Category Archives: Book Lists

Books Read in 2016

At the end of each the year I put out the list of books I have read that year. Usually they consist of a lot of theology books, followed up by a good chunk of philosophy books, and a few fiction books thrown in. In 2013 I read 106 books. In 2014 I read 87 books. In 2015 I read  88 books. This year, my numbers went down drastically. However, that was mainly because I was in school again, reading lots of journals and book chapters, and writing a whole bunch. The numbers also dropped because I stopped reading at the gym. My workouts sort of changed (became more intense) so I no longer read while doing cardio. Anyway, this year’s total is 52 book. That’s one per week!

book-piles

Books Read in 2016 = 52!

January

  1. Systematic Theology Volume 1 – Wolfhart Pannenberg
  2. Experiences in Theology – Jurgen Moltmann
  3. The Nature of Doctrine – George Lindbeck
  4. The Nature of Confession – Phillips & Okholm

February

  1. Beyond Foundationalism – Grenz & Francke
  2. The Drama of Doctrine – Kevin Vanhoozer
  3. Black Theology of Liberation – James Cone
  4. Models of God – Sally McFague
  5. Introducing Radical Orthodoxy – James K.A. Smith

March

  1. Analytic Theology – Crisp & Rae
  2. An Invitation to Analytic Christian Theology – Thomas McCall
  3. Four Views on Hell – Preston Sprinkle
  4. Strong and Weak – Andy Crouch
  5. The Problem of Hell – Jonathan Kvanvig
  6. Hell: The Logic of Damnation – Jerry Walls

April

  1. Gaining by Losing – J.D. Greear
  2. The Unfolding Mystery – Edmund Clowney
  3. Jonathan Edwards Among the Theologians – Oliver Crisp
  4. Sacrifice and Atonement – Stephen Finlan

May

  1. Knowledge and Christian Belief – Alvin Plantinga
  2. Living on the Devil’s Doorstep – Floyd McClung
  3. How I Changed My Mind About Evolution – Stump and Applegate
  4. The Trinity Among the Nations: The Doctrine of God in the Majority World – Gene Green, Stephen Pardue, K.K. Yeo

June

  1. Prodigal God – Tim Keller
  2. The Father Heart of God – Floyd McClung
  3. Epistemology: Becoming Intellectually Virtuous – W. Jay Wood
  4. The Pastor Theologian – Gerald Heistand & Todd Wilson
  5. Reading Romans in Context – Ben Blackwell, John Goodrich, and Jason Matson
  6. You are What You Love – James K.A. Smith

July

  1. The Claim of Humanity in Christ – Alexandra Radcliff
  2. The Lost Letters of Pergamum – Bruce Longenecker

Lost Track of Dates

  1. Writings on Pastoral Piety – John Calvin (ed. McKee)
  2. Calvin and the Consolidation of the Genevan Reformation – William Naphy
  3. Infant Baptism in Reformation Genega – Karen Spierling
  4. Calvin’s Ladder: A Spiritual Theology of Ascent and Ascension – Julie Canlis
  5. America at the Crossroads – George Barna
  6. The Uncontrolling Love of God – Thomas Oord
  7. Pentecostal Outpourings – ed. Robert Smart, Michael Haykin, and Ian Clary
  8. Crossing Cultures in Scripture – Marvin Newell
  9. Rational Faith – Stephen Evans
  10. What is Reformed Theology – R.C. Sproul
  11. Judaism Before Jesus – Anthony Tomasino
  12. Reordering the Trinity – Rodrick Durst
  13. Delighting in the Trinity – Michael Reeves

November

  1. A Little Handbook for Preachers – Mary Hulst
  2. Love Henri: Letters on the Spiritual Life – Henri Nouwen
  3. Christological Anthropology in Historical Perspective – Marc Cortez

December

  1. The Vulnerable Pastor – Mandy Smith
  2. Serving a Movement – Timothy Keller
  3. Saving Calvinism – Oliver Crisp
  4. Paul’s New Perspective – Garwood Anderson
  5. Soul Keeping – John Ortberg

Books Read in 2015

I know this is super late! Every year, right at the beginning of the year I post a list of all the books I read that year. However the end of last year was a bit crazy. I was gone in Africa for half of January, then I jumped right into a theological method seminar which kept me really busy, then the baby came! All that to say here are the books I read in 2015, my list of best books of 2015 will be posted soon!

