I found reading to be more difficult this year. As I was looking back at my reading log, I was surprised I had more than ten reads to work with. Nevertheless, here they are... just in time for Christmas.
10. Gus Loses His Grip - David Powlison
I actually have two kids books on this list this year - but they are worthy of being here. The late David Powlison was a first-rate biblical counselor whose (adult) books have been incredibly influential on me. This one, for kids, is a very well-written story that gets across the sometimes complicated concept of idolatry. I have read it multiple times to my kids and it will be part of their development for years to come.
9. Sophie and the Heidelberg Cat - Andrew Wilson
Gospel, gospel, gospel - that's what this book is about. Like the work of Powlison, this book is a truly attention-retaining story that drips with the gospel of grace. I found my own soul soaring even as I read it to my kids before bedtime.
8. The Ten Commandments of Progressive Christianity - Michael Krueger
As a pastor, I spend quite a bit of time reading and re-reading the Pastoral Epistles (1, 2 Timothy and Titus) because they are written to pastors. One of the striking features of those letters is Paul's emphasis on sound doctrine. In the first century and in every age, the gospel has been subjected to mistreatment. Michael Krueger provides a short tutorial on how "Progressive Christianity" is warping the gospel and offering firm, but gentle, nudges back in the direction of what the Scriptures actually say. Could you identify "Progressive Christianity" if you heard it? If you read Krueger's book, you'll be on firmer footing to do so.
7. None Greater - Matthew Barrett
Just when you think we've exhausted all that can be said about the attributes of God, another book comes out ruminating on them. The difference with Barrett's book, however, is the close attention he gives the "so what?" question we often throw out there when pondering the attributes of God. If you read this book, I think you'll find it to be more devotional than most books on this topic.
6. Competing Spectacles - Tony Reinke
Reinke defines his book as a "theology of visual culture." Ours is a world of images on screens: phones, tablets, computers, TV's, theaters. Reinke writes, "...in this ecosystem of digital pictures and fabricated sights and viral moments competing for our attention - how do we spiritually thrive?" He sounds the alarm that our addiction to the image is competing not just for our time and attention, but our affection and devotion. What we need is a superior "spectacle" that outshines the rest.