Two books from the Majority World to read this year

New books are released constantly and wading through them to find the best and most informative can be a long and arduous process. Below are two books from writers who live and work in the Majority World. These books offer guidance and direction on certain topics within the Bible and how they translate to modern society. 

We believe that it is important for Australians to read widely, not just from a variety of Christian authors, but also from Christian authors that are culturally diverse and have had vastly different life experiences to our own. By looking beyond our own context, we will be able to learn from others and grow in our own Biblical understanding. 

For each book, Langham Partnership Australia CEO Gillean Smiley shares something about why she believes it’s a valuable read!

Rico Villanueva’s It’s OK to be Not OK

As the title suggests, this book is a reminder of what it means to be a human and live in a broken world, and that ‘It’s OK to be Not OK’ all the time, especially in the midst of suffering and hardships. Thinking through and reflecting on the Psalms of Lament in the Bible, Dr Villanueva looks at what it means for Christians to express themselves to God even through the negative times, and not put on a facade that all is well even in our lives, even when it isn’t. The book challenges the reader to confront struggles and questions rather than trying to ignore or deny them. 

Why Gillean loves it: ‘Rico combines deep biblical thinking with an intensely personal and vulnerable response to the challenges and difficulties he has faced.  He draws on many biblical examples of expressions of fear, anger, sadness and other causes for lament and encourages us to bring our whole selves to God, explaining that even the act of lamenting itself is a hopeful act as we turn to the One who is both merciful and just.’ 

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Sunday Agang’s No More Cheeks to Turn?

In this book, Dr Agang shares his own story of turning from an angry young pastor to a peacemaker amidst the pain and heartache of violence in his home country of Nigeria. One review speaks of the sensitivity that Agang has when thinking through such feelings and emotions of anger, frustration and fear. Agang asks, and seeks to answer the question “When a Christian has “turned the other cheek” only to be slapped on the other, what options remain? How should Christians respond to violence against them?”. This book is intended to help Christians understand the practical implications of a Christ-centred theological response to violence.

Why Gillean loves it: ‘Who better to teach us about forgiveness than one who has suffered so much themselves? Sunday has great authority and credibility in his explanation of a godly response to injustice and violence, maintaining wisdom and dignity even while experiencing pain, anger and fear. He shows the way to forgive and bring peace in seemingly hopeless circumstances.’

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You can find these books (and many more) available for purchase, (as well as many others) along with reviews and insights, on the Langham Literature website. 

Langham Literature supports indigenous Christian writers and publishers who create Bible study resources for local pastors in their context to better understand and preach God’s Word. They work to distribute books and resources to Majority World libraries and institutions, publish Majority World authors who might otherwise not be able to get published, and produce ground-breaking contextual commentaries and other written resources for and from the Majority World. 

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