiencing the success, wholeness and victory that you were destined to enjoy. Find out how it is not about what you have to do, but what has already been done. It is not about what you must accomplish, but what has already been accomplished for you. It is not about using your will power to effect change, but His power changing you. Start reigning over sickness, financial lack, broken relationships and destructive habits today! Find everything you need to know about the Gospel of grace in one definitive book. If there is one book that I want to write on this side of heaven, this would be it. I believe that this book will touch you and transform you. What the Lord said to me some 10 years ago about how lives will never be radically blessed and radically transformed without the radical preaching of grace is still reverberating strongly in my heart. This book is therefore about being radically transformed by His grace and His grace alone. In this book, you will discover the secret of God's way to reigning effortlessly in life! Man has developed many strategies, methodologies, techniques, and tactics for achieving personal success. Let me declare to you that there is a higher way than relying on your own efforts to achieve success in life. The Bible says in Psalm 1 - Blessed is the man who walks not in the council of the ungodly. Hence, while there is some counsel in ungodly resources, there is a higher way for the believer! Why rely on self-help when you can have direct access to God's help? Are you ready to be radically blessed and transformed by His grace and to give up on your own efforts to have success, wholeness, and a victorious life? I believe that once you begin to take this journey of discovering His radical grace, your life will never be the same again. My friend, you are destined to reign!"

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Books about Christian Martyrs

The Heavenly Man - The Remarkable True Story of Chinese Christian Brother Yun, by Brother Yun with Paul HattawayThe Heavenly Man - The Remarkable True Story of Chinese Christian Brother Yun, by Brother Yun with Paul Hattaway.

This is my favourite of the Christian martyr stories I've read. I really think it's one of those classic books that everyone should read. The product description says "This is the intensely dramatic story of how God took a young, half-starved boy from a poor village in Henan Province and used him mightily to preach the gospel, despite horrific opposition. Brother Yun is one of China's house church leaders, a man who despite his relative youth has suffered prolonged torture and imprisonment for his faith. Instead of focusing on the many miracles or experiences of suffering, however, Yun prefers to emphasise the character and beauty of Jesus. This astonishing book will form a watershed in your spiritual life."

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The Heavenly Man: Audio CD, by Author: Brother Yun, Paul Hattaway. 
Narrated by: Cristofer Jean, Jeany Park, Grover GardnerThe Heavenly Man: Audio CD, by Author: Brother Yun, Paul Hattaway. Narrated by: Cristofer Jean, Jeany Park, Grover Gardner.

This the standard audio CD version of The Heavenly Man.

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The Heavenly Man: Audio CD (MP3 Format), by Author: Brother Yun, Paul Hattaway. The Heavenly Man: Audio CD (MP3 Format), by Author: Brother Yun, Paul Hattaway. .

This the MP3 audio CD version of The Heavenly Man.

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Yun: The Heavenly Man, graphic version, by  Paul Hattaway, The Edge Group (Illustrator)Yun: The Heavenly Man, graphic version, by Paul Hattaway, The Edge Group (Illustrator).

This is a comic book style version of The Heavenly Man

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Tortured for Christ, by Richard WurmbrandTortured for Christ, by Richard Wurmbrand.

This is the first Christian Martyr book I read. It's one of those classic books which have changed a lot of people's lives. It's a very big contrast to what a lot of people, especiall in Western countries, think of religion.

The official description says "Romanian Pastor Richard Wurmbrand spent 14 years in Communist prisons for his belief in Jesus Christ and his public proclamation of his faith. He suffered months of solitary confinement, physical torture, hunger and cold, mental cruelty and brainwashing at the hands of his captors. However, his faith and that of thousands of other believers persisted; faithful souls that had met in homes, basements, in the woods, and secretly preached on street corners knowing well the cost of their actions. This is their story, one of endurance, and courage and relentless belief."

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Early Christian Martyr Stories: An Evangelical Introduction with New Translations, by Bryan M. LitfinEarly Christian Martyr Stories: An Evangelical Introduction with New Translations, by Bryan M. Litfin.

I really like this one. It seems to somehow balance extremly full-on stories of what the ancient martyrs went through with the positive, happy, even joyous outlook that they had. It probably does that more than any other book I've seen. Having said that, it's quite intense in how much it describes so perhaps it's not for everyone.

I liked it so much I bought a second copy to keep in the car, just so I'll probably always have one with me no matter what happens in the future. To write a whole website about survival, I think requires somewhat of a fear of death. Books like this have lessened my fear of death more than anything else I've seen.

This book is made of new translations of the original stories of the ancient martyrs (which were not written in English), plus descriptions by the author, who translated them.

From the publisher: "Personal narratives are powerful instruments for teaching, both for conveying information and for forming character. The martyrdom accounts preserved in the literature of early Christianity are especially intense and dramatic. However, these narratives are not readily available and are often written in intimidating prose, making them largely inaccessible for the average reader. This introductory text brings together key early Christian martyrdom stories in a single volume, offering new, easy-to-read translations and expert commentary. An introduction and explanatory notes accompany each translation. The book not only provides a vivid window into the world of early Christianity but also offers spiritual encouragement and inspiration for Christian life today."

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Foxe's Book of Martyrs, by  John FoxeFoxe's Book of Martyrs, by John Foxe.

This is without doubt the most famous and widely read of the Christian martyr books. It was first published in 1563, before even the King James Bible of 1611. It used to be chained to a lectern alongside the Bible in churches of the late 1500s and for some time thereafter. It's quite eye opening if you have never read anything like it before. It's intense reading and can be overwhelming at times. Some of the more modern books, especially ones where the whole book is the one story (not a compilation) give more of the positive thoughts and feelings of the martyrs. Foxe's Book of Martyrs is available in more editions than any other book on survival.org.au apart from the Bible. Some editions have been updated and added to with more stories from after John Foxe's death.

Not long ago I purchased an MP3 audio CD version of Foxe's Book of Martyrs. I've listened to the first disc so far. I made a deal with myself that the CD had to stay in my car CD player until it was finished. It was pretty heavy going! Before trying this at home you would want to read (or listen to) one or more martyr books which focus more on their positivity and how happy they are. There is some of this in Foxe's book but, depending on your outlook, the very numerous decriptions of extreme tortures and deaths can tend to outweigh the positive.

