Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011 Top Ten Lists: Books

I read a lot more this year than in previous years. Here are some of my favorites for the year.

1. Beautiful Outlaw, by John Eldredge. In January we'll begin a series on Jesus, through the lens of Mark's Gospel. Because of that, I've been reading quite a bit on Jesus. This one has been my favorite. It's different from the others. It hasn't so much been new information, but more that Eldredge helped me to get caught up in this beautiful story.

2. The King's Cross, by Tim Keller. This one is also on the life of Christ. If you've enjoyed other books by Keller, this one will follow suit. This book is based on a series of sermons that Keller preached a few years ago.

3. A Praying Life, by Paul Miller. Most books on the subject of prayer make me feel guilty. This one was a breath of fresh air. I would almost say that the word "Life" is a better descriptor than the word "Prayer," because the book is about an everyday life with God. It's messy. It's beautiful. There are good days and there are bad days. And God is in it all.

4. The King Jesus Gospel, by Scot McKnight. I try to read everything Scot McKnight write puts out, which, if you've ever been to his blog, is A LOT. In this book he differentiates between a salvation culture and a gospel culture.

5. Love Wins, by Rob Bell. In case you didn't know, this book, which is about the afterlife, caused a bit of a stir this past year. Our church read it last spring and then devoted a Sunday night to discussing it.

6. Do the Work, by Steven Pressfield. What is resistance and how do we destroy it? Find out in this great little book.

7. Samson and the Pirate Monks, by Nate Larkin. I heard some guys talking about this, and the title alone intrigued me. Who wouldn't like Pirate Monks! This is a book about sexual addiction, community, and God's grace that leads to healing and restoration.

8. The Starfish and the Spider, by Ori Brafman and Rod Beck. I've had this book for a few years, but I finally read it this year. Over the past year our church has been moving towards decentralization. That's what this book is about.

9. Rumors of God, by Jon Tyson and Darren Whitehead. I've been following Jon Tyson and his church in NYC for the past few years, so when I heard he had a book coming out, I got a copy pretty quickly. He and Darren have been friends for a long time, and though their churches look very different from one another, their passions for Jesus and the church are identical.

10. The Cross of Christ, by John Stott. I have begun collecting and reading John Stott's books over the past two years. This one is my favorite so far. Rich in theology and beauty.

Of these ten books, eight were read on my Kindle app, and I listened to two.