Tis the season of giving! Even though Christmas and ringing in the New Year is over I thought I'd give you guys a snapshot of some of my reading over the last year. The list is longer than I can put in a post, but I wanted to at least give you my top 5 from 2015. Who knows? Some of you may very well want to "take up and read." Enjoy!
1. Jesus Outside the Lines, by Scott Sauls
This was the book we used during our "Redeemer Days" over the summer. Many have already taken up and read and are better off for it. Sauls does an amazing job of weaving a gospel-centric approach to a variety of cultural debates...speaking biblically, lovingly, and truthfully to the topics of our day. If you want a winsome, honest, and truthful strategy to engage our ever-changing culture, this is good news indeed. I highly recommend it.
2. Rhythms of Grace, by Mike Cosper
This was an outstanding book on worship. We are worshipping creatures. We don't stop worshipping when we leave Sunday's service. As soon as we leave the church on Sunday, we are worshipping something. How does our corporate worship, then, equip us to worship the one, true, beautiful God who has redeemed us? How does it form us and our practices outside of Sunday? These are some of the questions that Cosper attempts to answer and does a very convincing and winsome job of doing so. You will be a better worshipper if you "take up and read" this very accessible and understandable volume.
3. The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis
Every few years I simply have to pick up this classic series. And every time I do, I am once again amazed by Lewis' story-telling ability. While many have read what is probably the most recognized book of the series, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, let me also commend The Horse and His Boy as well as The Last Battle. Further up and Further In, people...it's bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. What an appropriate metaphor for the gospel. It's bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. Aslan is on the move! He's not safe, but He's good. Enough of the cliches...read it for yourself.
4. Romans for You, Romans 1-7 and 8-16, by Timothy Keller
During 2015 we spent a lot of time going through Paul's letter to the Romans. One of the mainstays on my Kindle shelf and an indispensable part of my sermon prep was and is this volume. You don't have to be a scholar to get a lot out of this Keller work. It's written so that almost anybody can have access to the greatness of the gospel and it's impact on our lives. Take up and read this work. You'll be glad you did.
5. Give Them Grace, by Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson
If you're a parent, this is a great book written by mother and daughter on the dazzling delight of Jesus' love. As parents, we need the gospel for ourselves. We need to be filled up with it because if we aren't we'll end up giving our kids a laundry list of do's and don'ts and never address the real heart issues. Give Them Grace is a great resource for parents of little kids, tweens, teenagers, and even adult kids precisely because grace is needed at every phase of life.
There you have it. My top 5 list for 2015. I hope some of you will take the time to grab one or two of these volumes at Amazon or Kindle and put them on your shelf. Just don't let dust collect on them. They're really good and super helpful on this glorious journey God has called us to. Grace and peace, guys, and Happy New Year!