January

  1. Giving Blood – Leonard Sweet – 1/2/15
  2. Reformed Catholicity – Michael Allen & Scott R. Swain 1/6/15
  3. Space, Time, and Resurrection by T.F. Torrance 1/19/15
  4. God the Peacemaker: How Atonement Brings Shalom 1/21/15
  5. Two Views on the Trinity by Jason Sexton 1/24/15
  6. Speaking to Teenagers by Doug Fields & Duffy Robbins 1/28/15
  7. Exodus: Kregel Exegetical Library Commentary by Duane Garrett 1/31/15

February

  1. Total Church by Tim Chester & Steve Timmis 2/2/15
  2. The Happy Christian by David Murray 2/6/15
  3. Introducing Paul by Michael Bird 2/11/15
  4. Shepherding God’s Flock by Benjamin Merkle and Thomas Schreiner 2/13/15
  5. Retrieving Doctrine: Essays in Reformed Theology by Oliver Crisp 2/16/15
  6. Surprised by Grace by Tullian Tchividjian 2/18/15
  7. A God Entranced Vision of All Things by John Piper & Justin Taylor 2/24/15
  8. Scary Close by Donald Miller 2/25/15
  9. Studies in the Pauline Epistles: Essays in Honor of Douglas J. Moo 2/26/15
  10. The Paleo Chef by Pete Evans 2/28/15

March

  1. The Pastor’s Ministry by Brian Croft 3/4/15
  2. Nonviolent action by Ronald Sider 3/6/15
  3. Rejoicing in Christ by Michael Reeves 3/7/15
  4. The Challenge of Jesus by N.T. Wright 3/12/14
  5. Faith, Freedom and the Spirit by Paul Molnar 3/23/15
  6. The Mission of Preaching by Patrick Johnson 3/27/15
  7. Treatise on Grace & Other Posthumously Published Writings by Jonathan Edwards 3/29/15
  8. Teams that Thrive by Ryan Hartwig & Warren Bird 3/31/15

April

  1. Advancing Trinitarian Theology by Oliver Crisp & Fred Sanders 4/1/15
  2. Spiritual Friendship by Wesley Hill 4/3/15
  3. Confronted by Grace: Meditations of Theologian by John Webster 4/3/15
  4. Recovering Classical Evangelicalism by Greg Thornbury 4/6/15
  5. Jonathan Edwards’ Theology: A Reinterpretation by Kyle Strobel 4/11/15
  6. The Real Scandal of the Evangelical Mind by Carl Trueman 4/13/15
  7. Edwards and the Christian Life by Dane Ortlund 4/15/15
  8. The Story that Chooses Us: A Tapestry of Missional Vision by George Hunsberger 4/21/15
  9. Called to the Life of the Mind: Some Advice for Evangelical Scholars by Richard Mouw 4/23/15
  10. Encountering Romans by Douglas Moo 4/24/15
  11. The Lord and His Prayer by N.T. Wright 4/27/15

May

  1. The Bees by Laline Paull 5/7/15
  2. The Kuyper Center Report (Vol 5): Church and Academy by Gordon Graham 5/11/15
  3. The Divine Mentor by Wayne Cordeiro 5/17/15
  4. Theology and California by Jason Sexton and Fred Sanders 5/19/15
  5. Ordinary Hero by Neil Cole 5/30/15

June

  1. The Insanity of Obedience by Nik Ripken 6/1/15
  2. A Fellowship of Differents by Scot McKnight 6/7/15
  3. F. Torrance: An Intellectual Biography by Alister McGrath 6/15/15
  4. Reading Barth with Charity by George Hunsinger 6/16/15
  5. The Holy Trinity Revisited: Essays in Response to Stephen R. Holmes by Thomas Noble and Jason Sexton 6/19/15
  6. Dietrich Bonhoeffer: A Spoke in the Wind by Renate Wind 6/23/15
  7. Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer 6/29/15

