Friday, December 28, 2012

Year End Book Review 2012

Per usual I have successfully achieved my resolution of reading five books per year.  This is usually the only resolution I make and I am still batting 1.000.  It seems to be a very manageable goal so why change what's working.  I not only meet the goal but I also get to read some good books and be challenged both in my thinking and my life.  This year was no different.  I was able to read some fantastic books that were very thought provoking and challenging.

1. The Search for Satisfaction: Looking for Something New Under the Sun by David McKinley - This book was actually written by my Pastor.  It is essentially a commentary on the book of Ecclesiastes.  This book outlines and highlights some of the major themes, like knowledge, relationships, wealth/money, that Solomon was trying to use to find completeness in life.  And since not much has changed this book is very applicable as we continue to try to satisfy ourselves with things other than Jesus.  The book helps highlight different areas that you may be pursuing and challenges you to, like Solomon realize that everything is meaningless under the sun apart from Jesus.  This is a quick, good read that you are sure to enjoy, especially if you feel like reading Ecclesiastes.

2. Desiring God by John Piper - Pretty much challenges you to look at all aspects of your life and ask yourself this question.  Do you delight in God?  Is he supreme above all this world has to offer? And how do we give Him all the Glory?  Powerful and challenging book by an incredibly convicting author/teacher.  A must read.

3. The Pursuit of God by A.W Tozer - A challenge to live for God by a most respected and thoughtful Pastor and author.  Highly recommend this book if you are looking of a quick but thought provoking read.  It is paperback and only like 9 or 10 short chapters.

4. Just Do Something by Kevin DeYoung - This is the first book I've read by a guy that I enjoy reading via blogs and such.  It is very easy to read, very entertaining because the author is quite the story-teller, and gives you very good food for thought.  The basic premise is that Christians get stuck in a rut of spiritual paralysis because we over spiritualize our decisions and thus end up not doing anything.  For, example the excuse is usually like, "I'm just waiting to see what God's will for this is" or "Let me pray about this to see if that's God's will." as if God's will is nebulous and unknowable.  Kevin points out theologically all that is wrong with this thinking and guides the reader to discover that we do in fact know God's will.  We must do it.  He also has a great chapter on young Christian relationships and the lies/paralysis young believers can concoct to postpone dating/marriage/responsibility.  A great read and challenges you to start doing what you believe.

5. The Essential Works of Charles Spurgeon by Charles Spurgeon and Daniel Partner - This is a very thick book containing, well, the essential works of C.H. Spurgeon.  To be honest, I have not read the whole book but I have read several sermons over the course of the last few months of this year.  The book contains mainly his sermons but also includes some biographical writings.  This guy is fast becoming one of my favorites.  Eloquent, challenging, and theologically sound, everything I've read out of this book as been super applicable and though provoking.  It is fun to learn from the spirit filled words of a theological giant.  I definitely recommend this one to read throughout the year since it is not like a "book" book.

I have yet to decide what to read this year.  I'm sure it will include some more Spurgeon as well as some newer guys.  But you will have to wait until next year to find out!  Now go forth and read!

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