Here is a list of my top ten (actually 13) books from this year (…and two honorable mentions). Since I taught Colossians at church this summer, two commentaries that I read were very good and theological. Quite a few books are both slim (#’s 1, 10–12) and excellent (especially #1). The books here are loosely ordered by preference.
1. Echoes of Exodus – Alastair Roberts & Andrew Wilson
- This was my favorite book from this year (my review here). It is not long, and the authors show the ripples of the exodus throughout the Scriptures.
2. The Dynamic Heart in Daily Life – Jeremy Pierre
- Highly recommended for biblical counselors, parents, spouses, and friends. people are complex, so read this book.
3. Ordinary – Michael Horton
- Instead of being a “radical” Christian, try being an ordinary one who clings to Christ in both the fun parts of life and in the drudge.
4. How God Became King – N. T. Wright
- Tom Wright deftly looks through the Gospels to see what many of us miss: Christ is the King. The cross is the “moment when the people of God are renewed so as to be, at last, the royal priesthood who will take over the world… the moment when the kingdom of God overcomes the kingdoms of the world.”
5. Colossians and Philemon – Marianne Meye Thompson
- Easy to read, and has a fancy section on theological themes at latter third of the book.
6. Colossians (NICNT) – Scot McKnight
- For a scholarly commentary, McKnight provides a lot of theological and practical insight and care for the church body.
7. Finding Truth – Nancy Pearcey
- Using Romans 1, Pearcey gives five approaches anyone can use to cut through the world’s false philosophies and see how Christ is better than anything the world can come up with.
8. Christ Alone – Stephen Wellum
- In celebration of the Reformations five solas, Stephen Wellum wrote the volume on “Christ Alone.” An expert on Christology, Wellum uses the story of the Bible to present to us just who the Bible says Jesus really is. (Here is a short video and a longer video about the book).
9. Making Sense of God – Timothy Keller
- Similar to Pearcey, and as a prequel to The Reason For God, Keller pokes holes through the world’s arguments against Christ (my review here).
10. Unbreakable – Andrew Wilson
- Wilson (my review here) shows us what the Son of God believed about the word of God.
11. The Kingdom of God – Patrick Schreiner
- Schreiner looks through the Bible at how the kingdom of God is God’s rule in his place with his people.
12. How Does Sanctification Work – David Powlison
- Biblical counselor David Powlison shows how people are complex, and sanctification takes time.
13. God Dwells Among Us – G. K. Beale & Mitchell Kim
- A condensed version of his massive (and fantastic) The Temple and the Church’s Mission (my massive review here). Beale moves his readers through the Bible. The garden of Eden was a “temple;” God’s presence dwelt there. Once Adam and Eve were exiled out from his presence, the rest of the Bible moves us toward mankind being reunited with God in his presence.
1. Christianity at the Crossroads – Michael Kruger
- This probably would have been on my list had I actually read this book. I’m planning to read it over the week of Christmas week, so I may move this up near the top. I have only heard good things about it. Kruger is a great writer and a sharp thinker. How did a small group of Jesus worshipers survive and thrive in a completely pagan and polytheistic society? How did they grow in persecution to become a worldwide religion? Kruger here shows how Christianity survived hostility. We would benefit from reading this book as our culture grows increasingly wary of all things Christian. (Kruger blogs at Canon Fodder).
2. Ancient Near Eastern Thought and the Old Testament – John Walton
- This is a fantastic book (my review here), but it is more academic than some may prefer. His writing style isn’t too difficult, but it is about the ancient Near Eastern culture and how the Old Testament fits into it. I read it after my first year of Bible college and thought it was fascinating (me review here).