Top Five Books of 2009

7 Jan

As I recoup from Urbana and get back into life here, I was organizing books that I received for Christmas and looking forward to diving into them. I was also updating the list that I keep of books I have read with little notes about them and decided a post of this sort would be alot of fun. Without further ado and in no particular order I present my five favorites of the past year.

God’s Economy by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove

– Met this cat during our week-long trip to Duke Divinity School this summer and found him hilarious. Love meeting hillbillies who are now living amidst the urban poor. His book spoke specifically about money, perhaps my most favorite idol. Here is my favorite and most painful line – “The greatest obstacle to faith in our time may well be that most of us are too invested in securing our own futures to trust Jesus for the good life he wants to give us now.”

Wrapped in Rain by Charles Martin

– A new addition to my list of favorite authors, I’ll admit he occasionally borders on emotional Christian fiction but he can weave a story like few I have encountered. In this book he captured a beautiful picture of growing up as a child as well as one of fatherhood that connected with me in a pretty powerful way. I came away wanting to make my relationships with people matter alot more than all the other stuff I let fill my life.

The Prodigal God by Tim Keller

– The clarity with which Keller speaks the Gospel through this short book is spectacular. I basically broke my rule against preaching almost directly from books to share his story with the students from ODU last year at our retreat. Few books show a picture so simple and clear of God’s love and pursuit of us.

The Promise by Chaim Potok

– I came across the prequel to this book, The Chosen, when it was referenced in a non-fiction book I was reading two years ago. I hear many people read this in high school but I had never heard of it. I recommend reading that first as it speaks of how much our childhoods affect who we become as adults. This follow up includes the same main characters and told a spectacular story of young Jewish men seeking truth amidst many contrasting definitions of it.

Evil and the Justice of God by NT Wright

– The presence of evil in a world created by God is perhaps one of the most significant struggles the Christian church will face moving forward. Wright wrestles with this in powerful ways that kept me going back and rereading entire pages to make sure I was following him. Bring a pen when you read this book, you will need it to help you process your own thoughts to the questions he poses.

Looking forward to what I find in 2010. Happy reading.

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