Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Eight books for 2008

2008 was an excellent year for books. I read in Reading, i read in Lacey Green, i read on the beach and in the air. I've already written about some of the books that i'm excited about reading next year, but here, in no particular order, are my top eight for 2008:

You Can Change: Tim Chester
This is simply excellent. Everything you could want from a book on discipleship. Grace saturated and big God filled, i loved reading this book. I loved doing this book, which probably speaks volumes more.

Death By Love: Mark Driscoll
A Pastor's heart bleeds deeply from every page of this book. Driscoll as usual pulls no punches, but there's no room for his usual humour in this book. His best yet, dripping in cross saturated wisdom. Lovely artwork too.

Communion with the Triune God: John Owen
It takes something to write difficult books that people are still reading four hundred years later. I've never read another book that talks about how to individually commune with each member of the Godhead. I'm not sure books like that are written anymore. Which is a great shame. Go and get it!

Memoirs Of An Ordinary Pastor: Don Carson
I reviewed it here. This might be the most important book Carson has ever written. It tells the story of his father, a Pastor in french Canada, who laboured all his life with little visible fruit. It's inspiring, i cried when i got to the end.

Francis Shaeffer, An authentic life: Colin Duriez
I read 'The God Who Is There' on my Relay year, and during this year read Shaeffer's books on Genesis and Joshua, but to read a biography was illuminating and inspiring. Fascinating how a hardline Presbyterian became the man of L'Abri. I loved this book.

The Reason for God: Tim Keller
Will 2008 be remembered as the year of Tim Keller? Maybe in my head. This is a book that anyone can read, which is of course it's great strength, but not at the cost of being too simplistic. It might be the most important book of 2008.

Why We're Not Emergent (by two guys who probably should be): Kluck and DeYoung
I reviewed it here. This is simply an excellent introduction to the beliefs and problems of the Emergent Church, for people (like me) who'll probably never read Carson's book on it. It's funny, engaging, so well designed. Probably the only book i've bought from an actual 'Christian' 'Bookshop' all year. Well worth it too. 

Through The gates Of Splendour: Elisabeth Elliot
The story of Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Roger Youderian, Ed McCulley and Pete Fleming, who were speared to death trying to reach the Auca Indians with the Gospel. if you don't know this story you really, really, really should, and this will be an excellent introduction to it. If you do know this story, you'll probably have already read this, and might get a bit emotional just reading their names.

In the biography category it's probably also worth mentioning Aitken's book on John Newton. Rachel and I both thought he could have done with a more severe editor, but it's a great story of an important, slightly forgotten man in Evangelicalism. I'm also about halfway though the latest NSBT 'Father, Son and Spirit' : The Trinity in John's Gospel. This is just brilliant, and would have made the list had i already finished it. 

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