My Top 10 Reads of 2011

I read over 100 books this past year, so I thought I would share my top ten books that were actually published in 2011. This next year I will be reading another 100 plus books (God willing) and one of the themes for the new year will be to read as many of the “Views” books as I possibly can (I have 70 of these books already at last count). The most important book I will be reading is the Bible. I will be using Robert Murray McCheyne’s Bible reading plan and the One Year Bible as well. Therefore, I hope to read through the Bible three times. I hope that God blesses your intake this next year and that His Spirit will illuminate your mind and saturate your thinking, emotions, and activity with a Christ centered and Holy Spirit empowering to live for His glory. All the books below (and more) were reviewed on and here on my blog.

10) Passages: How Reading the Bible in a Year Will Change Everything for You by Brian Hardin. He will really motivate you to get into the Word daily – which is arguably the most important discipline for you to maintain.

9) All In: From Refugee Camp to Poker Champ by Jerry Yang with Mark Tabb. This was one of the most spontaneous picks I ever read – I bought it because it was cheap! However, it was a gripping story of a Christian refugee coming to the USA and winning the biggest Poker prize in history and the astounding way he was and is a testimony for Christ in his lifestyle and giving. Jerry Yang is an amazing person who places Jesus first in every aspect of his life – even playing poker! I was surprised at how much God’s sovereignty and providence was brought into the story – not just the families escape from Cambodia, but also in the refugee camp in Thailand and then all the details that God worked out for him in the USA.

8) Salvation Accomplished by the Son: The Work of Christ by Robert A. Peterson. I always enjoy reading anything related to Jesus. This book was not easy reading, but very rewarding in that it mined the depths of the atonement and opened my eyes to riches to be found in Christ that I had never seen before.

7) The Essential Commandment: A Disciple’s Guide to Loving God and Others by Greg Ogden. This book is the third workbook in this series of outstanding discipleship workbooks. This one focuses on the application of the Ten Commandments. I highly recommend all of Ogden’s books on and for discipleship – He knows how to make and help you make multiplying disciples for Christ.

6) Jesus + Nothing = Everything by Tullian Tchividjian. I loved this book perhaps mainly because I could so identify with “rediscovering” that beauty of the gospel after going through so many trials and tribulations in recent years. Tullian clearly articulates the doctrines of justification and sanctification and how they are both grace based and emphasizes the “nowness” of the gospel in your life.

5) Think Christianly: Looking at the Intersection of Faith and Culture by Jonathan Morrow. This is a fantastic book that combines the biggest ethical and cultural issues of our times, and interviews with Christians who are experts in these areas – who have thought deeply about the issues, and are actually penetrating culture with their Christian views and actions and making a difference for the glory of God.

4) Nearing Home: Life, Faith, and Finishing Well by Billy Graham. Actually this wasn’t that great of a book – but it was written by one of the most used vessels in God’s arsenal in world history. This may be Graham’s last book that he will write before he goes home to hear those words we all long to hear, “Well done good and faithful servant.” I was brought to tears in reading this book because of this man’s integrity and faithfulness for the cause of Christ.

3) For Calvinism by Michael Horton. One of the most misunderstood doctrines so clearly and effectively articulated by one of the finest theologians of our times. A cogent and balanced defense of what the Scriptures teach about the doctrines of grace.

2) Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary by J. D. Greear. Very Christ-centered book on applying the gospel daily.

1) Tie for 1st! Forever by Paul David Tripp and The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller. Essentially anything that Tripp or Keller writes on anything trumps just about everything outside the Bible itself! These two writers have a great grasp on the gospel, Biblical Theology, and how to communicate these two elements with great relavency in the 21st Century. I’m sure I would also be including Keller’s King’s Cross” here as well – but I haven’t read it yet!

Honorable Mentions (Most of these could have easily been in the top 10 too, but you gotta draw the line somewhere!):

Historical Theology by Greg Allison; Being George Washington by Glenn Beck; Reflections on Words of the New Testament by Vine and Benoit; Four Views on the Spectrum of Evangelicalism (Counterpoints: Bible and Theology – Various authors); Community: Taking Your Small Group off Life Support by Brad House; What is the Mission of the Church? by DeYoung and Gilbert; Preaching and Teaching the Last Things: Old Testament Eschatology for the Life of the Church by Walter C. Kaiser; More Than Ordinary: Enjoying Life with God by Doug Sherman.