1. Be Thou My Vision by Jonathan Gibson
This book of personal worship liturgies is fantastic, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. With each pass through this 31-day guide, I have often replaced the creeds with reading through confessions, which has helped to keep the readings feeling fresh. Presently, I am reading the creeds again and a chapter of Lewis Allen’s The Preacher’s Catechism during the catechism section.
2. The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
Each time that I have journeyed week-by-week through book for Reading Together, my appreciation for the book has only increased a hundredfold. This was never truer than with The Pilgrim’s Progress. I told my wife shortly after I finished recording my thoughts on the book that I had only skimmed the surface of this both theological and literary classic by the tinker John Bunyan.
3. Disciplines of a Godly Man by R. Kent Hughes
It is rare to read a book and find yourself wishing that you had read it sooner. John Owen’s The Mortification of Sin was such a book, and now Disciplines of a Godly Man has been added to that brief list. The men of our church read through this book together, which certainly added to its benefit. It is a book that I will certainly revisit.
Quotation: On Media Consumption
4. The Household and the War for the Cosmos by C. R. Wiley
I read through this book twice this year. The main joy of reading this book was of finding someone else who seems to have glimpsed the profound mystery of Ephesians 5:32. Just as our lives are shaped by each day that we live, so society is shaped by each household within it. Thus, if you want to change your life, then start by changing how you live today, and if you want to change society, then start by changing how your own household to be what you want the world to be like in miniature.
5. The Lord’s Work in the Lord’s Way & No Little People by Francis Schaeffer
These two sermons by Schaeffer hit upon a similar theme to the one above: God works through the little things. This is also a part of Crossway’s new Short Classics series, which I hope to spotlight in a post next year.
6. The Monster in the Hollows by Andrew Peterson
This year I finished reading Peterson’s fantasy series The Wingfeather Saga. To be honest, I had to press through the first two books, but I ended up listened to almost the entire fourth book in one day. The best in the series, in my humble opinion, is this third book in the series. The ending (and one sentence in particular) left me in tears.
7. The Gospel According to Mark by G. Campbell Morgan
Having never read of Morgan before, I first opened this book last year as I began to preach the first half of Mark’s Gospel. This quickly became my favorite resource among many excellent resources that I consulted while studying Mark. Morgan had an excellent away of drawing out the overall connective themes of several passages, and my sermons were very often shaped for the better after reading his remarks.
8. The Biggest Story Bible Storybook by Kevin DeYoung
My five-year-old daughter and I read this storybook Bible together. While this book is certainly an expansion of The Biggest Story, it is also quite different. While my daughter and I read the original book a few times, it never spent any time as one of her favorites. She enjoyed this Bible storybook far more, almost always asking to read one more chapter before bed and has already inquired about when we will make our way through it again.
9. The Christian on the Mount by Thomas Watson
What would this yearly list be without a book by Thomas Watson! This is Watson’s discussion of how Christian’s ought to meditate upon Scripture. Everything that makes Watson one of the easiest and most profitable Puritans to read is present here. Read, and practice what you have read.
10. Eggs Are Expensive; Sperm Is Cheap by Greg Krehbiel
The subtitle (50 Politically Incorrect Thoughts for Men) is entirely correct; these are politically incorrect thoughts that, generally, make all the sense in the world. As many others have said, this book is not written from an explicitly Christian framework, so if you have such an expectation, you will be in for quite a jolt. The book is, however, full of common grace truths that should be spoken clearly, just as the author does here.
Honorable Mention: The Story of the World Vol 1 by Susan Wise Bauer
This is another book that my daughter and I read together. While it is not a perfect book and while I certainly would have made some different decisions had I been the author, writing the history of the world (especially for children!) is an undertaking that cannot please everyone. Based on many reviews that I have read, many were disappointed to find so many Christian themes within the book, while others were disappointed not finding more Christian themes. All that is to say: this is not a perfect book, and I do not think it could ever be a perfect book. But it is worth reading, and it was certainly worth discussing with my daughter. After taking a break to do Advent readings, she is thoroughly excited to dive into the Middle Ages.