6 Books for 6 Months

During my journey toward God, there were books that found my hands at just the right time. I decided to list some and explain why they helped me.

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There were many factors that helped awaken my faith in my mid-20s, but arguably, the biggest catalyst was reading books. During my journey toward God, there were books that found my hands at just the right time. I decided to list some and describe the moment I was in and why it was the perfect book for the moment.

1. The Bible (NLT)

Ok, I know! It’s an obvious pick, but I wanted to share about this particular translation. I started to read this version in the midst of my faith awakening. I wanted to read for myself what the Bible says. I ended up reading through the Bible in about a 9 months–1 year. The NLT is easier to read than KJV (because of the more modern English) or ESV (sometimes, the sentences just don’t flow nicely) because it is more of a sentence-by-sentence translation. It is not meant for scholarly study of the best word choice but more focused on the spirit of passages and sentences in modern English. I found it easy to read and understand.

Buy one here


2. Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne (and Jesus for President: Politics for Ordinary Radicals)

I had been to church my whole life, but while reading Shane Claiborne’s book, I realized I wasn’t living my faith out practically under the false pretence of “grace” or “anti-works,” but it really was passivity. When I saw that Shane actually tried to be like Jesus in radical ways, I was inspired to read the gospels again for myself and see the life of Jesus as something to model. I learned that Jesus’s life just as much as his birth, death, and resurrection was important to study so I could try to apply His ways to my life.

Buy it here


3. Muslims, Christians, and Jesus: Gaining Understanding and Building Relationships by Carl Medearis

I was in my discipleship training school with YWAM and found out I would be going to Sweden and to a neighborhood called Rosengard, which was mostly an immigrant and refugee neighborhood in the city of Malmo. There were going to be many Muslims, and I had no idea what I thought of them, how they thought of me (besides this underlying suspicion brought about by 9/11 and the news and political narratives), or what Muslims even believed. This book was such an important and accessible primer by a man who has lived his life loving Muslims in the middle east and sharing Jesus with them.

Buy it here

“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.”


4. Theology Narrative Missionary Books

My time with Youth with a Mission opened me up to this genre of book. These types of books generally use story and testimony to share spiritual truths. They are easy to read yet incredibly inspiring and challenging. I read a whole swath of these books in my first years with YWAM. It helped me see God as powerful yet personal, and it inspired me to step out in faith myself. Since there are so many amazing ones, I’ll just make a list below:

Imprisoned in Iran (Cell 58) by Dan Baumann

Is that really you God? by Loren Cunningham

God Smuggler by Brother Andrew

Chasing the Dragon by Jackie Pullinger


5. The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer

I picked up this book sometime after my Discipleship Training School and devoured it. It was full of meaty spiritual insights, and I was hungry! It talked about the paradoxes of the Kingdom, our position in Christ, a life of faith, using our Gifts from God, and hearing God. Tozer really helped put language to things I was learning and experiencing and this helped me gain confidence in my spiritual walk with God.

Buy it here (Kindle version is FREE at time of publication)


6. The Upside-Down Kingdom by Donald B. Kraybill

An incredible book that unpacks the ideas around this “Upside-down” Kingdom of God that Jesus announced. Donald helped me see a greater picture of the idea of shalom, jubilee, and the justice of God. I was hanging out with some Mennonite Brethren who try to live out much of what Donald talks about. I saw the earnestness to be like Christ and live out the gospel. At this moment, I was de-and-reconstructing my faith. This book and my good friends at The Matthew Training Center helped me see a greater picture of the Gospel.

Buy it here


There have been so many more books that have helped me take the next step in my walk. I wish I could list them all. I’m always looking for more. 🙂

What about you? What are 1 or 2 books that found you at the perfect time? Can you describe the season you were in?


Featured Image By John Mark Smith 

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Calvin Camillle Hanson The Holistic Pursuit

About the Author

Calvin and his wife Camille are on a pursuit toward wholeness and the abundant life in God through Jesus, they call it The Holistic Pursuit. Join them! They also help their friends from around the world learn English online. Find them on Youtube: Learn English with Camille