Article ERLC holiday gift guide By Staff Dec 14, 2016 One of the best parts of the Christmas season is getting to give gifts. Here at the ERLC, we are huge fans of books. So, we thought a great way to combine these two things was to compile a list of some of our favorite reads in hopes that one of these suggestions will be a good fit for someone in your life. We hope you find it helpful. Happy giving! Russell Moore | President Echoes of Scripture in the Gospels by Richard Hays What a magnificent book. All four gospels—including and maybe especially my favorite, Luke—are shot through with OT allusions from start to finish. Hays demonstrates this, and he demonstrates why it is hard for many to see this. This book will help Christians grow in affection and understanding not only for Jesus in the Gospels but also, through them, for Jesus in the Old Testament as well. Jason Thacker | Creative Director ESV Reader's Bible, Six-Volume Set This reader's edition of the English Standard Version Bible is designed to read like a novel, which is a great reminder that the entire Bible is to be read as one amazing love story from God to the world. This hardback edition has thicker pages than most bibles and is laid out with a readable typeface and line spacing. It doesn’t contain chapter and verse references for distraction-free reading. It will make a great gift for those wanting to change up the way they read the scriptures this next year. Andrew Walker | Director of Policy Studies Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the creator of NIKE, Phil Knight NIKE is everywhere throughout the culture. Something that is with us everywhere can make us forget how small this influential brand once was. That's what Shoe Dog is about—it’s the autobiography of Phil Knight, the co-founder of NIKE. As I read the book, it struck me how small decisions had enormous dividends down the road. In a similar way, the book reminded me about the small acts of divine providence that God uses to shape each of us. Dan Darling | Vice President for Communications The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism by Timothy Keller This book, more than any, has reshaped the way I think about telling the grand gospel narrative. If you have a friend who is far from God, this book will gently invite them in by addressing their deepest questions. If you have a friend who loves God, this will be a helpful tool in guiding his or her conversations with unbelievers. Jill Waggoner | Deputy Press Secretary and Brand Strategist for Global Hunger Relief They Say We Are Infidels: On the Run from ISIS with Persecuted Christians in the Middle East by Mindy Belz This book walks through Mindy's personal experiences of reporting on the happenings and the people in the Middle East since the 9/11 attacks. It was such a refreshing, enlightening and moving book for me to read this year as I better understood this historical Christian church and the plight of current believers in the Middle East. These are our brothers and sisters, and the people and places in Belz' book are the same as those going through the headlines today—Mosul, Aleppo and the Nineveh Plains. I can't recommend it enough. Phillip Bethancourt | Executive Vice President The Big Picture Interactive Bible Storybook: Connecting Christ Throughout God's Story Our family with four young boys loves using this Christ-centered kids resource. This storybook Bible goes beyond typical children's Bible stories to tackle the complex passages in the Bible in a kid-friendly and Christ-centered way. We have used many children's Bibles, and this one has become one of our favorites. Travis Wussow | Director of International Justice & Religious Liberty and General Counsel The Aleppo Codex: In Pursuit of One of the World's Most Coveted, Sacred, and Mysterious Books by Matti Friedman This fascinating book is perfect for the history buff. The Aleppo Codex is a thousand-year-old manuscript of the Hebrew Bible, regarded by scholars as the most accurate copy of the Old Testament. This book is the story of the manuscript, preserved through a thousand years of upheavals in the Middle East and eventually smuggled to the new state of Israel. It is a thrilling story of spies, diplomats, scholars and the underground market in antiquities. Daniel Patterson | Vice President for Operations and Chief of Staff ESV Reader's Gospels Crossway has beautifully bound the four Gospels into a Reader's Edition, that strips all the normal verse and chapter numbers (not to mention the study notes, cross-referencing, etc.), which drives the reader into the actual text of scripture. To be sure, all these tools and notes exist for a (good) reason, but using this for daily devotional reading has been eye-opening and refreshing, causing me to get caught up in the flow of the text itself more naturally. I've thought this a unique tool to give to people with questions about Christianity too, as the simplicity of the layout, and the centrality of the Gospels might be a unique and unintimidating format to consider the claims of Christ. Lindsay Swartz | Managing Editor of Content The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown A book about competitive rowing didn’t sound all that interesting initially. But from first listen (I would highly recommend the audiobook!), I was captivated. Set during the Great Depression, this dramatic true story about destitution, grit, determination, hope, integrity and victory is everything you want a story to be. The author weaves masterfully a narrative about Joe Rantz that will challenge you to examine your fortitude and perseverance through life and the extent of your gratitude for the “assumed” things—like a family that loves and wants you—that God has generously given. Rantz’s story— and the invisible hand of God that the Christian knows is behind the unfolding of his days—will leave you crying, cheering and undone by the sheer enchantment of a story that reads better than any Hollywood plot. Julie Masson | Digital Marketing and Social Media Strategist Bend, Not Break: A Life in Two Worlds by Ping Fu Ping Fu was born in China during the cultural revolution and because her family was educated and wealthy, she was forced to live in squalor and endure ridicule and abuse from the Red Guard. This autobiography begins during her childhood, and follows Ping all the way to her exile from China to the US where she worked as a busboy at a restaurant while learning English. She puts herself through college and eventually becomes the CEO of a multinational tech company. I learned so much reading about the Cultural Revolution through the eyes of someone who experienced extreme crimes against humanity first hand. This reminded that the world has evil in it and that evil seeks to destroy God’s image bearers. It also reminded me that we must stand up for human dignity. While this book does not chronicle the life of Christian, I highly recommend it as a gift for anyone who loves business, different cultures and a good ole’ American success story. Matt Herriman | Executive Assistant to the President Unparalleled: How Christianity's Uniqueness Makes It Compelling by Jared Wilson In the age of COEXIST, Jared Wilson, clearly communicates to readers how Christianity stands apart from the vast religions of the world. Unparalleled, reminds the Christian of the uniqueness of the gospel that brought them saving faith, while communicating to the lost world a gospel that will satisfy the deepest yearnings of their souls.