I think I did as much (or more) reading in 2011 than previous years, but most of it was seminary reading, where I had to read particular sections, articles, and individual chapters, and rarely entire books. So, the year concludes, and I’ve finished only 22 books, lowest in since 2008.
Here are my five faves for 2011:
1. The Bible
I read the Bible more this year than I ever have, and with each reading I am more convinced of its divine origin. The best apologetic of the Bible is the Bible itself. Take it up, skeptic, and read.
2. Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands, Paul David Tripp
I enjoy Paul David Tripp. He’s easy to read, deeply theological, and intensely practical. I rarely walk away from one of his books without desiring to change something in my life. This book is a great resource for laypeople wondering how they can have an effective ministry in church life.
3. Humility, C.J. Mahaney
I picked this book up after Tom Pennington spoke at The Shepherd’s Conference and began reading it immediately. Pennington crushed me, preaching from 1 Peter 5, and sent me seeking help in the book store. Mahaney’s book is accessible; and comes highly recommended to readers of all levels.
4. The Pastor as Scholar and the Scholar as Pastor: Reflections on Life and Ministry, John Piper and D.A. Carson
I read this book in two sittings. It captivated me, and might have been my favorite read of the year. Through it, I’ve been (re) inspired to be a lifelong learner, ever developing and increasing my understanding of Scripture and the ministry I’m called to.
It’s also helped me discover one of my passions in pastoral ministry, namely, training young men for the work of the ministry. It is a dream of mine to develop a system that trains young people to use their gifts in the service of the church.
5. The Next Story, Tim Challies
Challies’ book on how technology affects us is helpful. I especially benefited from the section that gives parents advice for raising kids in the digital age. If you’re trying to find a balanced look at the usefulness and potential distraction of our devices, pick up this book.
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