21st Century Discipleship Resources

Books & Online Resources

It is not the intention that this should be a comprehensive listing and, by its nature, will be subjective and personal. Think of it rather as a few choice starting points for your own discoveries.


For general reading I would recommend the NIV, although for Bible study I often prefer a more literal translation such as the NASB. The ESV and NRSV are other popular choices.

A good study Bible is a wise investment. In addition to the full text of the Bible you get helpful notes explaining the verse or passage on the same page, cross-references, a concordance, maps and other useful helps. Three that I would recommend are:
  1. The NIV Study Bible (also available for the NASB)
  2. The HCSB Study Bible (also available online at mystudybible.com)
  3. The ESV Study Bible (www.esvbible.org)
Do I have a personal favourite? To be honest I like to use all three and find they complement each other. My personal solution is to have each of them on my iPad using an app from Olive Tree Bible Software (also available for iPhone, Android and PC/ MAC) and study notes linked to my preferred Bible versions, NIV Updated 2011 and NASB. The ability to search electronically is an added time-saving bonus.

Recommended Books

  1. The Lion Handbook to the Bible -
  2. Chasing the Dragon - by Jackie Pullinger. The classic biography about being led by the Holy Spirit
  3. We make the Road by Walking - by Brian MacLaren. 52+ chapters that give an overview of the biblical story and a fresh introduction or re-orientation to Christian faith. Each chapter is written to be read aloud in ten to twelve minutes, and is accompanied by a set of Scripture readings, reflection/discussion questions, and liturgical resources - so the book can be useful in a variety of ways for classes, small groups, new faith communities, and churches.

LGBT Issues

Whatever your thoughts on this subject there can be no doubt that it is a key issue for the church and it's mission in the coming years. Here are some resources guaranteed to challenge and inform:
  1. Torn (this is the US title)/ Unconditional (Europe): Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs-Christian Debate - by Justin Lee, the Executive Director of the Gay Christian Network. Some good insights, but above all it is important to hear the story. Their website www.gaychristian.net is a good starting point for anyone wanting to personally explore these issues online
  2. God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships - by Matthew Vines
  3. Changing our Mind - by David P Gushee.
  4. An alternative view can be found at www.livingout.org

Online Resources

biblegateway.com - in addition to Bible reading plans and all the popular Bible versions you can also listen online to the NIV (UK text) read by the actor David Suchet (arguably the best audio version in my opinion, which can also be purchased elsewhere as mp3 files). They also have another favourite of mine, the New Testament in Modern English by J.B. Phillips.
bible.com - is another popular choice with an excellent mobile app youversion - that syncs your bible reading plans with apps on your mobile phone, tablet or computer.
www.george-macdonald.com. The online home of the George MacDonald Society. They also have an active Facebook group, where you are sure of a friendly welcome. George MacDonald was a 19th Century writer who was a key influence on C.S. Lewis.


Blogs are a great way of keeping up to date with contemporary issues and questions. Here a few of my favourites to get you started.
Rachel Held Evans
Tony Jones
Jonathan Martin
Brian Zahnd


Michael Hardin