Wednesday, December 07, 2005

2005 Top 10... Christian Books I've read this year

1. Finding Joy - Marcus Honeysett
I'd been waiting two years for this since I heard Marcus was writing it. Didn't disappoint. Practical journey into the grace of God.
2. Humility - CJ Mahaney
No books by CJ on my top 10 last year which suggests I'd not read any of them. I've read most of his books this year. The latest, humility is great. A bit like Piper Mahaney's stuff is all the same... but its all about the Cross so I'm not complaining. Still waiting for my free copy from Sovereign Grace Ministries... but Grace Church Bristol sent me some so that's great.
3. God's Lavish Grace - Terry Virgo
I stood on stage at Forum in September and said that this was the best book I'd read this year. It was at that point. It remains excellent. Very similar to Honeysett's book.
4. The Roots of Endurance - John Piper
My Barcelona holiday reading. Simeon's story alone makes this biography worthwhile. Picked up from Oxfam in March... who on earth didn't want to keep this book??? Also good by Piper et al this year, Sex & the Supremacy of God.
5. The Glory of Christ - John Owen
Hardest read of the year. Owen is one of the voices behind Piper's God is the Gospel. He writes densely and engagingly about the glory of Christ. Read this one in Bulgaria.
6. Whoredom / God's Unfaithful Wife - Ray Ortlund
Another light read for Bulgaria. Terry Virgo recommended this at the NewFrontiers Leadership conference in July. Traces the theme of God's people as God's wife throughout scripture. Our sin is horrific. His grace is phenomenal.
7. Pure - Linda Marshall
Linda's little book of love. This is a great foundation for God glorifying relationships. Doubles as the book for the course. Bible studies at the end of the chapter force you to engage with the material.
8. Not Even a Hint - Joshua Harris
Now re-titled as "Sex is not the problem - lust is". Its a quality anti-legalism book, applied into the context of lust but it should stretch further too.
9. The Gospel-Driven Church - Ian Stackhouse
Ian is a pastor in Guildford and this is I think a very good book. The first few chapters on the centrality of gospel preaching for the church are particularly helpful. Not sure on the sacrament stuff beyond that, I need to read it. But the preaching / worship stuff are worth the price. It is a bit dense to read, but this is a pastor-theologian writing and we need more of them.
10. Going the Distance - Peter Brain
This book saved my life. Justification by faith means I don't have to be a workaholic.

My rules are simple... its a list of Christian books I've read this year. Only one book per author permitted. Special mention to Five English Reformers (JC Ryle).

Last year's list here. Book of the year 2004 - Joshua Harris: Stop Dating the Church.


  1. I've just finished reading Marcus Honeysett's book this morning as it happens and it's really good - you can never read too much stuff about grace.

    I haven't read Linda Marshall's book yet, but I probably should because she did my tie up last Wednesday. How much name-dropping can someone get into single comment? Er... I met Terry Virgo once as well.

  2. I guess I met/know Terry, Marcus, Ian, Linda and I've heard Piper & Mahaney speak in the UK.

    Not all that likely to meet John Owen in this age. Dunno about Peter Brain, Ray Ortlund and Josh Harris.

    And for all that, they're just normal believers...

    Besides, I've met you Mikey C, what more is there to say....

  3. Looks like you win this time, Bish... ;-)

  4. "Also good by Piper et al this year, Sex & the Supremacy of God."

    I remember seeing that book on shelves in the US, and being intrigued by the label 'includes free DVD' on the front.
    I don't like to ask what's on it :-o

    I'm not sure I have actually read 10 Christian books this year, so drawing up my list could be rather far number one might be 'The Story We Find Ourselves In' by Brian Mclaren. It's fascinating.

  5. Turns out to just be the talks that comprise the first two chapters of the book.... an intruiging form of marketing design though!

    Maybe I'll read McLaren next year, but not entirely sure whether I can be bothered.

  6. I read "A New Kind of Christian" by Mr McLaren a while back. At first, I thought it was dreadful. Then I thought I had been enlightnened.

    Now I'm inclined to think that it did me no favours at all. I lost the centrality of the cross, and got rather liberal.

    Praise God he stopped me in my tracks with a couple of wise and godly friends.

  7. I think thats what strikes me, from a distance, that these things sound very appealing and nice - as most liberalism does... but when you step back a bit they are cross-less, and so hopeless.

  8. great list.
    The Peter Brain book sneaking in the bottom there is a helpful reminder to me. I read it last year and yet am still working far too hard....
    I really must do something about it.

  9. Its vital isn't it... And yet just a simple application of the gospel!

    I gather UCCF used to be a really bad example of workaholic-ministry. Thankfully I think that is changing rapidly.

    Still trying to get my Relay workers to realise they can relax!