The official description to the Bridge Logos version (with a picture of a lion on the cover) reads "Would you suffer persecution, poverty, and prison for Christ? Would you endure cruel tortures that take your mind and body to the brink of death and beyond? Would you watch your children suffering for their faith and urge them to remain faithful to Christ? Would you endure inhuman tortures and "hold fast the profession of your faith without wavering" (Hebrews 10:23)? Would you stand boldly and without shame and confess Christ as your Lord, to your own and to your family's peril? Two thousand years of martyrs: For nearly two thousand years, courageous men and women have been tortured and killed because of their confessions of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. The New Foxe's Book of Martyrs tells their stories. Stories of heroic courage and overcoming faith. Stories of love of God and Christ. Stories of the amazing grace of God that enabled men, women, and children to endure persecutions and often horrible deaths. Foxe's last revision of his Book of Martyrs was in 1570. In the 18th century others added to his book. But Christians have continued to be persecuted and martyred every year since then. More Christians were martyred in this century [the 1900s] alone than in all the past centuries combined. The New Foxe's Book of Martyrs tells their stories from A.D. 37 to 1997 in modern English, and includes new historical data that clarifies and harmonizes people, places, and times. The New Foxe's Book of Martyrs is the most up to date version of Foxe's book ever published. It is essential reading for the study of Christian persecution in Foxe's day and in ours".

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Foxe's Book of Martyrs: Audio CD and MP3 CD, by Various narrators.Foxe's Book of Martyrs: Audio CD and MP3 CD, by Various narrators..

This is a link to two different versions, each with MP3 and plain audio CD formats.

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Jesus Freaks: Martyrs, Repackaged Ed., by DC TalkJesus Freaks: Martyrs, Repackaged Ed., by DC Talk.

This is a compilation of short stories of people who willingly gave up their lives rather than deny Jesus. The product details say it's for teenagers, but I was in my 30s when I read it and apart from it's "trendy" packaging I didn't even notice I wasn't supposed to be reading it.

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Jesus Freaks: Revolutionaries, Repackaged Ed., by DC TalkJesus Freaks: Revolutionaries, Repackaged Ed., by DC Talk.

This is the second volume compilation of short stories of people who willingly gave up their lives rather than deny Jesus. The product details say it's for teenagers, but I was in my 40s when I bought it and apart from it's "trendy" packaging, once again I didn't even notice I wasn't supposed to be reading it.along with the first volume, it was in the main/adult section of the bookshop, not the teen section.

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Extreme Devotion, by The Voice of the MartyrsExtreme Devotion, by The Voice of the Martyrs.

This is more stories in a similar style to the "Jesus Freaks" books. I noticed that several of the reviewers on Amazon mentioned buying multiple copies of it to give to people. The official description is "By the coauthor of the best-selling book Jesus Freaks, this daily devotional features hundreds of stories of ancient to modern day believers--many of whose stories are published here for the first time--who sacrificed everything for Christ. Each true account concludes with a life application and a Bible verse to challenge you to live out your own extreme devotion."

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Rachel's Tears: 10th Anniversary Edition — The Spiritual Journey of Columbine Martyr Rachel Scott, by Beth Nimmo and Darrell Scott, with Steve Rabey (As told to)Rachel's Tears: 10th Anniversary Edition — The Spiritual Journey of Columbine Martyr Rachel Scott, by Beth Nimmo and Darrell Scott, with Steve Rabey (As told to).

Rachel Scott died as one of the 12 students (plus one teacher) killed in the Columbine High School massacre in Colorado, USA, on the 20th of April 1999. She was a Christian. There has been considerable debate as to exactly what was said on the day of the shootings, and to some people this is very important. However, as explained on page 92 of Rachel's Tears, "When it's all said and done, the precise details of the Coumbine students' deaths make little difference". Rachel's mother points out how it really doesnt make any difference to her or her family members [whether or not Rachel was specifically asked if she believed in God, and then said she did, before she was killed] because they were aware of her deep committment to Christ a long time ago. I find it hard to imagine anyone reading Rachel's journals and coming to the conclusion that she was not really a Christian. So I don't really understand what all the fuss is about in terms of the exact words that were said on the day of the killings. I've put Rachel in the Martyr section out of respect for her parents, because I get the impression they would want her book to be here. It could just as easily be in a different section, or more than one section. A lot of other books I review could be (and sometimes are) put in more than one category. Or the category might get changed if I think one or another is more appropriate. Rachel's Tears would still be the same great book whatever category it was placed in.

Much more importantly than the precise details of her death, Rachel's life was filled with the attitude of a sincere Christian — which is that of a martyr. You can see this in many places in the book, for example on pages 96-97 which has photographs from Rachel's journal, in her own handwriting. She explains losing her friends at school now that she has begin to "walk her talk", that she was "not going to apologise for speaking the name of Jesus", and "not going to hide the light that God has put into me. If I have to sacrifice everything... I will." That particular journal entry is dated (still in Rachel's handwriting) 20 April 1998, which is exactly one year before she died.

The main thing I got from the book was that, since Rachel was a high-school student, I compared most of the book to my own high school experience. And thought about all the things I wished I'd done differently, and how different (most likely a lot better) my life would have been had I been a Christian then. As Christians we are forgiven for our sins, and it's not always best to dwell too much on past mistakes. But on the other hand, what better thing is there we can do with our past mistakes than to learn from them? I found Rachel's personal journals of her high school life helped me to learn from the many mistakes of my own high-school life.

Booktopia says this book is for ages 12-14 but I was much older than that when I read it, and I liked it a lot.

From the publisher, "'I am not going to apologize for speaking the name of Jesus . . . If I have to sacrifice everything . . . I will.' — Rachel Scott. The Columbine tragedy in April 1999 pierced the heart of our country. We later learned that the teenage killers specifically targeted Rachel Scott and mocked her Christian faith on their chilling, homemade videotapes. Rachel Scott died for her faith. Now her parents talk about Rachel's life and how they have found meaning in their daughter's martyrdom in the aftermath of the school shooting. Rachel's Tears comes from a heartfelt need to celebrate this young girl's life, to work through the grief and the questions of a nation, and to comfort those who have been touched by violence in our schools today. Using excerpts and drawings from Rachel's own journals, her parents offer a spiritual perspective on the Columbine tragedy and provide a vision of hope for preventing youth violence across the nation. Meets national education standards."

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Christian Survival Books


The LDS Preparedness Manual The LDS Preparedness Manual.

This is a free downloadable PDF book. Highly recommended. Yes "LDS" refers to the Mormon Church (i.e. the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), but there is a massive amount of content in here that will be useful for everyone. There is also a hard copy version available from Amazon, which at the time I'm writing this has 42 reviews, 41 of them 5/5 stars, and one 4/5.

Free download link here. (Note that it asks for your email address, but any email address will do, e.g. [email protected]) If you click on the link you can view the table of contents on the HTML page before you download it.

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Tactical Bible Stories: Personal Security Tips from the Bible, by  Rob RobideauTactical Bible Stories: Personal Security Tips from the Bible, by Rob Robideau.

