Saturday, December 12, 2015

Top Books of 2015

love to read and have read about 45 books so far this year. I chose my annual top books of 2015 based on the following criteria:
Highlights and notes in the book
Loaned or recommended to others
Conversations about it
Life applications

Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald Whitney

This thought provoking and actionable book focuses on the practices found in Scripture to promote spiritual growth (Whitney, 4). Whitney biblically examines ten disciplines: Bible intake, prayer, worship, evangelism, serving, stewardship, fasting, silence, solitude, journaling, and learning. I have read the book twice and will reread many times in coming years. Read Tim Challies’ review ( for additional book information. 

Onward: Engaging the Culture without Losing the Gospel by Russell Moore

Moore, the president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, thoroughly and thoughtfully analyzes our 21st American culture and details how Christians are to respond to it. The church is not to be walled up from the broader culture, but engage in and speak to it with a distinctive message of the Gospel and biblical truth.

Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age by Sherry Turkle

As a media scholar from MIT, Turkle investigates the impact of constant connectedness and our digital devices, resulting in a flight from conversation and undermining our relationships, creativity, and productivity- and arguing that  reclaiming face-to-face conversation can help us regain lost ground. While not written from a biblical worldview, the direct personal and ministry/discipleship applications are profound.

Becoming Worldly Saints: Can You Serve Jesus and Still Enjoy Your Life? by Michael Wittmer
This book is a refreshing counter argument to popular books such as Radical, Don’t Waste Your Life, and Crazy Love. Tim Challies summarizes the book well, “In this book Michael Wittmer answers common questions like these: Can you serve Jesus and still enjoy your life? Is it possible for you to be fully committed to the Lord and still find time to enjoy life’s pleasures? Or, as some seem to feel, do we need to live lives of utter frugality, sending all our money to the mission field? Are we responsible to share the gospel with absolutely every person we encounter? Should we really feel that constant low-grade guilt that accuses us that we are not doing enough for the Lord? In short, how do we resolve the tension between the pleasures of earth and the purpose of heaven? His answers are as compelling as any I’ve read. This book is a life-changer” ( 

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

I’m an Apple fan and enjoyed this fascinating authorized biography on the company’s founder, president, and chief innovator for many years.  Jobs was a creative genius but a miserable person. He built an Apple kingdom in life but died apart from Jesus Christ in his sin.