Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Top Christian Books (2008)

1. You can change - Tim Chester. Everything you could ask for in a popular book on discipleship. Influenced by the puritans and by CCEF and everyone else I love. Tim is full of wise pastoral insight and keeps churning out outstanding books like Total Church and his forthcoming Ordinary Hero. His blog should be on your blogroll.Book Review

2. Worship Matters - Bob Kauflin. This is and will long be the book on worship which I expect to receive widespread acceptance. Bob writes from years and years of experience and it shows. The only T4G book on this list, strangely - though to be fair I'd got several of them before and gave a lot of them to others. Meeting Bob Kauflin was one of the many highlights of the trip to the USA. Another unmissable blogger.Book Review

3. Alarm to the Unconverted Sinner - Joseph Alleine. Puritan read of the year. Outstanding and bold in the face of sin - plus a 1000 word 'sinners prayer'.

4. Miracles - C.S. Lewis.
The best apologetics book I read this year. He starts a long way back, engages with peoples arguments and ideas and wins you heart. Catch a glimpse.

5. Francis Schaeffer: An Authentic Life - Colin Duriez.
I didn't know enough about Schaeffer before this year - Duriez biography filled up the first day of my summer holiday and led me to buy his books on Genesis and Joshua. Tom Price endorses this simply: Schaeffer is my hero. I agree. Reflections

6. The Reason for God - Tim Keller.
Anyone could read this - a training resource for Christians but really a reasonable accessible defence of Christian thinking that someone who isn't a Christian would feel is written for them. This is the book Richard Dawkins needs to answer to. Book Review. Not many Keller mp3s online but get any you can from, or iTunes or Oak Hill. Keller's The Prodigal God is top of the pile to read in 2009. Thanks Larry.

7. The Kingdom and The Power - Peter Leithart. 
I bought this a couple of years ago and only started to see it's value this year. Very helpful on Genesis following the details and themes of what God is doing. I also enjoyed his Solomon among the Postmoderns. is always full of sparkly insights

8. Dominion and Dynasty - Stephen Dempster.
This has also been on my shelf for a while and has come into usefulness this year - also for the material on Genesis, particularly the twin themes of genealogy and geography. I imagine the material on the rest of the OT is outstanding too.

9. Death by Love - Mark Driscoll.
Driscoll's best yet, though I wait expectantly for Vintage Church. Bold, pastoral, engaging, weighty and cross-saturated. Get mp3s from Mars Hill Church

=10.  Lectures to my students - CH Spurgeon.
Classic book for anyone in 'ministry' and big thanks to CCN for the gift of it.

=10. But is it real? - Amy Orr-Ewing.
Short practical book on engaging with popular apologetics arguments. Amy & Frog Orr-Ewing blog.

Special mentions - Commentary on the New Testament use of the Old Testament edited by D.A. Carson and G.K. Beale -  the resource book of the year. On the Incarnation by Athanasisus - the oldest (non-Bible) book I've read this year and brilliant. 
Top 10 from 2007 and Top books from 2006


  1. Hey Dave,

    I think you 4 got a book!
    Nice list though!

  2. Oops. Though, bonus - I get to add another. Spurgeon it is.

  3. Thanks for the list :-)
    FYI no.3 title doesn't match link to Amazon.

  4. Ah... so actually I'd had a HTML typo which ate up one of the list... should all be fixed now.

  5. Mark, is that your first comment on the bluefish? Hm I've just raided my Dad's bookshop for several of those titles for Christmas: I know Santa's account number on the computer system, hoho. I must say though, much as I love the Chester, and am delighted at a more accessible, personal application version of the CCEF lot, it isn't an easy read for the average student. I only realised this when going through it independently with 2 girls at the moment. Not sure how many would tackle it on their own, if they hadn't read a few good Christian books first.

  6. Yeh I think I'd say that You Can Change is essential for anyone who is discipling someone - though probably not the book to read with someone.

    Mostly cos I just like to read the Bible with those I'm discipling... but if you had to read something additional to scripture then I'd be more inclined to go for some Mahaney or Keller...

  7. I'm "reading" it with them because they weren't getting through it on their own. In reality, they read a chapter and then when we meet up we actually turn to a Bible passage.

  8. Hi Dave - curious to know how you selected your top ten: are they simply the books that you've enjoyed/appreciated most? Why have you missed out The Shack, the UK and USA's bestselling Christian book of 2008 — and the only Christian book to make the official top 100 paperback chart for 2008?