In addition to our online Pastor's Reading List, we've compiled a list of recommended books that have been categorized into the following topics:
Here are some great resources, whether you've never attended church before or have been coming to Kensington for a while. Each helps explain fundamentals of the Christian faith.
Take a journey John Chapter 15. That text says Jesus is the vine and we are the branches. Learn some rich truths through this word picture in easy-to-understand language.
How does a relationship with a God we can't see, hear, or touch really work? Yancey tackles this tough question is his Gold Medallion Award-winning book.
Move God's love from your head to your heart. Ortberg uses personal stories and thought-provoking illustrations to help replace misconceptions about God with an accurate picture of Him - a God that wants his love to touch your heart and transform your life.
Kenneson examines each fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23, explores what each one means in its biblical context, then investigates how key traits of American culture inhibit the development and ripening of each fruit.
Rob Bell is the lead pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grandville, MI. He offers a fresh take on Jesus that allows room for doubt. Bell is well-versed in Jewish teachings and draws from rabbinic wisdom and stories freely. His casual, hip tone is easy to read.
Ortberg teaches essential elements of faith like discerning God's call, transcending fear, risking faith, managing failure, and trusting God.
Strobel, a former atheist and legal editor for the Chicago Sun Times, launches a personal investigation to resolve personal questions about God, Jesus and the Bible. He interviews a variety of scientists, debunking popular beliefs to build a case that scientific evidence points toward Intelligent Design. Book sites further reading on science and faith.
A journalistic presentation of credible evidence that Jesus of Nazareth really is the Son of God. Through a series of interviews with biblical scholars, Strobel asks probing questions: "Can the biographies of Jesus be trusted... Does archaeology confirm or contradict Jesus' biographies?" As evidence builds, he encourages readers to reach to their own verdict.
Bible Study - Methods, Tools, Tips
Kensington believes the Bible is not like any book - while it was written by human authors, it's contents ultimately originated in the mind of God. Here are some great resources to start exploring the most important book you'll ever read.
Understanding the Bible isn't for the few, the gifted, the scholarly. It's meant to be read and comprehended by all. A few essential insights can clear up misconceptions and help you grasp the meaning and application to your 21st-century life.
Designed to get you reading the Bible knowledgeably, you'll be walked through the Scriptures step by step. Overviews of each book introduce key concepts, themes, and important landmarks, plus pointers to help put the book in context with circumstances surrounding its writing.
The Old Testament makes up 2/3 of the Bible yet it tends to be avoided. Back when Jesus lived, it was the only set of Scriptures that existed; it was the Bible Jesus read. Discover the rich treasures of the OT that many Christians leave buried.
Discover how to allow scripture to shape your spiritual life. Learn to listen for the voice of God in the Bible, move from informational to formational reading, and give up "control" over the text, letting God lead your understanding.
Understand the Bible one book at a time. Contains summary outlines of all 66 books; theme and lessons of each; text summaries and icons in the margins; historical anecdotes that make Scripture accessible and applicable in a readable and entertaining way.
In this full-color Bible companion, each book of the Bible is presented on a visually engaging 2-page spread that includes background info, timeline, and important biblical characters.
Since Jesus walked with us on Earth, Christians have learned that certain spiritual practices help them open their hearts to God. These disciplines are not what save you, nor do they earn you any spiritual "brownie points." They can, however, help deepen our feeling of connectedness to God. They give you an intentional way of turning a specific part of your life over to Him.
There are many spiritual practices. Two of the best to start with are prayer and Bible reading. Below are some great general resources about a variety of spiritual disciplines:
Discover some spiritual disciplines for ordinary people - those of us with jobs, families, and hobbies. Learn to become "great" in your walk with Jesus by doing what Christians have been doing for 2,000 years.
"Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's spiritual walk." After all, it's not yours! This book explains the nine Spiritual Pathways and how to find the route God intended you to travel.
Explore twelve key Spiritual Disciplines of the Christian faith. Foster shows that it is only by and through these practices that the true path of spiritual growth can be found.
Bible study. Prayer. Fasting. Meditation. These and the other "spiritual disciplines" weren't designed for monks living in monasteries but for people living in the real world. Learn the disciplines and the spirit behind them - not one of obligation, but of passion.
Millions have learned to live in the presence of God through this simple book written by a humble monastery cook. Noted for his serenity and joy during the most menial of kitchen tasks, cardinals and theologians sought his secret.
Prayer is simply talking to God and learning to listen for his response. There is no special formula, limits or requirements on what to say. Simply, God longs to hear from us daily - even hourly. Browse the books below to learn how prayer can jump-start your spiritual growth.
Life can be frantic. The news tells us of civil war, poverty, broken families, and crime. The urgent need for prayer is clear, but busyness keeps many of us from finding the time. Read practical, time-tested ideas on slowing down to make prayer a priority.
If God knows everything, why pray? Yancey explores this mysterious aspect of our relationship with God with questions like: Is God listening? Why do prayers go unanswered? Why doesn't God intervene in the world more? Does prayer really help with physical healing? Can prayer be more satisfying?
Being close to God means communicating with him - telling him what is on our hearts and listening for His response. But how do we hear his voice? How can we be sure what we hear is not our own subconscious? What role does the Bible play? Willard explores these questions and more.
Widely considered the best modern work ever written on Christian prayer, this book explores the three spiritual "movements" of prayer, offering a sensitive, warm, and compelling primer that helps us understand and practice the many forms of prayer.