Hello Church Family,
One of the questions that I am frequently asked is: “Can you recommend a good book for me to read?” In fact, twice recently I’ve been presented with that request. So, what I thought I would do is offer to you my Top Ten Books of 2013 (in two parts, for the sake of brevity). While most of the authors that I read have been dead for a long time (folks like Calvin, Luther, Edwards, Bonhoeffer, Vos, etc.), there are plenty of contemporary writers whose insightful voices deserve to be “heard.”
Two disclaimers (at the risk of sounding like the last seven seconds of a radio commercial): 1) By recommending a book I am not saying that I agree with every single sentence; even the most helpful and thought-provoking tomes contain points with which I may take exception; 2) I never read fiction. I say that with embarrassment, not pride! There are no fiction books on my list, but not because I don’t see the value in them. I just don’t make the time to read them. So … with that in mind, here are my top 2013 releases:
10. Rhythms of Grace: How the Church’s Worship Tells the Story of the Gospel by Mike Cosper. Everything we do is worship. Heard that one before? It’s certainly true, but what does that mean for our corporate gatherings? What should they be about and include? Cosper’s answer is rooted in history, faithful to the scriptures, and conversant with the voices of our culture.
9. Resisting Gossip by Matthew Mitchell. It is one of the most accepted sins: gossip. Yet, the Bible says that the tongue can set a forest ablaze. That’s how destructive a harmful word can be. Herein, Mitchell explains what gossip is, and how, by the power of the gospel, we can avoid it.
8. Is God Anti-Gay? by Sam Allberry. Homosexuality is one of those topics that we, as Christians, better be ready to address. The challenge to think biblically (and act lovingly!) concerning sexual ethics is ever-increasing. Here, Allberry, a pastor who, himself, struggles with same-sex attraction, offers a powerful and brief (yet surprisingly thorough treatment) of this important matter.
7. DiscipleShift by Jim Putman & Bobby Harrington. I loved this book. At Northpoint, we (the elders) have communicated our church’s mission as: making disciples who make disciples. Well, Putman and Harrington offer a biblical strategy for doing that very thing.
6. Who’s Your Father: Returning to the Love of the Biblical God by Robert Bernecker. Don’t let the painfully boring cover fool you. This is a riveting book. If, as one of my professors once said, “every fear and anxiety that we face flows from a misconception about God” then what we believe about God is of paramount importance. Here is a great place to bolster your understanding of who God really is.