Books! Books! Books! (2019 edition)
Here are some of the things I have enjoyed reading this past year (several with brief descriptions) followed by newer items in our church library for you to consider. I hope it will spur on more good reading!
CHRISTIAN LIFE AND MINISTRY
• Mark Jones, Knowing Christ
An excellent book that is both theological and devotional. Jones looks at the character, works, and names of our Lord Jesus Christ. Comparable to J. I. Packer’s Knowing God.
• Robert Kellerman, Gospel-Centered Counseling – How Christ changes Lives
• John Piper, The Roots of Endurance
This volume is part of Piper’s The Swans Are Not Silent series. He focuses on the theme of perseverance by looking at the lives of John Newton, Charles Simeon, and William Wilberforce. Encouraging and challenging! One of the books the pastors read.
• Tim Keller, The Meaning of Marriage, and Gary Thomas, Cherish – the One Word That Changes Everything in Your Marriage
Both of these books are very good. Keller’s is part of the “reading list” we as pastors use in premarital counseling. Thomas says that a cherishing attitude will “enrich, deepen, and spiritually strengthen your marriage”. It is helpful and practical.
• Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Setting Our Affections Upon Glory: Nine Sermons on The Gospel and The Church
Lloyd-Jones is always worth reading. This series of sermons, originally preached in the USA, “challenges us to reevaluate the focus of our lives and the object of our affections” in light of the gospel.
• Daniel Block, How I Love Your Torah, O Lord!: Studies in The Book of Deuteronomy
Block is a first-rate theologian and commentator (his commentary on Deuteronomy in the NIVAC series is in the church library). I read this while we were in the Deuteronomy sermon series.
• John Baker, Life’s Healing Choices
Baker is the founder of Celebrate Recovery. Using the Beatitudes of Jesus, he identifies and unpacks eight choices that promise true happiness and life transformation.
• Edward Welch, Caring For One Another
• Paul Tautness, Comfort the Grieving
• R. C. Sproul, The Mystery of the Holy Spirit
Another book that I read during a sermon series. This is an excellent choice for a concise (150 pages), evangelical introduction to the person and work of the Spirit.
HISTORY AND BIOGRAPHY (favorite subjects of mine!)
• Kenneth Davis, In the Shadow of Liberty: The Hidden History of Slavery, Four Presidents, and Five Black Lives
• Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger, Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans: The Battle That Shaped America’s Destiny
This is the second book I have read in this “series” (I believe three are currently available).
• Anthony McCarten, Darkest Hour: How Churchill Brought England Back From The Brink
• David McCullough, Brave Companions: Portraits in History
McCullough is a favorite author of mine. “These are stories of people of great vision and daring whose achievements continue to inspire us today”. Those featured include: Alexander von Humboldt, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Frederic Remington, Louis Agassiz, and Charles and Anne Lindbergh (some I knew little about before reading this book).
• Michael Beschloss, Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America 1789-1989
• George Daughan, Lexington and Concord: The Battle Heard Round the World
• Andrew Chaikin, A Man on the Moon
Chaikin traces America’s space program: from the beginnings of Mercury through Gemini and Apollo. The book became the basis for Tom Hanks’ HBO series From the Earth to the Moon, a favorite that Margie and I often watch.
• Simon Winchester, The Professor and the Mad Man: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and The Making of The Oxford Dictionary
The saying “truth is stranger than fiction” applies here. Quite interesting and a well-told story.
• Jim Newton, Eisenhower: The White House Years
Doris Kearns, Goodwin Leadership in Turbulent Times
Author and historian Kearns, looks at the lives of four of our presidents–Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson–to see what impacted them as a person, shaped them as a leader, and how that played out in the decisions they made while in the Oval Office.
PURE ESCAPIST FUN
• Clive Cussler, The Storm
• John Grisham, Camino Island
• We have a number of commentaries on Acts (to go along with the current sermon series) including the three recommended by Pastor Jay (by John Stott, John Polhill, and Darrel Bock)
I Can Only Imagine; Paul – Apostle of Christ; War Room; Courageous; Is Genesis History?
• Audio dramas:
Bonhoeffer: The Cost of Freedom; The Screwtape Letters; Ben Hur; Les Misérable; several volumes in the Adventures in Odyssey series
• Anderson, Victory Over the Darkness
• Anthony, Spiritual Parenting
• Blackaby, Experiencing God
• Castleman, Parenting in the Pew
• DeYoung, The Biggest Story
• DeYoung, What Does the Bible Really Teach About Homosexuality?
• Dobson, Bringing Up Boys and Bringing Up Girls
• Keller, Prayer
• Lewis: Abolition of Man; Mere Christianity; Miracles; Problem of Pain; Surprised by Joy
• Piper: Bloodlines; Don’t Waste Your Life; 21 Servants of Sovereign Joy; When I Don’t Desire God
• Price & House, Zondervan Handbook of Biblical Archaeology
• Sacks, The Prayer-Saturated Church
• Sproul: Knowing Scripture; The Holiness of God
•S. Storms: One Thing; Singing God
• G. Thomas, Sacred Marriage; Sacred Parenting
• Tozer, Pursuit of God
• Whitney, Praying the Bible
• Wilkin: None Like Him; Women of the Word