July

  1. Paul’s Theology of Preaching by Duane Liftin 7/5/15
  2. Defending Substitution by Simon Gathercole 7/6/15
  3. Joy in the Journey by Steve Hayner 7/7/15
  4. Ethics by Dietrich Bonhoeffer 7/14/15
  5. Hearing Her Voice: A Biblical Invitation for Women to Preach by John Dickson 7/15/15
  6. Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer 7/15/15
  7. Paul’s Divine Christology by Chris Tilling 7/30/15
  8. Preaching by Tim Keller 7/31/15

August

  1. Letters and papers from Prison by Dietrich Bonhoeffer 8/1/15
  2. The Tangible Kingdom Primer by Hugh Halter and Matt Smay 8/6/15
  3. Romans 1-7 For You by Tim Keller 8/10/15
  4. Teaching Romans: Unlocking Romans 1–8 for the Bible Teacher by Christopher Ash 8/11/15
  5. Paul and the Trinity by Wesley Hill 8/18/15
  6. Exploring Christology and Atonement by Andrew Purves 8/29/15

Septmember

  1. Which Trinity? Whose Monotheism? By Thomas McCall 9/7/15
  2. The Trinity (De Trinitate) by Augustine 9/10/15
  3. The Trinity by Karl Rahner 9/15/15
  4. Unburdened: The Christian Leader’s Path to Sexual Integrity 9/17/15
  5. When Helping Hurts by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert 9/23/15
  6. A Commentary on the Manuscripts and Texts of the New Testament by Phillip Comfort 9/28/15

October

  1. The Trinity by Karl Rahner 10/5/15
  2. The Trinity and the Kingdom by Jurgen Moltmann 10/8/15
  3. Renew Your Life by Kai Mark Nilsen 10/19/15
  4. The Christian Doctrine of God by T.F. Torrance 10/25/15
  5. The Triune Identity by Robert Jenson 10/26/15

November

  1. The God We Worship by Nicholas Wolterstorff 11/8/15
  2. Which Trinity? Whose Monotheism? By Thomas McCall 11/9/15
  3. Metaphysics and the Tri-Personal God by William Hasker 11/14/15
  4. One God in Three Persons by Bruce Ware and John Starke 11/15/15
  5. Apostolic Church Planting by J.D. Payne 11/17/15
  6. God, Sexuality, and the Self: An Essay on the Trinity by Sarah Coakley 11/30/15

December

  1. Theology and the Mirror of Scripture: A Mere Evangelical Account by Kevin Vanhoozer and Daniel Trier 12/3/15
  2. Reordering the Trinity by Rodrick Durst 12/8/15
  3. Theology as Discipleship by Keith Johnson 12/15/15
  4. Crossing Cultures with Jesus by Katie Rawson 12/20/15
  5. Becoming the Gospel: Paul, Participation and Mission by Michael Gorman 12/22/15
  6. The Ecumenical Edwards by Kyle Strobel 12/24/15
  7. People to Be Loved by Preston Sprinkle 12/27/15
  8. Pioneering Movements by Steve Addison 12/27/15
  9. Introducing Paul by Michael Bird 12/28/15

Jonathan Edwards Week – A Recommended Reading List

So you want to get to know Edwards? But you don’t know where to start. I recommend that you start out with John Piper’s edition of The End for Which God Created the World in God’s passion for his glory. Then pick up they Yale reader which has a great collection of sermons. After that move on to Marsden’s Jonathan Edwards: A Life. This big book is a must read book on Edwards. After making your way through these books you might want to pick something off this list of books on Edwards (I have bolded some of my favorites):

