Books for 2016
Its a new year! What are you going to read?
Start the year off by reading. Make a New Year's resolution or a wish upon a star. Whatever. Mark Twain is credited with saying, "A person who won’t read has no advantage over one who can’t read." Resolve to read something. Make a resolution you can accomplish immediately:
- I'll read 50 or 100 pages on New Years day.
- I'll read a book in its entirety in the first week of the new year.
- I'll read a book solely for my spirtual growth in January.
- I'll call a friend on New Year's day and ask them to read a book with me.
With resolution in hand and heart, here are a few books from 2015 for you to consider. Books marked ** are available at Milwood Baptist book stall.
Rejoicing in Christ by Michael Reeves**
This book is a very simply a book about Jesus! You won’t find self-help-therapy here. You’ll find a robust, witty, and unashamed portrayal of the glory of Jesus Christ.
“Sadly, so many Christians have a background virus in their understanding of the gospel. It's not easy to spot, but it eats away at all their confidence in Christ. Its this: the sneaking suspicion that while Jesus is savior, he’s not really the creator of all….The Bible knows of no such piffling and laughing Christet. “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made” (Jhn 1:3)”.
Praying the Bible, by Donald Whitney
There are some things in this book which I don’t highly exactly agree with. However, it is a great resource for teaching us how to pray. Specifically, how to keep from praying the same ol' boring things over and over. Very short. Very readable. Very helpful.
Does this describe your prayer life? “The problem is not that we pray about the same old things; rather, it’s that we say the same old things about the same old things…And when prayer is boring, we don’t feel like praying.”
Keep in Step With the Spirit, by J.I. Packer
We’re talking about J.I. Packer here. This book will leave you stirred and will give you a deeper and fresh look at the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Packer also takes time to talk about spiritual gifts relate to the ministry of the Holy Spirit, which is immediately practical.
“The truth we must grasp here is that our exercise of spiritual gifts is nothing more nor less than Christ himself ministering through his body to his body, to the Father, and to all mankind. From heaven Christ uses Christians as his mouth, his hands, his feet, and even his smile; it is through us, his people, that he speaks, acts, meets, loves, and saves here and now in this world.”
A Short Life of Jonathan Edwards by George Marsden
You ever wonder what it is like to be a pastor? Though Jonathan Edwards was a pastor through the very unique American Great Awakening of the late 1730s to early 1740s, his pastoral ministry was filled with age old challenges. He was, however, was exceptional in many ways. This shorter biographical work of George Marsden is accessible and enjoyable. I would like to read it again myself.
“Edwards set a standard of faith and practice that was difficult for most people to sustain…He spent much time in regular prayerss bother privately and set times daily with his family. He was said to spend thirteen hours a day in his study…Not wishing to waste any time but finding it difficult to carry quill and ink, he would pin bits of paper to his jacket to remind him later to write down his most useful thoughts.”
What Does the Bible Say About Homosexuality? by Kevin DeYoung**
We will remember 2015 as the year that the Supreme Court handed down the ruling affirming same-sex marriage in Obergefell v Hodges. Christians, though, are still wrestling with how to understand sexuality in general. Well, we must start, as we always must, with what the Bible says. This is a simple and straightforward observation of the few Scriptures which address homosexuality. It also includes seven short chapters with Kevin DeYoung's answers to objections.
“After all, man does not live by bread alone (or sex alone), but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
Washington’s Revolution by Robert Middlekauff
This is not just another biography on George Washington, though it is the first I’ve read. It follows Washington’s formation, political savvy, and resilience through the American Revolution--which lead to his being our fist President. I was surprised by how many times Washington failed miserably, how unpopular he was in some circles, how little support he had from congress, and how often he had to request simple things like food, socks, and shoes from the disorganized congress. Most of all I was surprised that by the mutiny he faced! History is a great teacher about the future.
“Overseeing these men, Washington feared the worst, and on January 1, 1781, he got it—a mutiny of the Pennsylvania line, some ten regiments in winter quarters at Mount Kemble. At around nine in the evening, they burst from their tents carrying muskets with bayonets, and after two hours of wildness, in which they killed two officers and wounded others, they set off for Philadelphia, where congress sat.”
The First Days of Jesus by Andreas Kostenberger**
Why not start the new year with a book about the Christmas story? This is our hope year-round, right? Kostenberger gives a fresh look at the Christmas story. What was it like for Mary and Joseph? What are the details and cultural context for life in the 1st century? Merry Christmas in January! A very helpful book!
“What is the significance of the name Jesus? The Greek name Jesus is equivalent to the Hebrew name “Joshua”, which,…means “Yahweh Saves.”
Who is Jesus? by Greg Gilbert**
It’s small, short, and the forward is by a rapper named Tripp Lee. Anyone can read this book and many of us should. More so, it is a great book to give out to those who do not know Christ or have not really every considered Christ. It is a great intro to who Christ is and a great companion or segue to reading Scripture.
“When someone claims to be your God you really have two choices, right? You can reject the claim or you can accept it. What you can’t do, at least for very long, is suspend judgment and just see how it plays out. Jesus claimed some amazing things about himself, and also about you.”
Other Interesting or Helpful Reads from 2015:
- Compelling Community by Mark Dever and Jaime Dunlop
- Patrick Henry: First Among Patriots by Thomas S. Kidd
- The Pastor and Counseling by Deepak Reju
- Enjoy Your Prayer Life by Michael Reeves
- A Concise History of the Crusades by Thomas F. Madden
- The Soul Winner by Charles Spurgeon
- Miracles by Eric Metaxas
For His Glory,
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