Monday, January 2, 2012

Top 11 Books from 2011

I lost track of how many books I actually read in 2011.  I know that I reviewed 46 and I have a decent sized list of books that I’ve either finished and haven’t reviewed or I have almost finished and will soon enough review. 

Here are the Top 11 Books that I read in 2011.  I filtered through all of the books that I read from 2011 based on two criteria.  First, lasting influence.  If the book is still jostling around in my brain then that gives it some points—especially if it was something I read in February.  Secondly, sheer enjoyment.  If I remember reading it and loving the read then it’s probably on this list.  Many books I read were excellent.  But these were the best:

11. Night of the Living Dead Christian by Matt Mikalatos

I read this one last month and it was a very entertaining read.  It actually inspired me to read more works of fiction.  It’s a tremendous allegory, fun read, and actually makes you think.  Read my full review here

10. Think by John Piper

There is a difference between learning, studying, remembering things, and actually thinking.  John Piper inspired me early in the year to give myself to vigorous thinking and not simply coasting by on what the Lord has given me but instead fanning into flame the gift of God.  Read my full review here.

9. Christians Get Depressed Too

This is a very helpful resource for those that struggle with depression. I’ve consulted this book a few times over the course of this year.  One of the greatest things about this book is that it is short.  For those battling depression a short, practical, Christ-centered book is helpful.  Read my full review here.

8. 40 Questions About Interpreting the Bible

This entire series of 40 Questions is worthy of looking into.  This edition by Dr. Plummer is an excellent resource on biblical interpretation (hermeneutics).  I used this book liberally while teaching a series on Biblical Interpretation at our church.  It’s certainly one that every serious student of the word needs to consider purchasing.  Read my full review here

7. The Greener Grass Conspiracy

Once I discovered that this book was not actually about global warming (no idea where I got that idea), I decided that I would give it a read.  It was excellent.  Oddly enough I think this book did more for my writing than anything else.  Altrogge’s writing style is one that I have tried to emulate.  Read my full review here.

6. Perspectives on Family Ministry

This book, coupled with my class with Dr. Timothy Jones on Family Ministry, has finally provided answers to questions I had stirring in my head for a couple of years.  It is a wonderful help to those ministers attempting to figure out how to do family ministry.  Read my full review here.

5. Counterfeit Gods by Tim Keller

Tim Keller writes a whole book on idolatry.  Enough said.  I have yet to review this book but it will certainly receive five stars.  Keller is an excellent writer and he applies the gospel to our idol factories better than most other authors. 

4. Redemption by Mike Wilkerson

I first heard about this book while it was in the beginning stages of publication.  Wilkerson spoke in one of my classes at Southern.  I was immediately hooked and anticipated the books arrival in stores.  I was not disappointed.  A helpful grid both for personal transformation and for small group settings.  Read my full review here.

3. Wise Counsel (John Ryland, Jr. and John Newton) by Grant Gordon

A book full of Newton’s letters, that’s enough to sell me.  This book has proven very helpful for me throughout the year.  Ryland is a young minister and Newton provides counsel to him all throughout the book.  These letters span almost the entire life and ministry of both Newton and Ryland.  It’s helpful historically but even more helpful pastorally.  I have yet to write a review but hope to soon. 

2. Washed and Waiting by Wesley Hill

I do not share the same specific struggle as Wesley Hill.  But I do share his same struggle with sin.  This book is still something that I am chewing on.  It is helpful in ministering to homosexuals but it is even more helpful in ministering to your own soul.  Wesley’s view of redemption, brokenness, and healing is one that will inspire and help any reader.  Last I checked you can get this on Kindle for pretty cheap.  Read my full review here.

1. Tempted and Tried by Russell Moore

I absolutely love Crossway.  They have put out a myriad of excellent books.  I had heard from someone that had read this that it was one of the best books ever published by Crossway.  I thought that a pretty lofty statement.  But after reading this book I lean towards agreeing with them.  The writing is phenomenal.  The chapters are lengthy but reading them is never laborious.  In fact I will probably try to read this book in 2012 as well.  Read my full review here.

There you have it.  My Top 11 books for 2011. 

A helpful (for me) tip: If you ever decide to purchase a book that I have reviewed or one from this list has finally motivated you to buy the book.  Be sure to click the link and buy from there.  Anytime you see borrligh-20 in the URL that means that I get a little kickback from Amazon as a referrer.  It doesn’t cost you anything, it doesn’t add any steps to your order, but it helps me out considerably.  If enough people buy books referred from this website then I have enough to buy books each semester. 

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