Proper review coming soon. From the publisher, " Does the Bible give specific advice for armed self-defense? Yes! Can the Bible teach you how to select self-defense tools like guns and knives? Absolutely! Can the Bible show us how to use those tools most effectively? Without a doubt! The Bible has fantastic examples of tactics, concepts, and ideas that are still used and taught by modern security professionals! Tactical Bible Stories takes the most important aspects of personal security and uses illustrations straight from the Bible to make them fun and easy for anyone to understand, remember, and apply. Tactical Bible Stories will help you learn how to prepare for, avoid, and deal with violent confrontations."

Christian Prepping 101: How To Start Prepping, by Tom Eckerd, Edited by A.F.J.Christian Prepping 101: How To Start Prepping, by Tom Eckerd, Edited by A.F.J..

This is a new one I've only just discovered. It's the first of a series, you can find out more about the others here on Amazon.

From the publisher, "Prepping, Survival, SHTF, End Times, Series Vol 1 In this book we laid the foundations of what we consider to be "Christian Prepping". If you're a Christian and into prepping you should enjoy this book as a gives a clear concise systematic approach to prepping from a Christian perspective. We have attempted to touch on all of the critical items one should consider when seeking to be prepared. For many Christian Preppers just starting out this may in fact end up being your go to book as you prepare you and your family for what's to come. Table of Contents Include the Following: Table of Contents Chapter 1: What is Christian Prepping Chapter 2: Understand the Why Chapter 3: Spiritual Survival Chapter 4: What is God's Plan Chapter 5: Educating Yourself Chapter 6: Five Foundations of Survival Chapter 7: How to Start Prepping Chapter 8: Kits & Bags Chapter 9: The EDC Chapter 10: The Bug Out Bag Chapter 11: The INCH Bag Chapter 12: The Bug Out Vehicle (BOV) Chapter 13: The Bug Out Retreat (BOR) Chapter 14: Caching Chapter 15: Alternative Housing Options Chapter 16: Alternative Energy Options Chapter 17: What to Buy - A Basic Shopping List for Your BOB Chapter 18: Hygiene, Medical & Personal Care Conclusion And more..."

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Why Even Worry?: A Christian Perspective On Preparing For What Is Coming, by Richard GrahamWhy Even Worry?: A Christian Perspective On Preparing For What Is Coming, by Richard Graham.

Another new one which looks like it will be good. Published May 2017.

From the publisher, "We constantly hear about wars and rumors of wars, earthquakes, economic instability, terrorism, and more. It makes it very difficult to focus on our personal lives when we know that there is so much uncertainty bombarding us throughout the week. What are we to do then? Are we the generation that will experience the events of Revelation? In Why Even Worry? we will cover a variety of different topics from the reason why you need to be a prepper, what the Bible says about preparing for hard times, quick steps you can take today to get started, and much more. As Christians, we need to understand that it doesn't matter if the end times are finally wrapping up or if we have another thousand years. God has us here for a purpose, and our priority should be to stick around long enough to finish what He has us here to complete. We could leave our future up to chance, or we could take this time that we have been given to make at least some effort to ready ourselves for further instability and chaos. The world is only going to get darker and darker. We need to prepare."

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Christian Nature Books

Birds of the Bible:A Guide for Bible Readers and Birdwatchers, by Peter GoodfellowBirds of the Bible:A Guide for Bible Readers and Birdwatchers, by Peter Goodfellow.

Proper review coming soon. From the publisher, "An engaging and informative study of all the birds mentioned in the Bible, relating the references both to Bible times and to birdwatching in the Holy Land now and, where appropriate, explaining the message or symbolism behind the references to birds, for the benefit of pilgrims and birdwatchers. The Prologue sets the scene by giving a simple description of the topography and climate in Israel, so that readers - wherever they are - may get a sense of what the place is like. The following chapters cover topics such as the creation of birds; bird migration; Job's birds; birds and Jesus; and singing and nesting birds. Some species are written about in detail. Others, especially those whose identity is disputed, get less attention. Birds are mentioned repeatedly in the Bible. They play a big role in illustrating the authors' intentions and in describing the characters in the stories. Illustrated with exquisite watercolours, this book reveals the significance and identity of all of the birds in the Old and New Testaments."

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Books about Christian Purity

A serious look at how people lived before modern technology goes deeper than just rubbing two sticks together to make a fire. Apart from survival skills, people in the "old days" generally lived by a very different moral code to what is popular today. [include aboroginal quote from why warriors lie down and die here??]

The kinds of books in this section would be quite strange to many modern people, but they can .... ****

I'll write proper reviews of these books soon...

Moral Revolution: The Naked Truth about Sexual Purity, by Kris VallottonMoral Revolution: The Naked Truth about Sexual Purity, by Kris Vallotton.

From the publisher, "Sex. Purity. Virginity. Love. Moral Revolution seeks to inspire a culture of love, honor and respect with people who walk in purity, passion and power. This intimate and honest book addresses the root causes of purity issues rather than merely communicating to the masses to "abstain from having sex." It will call you to a higher standard of living, imparting value for your heart and encouraging you to walk in all God has created you to be. Many who have given in to the power of peer pressure and the lure of distorted cultural values will find hope and courage to start over again. Moral Revolution is written for radical and passionate people who dream of being catalysts to a different kind of sexual revolution--one that transforms the way the world views sexuality, defines the unborn and embraces the family. Join the Moral Revolution!"

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40-Day Journey to Purity (Guys), by Kris Vallotton and Jason Vallotton40-Day Journey to Purity (Guys), by Kris Vallotton and Jason Vallotton.

There's also a different one of these for girls, which I'll add later. This is a workbook/journal with spaces to write, and sections to read over 40 days. There's also a series of talks on YouTube which go with it — one series for guys and another for girls. Like the other books in this section I'll review it more fully later on...

From the publisher, "This journal was created for you by people who are 100% passionate about seeing you experience health and freedom in every area of your life! It will equip you to walk in a greater understanding of how God created you, and His design for sexuality and relationships. 15 MINUTES EACH DAY will give you a: Daily Truth; Compelling Story; Character Challenge; Real and Raw Testimony; Interactive Questions; Scriptures; Daily Quiz; Reflection and Activation Opportunity... And so much more! WHY NOT START THE 40-DAY CHALLENGE TODAY!"

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When God Writes your Love Story (Extended Edition): The Ultimate Guide to Guy/Girl Relationships, by Eric Ludy, Leslie LudyWhen God Writes your Love Story (Extended Edition): The Ultimate Guide to Guy/Girl Relationships, by Eric Ludy, Leslie Ludy.

