Books That Almost Made My Top 10 List For 2018
So I was not able to list all the books that were great this year. Here are ten more that were good reads.
- Porn and the Pastor: The Life and Death Consequences of Addiction in Ministry Jared Wilson, Deepak Reju, Jonathan Leeman, Deny Burk put together a very sobering book on a subject that is destroying our churches. 72% of Young Adults 18-24 are seeking out pornography according to one study. And pastors are not immune to this scourge. 57% of Pastors say they have struggled with porn in a recent Barna study. How does the church respond? Should a pastor be disqualified from pastoring if he looks at pornography? How can we help the leaders of the church? This book tackles the subject head-on.
- Letters to the Church by Francis Chan. Chan is on a journey. I love how passionate he is and how willing Chan is to follow the Holy Spirit and God's Word wherever. In this book, Chan challenges the American church in a variety of ways that are not always comfortable. He makes you think.
- Cross Talk: Where Life and Scripture Meet by Mike Emlet. This is a basic book that helped me look at all of scripture as a means of counseling people. Mike walks us through this step by step.
- Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War by Nathaniel Philbrick. Mayflower details the history behind the Pilgrims. It digs deep into the background of one of the first memories of our past as a country. The book transforms our caricatures of Thanksgiving.
- The Great Omission: Reclaiming Jesus’s Essential Teachings on Discipleship by Dallas Willard. This book made sense to me. He challenged the overuse and watering down of biblical terms. What is discipleship? How are we to care for the souls in our church? What is Spiritual Direction? Dallas tackles these subjects and more in a way only Dallas Willard can.
- God's Will: Finding Guidance for Everyday Decisions J.I. Packer & Carolyn Nystrom. How do we make decisions? What is God's will for my life? What questions should I ask in discerning a path forward? I am going to be co-teaching a class on decision making, and this book is a great resource to explore God's will.
- The Will of God as a Way of Life: How to Make Every Decision with Peace and Confidence by Jerry Sitter. Out of Jerry's pain and loss he shares with the reader how he discerned God's will. He goes back to the Bible and gently guides the reader to helpful conclusions.
- Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution by Nathaniel Philbrick. Was Benedict Arnold just a traitor? Does his name mean anything to you? It will after reading this book. The author helps a person sympathize and pity Arnold. He becomes a person with a personal tragedy ahead of him. Through the lens of the past, we can possibly learn to prevent our own future mistakes.
- Reaching and Teaching: A Call to Great Commission Obedience by M. David Sills. How are we to do missions? What does it look like in a way that won't damage those we serve? I head up a missions team, and this is a great book to walk through missions decisions.
- Working the Angles: The Shape of Pastoral Integrity This year Eugen Peterson died. He left us with thirty-six or seven books. This one on pastoring was a helpful reminder to "abandon their preoccupation with image and standing, administration, success, and economic viability, and to return to the three basic acts critical to the pastoral ministry: praying, reading Scripture, and giving spiritual direction."