‘Tis the season for “best of the year” lists! So, without further ado, here are a few of my favorite reads for 2021 in no particular order:
Deep Discipleship by J.T English
How can churches develop deep disciples in a time when so many are highly influenced by social media, the news, etc? English precisely highlights many problems and yet hopefully encourages churches to grow deeper and provide environments to train and develop disciple-making disciples.
Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow
After reading Chernow’s work on Hamilton last year, I thought I would move on to another founding father and our first president. Though not highlighted in the book, it seems impossible to read about George Washington and not see the sovereignty of God at work. Certainly far from perfect, Washington was a man specifically and uniquely gifted for his time, and he was able to do what nobody else could have.
What About Free Will? by Scott Christensen
Confused about how to reconcile God’s sovereignty with man’s choices? Christensen provides a helpful, accessible argument for compatibilism (the belief that divine determinism and human freewill are both true and compatible) and shows the weaknesses of a libertarianism position (which argues that human freewill is not compatible with divine determinism therefore God sovereignty does not determine human actions).
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
I’m still working my way through classic literature that I probably should have read in high school. This is a classic by Tolstoy that I enjoyed, though some perseverance was required at times. “Set against a vast and richly textured canvas of nineteenth-century Russia, the novel’s seven major characters create a dynamic imbalance, playing out the contrasts of city and country life and all the variations on love and family happiness.”
The Fruitful Life by Jerry Bridges
A helpful and practical book by Jerry Bridges for believers in their pursuits of the fruits of the Spirit.
When Narcissism Comes to Church by Chuck DeGroat
Why are we continually drawn to narcissistic leaders? How should such situations be handled? “DeGroat takes a close look at narcissism, not only in ministry leaders but also in church systems. He offers compassion and hope for those affected by its destructive power and imparts wise counsel for churches looking to heal from its systemic effects. DeGroat also offers hope for narcissists themselves―not by any shortcut, but by the long, slow road of genuine recovery, possible only through repentance and trust in the humble gospel of Jesus.”