Jonathan Edwards Painting

  • ** Bombaro, John J. Jonathan EdwardsVision of Reality: The Relationship of God to the World, Redemption History, and the Reprobate (Wipf & Stock, 2011).
  • * Caldwell III, Robert Communion in the Spirit: The Holy Spirit as the Bond of Union in the Theology of Jonathan Edwards. Wipf & Stock, 2007. ISBN: . Pub. Price: $
  • * Cherry, Conrad The Theology of Jonathan Edwards, A Reappraisal (University of Indiana Press, 1966).
  • ** Cochran, Elizabeth Agnew Receptive Human Virtues: A New Reading of Jonathan Edwardss Ethics (Pennsylvania State University Press, 2010).
  • ** Crisp, Oliver D. Jonathan Edwards and the Metaphysics of Sin (Ashgate, 2005).
  • * _____________ Jonathan Edwards Among the Theologians. Eerdmans, 2015. [Circulated in mss. form upon request.]
  • ** _____________ and Sweeney, Douglas A. eds. After Jonathan Edwards: The Courses of The New England Theology (Oxford University Press, 2012).
  • ** Elwood, Douglas The Philosophical Theology of Jonathan Edwards (University of Columbia Press, 1960).
  • ** Fiering, Norman Jonathan Edwardss Moral Thought in its British Context (University of North Carolina Press, 1981).
  • ** Guelzo, Allen C. Edwards on The Will: A Century of Theological Debate (Wipf and Stock, 2007 [1998]).
  • * Gura, Philip Jonathan Edwards, Americas Evangelical (Hill and Wang, 2005).
  • ** Hatch, Nathan and Stout, Harry eds., Jonathan Edwards and the American Experience (Oxford University Press, 1988).
  • ** Helm, Paul and Crisp, Oliver D. eds., Jonathan Edwards: Philosophical Theologian (Ashgate, 2003).
  • ** Holbrook, Clyde A. The Ethics of Jonathan Edwards: Morality and Aesthetics (University of Michigan Press, 1973).
  • ** Holmes, Stephen R. God of Grace and God of Glory, An Account of the Theology of Jonathan Edwards (T&T Clark, 2000).
  • ** Lee, Sang The Philosophical Theology of Jonathan Edwards, Expanded Edition (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000 [1988]).
  • ** Lee, Sang Hyun ed. The Princeton Companion to Jonathan Edwards (Princeton University Press, 2005).
  • * Marsden, George Jonathan Edwards, A Life (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003).
  • ** McClymond, Michael J. Encounters with God, An Approach to the Theology of Jonathan Edwards (OUP, 1998).
  • * McClymond, Michael J. and McDermott, Gerald The Theology of Jonathan Edwards (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011).
  • * McDermott, Gerald R. ed. Understanding Jonathan Edwards, An Introduction to Americas Theologian (Oxford University Press, 2009).
  • ** Miller, Perry Jonathan Edwards (William Sloane, 1949).
  • ** Morris, William S. The Young Jonathan Edwards: A Reconstruction (Wipf & Stock, 2005 [1991]).
  • * Plantinga Pauw, Amy The Supreme Harmony of All: The Trinitarian Theology of Jonathan Edwards (Eerdmans, 2006).
  • ** Rea, Michael “The Metaphysics of Sin” in Dean Zimmerman and Peter van Inwagen, eds. Persons: Human and Divine (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), 319-356. Also available at: http://www3.nd.edu/~mrea/papers/Metaphysics%20of%20Original%20Sin%20_final_.pdf
  • ** Schweitzer, Don ed. Jonathan Edwards as Contemporary: Essays in Honor of Sang Lee (Peter Lang, 2010).
  • * Schweitzer, William H. God is a Communicative Being: Divine Communicativeness and Harmony in the Theology of Jonathan Edwards (T&T Clark, 2012).
  • * Smith, John E. Jonathan Edwards, Puritan, Preacher, Philosopher (Chapman, 1992),
  • * Stein, Stephen J. ed. The Cambridge Companion to Jonathan Edwards (Cambridge University Press, 2008).
  • ** Strobel, Kyle C. Jonathan Edwards’s Theology: A Reinterpretation (T&T Clark, 2012).
  • **Studebaker, Steven M. and Caldwell III, Robert W. The Trinitarian Theology of Jonathan Edwards: Text, Context and Application (Ashgate, 2012).
  • * Sweeney, Douglas A. Jonathan Edwards and the Ministry of the Word: A Model of Faith and Thought (IVP Academic, 2009).
  • ** Tracy, Patricia J. Jonathan Edwards, Pastor: Religion and Society in Eighteenth Century Northampton (Hill and Wang, 1980).
  • * Wainwright, William J. “Original Sin” in Thomas V. Morris, ed. Philosophy and the Christian Faith (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1988),
  • ** Wilson, Stephen A. Virtue Reformed: Re-reading Jonathan Edwards’ Ethics (E. J. Brill, 2005).
  • * Winslow, Ola Jonathan Edwards 1703-1758 (Collier Books, 1940).
  • denotes introductory to intermediate texts

** denotes intermediate to advanced texts

(This list was compiled from Oliver Crisp’s – The Theology of Jonathan Edwards – course.)

