These are the most engaging and memorable books I read this year.
Joshua Mitchell, American Awakening: Identity Politics and Other Afflictions of Our Time. A clear and compelling case regarding how identity politics borrows from (and perverts) the Christian worldview.
Ray Ortlund, The Gospel: How the Church Portrays the Glory of Christ. A vision for the local church worth our blood, sweat, tears, and prayers.
John Owen, The Glory of Christ. My favorite kind of theology to read: Captivating and worship-evoking.
John Owen, On Spiritual Mindedness. Tons of takeaways and heaps of wisdom.
Peter Wood, 1620: A Critical Response to the 1619 Project. If you care about the topic, you’ll want to read it. You’ll also want to track down and read the sources cited in the footnotes.
Octavius Winslow, Personal Declension and Revival of Religion in the Soul. An enchanting book, worthy of a slow read. Nearly every paragraph is memorable.
Jonathan Pennington, Small Preaching: 25 Little Things You Can Do Now to Make You a Better Preacher. Short chapters chock-full of wisdom. It helps that Pennington is a skilled writer. A win-win!
George Swinnock, The Blessed and Boundless God. Next to Thomas Watson and John Owen, Swinnock may be one of my favorite Puritans to read. This is a fine example of theology set to music, sure to lead readers into praise and adoration. Probably the best book I read in 2021.
Craig Carter, Contemplating God with the Great Tradition: Recovering Trinitarian Classical Theism. More reasons to embrace the pro-Nicene tradition. Here’s a memorable paragraph:
“The pro-Nicene theology that emerged in the fourth century as the consensus doctrine of God in the Christian church was not a result of the imposition of Greek metaphysical ideas onto the Bible, as if Aristotle was preferred over Moses, Isaiah, and Paul. Rather, on the crucial issue of divine transcendence, Aristotle was corrected on the basis of Moses, Isaiah, and Paul. . . . [Jürgen] Moltmann’s project is built on a faulty foundation because he simplistically equates the use of Aristotelian concepts with the uncritical use of such concepts, as when he writes smugly, ‘Aristotle’s God cannot love’ (Crucified God, 222), as if no one from Athanasius to Aquinas had noticed the fact” (210, 210n11).
Here is a list of the most memorable articles I read in 2021:
Carl Trueman, “The Failure of Evangelical Elites”
James K. A. Smith, “I’m a Philosopher. We Can’t Think Our Way Out of This Mess.”
Brendan Case and Ying Chen, “What Home-Schoolers Are Doing Right,” Wall Street Journal (November 11, 2021): A19.
Here are some books I’m looking forward to reading in 2022:
Fredrik Backman, Anxious People: A Novel.
John Koessler, Folly, Grace, and Power: The Mysterious Act of Preaching.