Favorite Reads from 2017

Pastor Sam Brown is a loving husband, a great dad, and an avid reader. Sam served with us for two years as a part of his training for vocational ministry. He know serves a church in Ohio. In his guest post he shares with us some of the 65 books he read this year. Hopefully, his love for written words will ignite a desire to read in you.

Do you enjoy reading? I hope you do. We live in the golden age of Christian publishing with excellent books being published by Crossway, Baker, New Growth Press, and others. In 2017, there were many books that I enjoyed, but here are my top seven. Maybe one of these will catch your interest and make it on your list for 2018.

  1. God’s Big Picture: Tracing the Storyline of the Bible by Vaughan Roberts. From Genesis to Revelation, God is accomplishing His eternal plan. God’s Big Picture serves as an introduction to the study of the “grand narrative” of Scripture (otherwise known as Biblical Theology). This short book not only helped me understand the unity of Scripture, but also encouraged me to read large chunks of the Bible at a time. A short and helpful book.
  2. Joseph and the Gospel of Many Colors by Voddie Baucham Jr. How do the events that occur during Joseph’s life fit within the larger framework of the Bible? That’s what Baucham is seeking to answer. This book helped me see more clearly God’s redemptive plan at work through Genesis 37-50. More than being a favorite Sunday School story, this portion of Scripture teaches us eternal truth, and points forward to the rest of Scripture.
  3. The Imperfect Disciple: Grace for People Who Can’t Get Their Act Together by Jared C. Wilson. Jared Wilson wrote this book to encourage believers who feel that discipleship isn’t for them. Rather than being a book full of spiritual slogans (or memes, if you will), The Imperfect Disciple lays out what discipleship looks like for the rest of us: clinging to Christ with the full assurance that Christ is holding us fast. With just the right balance of Bible teaching and personal testimony, this book is a healing agent to the worn-out soul. My copy is covered with highlights and notes. If you read any of the books on this list, read this one.
  4. 12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You by Tony Reinke. Our ever-present smartphones are life-changing tools. Yet many of us have adopted these gadgets without considering the affect they will have on us. In this book, Reinke seeks to draw out biblical instruction for us in our use of mobile technology. Reinke isn’t a technophobe, but he does challenge readers to think carefully about the use of mobile technology. As Christians, we need to rule over our devices and use them for God’s glory which is our greatest good. Take your time with this book.
  5. The Dynamic Heart in Daily Life: Connecting Christ to Human Experience by Jeremy Pierre. The Dynamic Heart is the most academic on this list. If we are going to understand what the Bible says about sin, salvation, and sanctification we must understand the Bible’s teaching on the heart. Jeremy Pierre not only demonstrates an expert understanding of biblical counseling, but also a masterful understanding of God’s Word. There are many valuable books on the heart, but The Dynamic Heart may be the best.
  6. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. In 2017 I finally read through C.S. Lewis’ masterpiece. In these books, Lewis uses the mythical world of Narnia to present many Christian beliefs about Christ, creation, mankind, sin, salvation, and more. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and The Last Battle were my favorites. If you have never read through The Chronicles of Narnia, you really need to. And by the way, read them in the order they were written (start with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe). You can thank me later.
  7. The Fellowship: the Literary Lives of the Inklings by Philip and Carol Zaleski. I have read few biographies that are as well written as The Fellowship. In the book, the authors present the lives of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, and Charles Williams: friends and members of the literary club, the Inklings. Whether a fan of their writing or not, all readers will benefit from learning how these men were shaped by the world events around them, and how they went on to shape the lives of millions more. A lengthy book, but brilliant.

So there are my favorite books from 2017. What were some of yours?

As always I welcome your feedback and any ideas you might have for an upcoming Lunchtime Musing.