So, if one is a theo-blogger, then one tends to follow the trend and list their top 10 (or however many) books read over the past year. I did the same in 2010 and in 2009.
Therefore, below is my list of favourite reads in 2011. Next week I will look to post titles of books I would like to conquer in 2012.
1. The King Jesus Gospel by Scot McKnight. Here, McKnight, one of my favourite authors, challenges us on whether we have missed a few things in our evangelical understanding of the gospel. My review is here.
2. Scripture and the Authority of God by N.T. Wright. This is Wright’s introductory work to understanding what the ‘authority of Scripture’ means, how God expresses that authority, and how God’s people have understood that authority over the centuries. Oh, and I just reviewed the book this week.
3. What Saint Paul Really Said by N.T. Wright. Here is Wright’s treatise on understanding all things Paul, even the recent Pauline studies of the past century or so. This is an earlier work of his challenging some of our evangelical understandings of Paul, including justification. So it came well before the whole Wright-Piper new perspective debating. My review is forthcoming, to arrive in the next couple of weeks.
4. Allah: A Christian Response by Miroslav Volf. Lost in the controversy catacombs of another publishing entitled Love Wins, Volf’s book flew under the radar for many. The book lays out a way for Christians and Muslims to healthily interact in our global world today, coming from the viewpoint that we have some similarities which can be of great value for dialogue. His approach is not so much soteriological (how is ‘in’ and ‘out’) but rather socio-political (how to get along in our world today). Be forewarned, it might ruffle some feathers. My review is here.
5. Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived by Rob Bell. Speaking of the devil, or at least the devil for some, I think most people became aware of this book because of a) the great marketing scheme of HarperOne and b) the upheaval in the evangelical blogosphere world. Though I cannot agree with all of Bell’s thoughts in the book, I do believe he has laid some groundwork for challenging possible wrong perspectives we hold concerning ‘hell’ and ‘heaven’. My review can be found here.
6. Eat This Book: A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual Reading by Eugene Peterson. I simply love Peterson. He will not wow you with great theological treatises. But he will draw you in with his pastorally wise approach to all topics considered. Here is one on the role of Scripture in the life of the church. My reflections are here.
7. The Great Emergence: How Christianity Is Changing and Why by Phyllis Tickle. This name will not be a household name amongst evangelicals, even despised by many. She comes to us in the vein of a Brian McLaren, Tony Jones, Rob Bell, Peter Rollins, et al. Hence, the distaste by some. But in this book, she shares why she believes that, at the turn of the 21st century (500 years following the Great Reformation), we are on the brink of a major shift in the world, especially in the Christian world. This, she would call the Great Emergence. See my review here.
8. I Love Jesus and I Accept Evolution by Denis Lamoureux. An introductory text on evolutionary creation as a belief which Christians can hold, even evangelical Christians, and still faithfully honour both God and the Scripture given to us by the community of God. I need to finish up the last couple of chapters and then I will post my review.
9. Junia Is Not Alone by Scot McKnight. A short book of 25-pages, only available as an ebook via the Kindle/Kindle app. McKnight continues to champion the cause for mutuality amongst men and women in the church. Here, he launches his case from a little known woman named Junia, spoken of in Romans 16:7. My reflections will be posted in the near future.
10. Rooms by James Rubart. A Christian fiction work. If you enjoyed The Shack, then I believe you will appreciate this book. My thoughts about the book can be found here.