Books Read in 2014

Happy New Year! The year is over and its time to release the list of books that I read last year. For those of you who are interested, here are all the books I read in 2014. It might help you see the type of books that could have made it into my Top 10 books of 2014.

87 Books Read in 2014!

 

January
1. The Pastor’s Family by Brian and Cara Crofts
2. Absence of Mind by Marilynne Robinson
3. Found in Him by Elyse Fitzpatrick
4. The Dude’s Guide to Manhood by Darrin Patrick
5. Encounters with Jesus by Tim Keller
6. The Theology of the Heidelberg Catechism by Lyle Bierma
7. Wesley on the Christian Life by Fred Sanders

February
8. Flesh by Hugh Halter – 2/6/14
9. Replant by Darrin Patrick and Mark Devine – 2/12/14
10. Christian Faith in the Old Testament by Garteth Cockerill – 2/17/14
11. Uncovered by Rod Tucker – 2/20/14
12. Political Theology by Fiorenza, Tanner, and Welker- 2/23/14
13. What is Biblical Theology? By James Hamilton -2/26/14
14. Warfare in the Old Testament by Boyd Seevers 2/28/14

March
15. How do we Know? An Introduction to Epistemology by Mark Foreman and James Dew 3/3/14
16. Primal Fire by Neil Cole 3/6/14
17. Visions of Vocation by Steven Garber 3/10/14
18. Prodigal Christianity by David Fitch 3/13/14
19. Evil and the Justice of God by N.T. Wright 3/13/14
20. The Truest Thing About You by Dave Lomas 3/13/14
21. Preaching in an Age of Distraction by 3/19/14
22. Missional Quest by Lance Ford and Brad Brisco 3/24/14
23. Desiring the Kingdom by James K.A. Smith 3/25/14

April
24. How Jesus Became God by Michael Bird 4/1/14
25. Who is Tampering with the Trinity by Millard Erickson 4/7/14
26. Christ and Reconciliation by Veli-Matti Karkkainen 4/14/14
27. The Severity of God by Paul Moser 4/19/14
28. Who’s Afraid of Post-Modernism by James K.A. Smith 4/22/14
29. The Soul by J.P. Moreland 4/25/14
30. Introduction to Doctrine by Louis Berkhof 4/29/14

May
31. From Jesus to the Church by Craig Evans 5/7/14
32. Interpreting the General Letters by Howard Bateman IV 5/11/14
33. The Cry for Spiritual Mothers & Fathers by Larry Kreider 5/16/14
34. Spiritual Formation in Emerging Adulthood by David Setran & Chris Kiesling 5/23/14
35. Jesus Against the Scribal Elite by Chris Keith 5/26/14
36. Eternal Wisdom from the Desert Fathers (various authors) 5/31/13

June
37. Jesus the Fool by Michael Frost 6/10/14
38. Christianity on Trial by Mark Lainer 6/15/14
39. Slow Church by Christopher Smith and John Pattison 6/21/14
40. Understanding the Mission of the Church by Scott Sunquist 6/25/14
41. Surprised by Scripture by N.T. Wright 6/27/14
42. Dispatches from the Front by Tim Keese 6/30/14

July
43. A Light to the Nations by Michael Goheen 7/12/14
44. Strange Glory by Charles Marsh 7/22/14
45. Church Dogmatics 1.1 by Karl Barth 7/29/14
46. Chasing God by Roger Huang 7/30/14
47. Risk is Right by John Piper 7/31/14

August
48. The Sticky Faith Guide for the Family by Kara Powell 8/6/14
49. Faith and Reason: Three Views by Steve Wilkens 8/12/14
50. Abraham Kuyper: A Short and Personal Introduction by Richard Mouw 8/15/14
51. Authentic Spiritual Mentoring by Larry Kreider 8/20/14
52. New Testament Essentials by Robbie Castleman 8/26/14
53. Slow Church by Christopher Smith and John Pattison 8/30/14

