My Ten Favorite Reads of 2016

Since we’ve made the end of another year, I thought I’d join the list of folks who are sharing their top reads from 2016. I’ll not include my favorite fiction, as fiction is just too hard to recommend. But here are ten of my favorite non-fiction books I read this year, and, no, they were not generally published in 2016.

 

Decision Making and the Will of God: A Biblical Alternative to the Traditional View

Friesen, Gary

Discerning the will of God is a vital topic. It is also a topic which I believe confuses many believers. Friesen’s work is the gold standard for discussions of this topic from a non-mystical point of view. This is the kind of book that is easy to read, but which would also make a fine group study.

 

Church History in Plain Language

Shelley, Bruce L. 

It is simply good for believers to work through church history from time to time. It is vital for us to realize that the doctrines we hold dear do not arise from a vacuum. Instead, many of the things that distinguish who we are as believers have arisen out of some very significant events. This book is, as its title suggest, simple. However, it is helpful and digestible, and it was a fun casual read.

 

The Heart of Revelation  

Duvall, J. Scott 

I loved reading this book simply because it was a book on Revelation that was not trying to draw for me a timeline or argue about the same old topics. While I believe that end times discussions are important, I also understand that the Book of Revelation is intended by God to reveal to us his character and victory. This book does a wonderful job of helping us look at the book of Revelation in a fresh light without bogging us down in the arguments so often present. [my review]

 

Counseling the Hard Cases: True Stories Illustrating the Sufficiency of God’s Resources in Scripture  

Scott, Stuart 

I like to be sure that I read in the biblical counseling field from time to time. I do not believe that there is anyone better to read here than Stewart Scott. This author presents unwaveringly biblical counsel in real world situations with compassion and understanding. Scott’s work is also a great example of how real, biblical counsel can help people to walk through issues which many Christians might believe unsolvable.

 

The Doctrine of Repentance (Puritan Paperbacks)  

Watson, Thomas 

I’m not sure if I enjoy reading Puritan books more for the overall truth they present or the powerful quotes that pierce my heart. Either way, this was a powerful classic on a topic so often ignored in modern days.

 

Unparalleled: How Christianity’s Uniqueness Makes It Compelling  

Wilson, Jared C. 

I just happily read anything from Wilson. He writes with such reality and such grace. [my review]

 

Living in the Light: Money, Sex and Power

Piper, John

I think I enjoyed this book because it was written from a retired pastor who can now speak these truths to us with the wisdom and compassion of many years of faithful service. It is not a prudish or a salacious book, but a helpful one that I would recommend to anybody. [my review]

 

The Search for God and Guinness: A Biography of the Beer that Changed the World  

Mansfield, Stephen 

I never expected to read this one, but since it was on a nice sale on Kindle, I gave it a shot. This was a great example of how a Christian might order his family life and business to make a difference in the world around him. Yes, this book is about Guinness, the beer and the family. However, the picture in this book of a family that impacted their world for good in a way that many would never have expected makes this a very interesting historical read.

 

Can I Smoke Pot?: Marijuana in Light of Scripture

Breeden, Tom 

Cruciform press puts out short, readable, and helpful books. I would not say that this book is the last word on the topic of marijuana in the life of the church. However, it is good that somebody had the courage to write the first word in such a short and accessible format. As the use of marijuana becomes more broadly legal in the United States, Christians need to think this issue through and not ignore the need for us to have responses to the hard questions.

 

Divorce  

Murray, John 

This was one of those books that I have had on my list of books to read for years. Whenever you read a book on Divorce or on remarriage in the Christian community, Murray’s book is always in the bibliography. Murray is thorough and compassionate while handling a very hard topic.

 

These were some of my favorites from this past year. What were some of yours?