From the publisher, "In their most popular book, bestselling authors Eric and Leslie Ludy challenge singles to take a fresh approach to relationships in a culture where love has been replaced by cheap sensual passion. When God Writes Your Love Story shows that God's way to true love brings fulfillment and romance in its purest, richest, and most satisfying form. This new edition includes an extra chapter from Leslie Ludy about the surprises of life after marriage! "I had dreamed of a perfect love story for my entire life. But somewhere in the midst of the endless cycle of temporary romances, my dreams had shattered." How can I find a love worth waiting for? Lay the foundation now-whether you've met your future spouse or not-for a lifelong romance. Bestselling authors Eric and Leslie Ludy invite you to discover how beautiful your love story can be when the Author of romance scripts every detail. Story Behind the Book Eric and Leslie Ludy want to offer an exciting vision of hope, proving that the Author of romance is alive and well and that true and lasting love can become a reality. Using the "four secrets to an amazing love story," Eric and Leslie present a Christ-centered approach to building a relationship that will stand the test of time."

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I Kissed Dating Goodbye: A New Attitude Toward Dating & Relationships, by Joshua HarrisI Kissed Dating Goodbye: A New Attitude Toward Dating & Relationships, by Joshua Harris.

(Updated 2003). From the publisher, "Joshua Harris's first book, written when he was only 21, turned the Christian singles scene upside down...and people are still talking. More than 800,000 copies later, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, with its inspiring call to sincere love, real purity, and purposeful singleness, remains the benchmark for books on Christian dating. Now, for the first time since its release, the national #1 bestseller has been expanded with new content and updated for new readers. Honest and practical, it challenges cultural assumptions about relationships and provides solid, biblical alternatives to society's norm."

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Boy Meets Girl: Say Hello to Courtship, by Joshua HarrisBoy Meets Girl: Say Hello to Courtship, by Joshua Harris.

From the publisher, "Joshua Harris, who "Kissed Dating Good-bye," now answers your questions about courtship. In Part One, he defines and illustrates the basic principles of "courtship," in contrast to "dating." In Part Two, he deals with practical issues as the season of courtship unfolds, growing closer while guarding our hearts in important areas like romance. In Part Three, we learn how to move toward marriage in a God-honoring way."

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Sex is not the Problem (Lust Is): Sexual Purity in a Lust-Saturated World, by Joshua HarrisSex is not the Problem (Lust Is): Sexual Purity in a Lust-Saturated World, by Joshua Harris.

From the publisher, "Lust isn't just a guy problem - it's a human problem. And unless we honestly confront it, lust will destroy our relationships and our lives. Joshua Harris, author of the runaway bestseller 'I Kissed Dating Goodbye', calls a generation bombarded with images of sexual sin back to the freedom and joy of holiness. This "PG-rated" book - straightforward without being graphic - speaks to those entrenched in lust or just flirting with temptation. Honestly sharing his own struggles, Harris exposes lust's tactics and helps readers create a personal plan for fighting back. Men and women will find hope in God's grace and learn the secrets to lasting change. Neither sex nor sexuality is our enemy. We need to rescue our sexuality from lust so we can experience it as God intended. Bestselling author Joshua Harris shows you how lust deceives you. Specific and honest without being graphic, this book-for both men and women-will guide you in creating a custom plan for fighting lust and celebrating purity."

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Not Even a Hint: How the Gospel Rescues Us from Lust, by Joshua HarrisNot Even a Hint: How the Gospel Rescues Us from Lust, by Joshua Harris.

This is a newer version of "Not Even a Hint". Available: 31st August 2017.

From the publisher, "Lust isn't just a guy problem - it's a human problem. And unless we honestly confront it, lust will destroy our relationships and our lives. Joshua Harris, author of the runaway bestseller I Kissed Dating Goodbye, calls a generation bombarded with images of sexual sin back to the freedom and joy of holiness. This "PG-rated" book - straightforward without being graphic - speaks to those entrenched in lust or just flirting with temptation. Honestly sharing his own struggles, Harris exposes lust's tactics and helps readers create a personal plan for fighting back. Men and women will find hope in God's grace and learn the secrets to lasting change."

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Every Man's Battle (Includes Workbook): Winning the War on Sexual Temptation One Victory at a Time, by Stephen Arterburn and Fred StoekerEvery Man's Battle (Includes Workbook): Winning the War on Sexual Temptation One Victory at a Time, by Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker.

From the publisher, "The challenge every man faces...the fight every man can win From movies and television, to print media and the Internet, men are constantly faced with the assault of sensual images. It is impossible to avoid such temptations... but, thankfully, not impossible to confront them and gain victory over them Millions have found "Every Man's Battle "the single greatest resource for overcoming the struggle and remaining strong in the face of temptation. With extensive updates for a new generation, this phenomenal bestseller shares the stories of dozens who have escaped the trap of sexual immorality and presents a practical, detailed plan for any man who desires sexual integrity. Includes a comprehensive workbook and a special section for women, designed to help them understand and support the men they love."

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Every Single Man's Battle: Staying on the Path of Sexual Purity, by Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker with Mike YorkeyEvery Single Man's Battle: Staying on the Path of Sexual Purity, by Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker with Mike Yorkey.

The publisher says, "As a single man, you're in a war against sexual temptation. But God has given you powerful ammunition. A comprehensive workbook for personal or group study! You're bombarded by sexual images. You're constantly battling inner urges. You want to do right-in fact, you want to meet God's standard of avoiding any hint of sexual immorality. But accomplishing that goal is a challenge. If you are a single man struggling to remain sexually pure, you are not alone. Now there's practical, hard-hitting help from the authors of the blockbuster Every Man series. Every Single Man's Battle Workbook guides you-or your men's group-through an honest and clear exploration of God's Word. You'll undertake a personal journey into key Scriptures, wrestle with questions for reflection and examination, and discover the practical tools and Biblical strategies you need to live the pure life God is calling you to — even while living in a sexually soaked culture. Make a frontal assault on the temptation every single man faces. This workbook provides all the resources you need."

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Every Young Man's Battle (Includes Workbook): Strategies for Victory in the Real World of Sexual Temptation, by Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker with Mike YorkeyEvery Young Man's Battle (Includes Workbook): Strategies for Victory in the Real World of Sexual Temptation, by Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker with Mike Yorkey.

From the publisher, "Can any young man escape the lure of sexual temptation in today's world? You're surrounded by sex constantly--in movies, on TV, video games, music, the Internet. Is it any wonder that it feels impossible to stay sexually pure? How do men survive the relentless battle against the onslaught of lust? With powerful ammunition. The authors of the hard-hitting mega-bestseller "Every Man's Battle "know the temptations young men face every day. The fact is, you can achieve victory over sexual compromise. "Every Young Man's Battle "shows you how to rise above today's debased, self-seeking culture by examining God's standard, training your eyes and mind, cleaning up your thought life, and developing a plan. With extensive updates for a new generation of men, this is the award-winning guide to practical resistance. Bottom line: these strategies are biblical and they have worked for millions of men. Experience real hope for living the way God designed. Enter the battle. Includes comprehensive workbook for individual and group study."