September
54. Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan 9/3/14
55. Citizens by Rob Peabody 9/6/14
56. Abraham Kuyper: Modern Calvinist, Christian Democrat by James Bratt 9/10/14
57. Deviant Calvinism by Oliver Crisp 9/13/14
58. Preventing Suicide by Karen Mason 9/16/14
59. Lectures on Calvinism by Abraham Kuyper 9/22/14
60. The Call to Discipleship by Karl Barth 9/24/14
61. Atonement, Law, and, Justice by Adonis Vidu 9/28/14

October
62. Kingdom Conspiracy by Scot McKnight 10/5/14
63. Walls Fall Down by Dudley Rutherford 10/16/14
64. Called by Mark Labberton 10/27/14

November
65. The Kuyper Center Review vol 4: Calvinism and Democracy by John Bowlin 11/1/14
66. Multiplying Missional Leaders by Mike Breen 11/1/14
67. Prepare Them to Shepherd by Brian Crofts 11/2/14
68. Rediscovering the Church Fathers by Michael Haykin 11/6/14
69. Forty Questions About Christians and Biblical Law by Thomas Schreiner 11/7/14
70. Reading Backwards by Richard Hays 11/12/14
71. Forever Love by Francis and Lisa Chan 11/14/14
72. Jesus Continued by J.D. Greear 11/17/14
73. Jonathan Edwards’s Bible by Stephen R.C. Nichols 11/24/14
74. Prayer by Tim Keller 11/24/14
75. The Philosophical Theology of Jonathan Edwards by Hyu Sung Lee 11/25/14
76. Revisiting Paul’s Doctrine of Justification by Peter Stuhlmacher 11/28/14

December
77. Frameworks by Eric Larson 12/3/14
78. Reformed Dogmatics Volume 1: Theology Proper by Geerhardus Vos 12/5/14
79. Divine Providence: Four Views by Dennis Jowers 12/9/14
80. Loving Jesus More by Philip Graham Ryken 12/10/14
81. Galatians and Christian Theology by Mark Elliott & Scott Hafeman & N.T. Wright 12/13/14
82. Brazos Theological Commentary: Colossians by Christopher Seitz 12/17/14
83. Experiencing the Trinity by Joe Thorn 12/18/14
84. Thinking Through Paul by Bruce Longenecker & Todd Still 12/20/14
85. Sabbath as Resistance by Walter Brueggemann 12/21/14
86. Reformed Dogmatics Volume 2: Anthropology by Geerhardus Vos 12/28/14
87. Christ Crucified by Donald Macleod 12/31/14

Top Ten Books of 2014

Christmas is the best time of the year to make lists!

  • Santa Claus is checking his list of kids who were naughty and nice, deciding which kids are going to get presents and which kids are going to get coal.
  • The nice kids are making lists of toys they want. (God bless the greedy little children, every one!)
  • Grown ups are creating Amazon wish lists hoping that somebody will get them something. (Mine is up on Amazon, just in case you want to get me something…)
  • Mom is making a grocery list, outlining all the stuff she needs to buy in order to pull off the perfect Christmas dinner. (I’m okay with just Tamales.)

But maybe most importantly, bloggers are making their “Best Of….” Lists for 2014. So I present to you the most important list you will see this holiday Season….

Chris Woznicki’s Best Books of 2014!!!

Best of 2014

Here are my qualifications to make it on to this list:

  1. Published in 2014
  2. I would give that book to somebody else
  3. I would re-read the book
  4. It is not a crappy book

With that I give you my favorite books of the year across 10 different categories: Biblical Studies, Theology, Mission, Ministry, Biography, Reformed, Charismatic, Devotional, Most Important, and of course Book of the Year.

Biblical Studies – Reading Backwards by Richard Hays

Reading Backwards

There were a lot of good biblical studies books that came out this year, including From Jesus to the Church by Craig Evans & How God Became Jesus by Michael Bird. However, the book that takes the top honor is Richard Hays’ Reading Backwards. In this series of printed lectures, Hays makes a most convincing case that the Gospel writers portraits of Jesus depend on a typological reading of the Old Testament. We have been waiting for this book for years!

