Wednesday, January 1, 2014

My Top Books of 2013

2013 has drawn to a close and it is time for my annual “top books of the year” posting. In 2013 I set the goal to read 30 books but finished the year having read 47. Here are my top five books with a few honorable mentions at the end:

5. The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr. The internet is rewiring our brains and causing us to think differently. The long term effects are catastrophic. This book caused me to think differently about the internet and do something about its negative effects in my life. See previous blog post about the book here.

4. I Am a Church Member by Thom Rainer. A Scripturally-rooted book on biblical church membership. Taken seriously, this book could transform local congregations and ultimately communities and the world for Jesus Christ. See previous blog post about this book here.

3. Follow Me by David Platt. In his outstanding follow up to the best seller Radical, Platt answers the question about what Jesus really meant when He said “follow Me”. As stated on the back cover, it is a call to die. It is a call to live. Solidly biblical and needed  teaching for the 21st century church in America.

2. Living by the Book by Howard and William Hendricks. This book first appeared on my top books list in 2009. However, I returned to the updated edition in 2013 and was challenged richly as it provides many strategies for digging into Bible study through the observation, interpretation, and application techniques. I am already planning to reread again in 2014.

1. To Live is Christ, To Die is Gain by Matt Chandler. A powerful and convicting book studying Paul’s letter to the Philippians. Chandler addresses our need to have Jesus Christ as our treasure- with everything paling in comparison to knowing Him as Lord. This book will also be reread early in 2014. 

It was challenging to narrow the list down to my top five, after reading nearly fifty books. Therefore, a few honorable mentions (all excellent books), in no particular order:

·         Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart by JD Greear
·         Called to Stay by Caleb Breakey
·         The Insanity of God by Nick Ripken
·         Eric Liddell: Pure Gold by David McCasland
·         Resisting Gossip by Matthew Mitchell

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