Tuesday, December 23, 2014

2014 Top Ten Lists - Books

Below are the best books I read during 2014.  It was hard to choose, so I picked 12 (in no particular order).  Two of the twelve were books I listened to.  The other ten were read on my kindle app.


Money: Master the Game, by Tony Robbins
I have to confess that I haven't finished this 700 page beast of a book.  I first heard the author interviewed on Tim Ferris' podcast (which I highly recommend).  The book is pretty unconventional, but what is great is all of the interviews that Robbins conducted.  He definitely did his homework.  I've already made a couple of changes to our finances as a result of reading this book.

Free, by Mark and Lisa Scandrette
This is probably the best book on money that I've ever read, and the reason is that it's not simply a book about money but a book about values.  Mark and Lisa share their story of the intentional decisions they've made that have enabled them to live life the way they wanted to live it.

Smart Money, Smart Kids, by Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze
After I finished college and moved to Nashville, I discovered Dave Ramsey's radio show.  He was very influential on my early money decisions.  Earlier this year I started listening to his show again.  I heard about this book (written with his daughter) and decided to give it a shot.  Very practical and informative.

The Trouble with Paris, by Mark Sayers
I will go ahead and say it: I will read any book that Mark Sayers writes.  Two years ago I read The Road Trip that Changed the World.  It was excellent.  Sayers combines faith, culture, history, and literature in a way that I've never seen.  This book is about consumerism and happiness.

Soul Keeping, by John Ortberg
I love John Ortberg's writing.  I read The Life You've Always Wanted almost 15 years ago, and it continues to be very formative in my life.  This book is focused on his relationship with Dallas Willard.  It is, pun intended, good for the soul.  Note that the kindle version of this book is only $2.99 right now.  Go get it!

Sacred Roots, by Jon Tyson
This is a quick but insightful read on the importance of the Church today.

Making Sense of the Bible, by Adam Hamilton
These next three books were very helpful as I prepared for a teaching series this past spring on theology.  I continue to work through some of the issues that Hamilton raised in this book.  It's very thought-provoking.

Benefit of the Doubt, by Greg Boyd
This was a helpful book on why confidence rather than certainty is the goal when it comes to belief.

The Theology of Dallas Willard, by Gary Black
At times this book was pretty tedious, but I found it very insightful.  Black here tries to compile all of Dallas Willard's teachings (books, talks, and even conversations) and distill a specific theology.  Also written around the same time was A Dallas Willard Dictionary, by Elaine O'Rourke.  It's a helpful little book as well.

The Accidental Anglican, by Todd Hunter
This was a quick read.  I've been following Todd Hunter since my time in San Francisco.  He has had quite the journey going from the Jesus Movement and the Vineyard Churches to now being an Anglican bishop!

Essentialism, by Gergory McKeown
A fellow pastor told me about this book a few months ago, and it has shaped me in some pretty incredible ways since then.  After reading this book I started the process of determining the three primary things I bring to NC.  Since that time I've been honing those things, seeking to stop doing other things, and taking our leadership team through the process.  I still have a lot of work to do, but I believe the process will yield a ton of fruit.

Letters from a Skeptic, by Greg Boyd
I'll end with another that I've yet to finish.  I just started listening to this book a couple of days ago.  The book is a series of letters between Greg and his father about Christianity.  So far, SO GOOD.  Kindle version is currently only $2.51!




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