Books

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Spectacular Sins by John Piper
Hardcover | Kindle
This is a fairly short, 112-page book (with smaller pages) that does an excellent job showing the ways in which God has used tragedies to further his purposes, including Adam’s disobedience, Satan’s rebellion, the Tower of Babel and, of course, Joseph’s personal trials of being sold into slavery and wrongfully imprisoned (among others).  It would be a good introductory-to-intermediate resource on this subject.  Piper’s Introduction seems directed at Christian leaders, and encourages them to prepare people now for upcoming trials, rather than waiting until they happen.

 

When Helping Hurts by Brian Fikkert and Steve Corbet
Paperback | Kindle
Two members of the Chalmers Center, Brian Fikkert and Steve Corbet, have written an excellent book called When Helping Hurts, which provides helpful analysis and practical recommendations on wise ways churches can help people in need here and overseas, that address root problems causing problem, not just symptoms. In addition, When Helping Hurts also shows churches how to find and utilize existing talents and resources in communities needing help.

 

How Long Oh Lord? by D.A. Carson
Paperback | Kindle
This is an excellent, clearly written but very thorough book which is 233 standard-sized pages long, which tries to answer many questions related to good, evil and the sovereignty of God.  It would be particularly helpful for the more theologically oriented person looking for biblical answers to numerous questions on this topic, or as a great teaching resource on this topic.

 

The Hidden Smile of God: The Fruit of Affliction in the Lives of John Bunyan, William Cowper, and David Brainerd by John Piper
Paperback | Kindle
This is an excellent book which is 170 (standard-sized) pages long, which details the way Bunyan, Cowper and Brainerd were comforted and strengthened through trials (from imprisonment, depression and physical illness, respectively) by understanding that God loved them and was sovereign over their lives and painful trials.   It is one of four books in Pipers excellent series, The Swans Are Not Silent.

 

Be Still, My Soul (25 Classic and Contemporary Readings on the Problem of Pain): Embracing God’s Purpose and Provision in Suffering by David Martyn Lloyd-Jones, D.A. Carson, J.I. Packer and Nancy Guthrie
Paperback
This book includes writings from several authors such as A.W. Tozer, Os Guiness, D.A. Carson, Dietrich Bonhoffer, Augustine and others.  The book is divided into three parts covering God’s perspective on suffering, God’s purpose in suffering, and God’s provision in suffering.

 

Suffering and the Sovereignty of Godedited by John Piper and Justin Taylor
Paperback | Kindle
This is a collection of essays on this topic from contributors John Piper, Joni Eareckson Tada, Steve Saint, Carl Ellis, David Powlison, Dustin Shramek, and Mark Talbot.

 

Joni: An Unforgettable Story, by Joni Eareckson Tada
Paperback | Kindle
Joni Eareckson Tada has also written and spoken about her appreciation of God’s sovereignty even in her accident, which paralyzed her from the neck down as a young woman.  One of her best known books is Joni: An Unforgettable Story.

 

The S.A.L.T. Plan, by Chuck Bentley
Paperback | Kindle
The head of Crown Ministries, Chuck Bentley, has written a short book called The S.A.L.T. Plan, which outlines prudent ways we can prepare for economic challenges that may be ahead. Bentley does not presume that a major economic event is ahead, but he notes that it is a real possibility given our national debt and other factors. His goal, like our ministry’s, is to help people prepare wisely in ways that equip us to be “salt” (hence the title) in what may be very challenging times. The book not only discusses financial strategies, but also addresses the need to prepare food, water, and other resources that could be disrupted. The book is well worth reading individually or in groups and can be purchased through links here. We discuss his recommendations in our workshops.

 

When All Plans Fail, by Dr. Paul Williams, M.D.
Paperback | Workbook | Kindle
Dr. Paul Williams, M.D., has written a book called When All Plans Fail, that takes a clear, step-by-step approach to helping individuals and families prepare for various kinds of emergencies. He writes from a Christian perspective. A companion workbook is also available.

When All Plans Fail will help you develop your Personal Family Response Plan. The book will also help maximize neighborhood disaster response planning. Be prepared.

 

Toxic Charity: How Churches and Charities Hurt Those They Help, by Bob Lupton
Paperback | Kindle
Public service is a way of life for Americans; giving is a part of our national character. But compassionate instincts and generous spirits aren’t enough, says veteran urban activist Robert D. Lupton. In this groundbreaking guide, he reveals the disturbing truth about charity: all too much of it has become toxic, devastating to the very people it’s meant to help.

In Toxic Charity, Lupton urges individuals, churches, and organizations to step away from these spontaneous, often destructive acts of compassion toward thoughtful paths to community development. He delivers proven strategies for moving from toxic charity to transformative charity.

 

Walking with God through Pain and Suffering, by Timothy Keller
Hardcover | Kindle

Walking with God through Pain and Suffering is the definitive Christian book on why bad things happen and how we should respond to them. The question of why there is pain and suffering in the world has confounded every generation; yet there has not been a major book from a Christian perspective exploring why they exist for many years.

As the pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, Timothy Keller is known for the unique insights he shares, and his series of books has guided countless readers in their spiritual journeys. Walking with God through Pain and Suffering will bring a much-needed, fresh viewpoint on this important issue.

Training Materials

Preparedness Peace
Paperback
This is a six-session disaster preparedness course for individuals and groups.  The course, called Preparedness Peace, is taught from a Christian perspective and includes practical instruction and homework that takes several hours per week to complete.