Monday, December 27, 2010

My Favorite Books of 2010

I was blessed to be able to read a lot of good books in 2010 and listed below are my favorites from the year. Quite a few of them were written and released before 2010 but I didn't get around to reading them until this year therefore, they make this year's cut. I have included 14 books on the list, not because that number carries some sort of deep spiritual meaning but because I really enjoyed all of these books. For what it's worth, these books are listed in order so the number 14 means that you should buy the book because you would probably like it. The number one means that reading that book will instantly change your life. If you don't read it, there's probably something wrong with you and you should see a doctor.

Happy reading!

This is an excellent short story that shows how money does change things but not always for the best.

In the words of Puff Daddy/P. Diddy/Diddy, "Mo money, mo problems."

A detailed explanation of how the Steelers of the 70s were built, why they mattered to their struggling community and what made their rivalry with the Cowboys so great. As an added bonus, the Cowboys are the bad guys in this book so that should help you get through ESPN's endless coverage of that fading empire.

If you, like me, are especially weak in matters of church history this short book is for you. The authors use Edwards' writings as commentary on current evangelical trends and norms in a way that familiarizes the reader with America's greatest theologian by highlighting the relevance of his timeless writings. Also, if for some reason you get invited to one of those parties where people wear knickers and speak latin to each other, you can give this a quick read and you might be able to contribute to the conversation.

If there is anything in your church that is a hinderance to the fulfillment of the Great Commission, it needs to be dealt with quickly and decisively.

See above quote by Mr. P. Diddy regarding the increasing amount of money and it's relation to the amount of problems in one's life.

The people who laugh-off Ron Paul as a crazy old man with weird ideas usually seem to fall into two categories. First, there are those who have heard a lot from the maniacal end of Paul's fan base but have never actually read or listened to the man himself. Second, there are those who are fans/beneficiaries of the very aspects of big government that Paul would eliminate were he given the chance. In politics, everybody's for eliminating waste until it's their sacred cow that's considered waste.

Kevin DeYoung is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. In this book, he breaks down the Heidelberg Catechism into easy to read daily portions that helps readers to clearly see the gospel and its implications from an ancient document they might not otherwise be aware of.

Jesus isn't a member of the GOP.

Settle down democrats, he's not a part of your group either.

When we view the gospel through the lenses of our political leanings and what Fox News (or MSNBC) tells us to believe, we miss the gospel.

There were a lot of good books written about money in 2010 and I think this is the best one. Duren's motivation for missional giving is not based on guilt but on God's sovereignty and grace. God created everything so nothing really belongs to us. What has been given to us is solely a result of God's generosity. Christians who take their faith seriously will consider how they can model the generosity of their Maker and Life-giver and Sustainer.

If you know a Muslim and care anything about explaining the gospel to them in a respectful, accurate and understandable way, you'll read this short book and do what it says.

In Scandalous, D.A. Carson gives a very helpful and easy to understand explanation of the meaning behind the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ. If you've ever found yourself around Easter time asking, "What's the point of all this cross and empty tomb stuff", this one is for you. If you often find yourself at Easter asking, "What's the point behind all of these eggs and bunnies?" this book will not help you. But, that is an excellent question.

Why do some ideas take off and change the world while others are left on the chopping block in some board room? Gladwell gives a well written and even better researched answer to that question. If you are in a leadership position and care about making an impact, you should give this book a shot.

This is an old school classic. Sproul helps us to see that holiness is not just another one of God's attributes but instead it is his essence. For such a weighty topic, this book is very easy to read and very practical.

In my short time on earth and in the church I have seen Christians fall into two traps in regards to matters of justice. On the one end there are those who only care about feeding the hungry, caring for orphans so on and so on at the expense of the gospel. This is what we would commonly refer to as liberalism or the social gospel. At the other end are those who only care about evangelism. Their implied message is, "Here's how to get saved so you can go to Heaven whenever you and your family die from that AIDS thingy I'd rather not do anything about. Good luck." Keller shows us the pitfalls of both extremes but also helps us to see how we can merge what is right about the two and land on the gospel.

As is the case with his other books, Keller has done the church a great service in writing Generous Justice.

Up Next: The Year in Music

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