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Preparing Your Son for Every Man's Battle: Honest Conversations about Sexual Integrity, by Stephen Arterburn and Fred StoekerPreparing Your Son for Every Man's Battle: Honest Conversations about Sexual Integrity, by Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker.

From the publisher, "It's never been easy for a father or mother to talk to a son about sex. For Christian parents, it's always been a challenge to know exactly how to teach God's standards of purity and integrity. But today, the stakes are higher than they've ever been. So it's vital that fathers and mothers prepare their sons to withstand the sexual onslaught of their culture through movies, television, music, and the Internet. But what should you say? And how should you say it? The authors behind the best-selling Every Man series have put together all the resources and guidance you need to experience frank, thorough, and natural conversations with your son about sexual integrity. They offer an effective new communication process that ensures a deep, abiding relationship as your son moves into his teen years and beyond. Equip him with the biblical information and spiritual insights he needs to stand strong, overcome temptation, and experience the blessings of godly obedience... for the rest of his life. Ideal for all parents of boys, including single moms. "

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Every Woman's Battle (Includes Workbook): Discovering God's Plan for Sexual and Emotional Fulfillment, by Shannon EthridgeEvery Woman's Battle (Includes Workbook): Discovering God's Plan for Sexual and Emotional Fulfillment, by Shannon Ethridge.

I haven't read this one but it's good the ladies have one of these books too. From the publisher, "Your sexual needs are far different from your man's. And they may be more dangerous. When does an affair begin? Not with the first forbidden touch...but with the first forbidden thought. Unexpectedly, you find yourself enjoying a powerful emotional bond with another man. You feel like you matter to someone again. And the door you thought was locked so firmly-the door to sexual infidelity-is suddenly ajar. The only way women can survive the intense struggle for sexual integrity is by guarding not just your body, but your mind and heart as well. "Every Woman's Battle" can help you learn to do that. Using real-life stories and examples from her own struggle, Shannon Ethridge helps women like you-whether married, engaged, or planning to marry someday--to: - Understand the four unique components of female sexuality - Discern the common myths that keep women standing in the line of fire - Design a new defense to protect every aspect of your life - Cultivate an unimaginable level of intimacy with your husband or husband-to-be - Develop an affair with the one and only Lover who will truly satisfy your innermost desires: Jesus Christ Written in the honest style of the best-selling Every Man Series but with a uniquely female perspective, "Every Woman's Battle" will lead you on a lifelong path to true joy and fulfillment--sexually, emotionally, and spiritually. Includes a comprehensive workbook for individual or group study."

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Every Single Woman's Battle Workbook: A Companion Guide for Personal or Group Study, by Shannon EthridgeEvery Single Woman's Battle Workbook: A Companion Guide for Personal or Group Study, by Shannon Ethridge.

Another one that I haven't read. The publisher says, "Powerful Tools for Guarding Your Body, Mind, and Heart Remaining pure while single isn't easy in a culture that encourages a woman to use her body to gain power, respect, and personal fulfillment. The longing for emotional and physical connection can gradually and subtly lead you into compromises you never intended to make. But you can resist the pressures—or reclaim your purity—by building a strong foundation of integrity. This book, ideal for study with Every Woman's Battle, is designed specifically for single women and will give you the tools you need to resist temptation and discover true fulfillment. Through practical and biblical lessons you'll be equipped to: understand the unique components of female sexuality; discern your personal areas of vulnerability; design a defense plan to protect your heart and mind, as well as your body; and allow God to satisfy the desires He placed within you. Each weekly study section—designed both for individual and small group use in eight-week or twelve-week tracks—guides you deeper into God's Word, then helps you personalize and apply the principles that will help you live in sexual and emotional purity. Praise for Every Woman's Battle and Every Young Woman's Battle by Shannon Ethridge "There is a common, almost Victorian, myth that women don't really struggle with sexual sin. That myth causes many women to feel a double shame.The shame of struggling sexually is compounded by the assumption that few, if any, women share the same battle. Shannon Ethridge artfully and boldly unveils the war and offers women a way to enter the battle with courage, hope, and grace. Every Woman's Battle will help both men and women comprehend the glorious beauty and sensuality of holiness. This is a desperately needed book."—DAN B. ALLENDER, PHD, president of Mars Hill Graduate School and author of The Healing Path"

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Every Young Woman's Battle (Includes Workbook): Guarding your Mind, Heart, and Body in a Sex-Saturated World, by Shannon Ethridge and Stephen ArterburnEvery Young Woman's Battle (Includes Workbook): Guarding your Mind, Heart, and Body in a Sex-Saturated World, by Shannon Ethridge and Stephen Arterburn.

From the publisher, "Guys Aren't the Only Ones Fighting a Battle for Purity. The world you live in promotes sex as the answer to just about everything. The pressure to go along with the crowd is greater than ever before, and it's easy to compromise in little ways that are a lot more harmful than they seem. You and your friends may become caught up in destructive relationships or sexual activities without even knowing how you got there. You just want to be normal-to fit in, to be liked, to look attractive to the opposite sex. But are you paying too high a price? This counterpart to the award-winning "Every Young Man's Battle "can help you: - learn how the sexual battle begins in your heart and mind - understand your hunger for attention from guys - recognize and avoid the potential pitfalls awaiting young women on the journey toward adulthood and possibly marriage - find out how the media, novels, fashion, internet chat rooms, and body and beauty obsessions influence your sexual choices-and what you can do about it - guard your mind, heart, and body against sexual and emotional compromise - develop a deeper, more satisfying level of intimacy with God Whether you have so far protected yourself emotionally and sexually, feel that you've been robbed of your purity, or have given in to temptation in some way, this book can help you achieve or reclaim sexual integrity. It can also guide you through the temptations and pressures of young adulthood while demonstrating how you can live your life to the fullest-without regrets. Includes a comprehensive workbook for individual or group study."

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Preparing your Daughter for Every Woman's Battle: Creative Conversations About Sexual and Emotional Integrity, by Shannon Ethridge and Stephen ArterburnPreparing your Daughter for Every Woman's Battle: Creative Conversations About Sexual and Emotional Integrity, by Shannon Ethridge and Stephen Arterburn.

From the publisher, "Where Will Your Daughter Turn for Answers About Sex? Girls are bombarded with messages about sex-from friends, advertisers, media icons, and more. All of this input-along with the whirlwind of emotions that accompany puberty-can leave them confused, filled with unasked questions about boys, dating, sex, and their own value. Now is the perfect time for creative conversations about sexuality with your daughter. By introducing key principles and truths during these teachable years, you can lay a foundation that will help her withstand the inevitable pressures young women face. And you'll create a lasting bond, establishing yourself as a trustworthy authority who is willing to help her address the sensitive issues in her life. Recognizing how awkward it can be to confront the topic of sex, author Shannon Ethridge guides you and your daughter through enjoyable yet memorable discussions about sexuality, purity, and dating-leading to a deeper understanding of and appreciation for God's standards. 'Preparing Your Daughter for Every Woman's Battle' provides creative tools that will give you the confidence to talk openly and honestly with your daughter-and encourage a lifetime of sexual and emotional integrity."