Theology – Christ Crucified by Donald Macleod

Christ Crucified

Originally the winner was supposed to be Atonement, Law, and Justice by Adonis Vidu – probably the most important book on atonement theory published in the last 5 years. However another book on the doctrine of atonement snuck its way into my list of books to read in 2014. I haven’t finished it yet (I’m halfway through), but the top honor goes to Donald McLeod’s Christ Crucified: Understanding the Atonement. Rarely does an academic theology book make me cry because of how it glorifies Christ. This book had me in tears (the good kind) because it helps me see the glorious wonder of the cross and of penal substitution.

Mission – Primal Fire by Neil Cole

Primal Fire

Primal Fire is one of the clearest, most encouraging, and most biblically-theologically based APEST book out there right now. Not to mention, it will also ignite a fire up under you to discover how you can best serve the church to reach the maturity that God has intended for it. You can find my review here. (Honorable mention goes to Dispatches from the Front by Tim Keese – this book will get you pumped on what God is doing in unreached areas.)

Ministry – Slow Church by Christopher Smith & John Pattison

Slow Church

I loved this book! Slow Church: Cultivating Community in the Patient Way of Jesus explores what it would look like for the church to embrace the “slow” way of life. Humans can’t thrive and flourish on a fast food diet – neither can the church thrive and flourish with a “fast church” mentality. Change is needed – the church needs to slough off its industrialized and Macdonald-ized approach to church. It needs to embrace a holistic, interconnected, organic, and local way of life grounded in a grand gospel. Slow Church helps us imagine what it would look like if the church were to do that. You can read my review here. (Also, my review of this book will be published in the next issue of Themlios.)

Biography – Strange Glory by Charles Marsh

Strange Glory

This is an excellent and highly entertaining biography. It is very well written; at times it felt as though I were reading a novel, not a historical biography. But more importantly than that it is comprehensive, it goes beyond merely reporting the standard story, but instead strives to get into Bonhoeffer’s mind.  Marsh understands Bonhoeffer’s theology, and he seems to understand some of the things that really acted as driving forces in Bonhoeffer’s life. I recommended that you read this biography alongside of Eric Metaxas’ biography so that you will be able to form your own picture of who Bonhoeffer really was. You can read a full review here. (Honorable mention goes to Wesley on the Christian Life by Fred Sanders. Sanders’ book helped me to appreciate Wesley as a theologian of love.)

Reformed – Deviant Calvinism by Oliver Crisp

Deviant Calvinism - Crisp

I could not put this book down. I was so enthralled by it and the possibility moving past funadamentlistic neo-Puritianism (i.e. Johnny Mac and his cronies) that I read through it in a day and a half. Not only was it interesting though, it was very well argued. As is well known, Oliver Crisp is at the forefront of Analytic Theology – the theological method which applies the rigor and clarity of analytic philosophy to systematic theology. You can read the full review here.

Charismatic – Jesus Continued by J.D. Greear

Jesus Continued

Should I have categorized this book as being Charismatic? Probably not – but it is about the Holy Spirit! I loved this book so much. In fact I loved it so much that I have given away 15 copies of this book. I gave it to my Life Group leaders and to a few students who really needed it. Honestly this book could not have come at a better time for me. The Lord used it to speak so much truth into my life, truths that I have neglected or forgotten. It also stirred my heart for the possibility of revival. You can read the full review here.

Devotional – Prayer by Tim Keller

Prayer Tim Keller

Anything written by Keller is pure gold. Do you struggle with praying as consistently as you would like to? Would you like to experience God more personally in your quiet time? Do you want to have your heart awakened to the gospel? Are you tired of searching for the latest greatest spiritual discipline? If you answered yes to any of these questions – this book is for you. It grounds the discipline of prayer in the gospel and gives us practical ways to infuse our prayer habits with new life.

Most Important – Reformed Dogmatics Volume 1 by Geerhardus Vos

reformed-dogmatics1

Technically this isn’t a new book. It was published nearly 100 years ago. However this is the first time its been translated into English. Vos is an important figure in Neo-Calvinist theology, right behind Kuyper and Bavinck. I’m so grateful to have his Dogmatic Theology. Also, volume two has come out this year and the rest of the set will come out in the next year or so.

