As I’ve done since 2015, here are my favorite books that I read this past year with a comment for each one. You can find a list of all the books I read here. I didn’t read Homer as I hoped, but hey, we’re starting another new year. I’d also like to take a stab at Kristin Lavransdatter this year. Maybe saying that here will make it happen this time.
1. The Puritan Hope by Iain Murray
Absolutely loved this book and was encouraged by it. I don’t often imagine re-reading books but I expect to do that with this one. The missionary Bible translator on our church staff saw it on my desk and said how much he marked his copy up years ago. Likewise the pages of mine are covered in green underlining and stars.
2. Through Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Elliot
This has been on my to-read list for years, but I largely stopped reading missions books for a couple years. This year that changed and I finally picked this up. What a remarkable witness to the world.
3. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
I first read these as a child and received the first book from my parents for my 7th birthday. When I was finally reading them on my own, each year a new one came out I would re-read the series and I have memories of going to the store on release day to buy the latest one. Last time I read them was in 2007, so I was curious how they held up as an adult, especially since I’ve only seen clips of the movies. Well, the nostalgia was intense and I enjoyed nearly every bit. Especially enjoyed the Christian themes explicit in the final book.
4. My Father Left Me Ireland by Michael Brendan Dougherty
Beautiful. Tears were shed. Fathers matter. Cultures matter.
5. Blood Will Out by Walter Kirn
I just started reading Kirn this year and this was a crazy (true) story. He’s enjoyable and easy to read. Follow him on Twitter.
6. The Pastor as Counselor/How Does Sanctification Work? by David Powlison
Two books here. This year I’ve started studying biblical counseling as I pursue certification with ACBC and complete a certificate program with CCEF. Powlison is my favorite teacher. He is refreshing and balanced. You can tell he truly cared for and understood people.
7. Biblical Counseling Movement After Adams by Heath Lambert
This is where I would point anyone curious about biblical counseling’s history and beliefs to start. It helped me work through some concerns/negative perceptions I had regarding the movement, such as balancing sin/suffering, expressing genuine compassion and patience towards counselees, and engaging better those outside the movement.
8. Key to the Missionary Problem by Andrew Murray
I simply love the zeal and passion of this era of the missions movement.
9. More Than a Battle by Joe Rigney
A helpful and wise resource that pulls from a variety of perspectives.
10. Live Not By Lies by Rod Dreher
Timely and interesting history that I simply don’t know enough about. I appreciated that Dreher’s book was focused on real people and their stories, rather than simply ideas. Pairs well with The Benedict Option and lines up with the work here in Idaho.