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Sex, Dating, and Relationships: A Fresh Approach, by Gerald Hiestand and Jay S. ThomasSex, Dating, and Relationships: A Fresh Approach, by Gerald Hiestand and Jay S. Thomas.

This is one of the smaller ones at 160 pages. The publisher's info is "Answering questions like 'How far is too far?', the authors articulate a biblical theology of dating aimed at persuading a new generation of Christians to get serious about honoring Christ with their sexuality."

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Why Good People Mess Up: Keys to Upright Living in a Seductive World, by John Loren SandfordWhy Good People Mess Up: Keys to Upright Living in a Seductive World, by John Loren Sandford.

The review of this was lost due to a database error, sorry. I'll do another one soon.

From the publisher, "This book describes powerful, unseen forces that drive some Christians into sexual sins. It includes help and hope for believers who want to stand in the face of overwhelming sexual compulsions, and forgiveness and knowledge for those who have been hurt by fallen leaders."

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Christian Books about Psychology and Inner Issues

Transforming the Inner Man, by John Loren Sandford, Paula SandfordTransforming the Inner Man, by John Loren Sandford, Paula Sandford.

This is the first of four books in a series but each book can be read on its own. My copies are in a storage unit and I'll have to get them out and review them properly. (I have a lot of books)... I read these not long after becoming a Christian and found them very helpful.

The description says, "This foundational book will equip each believer with the basic steps to a life-transforming, deeper intimacy with the Father. Transforming the Inner Man introduces the keys that reach to the depth of the heart with the power of the cross and resurrection to effect lasting change through continual death and rebirth. John and Paula Sandford take a no-nonsense approach to Christian living. A few of their chapter titles are as follows: Sanctification and Transformation - Performance Orientation - The Central Power and Necessity of Forgiveness - The Role of a Christian Counselor - Bitter-Root Judgment and Expectancy - Generational Sin. In this thought-provoking and sensitive message, the Sandfords challenge every believer to focus on change from the inside out. A change that will last."

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God's Power to Change: Healing the Wounded Spirit, by John Loren Sandford, Paula SandfordGod's Power to Change: Healing the Wounded Spirit, by John Loren Sandford, Paula Sandford.

This is book 2 of the four book Transformation Series. The official description says, "Fear of rejection. Loneliness. Depression. Grief. Isolation. What Christian hasn't experienced these feelings at some time in life? Many wonder why their lives don't demonstrate the victorious living that they desire, asking questions like: Why can't I overcome this area in my life? Why is it so difficult for me to change? If I am a Christian, why do I keep falling into the same sinful pattern over and over again? In God's Power to Change, book two of four in The Transformation Series, readers will learn, in simple ways, how to reach and heal their spirits and the inner spirit of each person to whom they minister. Through the power of His Word and the Holy Spirit, we can change!"

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Letting Go of Your Past: Take Control of Your Future by Addressing the Habits, Hurts, and Attitudes from Previous Relationships, by John Loren Sandford, Paula SandfordLetting Go of Your Past: Take Control of Your Future by Addressing the Habits, Hurts, and Attitudes from Previous Relationships, by John Loren Sandford, Paula Sandford.

This is book three of four in the Transformation Series.

From the back cover, " Transform Your Past to Victory: You have the choice. Your past contains a wealth of relationships, experiences, lessons and hurts. You can learn from them and use them as a foundation for a victorious future. Or you can let them use you - tainting your current relationships and hindering your ability to be the person you were created to be. In Letting Go of Your Past - book three of four in The Transformation Series - you will discover how past relationships and events are affecting your life today and what you can do to address them and find healing. By applying the scriptural principles in this book, you can confidently: Build and maintain healthy relationships with family members - Create the right balance between "bearing one another's burdens" and allowing healthy separation as you empower others to grow and flourish - Find true oneness in your marriage - Become an effective, contributing member of society. The Transformation Series is your road map to spiritual growth and improved emotional health. Learn how to relate in wholeness and worship God in total abandonment!"

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Growing Pains: How to Overcome Life's Earliest Experiences to Become All God Wants You to Be, by John Loren Sandford, Paula SandfordGrowing Pains: How to Overcome Life's Earliest Experiences to Become All God Wants You to Be, by John Loren Sandford, Paula Sandford.

The fourth book in the Transformation Series.

From the Back Cover, "Are you trying to live for God but struggling with issues and emotions you don't understand? Become all God wants you to be when you deal with the negative feelings that have their roots in your earliest life experiences. Growing Pains, the final book of The Transformation Series, helps you tackle unresolved issues like insecurity, anger, disappointment, or emptiness that remain from negative experiences in your early years. It gives steps for identifying the root causes of your problems and outlines principles for dealing with them once and for all. As you learn to identify and heal your own hurts, you will also discover how to proactively help the children in your life - setting them on the road to happy, healthy, productive lives from the start. The Transformation Series is your road map to spiritual growth and improved emotional health. This four-book series will teach you how to relate in wholeness and worship God in total abandon!"

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Restoring the Christian Family, by John Loren Sandford, Paula SandfordRestoring the Christian Family, by John Loren Sandford, Paula Sandford.

I lent my copy of this to a psychologist and I haven't got it back yet. From the back cover, "Building Safe, Happy, Healthy Family Relationships in Today's World: There is no question that today's families are struggling. Maybe your family is as well--you and your spouse don't talk like you used to, your children seem distant or resentful, or you have simply lost that connection you once had. In Restoring the Christian Family John Loren and Paula Sandford take you to the heart of the issues, offering concrete advice to help you experience fulfilling family relationships. Drawing from more than thirty years of counseling experience and providing honest and touching illustrations from their own family life, the Sandfords take on the issues that are tearing today's families apart, providing hope and healing to everyone who is struggling to keep their family together, happy, and healthy."

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Christian Counseling: 3rd Edition, Revised and Updated, by Gary R. CollinsChristian Counseling: 3rd Edition, Revised and Updated, by Gary R. Collins.

This large book (976 pages) is meant for Christian counselors but I've found it very useful just for reading for myself. I bought it after seeing it on a shelf, and then taking it to a chair in the bookshop (Koorong) to read it, and then I couldn't put it back on the shelf. It's got a vast amount of material and covers most of the life issues that people face in Western countries from a Christian perspective.

