Wednesday, January 2, 2013
top ten +1
Here are the best books I read in 2012, being my own top-ten list (well, 11 to be exact), in no particular order...
Delighting in the Trinity: An Introduction to the Christian Faith, by Michael Reeves. This is fresh, devotional, easy-to-read-and-grasp, but very profound. It will change the way you think about the Christian life.
Canon Revisited: Establishing the Origins and Authority of the New Testament Books, by Michael J. Kruger. An top-notch academic work and a new landmark in understanding how we go about knowing what writings came authoritatively from God.
Lit!: A Christian Guide to Reading Books, by Tony Reinke. This is a needed and very readable book, about... well, how to read and what to read.
The Unquenchable Flame: Discovering the Heart of the Reformation, by Michael Reeves. Brief but excellent introduction to the Protestant Reformation. Excerpt: "The Reformation was not, principally, a negative movement, about moving away from Rome; it was a positive movement, about moving towards the gospel."
Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10, by Marcus Luttrell. Riveting account of this operation-gone-wrong near the Afghan/Pakistan border. Some very surprising heroes emerge.
Einstein, by Walter Isaacson. An up-to-date biography on a very colorful figure. Well-done.
True Spirituality, by Francis A. Schaeffer. The was the best re-read of a classic this year. I've learned that, instead of reading some new offering -- which may or may not prove profitable -- I go back and re-read a book that helped me in the past. Great books, when discovered, should be read again and again in order that they be mastered. Excerpt: "This is the Christian life, and this is true spirituality. In the light of the unity of the Bible’s teaching in regard to the supernatural nature of the universe, the how is the power of the crucified and the risen Christ, through the agency of the indwelling Holy Spirit, by faith."
God and Stephen Hawking, by John Lennox.
Who Made God, by Edgar Andrews. Two short but insightful critiques of how science (so-called) can get off track. Excerpt from Lennox: "Physical laws cannot create anything. They are a description of what normally happens under certain given conditions."
Histories and Fallacies, by Carl R. Trueman. Main conclusion: "...while there is no such thing as neutrality in the telling of history, there is such a thing as objectivity, and that varied interpretations of historical evidence are yet susceptible to generally agreed upon procedures of verification that allow us to challenge each others’ readings of the evidence." Excerpt: "...the present is profoundly shaped by the past at every level. That may seem obvious, but it is amazing how often we can forget this simple fact and assume that what we have today is nature, not culture, and that the way we think and do things is simply the correct way that has emerged at last."
Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions, by Gregory Koukl. Very helpful and practical. A veteran apologist takes some cues from Columbo.