Timothy Keller is in the midst of releasing a 10-part series called "Encounters with Jesus". If all the books are as solid as the ones which I have read, they are well worth your time. As a pastor, one of my biggest impediments in leading others to know Christ is that they believe they know him already. They have grown up in the church, gone to Sunday School, heard all the Bible stories, and they think that is the equal as knowing him.
The books in this series question the assumptions we make about Christ. Each book in the series covers a conversation Jesus had with someone. These conversations were not about individual sins or particular theological beliefs and practices, nor were they a bunch of talking points or a political platform. Instead, in these encounters we see him meeting people at the point of their important, unspoken questions: Who are we, and why are we here? Why be a good person; why love rather than hate? What's wrong with the world--And what, if anything, can make it right?
The Gospels are crawling with encounters that made a deep impression on those who conversed with Jesus in this way. Keller examines these encounters and how they can still address our questions and uncertainties today.
So far, I have read three:
"The Grieving Sisters", which is the story of Mary and Martha mourning their brother's death. Here, we are faced with the questions, what does the world need, and who can make the world right? Keller examines the individual personality of Jesus and shows us that because he is both God and man, he is capable of providing everything we need.
"The Wedding Party" covers Jesus' very first public act in starting his ministry was to turn water into wine in the middle of a wedding celebration. Here, Keller unpacks the significance of the feast--a symbol of the end of judgment, the celebration to come, and the atonement needed to make it possible.
"The First Christian" delves into an encounter between Jesus and Mary Magdalene, one of his most beloved followers. In this book, Keller illuminates the Christian belief of faith and make sense of its function in solving the crucial mysteries of life.
Each book is wonderfully written and easy to understand, yet deep in truth and wisdom.