Danny’s Suggestions for Christmas Gifts

With the explosion in popularity of fiction books targeted at young adults, one might think that teenagers today are turning the current trend toward not wanting to read anything longer than text messages or tweets around. However, it seems like once you move away from teenage wizards named Harry and angst ridden, love fueled vampires named Edward that young people have a tendency to stop reading. That is not to say that there are not books out there that need to be read by teenagers. In fact, Christian authors continue to write worthwhile books aimed at teenagers. So, if you are looking for a few book ideas for teenagers for Christmas gifts that are aimed at helping young people navigate the waters of faith and life then you may find the following list helpful. Slipping a copy of any of these books next to The Hunger Games or Catching Fire (the latest young adults novels that are quickly becoming a cultural phenomenon) under the tree this year, would serve the teenager better as they attempt to figure out what being a believer in 2010 looks like.

outrageousThe Outrageous Idea of Academic Faithfulness: A Guide for Students
by Donald Opitz and Derek Melleby

Co-author Derek Melleby is the director of the Center for Parent and Youth Understanding’s College Transition Initiative (www.cpyu.org). Advocating the idea that a Christian worldview will help students headed to college make sense of the academic environment the authors call students to integrate their faith with learning instead of compartmentalizing their academic life from their spiritual life. Written in a style that is easily read and understood, this book is an important tool for students who are planning on going to college after high school. Click here to buy the book.

dont waste lifeDon’t Waste Your Life
by John Piper

Excellent book written to challenge young people to do just as the title says: “Don’t Waste Your Life”. In his straightforward writing style, Piper not only gives the call to radical faithfulness but explains the challenges of living life that way. I continue to recommend this book and the DWYL website (www.dontwasteyourlife.com) as valuable resources for parents and youth workers to expose young people to. Click here to buy the book.

hard thingsDo Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations
by Alex and Brett Harris

The Harris brothers wrote this book with much the same call to young people as John Piper’s Don’t Waste Your Life. However, one major difference is that Alex and Brett are themselves young adults seeking to lead their own generation into great things for God. I believe the message of this book to be something the next generation needs to listen to. Click and buy the book.

edwardsJonathan Edwards Resolutions and Advice to Young Converts
Edited by Stephen J. Nichols

At 19 years of age, Jonathan Edwards began writing resolutions that would shape how he conducted his life from that point on. For the next year he wrote 70 resolutions that explained the worldview by which he would attempt to live. Though not written in a contemporary style, this small book including Edwards’ list of 19 guidelines for young converts contains some of the best life wisdom that I know of and I highly recommend it for teenagers to read as they begin thinking about the direction they would like their lives to go. Click here to buy.

With 17 years of experience in youth ministry, Danny has had the opportunity to first hand see teenagers wrestle with and come to grips with their own relationship with Jesus.

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