Books! Books! Books! (2020 edition)
Here are some of the things I have enjoyed reading this past year, several with brief descriptions. Those marked with an * I highly recommend! Additionally, there are listed newer items in our church library for you to consider. I hope it will spur on more good reading!
CHRISTIAN LIFE AND MINISTRY
• *Erwin Lutzer, The Church in Babylon
This is an essential book for our times! Dr. Lutzer uses the story of Daniel’s exile in Babylon to help us clearly and practically answer the question, “How do we live faithfully in a culture that perceives our light as darkness?”
• *Matthew McCullough, Remember Death: The Surprising Path to Living Hope
“[Jesus] promised us victory over death. So, we must learn to see the shadow of death behind the problems of life before we can recognize the powerful relevance of Jesus to every obstacle we face…[so that] the victory of Jesus can shine in its proper place.”
• Howard Hendricks, Teaching to Change Lives
• Robby Gallaty, Growing Up: How to Be a Disciple Who Makes Disciples
• *Larry McCall, Grandparenting With Grace: Living the Gospel with the Next Generation
• John Onwuchekwa, Prayer: How Praying Together Shapes the Church
• John Flavel, The Mystery of Providence | A book the pastors read.
• Eliza Huie, Raising Kids in a Screen-Saturated World; Andy Crouch, The Tech-Wise Family | “Our lives are influenced by technology like never before. Screens and devices have become a part of our daily lives, bringing many benefits as well as a lot of challenges.” Books like these can help parents make good choices about technology—a vital issue for today’s families.
• *Gary Chapman, The Seasons of Marriage | A book Margie and I are working through.
• Angus Macleay, Teaching 1 Peter; Elliot Clark, Evangelism As Exiles: Life on Mission as Strangers in Our Own Land; Daniel Doriani, 1 Peter | Books I worked through in preparing to teach on 1 Peter.
• Bobby Jamieson, Sound Doctrine: How a Church Grows in the Love and Holiness of God
• John Piper and Wayne Grudem, 50 Crucial Questions: An Overview of Central Concerns about Manhood and Womanhood | A book that pastors and directors read.
• John Bunyan, Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners | Bunyan’s spiritual autobiography
HISTORY AND BIOGRAPHY (favorite subjects of mine!)
• Nathaniel Philbrick, In the Hurricane’s Eye: The Genius of George Washington and the Victory at Yorktown | This is the third volume of the author’s well-received trilogy on the American revolution.
• Douglas Brinkley, American Moonshot: John F Kennedy and the Great Space Race | July 2019 was the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing! Brinkley is both an excellent historian and writer.
• Gary Sinise, Grateful American: A Journey from Self to Service | A very enjoyable biography.
• Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger, George Washington’s Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved the American Revolution
SOME OTHER GOOD READS
• Ben Sasse, Them: Why We Hate Each Other—And How to Heal | The author is a US Senator from Nebraska.
• John Stanley, Classical Music: The Great Composers and Their Masterworks | Besides good, brief biographies and a list of their most pertinent works, Stanley places the composers in their context of world events.
We have a number of books that go along with Pastor Jay’s series on The Cross of Christ:
• Henry Blackaby, Experiencing the Cross
• Darrell Bock and Mitch Glaser, The Gospel According to Isaiah 53
• Darrell Bock and Mitch Glaser, Messiah in the Passover
• Bruce Demarest, The Cross and Salvation
• Peter Lewis, The Glory of Christ
• Donald Macleod, Christ Crucified: Understanding the Atonement
• Leon Morris, The Atonement
• Robert Peterson, Salvation Accomplished by the Son
• Philip Ryken, The Message of Salvation
• John Stott, The Cross of Christ | First published in 1986; a classic and “must-read” book!
• Derek Tidball, The Message of the Cross
• Commentaries on the weekly Bible passages
There are a number of good commentaries on the epistle of James—Pastor Jay’s current series:
• In commentary series: Expositor’s Bible, NIV Application, Tyndale, and Wiersbe
• Individual authors: Peter Davids, Daniel Doriani, John MacArthur, Doug Moo, Grant Osbourne, David Platt
A selection of other books added in the past year:
• Mindy Belz, They Said We Are Infidels: On the Run from ISIS With Persecuted Christians in the Middle East
• Brian Cosby, David Brainerd: A Love for the Lost
• Dianna Crawford, The Reardon Series, Volumes 1-3
• Jonathan Gibson, The Moon is Always Round | A wonderful, illustrated book for parents: “[using] the vivid imagery of the moon to explain to children how God’s goodness is always present, even when it might appear to be obscured by upsetting or difficult circumstances.”
• J. D. Greear, Above All: The Gospel is The Source of The Church’s Renewal
• Irene Hannon, Driftwood Bay
• Dean Inserra, The Unsaved Christian: Reaching Cultural Christianity with the Gospel
• Tony Reinke, Competing Spectacles: Treasuring Christ in The Media Age
• Phil Ryken, Grace Transforming
• Sarah Smith, Broken Beauty
• Lauraine Snelling, Daughters Blessing Series, Volumes 1-4
• R. C. Sproul: commentaries on Matthew, Mark, John, Acts, Romans, and 1 & 2 Peter
• Donald Whitney, Praying the Bible
by Tim Bruns, Pastor of Adult and Care Ministries
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