Top Ten Reads of 2017

Another year, more books. It should go without saying, but in today's weirdness I need you to know that I don't agree with everything in all these books. In no particular order, here were my favorite reads this year:
  • The Spirituality of the Cross by Gene Veith - In good Lutheran form, Veith grounds our spirituality in the objective finished work of Christ.
  • Calvinism in a Las Vegas Airport by Richard Mouw - I love Richard Mouw. Will eventually read everything he has written. His is a broader gentler Calvinism that seeks to get to work in the world.
  • The Message of Ephesians by John Stott - Stott + Ephesians = cash money. What a gift to the church the letter to the Ephesians is. What a gift to pastors John Stott is. Powerful combo.
  • The Crucified King by Jeremy Treat - Let not man separate what God has joined together. Great example of biblical theology informing systematic theology.
  • You Are What You Love by Jamie Smith - This was my first entry to Smith. I already want to reread this one, then buy the trilogy and drink deeper from his project.
  • Rock Solid by Archer and Thornborough - Short, accessible works on theology are hard to come by but this one's a gem. A group of UK scholars cover twelve gospel truths in 12 chapters at about 10 pages a pop, with a Bible study, historical sketch, and application sections too! Really good for discipleship.
  • Greek for Life by Merkle and Plummer - Motivating and helpful strategies for learning, retaining, and reviving your Greek.
  • Covenant by Thomas Schreiner - Really good and short overview of the covenants by one of my favorite NT scholars. After reading his Galatians commentary, it did seem like he had a broad Crossway (read: not all Baptists) audience in mind.
  • The Mission of God's People by Christ Wright - Wright's Mission of God is one of my favorite books. I love his emphasis on the OT. Though he defines the church's mission a bit broader than I would, this is a great example of biblical theology for life.
  • Letters to a Young Calvinist by Jamie Smith - Smith made my list twice this year! What a fun read. As a disciple of Mouw, and therefore Kuyper, you'll notice the tone and broadness. I really appreciated his emphasis on the worldview of Reformed theology.

I can't stop without mentioning a couple that I have read before but re-read this year. I took our pastors through Nine Marks of a Healthy Church by Mark Dever this year and it was even more refreshing the second time. Would that every pastor in America would read this book! Also, I took our staff through CJ Mahaney's Living the Cross-Centered Life, a great devotional look at the centrality of the cross for the Christian life. Both are worthy of reading and rereading.