Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My Top 10 Books for 2011

I have reviewed more than a hundred books this year. Thanks to the many publishers and agents who have supplied me books to read and to give my personal opinions on. Here is my list of books that I have found particularly meaningful. This is not to say that the rest are not good. It simply mean that I remember these 10 a little bit more than the rest. Note that most (if not all) of these books have been published in 2011.

(1) "Nearing Home" (Billy Graham, Thomas-Nelson, Biography)
This is Billy Graham's very thoughtful reflection of his life and what it continues to mean for him as he looks forward to seeing God in his final years. This is a book that is beneficial for everyone to read, simply because we will all near home one day. [My review]

(2) "Gospel-Powered Humility" (William P. Farley, P&R Publishing, Christian Living)
This is perhaps one of the best books on humility to be released this year. The stories are vivid. The examples are solid. It focuses on two things. Firstly, humility comes with a recognition that there are always people much better than us. Secondly, pride is the anti-thesis of humility. [My review]

(3) "Unconditional?" (Brian Zahnd, Charisma House, Christian Living)
I can only say 'wow' when I read this. With its main focus on forgiveness, in particular, unconditional forgiveness, it brings together heart-wrenching stories of evil, brokenness, and utterly unjust treatments, and heals all of them with a simple act and call for forgiveness. An emotionally difficult read, but one that is so essential for Christian development. [My review]

(4) "Jesus Calling Devotional Bible" (Sarah Young, Thomas-Nelson, Bible)
This is one of the most pleasant study Bibles I have ever received. Based on the New King James Bible translation, it is complemented by open and honest prayers of ordinary believers, with a corresponding spiritual guidance by Sarah Young. [My review]

(5) "Move" (Greg L. Hawkins with Cally Parkinson, Zondervan, Church)
Based on a survey of over 1000 churches, this book summarizes the best practices and points the modern church to strategies and changes needed to do church in the next decade. [My review]

(6) "Road to Missional" (Michael Frost, Baker, Church/Outreach)
It is so easy to replace traditional evangelism and mission with simply a name change to 'missional.' Frost points out that this is an erroneous understanding of what true missional churches are all about. It is about incarnational Christianity. For anyone keen on missional work, this book is a must read. [My review]

(7) "Dictionary of Christian Spirituality" (Glen G. Scorgie, Simon Chan, Gordon T. Smith, James D. Smith III., Zondervan, Reference)
This book is a treasure chest of information and spiritual direction with regards to Christian spirituality. Written by scholars, for the layperson, it can be read without fear of difficult theological concepts. The authors and contributors have tried to streamline the many strands of Christian teachings and thoughts on spirituality, and have produced a wonderful dictionary of spirituality. As always, as far as reference books are concerned, buy the printed edition. [My review]

(8) "Discipleship That Transforms" (John H. Aukerman, ed. Warner Press, Christian Education)
This is a surprise find. It contains a comprehensive curriculum for Church or Christian Education. Written from a Wesleyan perspective, it has a lot of common material that will also work for non-Wesleyan groups. [My review]

(9) "What They Didn't Teach You At Seminary" (James Emery White, Baker, Ministry)
This little book is small and compact, but delivers big. It brings together years of wisdom in ministry, and brings nuggets of workable ideas to people in ministry. All seminarians, graduate students, and ministry workers will do well to read this book. [My review]

What They Didn't Teach You in Seminary: 25 Lessons for Successful Ministry in Your Church

(10) "Disciple" (Bill Clem, Crossway, Discipleship)
As I have said previously, if your church is planning to do discipleship and want a more recent publication on discipleship, this book is a must read. [My review]


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