I try to wrap up the end of the year with a blog about books and resources I have read that have been beneficial for my walk with Jesus. I am not sharing these as wholesale endorsements. I am not paid to recommend anything. I find that reading and listening to good books is a way that God has impacted me over the years and I would like to share these with you.
In 2016 I read or listened to 39 books. They range from Star Wars fiction to an exegetical commentary on Colossians.
So here are some of my top reads this past year,
1. Praise Habit by David Crowder
I enjoy the way that David Crowder’s mind works. He would circle around the subject and then clinch his point in the end. This is a short read but I think anyone who wants to praise God more, would benefit from this book.
2. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
This book is historical fiction set in World War II. It is a very powerful story about human nature and is extremely well written. I believe that this is a book that will be around for a while. It has some very intense situations that would keep me from recommending it to anyone who chooses to avoid violence in media. I am not much of a fiction reader, but to have a work of fiction make my top five list is a pretty big deal.
3. For the Glory by Duncan Hamilton
This biography of Eric Liddell was amazing in its scope. It was very informative regarding the prewar state of affairs in China. It is a riveting and emotional book that doesn’t sugar-coat the life of someone so famous, but also gives an amazing perspective on this man who stood strong in the face of so many pressures. This book also contains some very tragic and startling situations that may be too much for some readers.
4. Becoming Worldly Saints by Michael Wittmer
Dr. Wittmer has been used to transform my understanding of the goodness of creation and how the Christian should best process the blessings we see in the world around us. More than just a repeat of his previous thoughts, this book takes it into the practical outworkings of everyday life. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to get a better grip on enjoyment of this life. I also recommend it to anyone who read that last sentence and was concerned that a pastor is talking about enjoying this life.
5. When Helping Hurts by Brian Fikkert
I read this in preparation for a trip to Uganda in 2017. I started reading it to check it off my to do list, but I found it very practical and engrossing. Beyond a trip to a foreign land, I think this book would be beneficial to any western Christian who has wondered about their responsibility to the poor. It provides an excellent framework for thinking about poverty as a relational issue and not merely a financial issue. The message of this book will stick with me.
I have only shared 5 with you, but I have read many others. I would love people to share with me what they read in 2016 that they would recommend. Feel free to post recommendations to this blog.
I look forward to more books in 2017!