Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Top Books of 2012

2012 is drawing to a close and it is time for my annual “top books of the year” posting. This is my fifth top books posting. Recognizing that life would change drastically with entering parenthood in April, I only set my goal at 25 books to be read for 2012. However, as the year ends, I have managed to read 47 books!  Here are my top five books with a few honorable mentions at the end:

5. The Conviction to Lead: 25 Principles for Leadership that Matters by Albert Mohler. Mohler is one of my favorite pastors/scholars and a great leader. He presents the 25 key principles for Christian leadership in relatively short chapters. This is one that I will return to regularly in the coming years.

4. Creature of the Word: The Jesus Centered Church by Matt Chandler, Eric Geiger, and Josh Patterson.  I was deeply challenged to evaluate the role of the gospel in my life and the life of the church in this book. All of our ministry in the life of the church from the pulpit to the “flower committee” must be centered on Jesus and the gospel message.

3. William Wilberforce: A Hero for Humanity by Kevin Belmonte.  A well-written biography about William Wilberforce, a great man of God living out his convictions, persevering during trial, and growing in his faith as he led the abolitionist movement in England. A great hero of the faith and example to us as we apply the same principles in the issues which the church must step up and address in our day. 

2. Leading from the Sandbox by T.J. Addington. This book specifically pertains to church leadership and leading the church with efficiency and focus. Key insights and strategies which I believe are essential for the church continuing to move forward in the 21st century; proclaiming the gospel and making disciples. 

1. The Hole in Our Holiness by Kevin DeYoung.  I have read this relatively short book (140 pages) twice so far and will reread it multiple times in the coming years. DeYoung addresses an issue which requires attention in today’s church: practical holiness. Unfortunately, many Christians in America looks little different than the world around us.  DeYoung makes the strong biblical argument that practical holiness is not optional and even lays out the case that a professing believer who does not demonstrate a desire toward holiness and the obedience to the commands of Scripture is not truly converted. He does not teach works-based salvation but rather the fruit a truly changed life, with a new identity in Christ will produce.  This book desperately needs to be read and discussed within the evangelical church today.

A few honorable mentions, in no particular order:
·         Holy Subversion: Allegiance to Christ in an Age of Rivals by Trevin Wax
·         The Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler
·         Embracing Obscurity by Anonymous
·         As Iron Sharpens Iron: Building Character in Mentoring Relationships by Howard Hendricks
·         Simple Church by Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger

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