Top 10 Books I Read in 2018

Charles Spurgeon once said, “Give yourself unto reading. The man who never reads will never be read; he who never quotes will never be quoted. He who will not use the thoughts of other men’s brains proves that he has no brains of his own. You need to read.” Every year I assemble a list of the best books I’ve read in the given year. My hope is that this list will serve you in that it 1) inspires you to read more in 2019 and 2) gives you a couple of ideas of books to read. So, Tolle Lege!

10. No Quick Fix by Andy Naselli

In No Quick Fix, a shorter and more accessible version of his book Let Go and Let God?, Naselli critiques higher life theology from a biblical perspective. He shows that it leads not to freedom, but to frustration because it promises something it has no power to deliver. Along the way, he tells the story of where higher life theology came from, describes its characteristics, and compares it to what the Bible really says about how we overcome sin and become more like Christ.

9. Teaching as Jesus Taught by Roy Zuck

Bible teachers have an ideal model for evaluating their pedagogy: the Master Teacher Jesus Read through the Gospels, and you quickly reach the conclusion that Jesus was a dynamic, remarkably effective teacher; never boring, always stimulating; never obtuse, always clear; never pompous or distant, always personal and lovingly concerned. Zuck explores Jesus’ involvement of students in the learning process, his modeling of truth, his method of responding to questions, his use of rhetorical technique, visuals, and illustrations, and his attitude toward those who sat under his instruction.

8. Great at Work by Morten Hansen

Why do some people perform better at work than others? This deceptively simple question continues to confound professionals in all sectors of the workforce. Now, after a unique, five-year study of more than 5,000 managers and employees, Morten Hansen reveals the answers in his “Seven Work Smarter Practices” that can be applied by anyone looking to maximize their time and performance.

7. The Preacher’s Catechism by Lewis Allen

The work of a pastor can make it easy to overlook the deep needs of their own soul. These 43 questions and answers, written to reflect the format of historic catechisms, seek to provide nourishment for weary pastors in the thick of ministry. Each chapter features content designed to care for your spiritual health, feeding your mind and heart with life-giving truth aimed at helping you press on in ministry with endurance, contentment, and joy.

6. The Gospel Comes with a House Key by Rosaria Butterfield 

With this story of her conversion as a backdrop, Rosaria Butterfield invites us into her home to show us how God can use this same “radical, ordinary hospitality” to bring the gospel to our lost friends and neighbors. Such hospitality sees our homes as not our own, but as God’s tools for the furtherance of his kingdom as we welcome those who look, think, believe, and act differently from us into our everyday, sometimes messy lives―helping them see what true Christian faith really looks like.

5. Unstuck by Matt Perman

How to Get Unstuck introduces readers to ten core principles that are at the heart of becoming an effective person for the glory of God. These principles are flexible enough for people to adapt and apply them to their own life and context. Also included is a plan for getting started in using these principles and applying them to real life.

4. Some Pastors and Teachers by Sinclair Ferguson

Some Pastors and Teachers: Reflecting a Biblical Vision of what Every Minister is Called to Be is a volume for every minister’s study and indeed for the bookshelves and bedside tables of everyone who has a concern for the ministry of the gospel and the well-being of the church in the twenty-first century. In many ways, it reflects the biblical vision of what every minister is called to be: pastor, teacher, counsellor, and example – but also a man who is growing spiritually, both in understanding and in character, before the eyes of his congregation.

3. Charles Spurgeon on the Christian Life by Michael Reeves

Charles Spurgeon (one of my heroes of the faith!), widely hailed as the “Prince of Preachers,” is well known for his powerful preaching, gifted mind, and compelling personality. Over the course of nearly four decades at London’s famous New Park Street Chapel and Metropolitan Tabernacle, Spurgeon preached and penned words that continue to resonate with God’s people today. Organized around the main beliefs that undergirded his ministry, this introduction to Spurgeon’s life and thought will challenge readers to live their lives for the glory of God.

2. Liturgy of the Ordinary by Tish Warren

Framed around one ordinary day, this book explores daily life through the lens of liturgy, small practices, and habits that form us. Each chapter looks at something―making the bed, brushing her teeth, losing her keys―that the author does every day. Drawing from the diversity of her life as a campus minister, Anglican priest, friend, wife, and mother, Tish Harrison Warren opens up a practical theology of the everyday. Each activity is related to a spiritual practice as well as an aspect of our Sunday worship.

1. C.S. Lewis on the Christian Life by Joe Rigney

C. S. Lewis excelled at plumbing the depths of the human heart, both the good and the bad, the beautiful and the corrupt. From science fiction and fantasy to essays, letters, and works of apologetics, Lewis has offered a wealth of insight into how to live the Christian life. In this book, Rigney explores the center of Lewis’s vision for the Christian life. I found myself enveloped by Rigney’s approach to showing the good (and bad!) of Lewis’ life and theology.
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