Friday, January 8, 2010

Best Books for 2009

Well, I did a poor job of cataloging and rating my books read for 2009. I set out to do essentially the same as I did in 2008, but I failed pretty miserably at that.

So, instead of presenting a comprehensive list (like I did last year), I thought I would do my best to recap what some of the best books I read in 2009 were. Here's that list:
  • Leading in Prayer: A Workbook for Worship by Hughes Oliphant Old. I found this one to be an invaluable resource and guide to how prayer "fits" into the worship service. I look forward to reading more of Old's writings on worship in the coming year.
  • The Living Church by Donald J. MacNair. A superb book on church health, and how to pastor a church with an eye toward sustaining healthy practices.
  • The Pastor as Minor Poet by M. Craig Barnes. A very helpful approach to thinking about pastoral ministry.
  • Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage in the Bible by Jay E. Adams. This is a thorough examination on a difficult subject, and it is well-handled and thought-provoking.
  • A Call to Spiritual Reformation by D.A. Carson. An excellent work on the prayers of Paul and how we might learn the discipline of prayer from them.
  • Why Johnny Can't Preach by T. David Gordon. This one gives a great challenge to what the problem with much of contemporary preaching is, as well as a look at how to begin to fix it.
  • Fasting by Scot McKnight. A great introduction to a difficult topic, and one that is hard to find good material on. McKnight is biblical and practical in his approach.
  • Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. One of my favorite writers, and I'm always glad for another book by him. This one looks at what makes exceptional people and circumstances possible.
  • Christ-Centered Worship by Bryan Chapell. One of the best books I've read on worship, considering the biblical and historical precedent for why and how we do worship as we do.
  • The Christian Counselor's Manual by Jay E. Adams. While I disagreed with some of what Adams concludes about how to approach certain subjects, I love the fundamental points about principles and purpose in counseling here exposited.
  • Luke volumes 1 & 2 by Philip Graham Ryken. By far, this was my favorite commentary on Luke as I preached through the whole book; Ryken is a great blend of exposition, theology, illustration, context, and application in every commentary I've read of his, and Luke is no exception.
So, those are the best. I read a lot of others, but if I were recommending, these would be the list.

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