Monday, December 29, 2008

Top Ten of 2008

I recently saw that many of the blogs I read were featuring their favorite books published in 2008, I checked the books I read this year and discovered that I hadn't read enough books published this year to make a top ten list. So I decided to simply list my top ten books read this year. Some of them are pretty old some are new, but I loved them all. (Honorable mention: I read this little book of Yogi Berra quotes that made me laugh so hard). They are not ranked, I just put them in alphabetical order. Enjoy and feel free to share your favorite books of the year.

Steve Brown - Approaching God: How to Pray - great little book on prayer.

D. A. Carson - Ordinary Pastor - an encouragement to all of us ordinary pastors to persevere, and also for all of us ordinary Christians.

Murray J. Harris - Slave of Christ - revolutionized my understanding of an important biblical principle.

J. Gresham Machen - Christianity and Liberalism - Machen provided a devastating crituque of liberalism, in my mind completely establishing that Christian liberalism and Biblical Christianity are two different religion.

C. J. Mahaney - Humility - especially convicting was his challenge to always be discerning evidences of grace in others when many of us tend to see only the negatives, that chapter alone is worth the price of the book.

George Marsden - Jonathan Edwards - outstanding biography, made a man come to life when before he had simply been a set of sermons.

David McCullough - 1776 - really it should be a national holiday whenever a new McCullough book is released. We should at least throw some kind of nerdy party.

R. Albert Mohler - Atheism Remix - made us all aware of the new atheistic movement and then reduced them to ashes.

Bill Waterson - The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes - honestly it was a delight to find a collection of Calvin and Hobbes that I hadn't yet read.

Christopher Wright - Knowing Jesus through the Old Testament - my new favorite work of biblical theology.


Joshua Owen said...

Thanks for the insiders look at your reading habits.

I have been studying Holy Spirit this year, born from a desire to know Him and His fullness in my life; to gain a clearer understanding of what it means to walk in the Spirit. These volumes were helpful to me:

J. I. Packer, Keep in Step with the Holy Spirit.

Graham Cole, He Who Gives Life.

Sinclair Ferguson, The Holy Spirit.

John Owen, Pneumatologia.

Also helpful was:

Michael Haykin, The God Who Draws Near.

A very enlightening and somewhat entertaining sociological work was:

Susan Wise Bauer, The Art of Public Grovel: Sexual Sin & Public Confession in America.

Jamie Fugate said...

Josh do you normally do a reading project each year, and if you do is always thematic or is it sometimes a single author? I've been curious about doing big reading projects and haven't really known where to start.

Joshua Owen said...

When it comes to really great minds, like John Lucas, Jamie Fugate or John Owen, one can only really know that person by reading extensively. Reading Owen's Mortification of Sin raises a lot of questions about the author's views on a number of related subjects. He often states that he will not treat a subject in depth because he has done so previously in another work. I have found some interesting information on Owen's understanding of regeneration by reading The Mortification of Sin, Pneumatologia, and his writings On the Church.

I do try to explore different subjects by reading various perspectives. This past year I focused on the Holy Spirit, Justification by Faith, and the Atonement. I have just begun a study that I will continue for a few months in 2009 on Creation. I'm using several books and other forms of media to revisit this subject after neglecting it for about 8 years.

A great place to start is by examining your weaknesses. What area of knowledge are you most lacking in? Is that relevant to your walk with Christ or to your ministry? Are you interested enough to make it a course of study? If so, prepare a syllabus. Contact one of your professors and ask him for the most authoritative book on the subject. Use the bibliography of that book to find other great books on that subject. Don't forget journal articles.