A few days ago, I posted 15 books that I read during 2012 which I thought were noteworthy. Well, now I am following up with a list of books which I hope to read this coming year. But I’m sure others will jump on the list through the year and I wouldn’t be surprised if a few fell off the list, as that has happened in previous years.
Here is a list of 10 books in no particular order:
1) Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes by E. Randolph Richards and Brandon J. O’Brien. I’ve actually begun reading this book. Whenever I study Scripture and theology, one of my more favourite things is to read books that challenge our normal reading of Scripture, or the normal way we do hermeneutics (interpreting and applying Scripture). Of course, things can be taken too far and people end up laying aside central aspects of doctrine. But, if church history has taught us anything, especially with the Reformation, we are in continual need of reformation (they called in semper reformanda in those days) – but not just in dying to the flesh through the crucified life so that we might live unto Christ more, but also with better understanding the Scripture from its ancient context and living it out in our 21st century context. Here is a book written by solid evangelicals that remind us that what we take for granted when reading the Bible might not actually be what the Bible says.
2) Under the Unpredictable Plant by Eugene Peterson. I’ve made it known now that Peterson has quickly become one of my favourite authors. I love his pastoral heart in all that he says and teaches. One of my pastor friends, who also enjoys Peterson, suggested I read this one next. I wouldn’t be surprised if I read a few of his books in 2013, like The Pastor.
3. An Introduction to the Old Testament by Walter Brueggemann. I purchased this book quite a few months back, but it is still sitting on my shelf to read. I’ve only heard great things about Brueggemann from those who are interested in Old Testament studies. I am aware that he challenges some of the normative evangelical approaches to Scripture. But, as I stated above, I appreciate that.
4. Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster. Here is a classic by the Quaker writer. It gives an introduction to many of the spiritual disciplines such as meditation, prayer, fasting, study, simplicity, solitude, etc. I’ve dipped into it before, mainly to glean some thoughts on fasting. But I’ve not yet read it fully through. I long to grow as a young man of God and I believe this book will be of great help.
5. The Story of Christianity by Justo Gonzalez. I have had this book down on my ‘reading list’ for a long, long time. It was my church history text about 10 years ago. I’ve picked it up previously and re-read the beginning pages, and then never picked it up again. But I am interested in reading and studying more on church history, so I want to go back and start with this work.
6. The Passion of the Western Mind: Understanding the Ideas That Have Shaped Our World View by Richard Tarnas. I originally read this in university in a philosophy class, but I also want to go back and re-read it to refresh my memory in regards to the development of western thought, at least from a non-Christian’s perspective. I don’t think I paid too much attention to the book when I had to read it some twelve years ago.
7. God of the Possible by Greg Boyd. I was lent this book a few months ago by a friend, but Greg Boyd is a proponent of what is known as open theism, which consists of the view that God’s foreknowledge is much more open concerning the future than it is already determined. I’ve shared before how I’ve shifted away from my very strong Calvinist leanings in the past. I’m still not sure the normative Calvinist-Arminian debate will be as strongly relevant in years and decades to come. But Boyd is well-known and probably one of the best advocates for open theism.
8. The Confessions of Saint Augustine. Above, I mentioned my desire to be more engaged in church history. With that, I’d like to read a bit of the early fathers. And Augustine was one of the greatest. There is also a website where all of the father’s can be read – http://www.ccel.org/fathers.html.
9. Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas. A few months back, I bought this book for my Kindle device for only $1.99. It’s become a popular read following its release. It’s a whopper at 624 pages. I plan to take it up in 2013.
10. The Lord of the Rings trilogy by JRR Tolkien. As I shared a few days ago, I re-read The Hobbit in order to prepare for the new movie release. Now I want to continue by re-reading this trilogy. And then I’ll re-watch the movies as well.
Hi Scott – looking forward to your feedback on some of these books – especially Missreading scripture, Understanding OT, The Story of Christianity and Understanding the Ideas That Have Shaped Our World View. Lots of this stuff is just up my street. Unfortunately for me, your brain is at least 10 times bigger than mine – on the basis that I get through one book in the time it takes you to read 10. And that is with the wind behind me 🙂 I guess I’m a bit slow …
Hi Jonathan –
As long as you can patiently wait for me to post some book reviews throughout the whole of 2013. 🙂
Have you read City of Grace?
I haven’t read it. Haven’t heard of it yet, either. What’s it about?