by Danny Gugger
I’ve decided to compile a list of books that I’ve read over roughly the past year that I have really enjoyed. This is a positive review, so I’ve decided only to include the top books from this year. Enjoy. Get them for your shelf.
Before we start I must make the normal library disclaimer. I don’t endorse everything in every one of these books. Read with your head screwed on. The end.
Beauty Will Save the World: Rediscovering the Allure and Mystery of Christianity by Brian Zahnd
This book has, in its effort to expose all the beautiful nuances of God’s story through the Gospel, completely transformed how I live and how I appreciate life as a part of God’s story. Nothing is as beautiful as the life of Christ.
A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: How I Learned to Live a Better Story by Donald Miller
This book is all about living the best story possible by aligning your story with the one God has written for you. Everybody wants to live the best life possible. Take a journey through Miller’s life and become exposed to the underlying elements that make up a good story.
Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream By David Platt
I did a book study through this with a group of guys for a couple of months and I was greatly challenged through Platt’s unique perspective of the gospel and culture. Why don’t we take Jesus at his word and live live we actually believe him?
Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God by Francis Chan
Crazy love is the book that made the transition from hating reading (High School) to tapping into the vast ocean of resources on loving, learning, and desiring God. Every chapter has a video that goes along with it with Chan talkin about his writings and his personal relationship with God. This is not a “read if I have time book.” This is a “make time to read” book.
Forgotten God by Francis Chan
A great book to read alongside Crazy Love
Young and in Love: Challenging the Unnecessary Delay of Marriage by Ted Cunningham
Good Work Ted Cunningham. Way to write a book about accepting responsibility and finally deciding to grow up. Also…I’m hoping to get married sometime soon and this book really debunks a lot of the myths about waiting until your 25 and independently wealthy to get married.
The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
C.S. Lewis has an imagination like no other. The Screwtape Letters is a compilation of letters from Screwtape (a master demon) to Wormwood (an aspiring tempter) on how to make his patient fall into sin. A unique approach on the often unseen interaction between the powers of darkness and humanity.
Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist by John Piper
The Big Daddy of all John Piper works. A great resource on learning to glorify God by enjoying him forever.
Blue Like Jazz: Non-religious Thoughts on Christianity by Donald Miller
Miller really brings out the essential components of a true relationship with God. He manages to skirt around religious cliches and jargon. Again…read with your head screwed on.
The Millennials by Tom and Jess Rainer
The Millennials is probably the best book I’ve read on bridging generation gaps. I learned more about my parents, my grandparents, myself and my peers through their thorough discussion of what differentiates the most recent generations.
Sexual Detox by Tim Challies
With the rise of technology and the ever increasing availability of pornography, the nature of pornography has become a silent, yet very real threat. Due to potential shame and embarrassment, any feel as if they have to face the battle alone. Challies examines why the philosophy behind pornography is so damaging and how to begin to rely on God’s grace to overcome it. I really appreciate his “think this way” approach rather than a “do this” approach.
Deep Church: A Third Way Between Emerging and Reformed by Jim Belcher
Belcher has been heavily involved in both traditional and emerging churches. He defines exactly what both are and how not to swing the pendulum when forming beliefs and world-views as a Christian. A great read today with the declining popularity of Fundamentalism and the ever appealing lure of the emerging church.
The Christian Atheist: Believing in God but Living as if he Doesn’t by Craig Groeschel
A definite kick in the pants. Groeschel exposes areas in which we are all nominal Christians to some extent. If we truly believe God, why don’t we act differently? Why don’t we say so?
Living the Cross Centered Life by C.J. Mahaney
The Gospel is so essential for every part of our lives as believers. It is not something to simply dismiss after our salvation. Mahaney shows how the Gospel affects each and every aspect of our lives.
Can Man Live Without God by Ravi Zacharias
Ravi is the master of all things apologetics. This book is fairly philosophical yet extremely moving. Ravi defends the faith by exposing the inconsistencies of atheistic thought and the beauty of truth.
Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper
If you have read Desiring God you have probably also read this book…whether or not you realized it. The majority of Piper’s books are taken from parts of different sections of Desiring God and expanded into a full length book. If you want more of what Piper talks about in using your time in Desiring God, this is a good read.
The Next Story: Life and Faith After the Digital Explosion by Tim Challies
Challies tackles the meanings behind the forms of media invented throughout the last century. For example: Face to face communication is less common today because of the invention of the telephone…and even less common after the invention of text messaging. How can we as Christians avoid hiding behind our protective forms of media without completely dismissing them. A very balanced approach that is careful not to condemn technological advancement.
Think: The Life of the mind and the Love of God by John Piper
Think addresses how your theology effects your worship. Piper is a master at showing how knowledge of God and feelings for God go hand in hand.
WARNING!!!! I’m going to recommend the following 3 books but only if you read them together!
Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell,, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived by Rob Bell
A Universalist perspective on Heaven, Hell and Eternity. Very wrong…but he gets some things right.
God Wins by Mark Galli
A somewhat moderate perspective on judgment and eternity. Heavily stresses the sovereignty of God.
Erasing Hell: What God Said About Eternity, and the Things We’ve Made Up by Francis Chan and Preston Sprinkle
A great easy read. Fairly theological but in a Francis Chan real personal kind of a way.
And last but not least…a little bit of Tozer to top things off.
The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer
The Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer
I hope by this point you are well on your way to putting your summer reading list together. Feel free to add any of these. Let me know which ones you would add for yourself outside of this list. 🙂