From the publisher, "This proven guide in pastoral counseling has been extensively expanded and revised by the author to include recent developments and research, new resources, and attention to newly urgent needs such as AIDS, eating disorders, homosexuality, and violence. Written with clarity and sensitivity, this volume builds on biblical foundations and the best resources of professional psychology. It reflects the insights the author has gained from many years of Christian counseling. New Sections include: The Legal, Ethical and Moral Issues in Counseling, The Multicultural, Multiracial Issues in Counseling, Conflict and Relationships, Dealing with Death and Grief, Alcoholism and Other Substance Abuse, Crises and Trauma. Counseling and Terrorism"

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Christian Books about Addictions

Alcoholism

God is for the Alcoholic, by Jerry Dunn with Bernard PalmerGod is for the Alcoholic, by Jerry Dunn with Bernard Palmer.

When I went into the bookstore Koorong to ask if they had and Christian books about recovering from alcoholism, this is the book they recommended. However they didn't have it in stock anymore. Full review coming soon.

From the publisher: "I am an alcoholic, I know what it is like to burn with a desire to drink that is so overpowering that family, jobs, and friends mean nothing compared to the desire for liquor. I know what it is like to wake up on a hotel room not knowing where I am or how I got there. I also know the joy of complete deliverance from the power of alcohol addiction and never cease to praise God for such deliverance.'Author Jerry Dunn discovered there is indeed hope for the alcoholic. God provided his escape at the end of a two-year drunk, when he picked up a Bible in a Texas prison. God Is for the Alcoholic is the product of that scape. Jerry Dunn knows the road up from alcoholism is long and difficult but that it can be followed with God's help and through commitment, patience, and diligence.In this revised edition of God Is for the Alcoholic, read sections on understanding alcoholism, ways to help the alcoholic, and ways the alcoholic can help himself. Discover release from the power of alcohol."

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The Heart of Addiction, by Mark E. ShawThe Heart of Addiction, by Mark E. Shaw.

Full review coming soon. Christian book covering how to overcome substance abuse addictions, especially alcohol. Less of a "story" book than some others in this genre. Full of strong Biblical advice. Probably more of a hardcore Christian book than the others I've seen in this genre.

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Coming Clean, by Seth HainesComing Clean, by Seth Haines.

Proper review coming soon. I've only just got this one.

From the publisher: "Seth Haines was in the hospital with his wife, planning funeral songs for their not-yet two-year-old, when he made a very conscious decision: this was the last day he wanted to feel. That evening, he asked his sister to smuggle in a bottle of gin, and gave in to addiction. But whether or not you've ever had a drop to drink in your life, we're all looking for ways to stop the pain. Like Seth, we're all seeking balms for the anxiety of what sometimes seems to be an absent, unresponsive God--whether it's through people-pleasing, shopping, the internet, food, career highs, or even good works and elite theology. We attempt to anesthetize our anxiety through addiction--any old addiction. But it often leaves us feeling even more empty than before. In Coming Clean, Seth Haines writes a raw account of his first 90 days of sobriety, illuminating how to face the pain we'd rather avoid, and even more importantly, how an abiding God meets us in that pain. Seth shows us that true wholeness is found in facing our pain and anxieties with the tenacity and tenderness of Jesus, and only through Christ's passion can we truly come clean. No one wants to admit they have a problem, but the truth is we all have one. Coming Clean acts as both a mirror and a map. Seth Haines' beautifully pointed writing and compelling story of sobriety force us to look at the realities of our own pain, but show us the way of healing by directing us to the goodness of God. For the pastor, for the layperson, for the victim of addiction, for the person with air in their lungs, Coming Clean is required reading. I've waited my whole life for this book, and I'm giving it to everyone I know. -Nish Weiseth, author of Speak: How Your Story Can Change the World"

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Sober Mercies - How Love Caught Up with a Christian Drunk, by Heather KoppSober Mercies - How Love Caught Up with a Christian Drunk, by Heather Kopp.

Another new one. I purchased several of these books recently for a relative with a drinking problem, and then started to read them myself.

From the publisher: "Where do you turn for hope when you already have the answer--but the answer isn't working? As a long-time Christian, Heather Kopp never expected to become an out-of-control alcoholic who kept private stashes of booze all over the place--tucked behind books in her study, zipped into a special compartment in her oversized purse, at the back of her closet stuffed inside her boots. Even as her career and marriage teetered on the brink, Kopp couldn't get a grip, desperately hiding the true extent of her drinking from the rest of the world--her husband included. During the day she wrote books about God and prayer and family. At night she'd locked herself in her bathroom to guzzle chardonnay. For her, as for many Christians who struggle with addiction, overwhelming shame and confusion only made things worse. Why wasn't her faith enough to save her? Why didn't repentance, Bible reading and prayer work? Where was God? Meanwhile, as she watched in horror, her grown son descended into his own nightmare of drugs and alcohol. She feared for his life, yet she couldn't stop drinking long enough to help him--or find a way out for herself. Until the day everything changed. Engaging, funny and bracingly honest, Kopp shares her remarkable journey into darkness...and back to the light again. Her story reveals the unique challenges and spiritual conundrums Christians face when they become ensnared in an addiction, and the redemption that's possible when we finally reach the end of ourselves. If you love Jesus but shop too much, drink too much, eat too much, crush on men who aren't your husband, or otherwise fixate on doing things you hate but can't stop doing, SOBER MERCIES is for you. As you follow Kopp's sincere, stumbling journey toward freedom and a deeply satisfying relationship with God, you'll find renewed hope--and practical steps of recovery--for your own journey. "

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General Christian Books

Run Baby Run, by Nicky Cruz, with Jamie BuckinghamRun Baby Run, by Nicky Cruz, with Jamie Buckingham.

This is a very powerful book. It's sold over 12 million copies which says a lot. By comparison, the biggest selling music album is Michael Jackson's Thriller which has sold 29 million copies. I read it very young, like maybe age 8, which I think is too young for such an adult-themed book. It's a biography of Nicky's life as he transforms from violent gang leader to a Christian preacher. The descriptions of gang activity are quite detailed and graphic. It was first published in 1968 and has been reprinted many times.

This book reminds me of how much I have changed. When I was young (primary-school age), I found the descriptions of his gang activities a lot more interesting than the Christian parts.

Occasionally when I feel like shocking someone (especially someone female) who doesn't know me that well, I tell them I used to be in a gang. Then after a pause I say, "..... when I was six". It was quite a small gang, mostly just me, and one other friend who was the instigator, and a few less interested hangers-on. What I remember the most from my gang activity is planning out how we were going to steal cars and rob the bank, etc., when we we teenagers. And how much my gang friend idolised teenagers like that, and wanted to be like them. The following year I moved away from that area and group of friends, which was probably just as well. Since in that scene, and at that time of life, that was what we aspired to - growing up to become not a doctor or astronaut or racing car driver, but a criminal.

