Favourite Reads in 2012
This year allowed me the opportunity to dive back into books in ways that I haven’t done in years. Let me give you a few of my highlights (in no particular order). I’ll save my favourite read for tomorrow.
Pierre Berton’s War of 1812
- Since 2012 was the bicentennial of this famous war, and since we live close to many of the battlesights, I picked up this book. Berton’s writing is vivid and his recounting of history is clear.
Tim Chester & Steve Timmis, Total Church
- This book was my favourite read in 2007. I returned to it this year as our church staff read through this book. One of two books I read cover-to-cover on the plane this year, Total Church is a call to reshape ministry around the Gospel (through Word and Mission) and Community. The two introductory chapters are some of my favourite for framing up a philosophy of ministry.
Tim Chester, A Busy Christian’s Guide to Busyness
- Rather than giving you a system to deal with your busyness or secrets to a slower life, Chester explores the inner drive of the soul. Lots to chew on in this book.
Timothy Keller, Every Good Endeavor
- Work makes up a large portion of our lives, and Keller’s work addresses how our vocation and faith are to intersect. Some of the early chapters are profound as they integrate different theologies of vocation. Later chapters help think through issues of work and the fall and living for the common good.
Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Preaching & Preachers
- I had read sections of this book before, but this year I worked through it with our pastoral staff. ”Logic on fire! Eloquent reason!” Having your head full and your heart hot, Lloyd-Jones may be controversial and opinionated, but he must be read.
Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
- This biography was a delight to read while being a bit of an enigma. This 600 page book took no time to read. However, I’m not convinced Metaxas has rightly understood Bonhoeffer. Painting him as more evangelical than neo-orthodox is confusing, and the handling of Bonhoeffer’s ‘Religionless Christianity’ was off. That aside, Metaxas paints a picture of a man who rightfully stood against evil as a prophetic pastor who died for his faith.
Tullian Tchividjian, Glorious Ruin
- A surprisingly delightful read (which I also read cover-to-cover on a plane ride this year). Tchividjian contrasts those who suffer as theologians of glory or as theologians of the cross. How we view suffering reveals our hearts - as those who want to moralize or instrumentalize suffering (theologians of glory) or as those who win by losing, are strong through weakness. Anyone familiar with Luther will find this a delightful read.
Douglas Wilson, God Rest Ye Merry
- Wilson’s whinsome style provokes you to think about the Incarnation in ways that you haven’t before. While some may be put off by his postmillenialism and reconstructionism, this book resonated with me in its attacks on the sentimentalism, moralism, and dualism over Christmas. To paraphrase Wilson: the greatest threat to Christmas isn’t 50” plasma TVs or big turkey dinners, but sin. And Christ has come to deal with sin. Read this book at your own risk.
Tomorrow I’ll post my favourite book for 2012.