7 Books Helping Teens Embrace Biblical Diversity

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7 books recommended by the Onward Youth 22 team and available for purchase from The Wandering Bookseller. 
This year’s Onward Youth event tackled the big question: Doesn’t Christianity Crush Diversity? In a world that sees Christianity as restrictive and harmful, Onward Youth served to help teenagers consider what the Bible says about diversity, and how we are to interact with our neighbours who may live differently to us.  

To help our delegates further explore what the Bible has to say about “Diversity”, we have partnered with The Wandering Bookseller to offer some of our top reads on the topic.  
1. No Longer Strangers: Finding Belonging in a World of Alienation by Gregory Coles  

In this book, Gregory Coles shares his journey of having a ‘mutated national identity’ whereby he felt ‘not-quite-American, not-quite-Indonesian’. Later, when he came out as a celibate gay Christian, he found that he didn’t fit into the church as easily as he used to. What does it mean to belong to others even when we can’t blend in with them? In this book, Gregory helps us see that if we give up on ‘belonging’ to follow Jesus, we’ll find ourselves belonging in a way that’s better, even if we feel the tension of wanting to fit in but being permanently out of place.  

Learn more or purchase the book here!
2. Jesus through the Eyes of Women by Rebecca McLaughlin  

Jesus’s treatment of women was revolutionary. That’s why they flocked to him. They came to him for healing, for forgiveness, and for answers. So, what did women see in this first-century Jewish rabbi and what can we learn as we look through their eyes today? In ‘Jesus through the Eyes of Women’, Rebecca McLaughlin explores the life-changing accounts of women who met the Lord. By entering the stories of the named and unnamed women in the Gospels, this book gives readers a unique lens to see Jesus as these women did and marvel at how he loved them in return. 

Learn more or purchase the book here!  

3. A New Freedom by Mike Snowdon 

​This book is like a training manual on how to approach life – a beginner’s guide to Christian ethics. It provides a framework for approaching any topic in a comprehensive and biblically faithful way, explaining why Jesus and His word help us live in freedom. It then gives practical examples of how to use this framework to think biblically by going through six key youth topics: study, money, suffering, violence, sex, and identity. 
Learn more or purchase the book here!

4. The Plausibility Problem: The Church and Same-sex Attraction by Ed Shaw 

It’s all very well to say that the Bible is clear when it talks about homosexuality. But is it realistic? Isn’t it unrealistic and unfair to those who struggle with this issue? Doesn’t it condemn them to loneliness, a lack of fulfilment and the loss of basic human satisfactions like sex and marriage? Is what the church teaches a plausible way of life?  

Ed Shaw experiences same-sex attraction, and yet he is committed to what the Bible says and what the church has always taught about marriage and sex. In this honest book, he shares his pain in dealing with these issues – but, at the same time, shows us that obedience to Jesus is ultimately the only way to experience life to the full.  
Learn more or purchase the book here!
5. Joni Eareckson Tada: Swimming Against the Tide  

Joni Eareckson is a well-known Christian speaker and author from America but there was a day when she was a teenage girl in a bathing costume with nothing on her mind but boys, make up and her beloved horse, Tumbleweed. However, all that changed one morning when an innocent dive turned into a tragic accident. Joni’s story is a wonderful testimony to God’s grace and power in someone’s life. Healing may have been an amazing miracle that didn’t happen but Joni’s ongoing work with thousands of disabled people throughout the world is a miracle in itself. 

Learn more or purchase the book here! 

6. The Air We Breathe by Glen Scrivener 

Is Christianity history? Or is Christian history the deepest explanation of the modern world? Today, Christianity is seen as outdated, bigoted and responsible for many of society’s problems. But what if the Christian message is not the enemy of our modern Western values, but the very thing that makes sense of them? In this book, Glen Scrivener helps readers discover how the teachings of Jesus not only turned the ancient world upside down but continue to underpin the way we think of life, worth, and meaning. Far from being a relic from the past, the distinctive ideas of Christianity, such as freedom, kindness, progress and equality, are a crucial part of the air that we breathe.  

Learn more or purchase the book here!

7. 10 Questions Every Teen Should Ask (and Answer) about Christianity by Rebecca McLaughlin  
How can we believe the Bible is true?  
Why can’t we just agree that love is love?  
Isn’t Christianity against diversity? 

Backed by state-of-the-art research, personal stories, Harry Potter illustrations, and careful biblical study, this book doesn’t dodge tough questions. Instead, it invites teenagers to ask their hardest questions about Christianity and to find surprising, life-giving answers. 

Learn more or purchase the book here! 

To purchase these titles or to see the entire Onward Youth 22 range of recommended books, visit The Wandering Bookseller website. 

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