Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Best Books of 2016

1. 'It ain't over til it's over' by R T Kendall: This was the last book I read in the year having completed it on NY eve. A friend in our church bought it for me and put it through my door. R T Kendall has had a tremendous impact on me down the years- his book '25 Years at Westminster Chapel' was a seminal primer for me as I embarked on ministry. Equally, his teaching on 'The Anointing' to New Wine Leaders thirteen years ago made a deep impression on me. This may well be his final book and it's probably his best. It's about finishing well and it is full of wisdom, grace and continuing passion for Jesus from a man who is, I think, 83.

2. 'Jesus continued' by J D Greear: I discovered J D Grear through one of his sermons on the Holy Spirit which took me to his book on the same subject. It's full of good stuff and out of it came a preaching series.

3. 'Different' by Simon Ponsonby: There were no articles in the NY day paper's entitled 'How to live the Holy Life'. Perhaps there should be? This is a book about exactly that subject and it feels timely and vital. I am recommending it as our church Lent book and feel free to adopt it as yours too.

4. 'Future grace' by Piper: I read this on my summer holidays (to be honest I've thus far read half of it). It's a deep, challenging and theologically rich read.

5. 'Making Sense of God' by Tim Keller: This is Keller in his apologetic sweet spot and the reason I still have a few chapters to go is I keep giving it away to people. This is the book for the clever sceptic or the apologist in training.

6.' Song of Songs' by Charlie Cleverly: Charlie used to be my Vicar when I was in Oxford and I enjoy his writing. In fact, he started preaching on Song of Songs while I was there and this is the fruit of his years of study of and reflection on this amazing OT book.

7. 'Date your wife' by Justin Buzzard: I came across Justin Buzzard because he planted a church at the same time I did. His blog gave me much encouragement and personal resourcing. A pal on my wedding day said about marriage 'The secret is 'Keep paying in' Cookie'. This little book was a helped/ is helping me with what that means- not least because of its appendix of 100 ideas for dates.

8. 'The stories we live' by Sean Post: This a book that tells you the gospel and connects you to stories. It had quite a few interesting bits and bobs and introduced me to a film called 'Life as a house' that made me cry.

9. 'Edwards' by Dane Ortlund: I am in awe of Edwards since reading of his life in the Iain Murray biography a decade ago. He's far too deep and clever for my simple mind but a book like this will unpack him and his ideas for you and make him come alive. You might also want to check out George Marsden's short biography of him.

10. 'How to survive a shipwreck' by Jonathan Martin: Martin will never know how much he has helped and blessed me. His life and ministry hit choppy water last year and this book tells some of that tale. Beautiful writing.

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