Wednesday, December 24, 2014

More Good Books from 2014

Yesterday, I named my top 5 books read in 2014.

Today, I list some "honorable mentions" that I also appreciated a good bit and recommend to others. I'm a happy bibliophile.

Did The Devil Make Me Do It? by Michael McKinley

My GoodReads review:

Really good. McKinley judiciously answers the main questions we all have about who is Satan and what is he up to in our cursed world. Balanced, biblical, and concise. Highly recommended, not as the final word on all questions, but as a great first, short, and fairly comprehensive word. I'm loving this series from the Good Book company!

Good: The Joy of Christian Manhood and Womanhood edited by David Mathis

My GoodReads Review:
Refreshing positive statement of Christian manhood and womanhood. Crisp and clear writing. Winsome, strong, and compelling to me. Great reminders for this husband, father, and pastor.

Love Into Light by Peter Hubbard

I haven't written an online review of this one yet. It's specifically designed to speak to those in the church who don't know what to think about homosexuality. Hubbard was a classmate of mine at for counseling classes with the CCEF professors at Westminster. He's a careful student of the Bible, a clear teacher, and has a lot of wisdom to share with the church. Check out his book website.

Listen to an hour long interview with Peter at Confessing Our Hope.

The Pastor’s Family by Brian & Cara Croft

My GoodReads review:

Excellent primer on shepherding the family while shepherding the church. It can and should be done. I especially appreciated Cara's perspectives sprinkled throughout the book. Recommended, especially for new pastors with young families.

I also coordinated the reviews for this book at EFCA Now.

The Poverty of Nations by Wayne Grudem and Barry Asmus

My GoodReads review:
I thought this book was great, but I really don't understand economics so I don't really know how to evaluate it critically. I'd like to now read a book-length response from another side and then the interaction of the two sides (or more).
This book is very well researched and a model of clarity. I appreciated how the authors didn't try to prove their case from the Bible (if it can't be done directly) and yet showed how biblical concepts were supportive of their case. Normally, I wouldn't like that because of a fear of proof-texting, but I sensed that it was actually a fear of proof-texting that led to this approach. I sense that they are making a case based upon history and economic theory, not saying that it is directly taught by the Bible.
The strangest thing about the book is that it's aimed at leaders of poor nations, people of influence in impoverished nations. So it doesn't present a to-do-list for readers like me who are living in a wealthy nation to do much about world poverty even after I've read the book. In fact, while the sub-title calls it "a sustainable solution," it does not present a plan at all, just a clear picture of the factors towards which leaders should work. At least it presented a way of thinking about the solution to poverty that should inform those things that a ordinary reader like myself should and shouldn't do to be helpful. 
Glad I read it, but not sure what to do next. 

Washed and Waiting by Wesley Hill

What I said on GoodReads:
Aching but hopeful meditations on living for Christ despite persistent same sex attractions. It presents a longing for holiness and a deep knowledge of Jesus's love that is a beautiful alternative to the world's confusion about homosexuality and its rejection of Him. Though I'd say some things differently than the author, I'm very thankful this book exists.

Gray Matters by Brett McCracken

What I said at GoodReads:
I’m glad that someone is thinking and talking about these issues (food, music, movies, alcohol). McCracken doesn’t always come down in the same places I do and doesn’t talk enough about how Scripture informs his choices. But "Gray Matters" is a great conversation starter and forces us to think about how we consume culture. I enjoyed reading it.
I also got to coordinate this set of reviews for Gray Matters at EFCA Now.