This has been an unusual year for me in the realm of reading, because I have not read the volume of books that I normally do. Even so, I have been challenged, consoled, preached to and kicked by the books I have read. Below are my top ten books that I read for 2011, not in any particular order. Have you read any of them? What is your top ten list?
Suffering and the Sovereignty of God by John Piper and Justin Taylor:
Piper and Taylor do not mince words when it comes to the reality of suffering. Yet they provide much hope because they teach the doctrine of God’s Sovereignty with compassion and truth.
The King’s Cross by Keller
Timothy Keller takes the narrative of Jesus’ life, and weaves it throughout the history that was being made at the same time. By doing so, we get a renewed vision of God made flesh, and an intimate look at the cross where Jesus shed His blood for salvation to come to the world.
Rid of My Disgrace by Lindsey and Justin Holcomb
This is a book that I wish no one would have to read. However, the reality and tragedy of the subject matter makes it a book that every pastor, minister, lay leader, and teacher should read. The Holcomb’s have not written the dreaded “self-help” book on this subject, but rather has defined the issue and then present God’s grace as the answer.
Deep Things of God by Fred Sanders
A book about trinitarianism that stretched my mind academically. I had to really think to follow Sanders, but I came away with a somewhat clearer understanding of God the father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit. But there is still so much I do not understand, and that Sanders believes has not been revealed to us to understand.
The Gospel by J.D. Greear
This is a book that I couldn’t put down. It was so applicable to my life that I devoured reading it in just a setting or two. It has changed (or rather added to) the praying that I do in the morning before the day begins.
Discipline of Spiritual Discernment by Tim Challies and John MacArthur
Excellent book that caused me to look at discernment in a completely different light. Impacted my praying so as to add an earnest plea to God for wisdom.
I’m including this here as one of my top ten picks for 2011. I had never read the New Testament (or OT) straight through. But I read the NT this year, reading each book in one setting. By doing so, I have a much better grasp of the context of the scriptures in the NT—a better overall vision of the Life of Christ and of the early church.
Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
I do not generally read Christian fiction. I personally find it to be so shallow that it isn’t worth my time. However that is not the case with this book. The foundation of this book is the story in Hosea, a very important book in the Old Testament. Beautiful book.
Silence by Endo
This book tells the story of a Jesuit missionary who endured deep persecution in his quest to bring the gospel to Japan. The book is challenging in that it asks us the question “What would we be willing to give up or endure so that others would know Christ?” Also, there is much in here about when God seems to be silent and when He seems to move and speak. The sovereignty of God is also a theme that is woven throughout the narrative.