Friday, December 19, 2014

My 12 favorite books I read in 2014

George Whitefield: America's Spiritual Founding Father by Thomas S. Kidd
I haven't quite finished this yet, but there is no way it was not going to make this list! This new biography by Kidd will be a standard work for years to come. I've read other biographies on Whitefield, however this work by Kidd is my favorite. I will be doing a full review of it later.
Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible by E. Randolph Richards andBrandon J. O'Brien
This was a required text for my hermeneutics class, and it shaped the way I will read Scripture from now on. I can't recommend it highly enough!
The Drama of Scripture: Finding Our Place in the Biblical Story by Craig Bartholomew and Michael W. Goheen
This was a required text for my Old Testament Survey class this semester. You can see my full review here, but in short, it's a great intro to Biblical Theology and does a great job of not only condensing the Biblical Narrative to ~250 pages, it shows how all of Scripture is interconnected.
Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church by N.T. Wright
Although I disagree with Wright on many things (and many things in this particular book), this book made me think and validate what I believe.
Office Of Assertion: An Art Of Rhetoric For Academic Essay by Scott Crider
I can't remember who exactly I saw recommend this, but this is a great intro to rhetoric, and will make anyone a better academic writer. I commend this little book to all of my fellow students.
Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them
Dr. Alvin Reid mentioned on Twitter he was reading this, so I picked it up. I'm very glad I did. It covers many aspects of writing, and will help you write better, regardless of your current level. Prose does an excellent job of passing on her love for writing to the reader.
How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading by Dr. Mortimer J. Adler and Dr. Charles Van Doren
This was recommended on a class syllabus. This is a classic, and if you are a student, this is one of the most valuable books you should read. In fact, read it before the next semester begins. 
Salvation and Sovereignty: A Molinist Approach by Dr. Kenneth Keathley
Although I don't agree with Dr. Keathley on everything he writes here, it was a valuable book for me (like Surprised by Hope) because it made me think, and validate my own beliefs. Regardless of where you are on the Calvinist/Arminian spectrum, you should read this work -- it will help you with your own beliefs.
Genesis Unbound: A Provocative New Look at the Creation Account by Dr. John Sailhamer
In short, this book rocked my world. It is likely one of the most valuable books I've ever read. Like Dr. Ken Keathley (whose book is mentioned above, and is a Professor at SEBTS where I attend) I am, (to steal Dr. Keathley's term) a "disappointed young-earther". I found out about this book through an interview with John Piper I came across, and this book really helped me sort-out what I believe. 
40 Questions About Creation and Evolution by Dr. Kenneth Keathley and Dr. Mark Rooker
This book addresses the issues of modern science and the scriptural texts in an accessible manner. It uses a balanced, non-biased approach using exegesis and science to debate the various views. It will also help you understand the history of the debates. There is a vast amount of great information packed into this relatively small volume. 

Signs of the Spirit: An Interpretation of Jonathan Edwards's "Religious Affections" by Sam Storms
I stood in line when Dr. Storms spoke at SEBTS chapel this semester just to shake his hand and thank him for this book! I struggled through Edwards's "Religious Affections" and finally gave up without finishing. I heard about this book (from a blog by Dr. Nathan Finn, I believe), I picked it up and although it could be read as a stand-alone work, it helped me go back to Edwards's work and make sense of it. I highly commend this to you if you (like me) have struggled with Edwards's writing. It not only helped me with "Religious Affections" but other of Edwards's works as well.
Servant on the Edge of History by Sam James
I was honored to get to hear Dr. James speak in chapel this semester and we all got a copy of this book. This book will bless you. I urge you to read it because it will give you a brief glimpse into what our missionaries encounter in the field -- the struggles they endure and the way they suffer just to spread the Gospel to those who have never heard the name of Jesus. 

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