The publisher's comment is "The book that has stunned and moved the hearts of millions is to be re-released with a dramatic new cover to be put into the Hodder Contemporary Classics series. Cruz's classic testimony is still compelling reading more than forty years after its first publication. A childhood overshadowed by spiritualism in his Puerto Rican home preceded a harsh and violent adolescence as the leader of one of New York's toughest street gangs. Chilling scenes of knife fights, torture and murder dominated the life of a young man proud and feared on the outside, but inwardly running scared. His fears and loneliness were brought to the surface through an encounter with the unlikely character of preacher David Wilkerson, who led Cruz to open his life to Christ - an incredible conversion that amazed all who knew him."

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Soul Obsession: When God's Primary Pursuit Becomes Your Life's Driving Passion, by Nicky Cruz, with Frank MartinSoul Obsession: When God's Primary Pursuit Becomes Your Life's Driving Passion, by Nicky Cruz, with Frank Martin.

This is more from Nicky Cruz, author of Run Baby Run. If you like Run Baby Run and you'd like to hear more from Nicky, this is a very good book to get. What I remember most about it is his descriptions of attending church services for the first time. I read it around the time I started going to church regularly, as an adult, for the first time. Soul Obsession helped me a lot to not feel so much like "What am I doing in a church, surely they will know I can't possibly belong here". A lot of the time I felt like any minute someone would tap me on the shoulder and say "Hey, sorry but you must realise we can't really have people like you around here". It's not like the life I lived before was amazingly bad. Perhaps I have a paranoid nature - but I do think a lot of people feel somewhat like that when first attending church, like you have to be super-impossibly good. This book was very helpful in not feeling so much like that.

From the publisher, "New from the author of the best-selling Christian classic, Run Baby Run. The God we love is passionate about finding lost souls, with freeing human hearts enslaved to sin. To truly know God, this must become our life's driving desire as well ourSoul Obsession. And when we fall obediently in step with God, we'll see Him perform miracles through us to rescue people and give them new life. In his powerful new book, internationally known author Nicky Cruz shares powerful personal stories of faithful obedience, even in the midst of difficult circumstances-including the amazing story of his mother's deathbed conversion and healing. You, too, can move past doubts, understand both the natural and supernatural worlds, and develop a faith that can move any mountain, no matter how high or wide or difficult. "Do we truly understand the power we have at our fingertips? Do we grasp the significance of the message that we bring to a lost world? Do we comprehend how easily evil can be beaten and revoked by simply opening ourselves up to the moving of the Holy Spirit among us? Do we know what God is capable of doing among us? "If you want to change the world, begin by letting God change you. By letting the passion of Jesus become your passion. By letting the Holy Spirit be your only guide and mentor, every step, every minute of the day. By allowing God to set your heart on fire with a Soul Obsession!"-Nicky Cruz"

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Why Men Hate Going to Church, by David MurrowWhy Men Hate Going to Church, by David Murrow.

I noticed this book on the shelf of a bookshop (Koorong) around the time I first started attending church as an adult. The title really stood out to me. I was relieved to hear that I wan't the only one with some amount of trepidation about attending church. I was planning to buy it. But then, after not that long really, I found that I actually really like going to church and so I figured I didn't need it anymore.

The publisher's comments are "'Church is boring.' 'It's irrelevant.' 'It's full of hypocrites.' You've heard the excuses — now learn the real reasons men and boys are fleeing churches of every kind, all over the world. Christianity is the only world religion with a chronic shortage of men. David Murrow identifies the barriers to male participation, and explains why it's so hard to motivate the men who do go to church. Then, he takes you inside several fast-growing congregations that are winning the hearts of men and boys. The first release of Why Men Hate Going to Church sold more than 125,000 copies and was published in multiple languages. This edition is completely revised, reorganized, and rewritten, with more than 70 percent new content. Why Men Hate Going to Church does not call men back to church — it calls the church back to men. "

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The Kingdom of the Cults, by Walter MartinThe Kingdom of the Cults, by Walter Martin.

My one has a sightly different colour cover than the one pictured here, I don't know if that means it's different. The one I have is a really well bound hardcover book with a paper dust jacket. It's large, 704 pages. It has a proper index. It describes a large number of other belief systems from the perspective of tradtitional Christianity. I'll write a better review later when there is time!

From the publisher, "The authoritative reference work on major cult systems for nearly forty years. Working closely together, Ravi Zacharias and Managing Editors Jill and Kevin Rische (daughter of Dr. Martin) have updated and augmented the work with new material. This book will continue as a crucial tool in countercult ministry and in evangelism for years to come. Among cults and religions included are: Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormonism, New Age Cults, the Unification Church, Baha'i Faith, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and more."

Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

The Kingdom of the Occult, by Walter Martin, Jill Martin Rische, Kurt Van Gorden, and Kevin RischeThe Kingdom of the Occult, by Walter Martin, Jill Martin Rische, Kurt Van Gorden, and Kevin Rische.

This one follows in a similiar style to Kingdom of the Cults, but goes into even more "out there" types of belief, like satanism, demon possession and other occult practices. For that reason, it's probably more interesting than Martin's earlier book, thought they are both very good. 733 pages including comprehensive index.

I'll write a better review later on. Personally I think that the effect of the spirit world on our everyday lives is absolutely huge, and greatly underrated by most people, even my many believers. I think this counts for both the forces of light and for those of darkness. The idea of 'demons' can be terrifying to many people, but I've come to think of the spirit world in a similiar way to the world of microbes and 'germs'. I don't mean that they are the same thing. I mean that, like microbes, the spirit world is all around us, all the time, but we usually can't see any of it. Also that it's effects are all around us and even inside us without our knowing. (For e.g., something like half to 90% of the cells in our body are bacteria in our intestines, and not even part of our actual body at all.) Also, while a great many microbial organisms don't affect us that much, there are some that do. Some are good and others bad. Most of them around us are only mildly so but a few can be extremely good or bad. With the bad ones, we can avoid or at least greatly reduce our chance of getting sick (or dying) from them by practicing hygiene. I extend this analogy to the spirit world, where good 'hygiene' means exposing ourselved to as little of the dark world as possible. The way I think of this, it includes a lot of the basic advice which has been promoted my many religions (like being kind to people).

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7, NIV.

From the publisher, "The Kingdom of the Occult delivers the timely followup to Dr. Martin's best-selling 'The Kingdom of the Cults'. This book takes Dr. Walter Martin's comprehensive knowledge and his dynamic teaching style and forges a strong weapon against the world of the Occult-a weapon of the same scope and power as his phenomenal thirty-five year bestseller,The Kingdom of the Cults (over 875,000 sold). Chapters include: Witchcraft and Wicca, Satanism, Pagan Religions, Tools of the Occult, Demon Possession and Exorcism, Spiritual Warfare, etc.".

Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

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