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On the Sofa: Michael Green

I wrote When God Breaks In because many Christians seem to be on the back foot today. They never talk about Jesus outside church. They dare not confront a half-competent atheist. They fear taking a stand on biblical ethics regarding sexuality or the beginning and end of life. Though they still go to church and cherish a personal faith, they have a horrible feeling it will not stand up in the public square.

Again and again, God breaks in at times of utter spiritual dryness, flooding the scene with a revival of his dynamic life. An outstanding example is today’s astonishing revival in China, with perhaps a hundred million Christians in that supposedly Communist country. My book tells some of these extraordinary stories to encourage Christian readers. Hopefully it will lift them to pray that God will do it again, in our own day!

When I was younger, I repeatedly refused publishers, believing I could speak but not write. Eventually a publisher pushed me to write some of the talks that I gave at a university mission in Cape Town. I did so, back when nobody wrote Christian books in the style as they spoke. Sales soared, and the book, Choose Freedom, which was frankly not very good, stayed in print for 40 years. Meanwhile the publishers chased me for more, and my next, Man Alive!, went into more than 20 languages.

I wanted to write for real people. For Christians who needed teaching and encouraging, but also non-Christians, those who never read religious books, to encourage them to take a fresh look at Jesus. Now that I am old, I enjoy receiving many letters from people who came to faith by my books.

As a writer, I must scratch where people itch, and address those itches clearly and attractively. I have learnt

Michael Green, a theologian and apologist with a long and fascinating life, has written over 50 books. He lives with his wife in Oxfordshire.

the power of illustration, the importance of encouragement, and that Jesus is the most attractive person in world history to whom I should constantly point.

Evangelism and apologetics – both words are often misunderstood. Evangelism sounds like ramming ideas down someone’s reluctant throat, and apologetics, if it means anything, sounds like being apologetic about your beliefs. But evangelism literally means ‘good news’. We can do it as naturally as Johnny running home from school and shouting, ‘Mum, I scored two goals’. If Jesus is good news for us, then he is good news for others, and we should speak about him confidently, joyfully, and naturally.

Apologetics is derived from the Greek, meaning ‘giving a good reason’. In Peter’s first letter he urges his readers to give the Lord first place in their hearts and to be ready to give a reason for the hope that is within them, doing so with gentleness and courtesy. Women are often much better than men at this relaxed, natural conversation. On this topic, you might like my Sharing Your Faith with a Friend (IVP), or Bill Hybels’ Becoming a Contagious Christian (Willow Creek). For apologetics, try Confident Christianity by Chris Sinkinson (IVP).

I’m particularly fond of historical fiction, and have been reading around the early Roman Empire, the Plantagenets, and the Tudors. Philippa Gregory is outstanding. She stays true to the best evidence available, but she gets inside the characters, breathing life into them.

Love Without Limits Nick Vujicic with Kanae Vujicic (WaterBrook, 2014)

Nick Vujicic was born without arms or legs. An international speaker, evangelist and director of Life Without Limbs, Nick doubted that any woman would fall in love with, and commit to, someone as disabled as him. Then along came Kanae, a beautiful Christian woman. When she and Nick met the sparks flew – but it wasn’t all to be plain sailing. This is a beautiful love story about a couple’s love for one another and for God. You will enjoy reading it.

Marjorie Lomax

A Work in Progress Staci Stallings (Spirit Light, 2013)

I loved the teaching that occurred all through this novel, in sermons that spoke right into the young people’s lives and the conversations between Christians and those seeking meaning to life.

The main character, Rebecca, was the one with no self-worth, and Eric was looking for the perfect girl. They found each other along

with biblical truth and salvation. The crowd of students had such different characters, good and bad, so we can learn from all their mistakes and how they learned to be better people.

I so enjoyed the read and look forward to the next book in that series. Anne Graham

Win this month's

book choice … Send us a short review of a book you are reading and you could win Amy’s recommendation and a copy of When God Breaks In. You can send your review to Amy at Woman Alive at the address on page 6, e-mail uk, or post your review on the Facebook group: Woman Alive Book Club.

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