Apparently we can now classify this as an “annual” thing, because this marks the third annual “Books I’ve Read” post. You can go back and see 2012, 2015, and 2016. [Don’t ask about 2013-2014. I read some books, I’m sure of it, but for whatever reason I didn’t post anything regarding those years. Oh, and 2012 was weak-sauce so don’t sweat that one too much. If you’re on GoodReads, let’s connect. You can also follow me on Amazon.]
I’m a touch disappointed that my count was low this year, but after moving across the country to plant a new church, Cross & Crown, it is understandable. Anyhow, without further ado, here are the books I’ve read in 2017. Some I recommend, some I highly recommend, and some you can just pass on, I’m sure. As for my favorite book of the year, well, you’ll see that at the end.
- The Vindication of Jesus Christ by James B. Jordan — This was a fantastic little book on understanding the book of Revelation. Now that I’m writing this, I need to go back and read it again. There was some stuff that was very new to me, stuff that falls in the vein of orthodox preterism. Well worth the purchase, I’d say.
- Israel 1948 by Don K. Preston — Dude’s a full-preterist heretic (aka pantelism), but he had some good stuff to say here regarding the problems of Dispensationalism (Hint: there are tons of problems there.)
- Plowing in Hope by David Bruce Hegeman — Overall a great read. Nothing earth-shattering, and I don’t say that to be punny. It’s a good book about our work in creation, and doing it because postmil theology is awesome.
- Shattering the Darkness by Joseph Foreman — Outstanding book on abortion and the need to abolish it. I read this because I wanted to learn more from my forebears who have fought this fight for decades. It didn’t disappoint.
- Pomosexuality by Douglas Wilson — Fun little book in the Onslaught series. Witty and full of gas; well worth the read.
- The Christian’s Only Comfort in Life and Death by Theodorus Vandergroe — I didn’t read all of it, but I read a ton of it. It’s ok. I enjoy the Heidelberg Catechism very much, and it was neat to read some comments on the catechism by this fellow who’s been with Jesus for a long time.
- The Day the Revolution Began by N.T. Wright — I don’t know.
- One Holy Local Church? by Bojidar Marinov — Bo’s a friend and while I didn’t like the concept before I read the book, I loved it afterwards. Bo wrecked me on this one, and he’s very much right here. You HAVE to read this book. As they say, “Don’t judge a book by…. what you read on Facebook.”
- Revolt Against Maturity by R.J. Rushdoony — Rush has a way of making me read his books and needing to keep them handy for later. This one is no exception. It’s a great look at the problems of psychology, and it especially tackles the issue of “man,” and his role in creation. I really do recommend this book, but just know that you’ll have to plod through it. It’s not a quick, easy read, but don’t let that deter you.
- Never Say No by Mark & Jan Foreman — This was a fun little book written by the parents of the two brothers from Switchfoot. While not the most theologically robust book, I loved their approach to parenting.
- Five Cities that Ruled the World by Douglas Wilson — Great book. Not a normal Wilson book, but tons of great history here.
- Confessions of a Food Catholic by Douglas Wilson — It was good, though you may not have a palate for this sort of thing.
- The Victory of Reason by Rodney Stark — This was super close to being my favorite book of the year. I highly recommend this. Basically, Christianity gives you everything regarding technology, so, you’re welcome.
- The Unholy Trinity by Matt Walsh — Great book. Needs the Christian Reconstructionist worldview to get solutions, that’s for sure, but overall, a great analysis.
- A Word in Season (Volume 1) by R.J. Rushdoony — Ironically, this is my non-pietistic “go-to devotional” book. HIGHLY recommend.
- Time for the Talk by Stephen Zollos — No offense, dear reader, but while this is a great book, I’m not ready to talk to you about it.
- The Great Evangelic Disaster by Francis A. Schaeffer — Great book by Schaeffer. Can’t wait to read more of his stuff.
- An Enquiry into the Obligations of Christians to Use Means for the Conversion of the Heathens by William Carey — Short book, long title. Great read from one of history’s greatest missionaries.
