Book Review of Books Read in 2017

Every year I set out to read 52 books. I usually make it to between 32-38 books in a year. This year I read only 24 which is an exceptionally slow reading year for me. Unexpected turns came in 2016 and 2017 that slowed my pace in both writing and reading. I hope to get my groove back in 2018. I am off to a good start having finished reading my first book of the year on January 2.

Below are some of the highlights of my 2017 reading:

  1. God Dwells Among Us by G.K. Beale.  I learned of Beale by reading N.T. Wright and he was also recommended to me by a Pastor friend. I don’t recall enjoying the style of writing so much in this book, but I did appreciate the theological perspective of God coming to dwell among us.
  2. Adventures in Dreaming by Justin Perry. I was given this book on a ministry retreat last year. It is written by Justin Perry, Pastor of Morningstar Ministries Church. We took a small group through this book and it opened up a lot of dialog about interpreting dreams and the spiritual world.
  3. The Evangelical Disaster by Francis Schaeffer. I read this as it was recommended by Vishal Mangalwadi who studied under Francis Schaeffer at L’Abri. It is an important book for our times. Schaeffer adeptly lays out the necessity of being Bible believing and practicing Christians who do not give way to new theologies that lesson the authority and veracity of Scripture.
  4. Wisdom & Wonder by Abraham Kuyper. I don’t recall much from this book, but I do enjoy reading Kuyper. He is an important voice for our times as well.
  5. Twilight at Blueberry Barrens by Colleen Coble. This is a pop fiction book I read as I am a huge fan of Colleen Coble’s mystery novels especially her historical fiction books. This was not one of those, but it was a good story nonetheless. I mix in a bit of fiction to help keep my love of reading alive and well. It helps me prepare for the bigger more daunting reads.
  6. A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis. I have read almost all of Lewis’s works except a couple literary academic reads, but this one I always put off until 2017. It felt appropriate this year.
  7. Jesus Among Secular Gods by Ravi Zacharias and Vince Vital. I enjoyed this book. I love reading Ravi Zacharias. Ravi and Vince team up to bring a apologetic perspective on modern culture.
  8. Christianity & Culture by T.S. Elliot. This is the first book I have ready by Elliot. I enjoyed reading it and I recommend it to those students of discipling nations.
  9. What is a Family? by Edith Schaeffer. Edith is a joy to read. It’s like sitting down at the feet of a grandmother and listening in on the life of the family. Her teachings are full of grace and truth.
  10. Spirit Wars by Kris Vallaton. This is a great little read on what the redeemed life really looks like and how we are victors in Christ having been set free from the law of sin and death. The old man is dead. We ought to live like it. Christ set us free from sin and yet we act like we are still slaves to our sinful nature. This book will help set you free from lies we believe about ourselves.
  11. The Day the Revolution Began by N.T. Wright. Wright wrote a masterpiece work in this book. He discusses at length the historic meaning of salvation in the context of the Hebrew Scriptures. I’ll need to reread this one to really grasp all he is saying. I recommend reading his book Surprised By Hope before digging into this book.
  12. Becoming Myself by Stasi Eldredge. Stasi writes directly the woman’s heart. It is basically Captivating the sequel.
  13. Impossible People by Os Guinness. This one of the two best books I read in 2017. Os outdid himself. He argues for the full supernatural Gospel being preached and lived out by believers which will bring true reform to our culture.
  14. The Super Couple by Dr. Christine Bacon. Bacon did a superb job writing this book. It is a combination of research, science, wit, and wisdom. She is a strong supporter of biblical marriage. She demonstrates that any couple can be a Super Couple. She dispels lots of myths that harm marriages. With great humor and alacrity Dr. Bacon removes your excuses.
  15. When Heaven Invades Earth by Bill Johnson. We went through this book in church and bolstered our faith in going after healing the sick, raising the dead, and casting out demons. We are going after normal Christianity!
  16. Eve by Paul Young. Young is the author of The Shack and Crossroads both of which were alright and the move The Shack is very good. Eve was a strange read, and, in my opinion, it is full of doctrinal errors of mythic proportions. I do not recommend it.
  17. Martin Luther by Eric Metaxas. Outstanding read! I learned a whole lot about Luther’s life and The Protestant Reformation. Every Christian needs to read this book. It is church history, it is world history. Metaxas writes in a delightful witty, studious, and yet not high academic but brilliant style. I would mark this as the best book I’ve read since reading The Book that Made Your World by Vishal Mangalwadi, but Os Guinness’ Impossible People ranks up there pretty close too.
  18. Bad Arguments by Ali Almossawi. I first found this little hard back treasure in a quaint book store out of town. About half of it was very helpful in explaining simply logical fallacies and entrapments that are common place. I used this as a launching pad for short discussions in church on how to think, reason, and communicate better.

Those are 18 of the 24 books I read last year. The others were not interesting enough to include in the list, most were simple easy to read fiction books. I hope this list helps you find some books to read for 2018. Seriously read Martin Luther by Eric Metaxas and Impossible People by Os Guinness.

I’m a huge geek for book lists. I hunt down reading list for required readings for various schools and ministries. Enjoy!

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