Book of the Year – Visions of Vocation by Steve Garber

Visions of Vocation

What the heck am I supposed to be doing with my life? Weaving together personal stories, literature, film, music, and scripture Garber helps us answer this question. He shows us what vocations are all about. He has written a book that will certainly inspire you to see your place in the world a bit differently. He not only aims at our heads, he aims at our hearts, drawing us into the story of what God is doing in this world. He invites us into the critical task of coming alongside of God as God himself give grace to a world that is broken and falling apart. Answering that invitation is what vocations are all about.

Earlier this year, when I wrote a review (here) I said:

I know its early in the year, but this book is so well written, so theologically powerful, and packs such a powerful devotional punch that it is definitely a frontrunner for my book of the year award.

It turns out that I stuck to my guns. This year was my favorite book of the year. If you buy only one book to read in 2015, buy this book!

7 Theologians Share Their “Must Read” Books of 2014

At the end of the year tons and tons of “Best Of…” lists make their way out onto the internet. Its almost as though it’s a Noah’s Ark of lists – the lists have been sitting restlessly on a “boat” waiting for the day when the flood waters clear and they can make their way out onto dry land. Okay, maybe that’s a bit exaggerated, but that is how I feel – at least about my own list.

 

 

So in the Holiday Spirit of “Best Of…” lists I asked several of my favorite Twitter Theologians a very simple question: “What is the theology book published in 2014 that I must read before the year is over?” I got some great recommendations – here are a few that I found interesting…

Note: These are not books that these theologians necessarily endorse, they are simply must read books of 2014. This might mean that they are really good books that they love or books that they completely disagree about but consider to be “game changers” in some sense. Either way – these are simply important books of 2014.

Michael Bird (@mbird12)

“Simon Chan, Grassroot Asian Theology. Or Moorhead on Princeton Seminary.”

Lincoln Harvey (@lincolnharvey)

“I have high hopes for Oliver Crisp and Fred Sanders’ Advancing Trinitarian Theology, which I’ve ordered (but not read.) McFarland’s From Nothing is a good survey of doctrine creation. Sexton (ed) Two Views on Trinity shows Trinitarian debate today.”

Steve Holmes (@SteveRHolmes)

“[Franticly tries to remember what came out this year…] Depends on field a bit. In Ch history, @ThomasSKidd on Whitefield is important; in ethics @robertjsong on sexuality will define a few debates. In systematics – For Baptists, Freeman’s Contesting Catholicity; for others probably Coakley, God, Sexuality, and the Self.”

Matt Jenson (@MattJenson)

“It was published in 2013, but I *read* it in 2014: Sarah Coakley’s “God, Sexuality, and the Self: An Essay ‘On the Trinity’””

Andy Rowell (@AndyRowell)

“I read @ajay on BCP [Book of Common Prayer], Marsh on Bonhoeefer, @DrStephenLong on Barth/Balthasaar, and McGrath on Brunner. I plan on reading new books by mentors Richard Hays, Douglass Campbell, and Curtis Freeman, and also newest by Andy Root.”

Kyle Strobel (@KyleStrobel)

“I think Sanctified Grace is worth it and would be challenging in the right kind of ways.”

Scott R. Swain (@ScottRSwain)

“Hard q.

Leiden Synopsis is the most significant pub of 2014 IMO [In my opinion]. Fred Sanders’s Advancing Trinitarian Theo [is] great too. Many others as well.”

So there you have it! I can vouch for some of their recommendations as well – Crisp and Sander’s Advancing Trinitarian theology is great (I haven’t read the book, but I watched all the plenary lectures for LATC 2014 – the source of these essays). Also, Coakley’s book was a real game-changer for me.

5 Great Deals for Your Kindle

What I love about the Kindle is that every once in a while you will find awesome deals – often at $0.99 or $1.99. Today I discovered four great books, and I got them all! Here they are in their categories:

Church History

Rediscovering the Church Fathers: Who They Were and How They Shaped the Church – $0.99 – Michael Haykin

Commentary

Galatians: Gospel-rooted Living – $0.99

Ministry

A Meal with Jesus: Discovering Grace, Community, and Mission around the Table – $0.99 – Tim Chester

Jonathan Edwards

A God Entranced Vision of All Things: The Legacy of Jonathan Edwards$1.99 – John Piper & Justin Taylor

Church and Society

Recovering Classic Evangelicalism: Applying the Wisdom and Vision of Carl F. H. Henry – $0.99 – Gregory Thornbury