There are few things I love more than books. They’re my favorite gift to give and receive, and this season I have had absolutely the most fun giving away some of my favorites. As the year draws to a close, I want to share a few of the books I have read in the last year that have shaped my theology and informed my ministry, and some of the titles on my list for the new year.
Favorite Reads of 2018
None Like Him, by Jen Wilkin
None Like Him is an accessible systematic theology of the Godhead. It looks at the ways God is unlike us – or, His incommunicable attributes – and is perfect for the new or mature believer alike.
In His Image, by Jen Wilkin
Similar to above, In His Image is a theological look at the character of God. But this time Wilkin tackles the attributes God possesses that we are also called to develop. It’s a rich look at the will of God: transformation into Christ’s image.
The Incarnation of God, by John Clark and Marcus Peter Johnson
Clark and Johnson were Bible school professors of mine (Moody Bible Institute) and there’s no better time to read this look at the incarnation than during Advent! Find out why it’s such a big deal that God became irreversibly man without relinquishing His divinity.
On Reading Well, Karen Swallow Prior
Prior tackles classic works of literature and shows her readers how the truths of Gospel shine through each. It will make you love literature, and crave reading more and reading better.
The Gospel Comes with a House Key, by Rosaria Butterfield
This book changed the way I looked at hospitality. Through story and personal experience, Butterfield makes a compelling case for Christians to love their neighbors and their church through radically ordinary hospitality. (This is the book I finished and slipped onto Austin’s nightstand when I was done. Subtle?)
Three Spiritual Classics, by A.W. Tozer
I’ve loved Tozer since my early years as a believer, and the three books enclosed in this collection of classics are rich, rewarding reads. (I think every page has something underlined or highlighted in my own copy)
All That’s Good, by Hannah Anderson
Anderson’s latest book is a look at the lost art of discernment. Using Scripture’s call to “think on such things,” she builds a theological and practical case for developing a life of discernment. It’s a timely read.
Made for More, by Hannah Anderson
I have to confess: I read this book two years ago, but it’s too good to not include in this list! Anderson’s first book tackles the glorious call on the lives of humans as image bearers in the world.
Humble Roots, by Hannah Anderson
I read this book, turned the last page, and immediately flipped the front cover open again and read it again. A needed look at humility in the Christian life, this book offers the flip side of our humanity: the humility of our limited frame.
One with Christ, by Marcus Peter Johnson
If you only pick up one book on this list, let it be this one. Johnson (my former professor named above) was incredibly formative in my theological training, helping me understand soteriology (study of salvation) in light of the doctrine of union with Christ. It has changed my life and my theology.
Glory in the Ordinary, by Courtney Reissig
When I first picked up this book I thought it would have little to no relevance to my life since I’m not a mother. But Reissig’s understanding of motherhood is broad (as is Scripture’s) and she shares how the call of spiritual and biological motherhood give God glory , even in the ordinary moments of our day.
50 Women Every Christian Should Know, by Michelle DeRusha
I love church history, but often feel daunted by history text books. So this book was warmly welcomed, with it’s short summaries of women throughout history who God used to shape His church – many names and stories I had never heard before!
On my 2019 Reading List
Even Better Than Eden, by Nancy Guthrie
It’s easy for us as Christians to look back at Eden with longing. But the Scriptures teach us that the best days are still ahead – the Kingdom of God! Guthrie makes a biblical case for the coming Kingdom as even better than Eden because of Christ.
Resurrection Life in a World of Suffering, edited by D.A. Carson and Kathleen Nielson
In the life of ministry, few things feel more daunting than the topic of personal suffering. I’m excited to dive into 1 Peter along with this amazing lineup of authors.
Adopted for Life, by Russel Moore
Moore is not only an adoptive father, but a timely theological voice in the life of the western church. This book looks at a theological and practical call in the church to welcome in the stranger and orphan.
Meditations on the Trinity, by A.W. Tozer
I’ve read almost everything else by Tozer, and with some new writing projects regarding the Trinity ahead of me this year, I can’t wait to sit and savor the Word with him.
Born to Wander, by Michelle Van Loon
Austin and I have moved every two to three years since we have been married, making it hard to feel rooted. I’m eager to explore the theological concept of sojourning as believers with Van Loon.
ESV Illuminated Scripture Journals, published by Crossway Books
I’m not a big Bible journaler, but this set was too pretty to pass up! With each book of the New Testament individually bound and illustrated, this set gives you one page of biblical text and a blank page for notes. I’m making one of my goals for 2019 to journal through the entire New Testament. How fun is that?
What books did I miss? Did you have favorite reads this year? I’d love to hear what they are!
Whatever is on your reading list for this year, my primary encouragement to you is this: if you read anything, get in the Word. There, you will never be disappointed or leave empty-handed!
Please note: none of these links are affiliate links. As always, I promise you my personal recommendations and unfiltered thoughts.
Jean keeley says
Two of my favorite reads this past year were 1) Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church by Michael Horton and 2) What’s Best Next by Matt Perman.
The first is both sobering and eye-opening and also amazing in Gospel clarity. I’ve known the gospel for over two decades. I knew it BETTER and share it more boldly and accurately since reading CC.
Perman’s book is on productivity but with a refreshing, clarifying, and necessary Gospel-focus. He had a lot to do with the website design and ministry at Desiring God. Not busy at all, lol! It has really helped me both professionally and personally.
Both are on my amazon wish list! I just didn’t know enough about them to recommend. Thanks for sharing! The second sounds like a painful read for me, lol.
Lauryn Koppes says
Tish Harrison Warren’s “Liturgy of the Ordinary” is a thoughtful, well-crafted read on how we can glorify God in our mundane, everyday moments. Highly recommend!