- The Great Good Thing by Andrew Klavan — COULD NOT PUT THIS DOWN.
- Standing on the Promises by Douglas Wilson — GREAT book for parents. Get this.
- Date Your Wife by Justin Buzzard — Pretty good little book on an important topic.
- The Magnolia Story by Chip & Joanna Gaines — Fun read from a fun couple.
- Christianity and the State by R.J. Rushdoony — It’s Rushdoony. You don’t get to be a statist.
- Why Ministers Must Be Men by Douglas Wilson — Great little read, especially considering that the feminization of the Church is still a real thing. What we don’t need are more soft men, either.
- A Word in Season (Volume 2) by R.J. Rushdoony — See book #15’s comments.
- European Brain Snakes by Douglas Wilson — Another fun little book on the Onslaught series. Short and to the point.
- The One and the Many by R.J. Rushdoony — This book was HEAVY, but well worth it. It’s a more laborious book than some of his other works, but this was VERY foundational for me.
- Persuasions by Douglas Wilson — Good.
- The Mission of God by Joseph Boot — Large book with long sentences. VERY good though. It’s a Reconstructionist manifesto.
- Law & Liberty by R.J. Rushdoony — Excellent!
- Brainwashed by Ben Shapiro — It was okay. TONS of quotes and resource citation, which is great, but still. Not my favorite, but looking forward to other books from him.
- God Is by Mark Jones — This was really, really good. Bite-sized, daily theology–well worth the read.
- Oliver Cromwell by John Morrill — Short little bio on an important figure. This was a precursor to the larger book on Cromwell written by Fraser that I want to read. That one is huge, so I’m kinda nervous about it.
- Faith and Obedience by R.J. Rushdoony — So, so very good. We’re giving these out like candy.
- The Reformation by Andrew Cook — Pocket sized book that’s well worth your time, especially if you’re not familiar with the key players during the Reformation.
- Restoring America by Joel McDurmon — Another example of the type of book you need to keep handy for when the time arises. We need local mayors and sheriffs to read this book. It’s a way forward–but until the Church wants a way forward, it won’t get the readership it deserves.
- The Nature, Government, and Function of the Church by Stephen C. Perks — This was FANTASTIC. You can find a PDF online. Please, please, please…read this book.
- Gospel Culture by Joseph Boot — Shorter version of Boot’s thesis. Very good!
- Gospel Witness by Joseph Boot — Excellent follow-up to the previous book.
- The Unschooling Unmanual by Jan Hunt — A fantastic introduction to the concept. Education must change in this nation. This is key.
- Christian Theistic Evidences by Cornelius Van Til — Funny story… I bought this thinking I was going to read “Christian Theistic Ethics,” and one I started, I realized that’s not what I bought. Hah! Anyway, foundational book here, and not for the faint of heart.
- Capital Gaines by Chip Gaines — A neat book, especially because it complements the Magnolia Story. There was one chapter in here that sounded like I was reading a Joel Osteen book, and I didn’t like that. Everything else was fun, though.
Book I’m reading right now that I *think* I’ll finish before the New Year:
- The End of All Things by C. Jonathin Seraiah
- Clean Water, Red Wine, Broken Bread by Douglas Wilson
- Decluttering Your Marriage by Douglas Wilson
Books in the hopper:
- The Book That Made Your World by Vishal Mangalwadi
- The Problem of Slavery in Christian America by Joel McDurmon
- The Grace of Shame by Tim Bayly
- An Informed Faith (3 Volumes) by R.J. Rushdoony
(And a ton more!)
Okay, so my favorite book this year was hands down the biography written by Andrew Klavan, The Great Good Thing: A Secular Jew Comes to Faith In Christ. What makes this unique for me is because 1) I like to read biographies, and try to read one or two a year, and 2) Usually the bios are from dead guys. Klavan is very much still alive, and the reason I liked this book was because of how it was written. Not only was the writing style brilliant, the story-telling was fantastic. If you are someone who likes writing and books, and loves a good story, I think you’d love it, too.