I’ve had to do quite a lot of reading in 2016. For my studies alone, which began the second half of the year, I’ve had to read 12 books all in the excess of 400-1000 plus pages. I thought of compiling a list of books I found most helpful (only 1 of the 12 books I read for my studies feature). Obviously, these books weren’t necessarily written in 2016 and one of these books I’ve actually re-read and found most helpful the second time around.
So, here are my top 10 books I’ve read in 2016.
10. Depression: Looking up from the Stubborn Darkness – Ed Welch
I read this book along with Lloyd Jones’ Depression: Causes and Cures and found both books tremendously helpful in providing a realistic, pastoral and biblical perspective on the matter of depression. Particularly, Welch’s book was nuanced, biblical and sensitive towards the issue of depression.
9. Perspectives on Christian Worship – Duncan, Dever, Kimball, Quill, Wilt
One of the best books in the “perspectives” series as each author presents a strong case for their respective liturgies and approaches to the worship service. While I agree more with Dever and Lawrence’s approach, I could still learn and appreciate the other authors’ arguments and approaches to worship.
8. Dispensationalism [re-read] -Charles Ryrie
I first read this while doing my BTh over 8 years ago and must admit I didn’t grasp things that well but still got a good introduction to dispensationalism. However, this time around I appreciated the book much more and found it to be the best articulation of dispensationalism today (pun intended). Before one dismiss dispensationslism, one has to deal the arguments made by Ryrie and other serious dispensational scholars.
7. What is the Mission of the Church? – Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert
I found this book very refreshing amidst the clamor of voices calling on the church to be busy with all sorts of works. I found DeYoung and Gilbert to base their answer to the question posed in the title of the book on clear and persuasive exegesis.
6. Finally Free – Heath Lambert
This was extremely helpful in thinking through issues of sexual purity and pornography. Definitely the BEST BOOK ON THE SUBJECT!
5. Engaging Keller – Iain D Campbell and William M Hamilton
While Tim Keller has made many helpful and good contributions through his work and ministry to the church I do share the sentiment that there is a need to not merely accept everything blindly but to seek to charitably engage with his theology. This work is fair, charitable (mostly) and on many points raises good criticism of Keller’s theology.
4. Know the Creeds and Councils – Justin Holcomb
I found this to be a very good starting point for anyone who wants to know more about historical theology or what the church has confessed and believed over the centuries.
3. Taking God at His Word – Kevin DeYoung
This was my first audio book. So, I listened to this book and would recommend it to anyone who wants a solid introduction to the doctrine of Scripture. DeYoung shows what the Scriptures claim for itself and he presents this in a fresh and helpful manner.
2. Redemption Accomplished and Applied – John Murray
I couldn’t put this one down! I highlighted almost every page! It was such a blessing to read this book over the Easter period and it helped me to think deeply about the nature and intent of the cross and Christ’s redemptive work! A classic by John Murray!
1. Credo – Jaroslav Pelikan
This is the only book that was part of my prescribed reading list that features in my top 10 list and it was a “game-changer” for me. Much of my theological training has leaned almost solely towards a closed biblicism and while I have a high view of the Scriptures this book has called me to appreciate and regard the historic development of key and essential doctrines in the church over the centuries. It has taught me to not only look to my own exegesis of Scripture but also to those who have come before me especially the church fathers, ecumenical councils and reformers.
I’ve read much more than these books, but this is the list of books that stand out. My intentions for this blog post are 1) to list the good books I’ve read for the year and have a record of it 2) Recommend some good books on some important topics 3) perhaps encourage you to think of the books you’ve read this year and make a list and share that – I’m sure I will enjoy reading your list!