Browsing Category
2016

1. Systematic Theology
2. The Lost World of Genesis 1
3. I Dare You Not to Bore Me With the Bible
4. Misinterpreting Scripture With Western Eyes
5. God’s Greater Glory
6. Rising Sun
7. We Cannot Be Silent
8. Confederacy of Dunces
9. The Cross of Christ
10. How Should We Then Live
11. Theological Reflections on Christ
12. Psycobable
13. Tell the Truth
14. The Big Short
15. Liar’s Poker
16. The Smartest Guys in the Room
17. Dear Leader
18. Total Truth
19. SPQR
20. Final Seconds
21. Americans in Paris
22. 1776
23. The Cup and the Glory
24. Western Civ II
25. The Republic of Pirates
26. Living in God’s Two Kingdoms
27. Gangeterismo
28. Microeconomics
29. Scripture Alone
30. Romanovs
31. Dynasty
32. Philosophy in Seven Sentences
33. Operation Thunderbolt
34. In the Name of Rome
35. French Revolution
36. Five Presidents
36. Napoleon
37. The Whig Interpretation of History
38. Apostles of Disunion
39. The Matthews Men
40. Augustine of Hippo
41. Lincoln
42. Why Study History
43. This Great Struggle
44. 1920
45. Valiant Ambition
46. Rough Riders
47. A Little History of Philosophy
48. Elephant Company
49. The Clockwork Universe
50. The Crusades
51. Visions of Vocation
52. Vietnam
53. Amusing ourselves to death
54. Holiness
55. Quiet
56. The Darkness and the Glory
57. Tipping Points
58. David and Goliath
59. Harry Potter 1
60. Harry Potter 2
61. Harry Potter 3
62. Harry Potter 4
63. Genghis Khan
64. Crazy Love

I want to continue with tradition and talk about my favorite (and worst) books of the year:

Best Book of the Year: I felt as if last year, this answer was clear to me immediately. This year is not so much. To me, the best book of the year should be one that I’ve been impacted by or reflected on the most. In that case, the best book that fits that criteria is John Walton’s “The Lost World of Genesis 1.” Walton does his best to convince you that a literally view of Genesis 1 may not be the most important aspect of the creation story. I read this book in January of last year and I still think on it.

Runner Ups: Why Study History?, The Whig Interpretation of History, Living in God’s Two Kingdoms

Best Non-Fiction: Without a doubt, Susan Cain’s “Quiet” was a really entertaining and informative look at introversion and the misinformation about it that I have ever read. There is real power to introversion she argues (and I agree) that people are not always adept at picking up. This is a great book for introverts to understand themselves and for extroverts to understand introverts!

Runner Ups: A Little History of Philosophy, Five Presidents, We Cannot Be Silent

Best Fiction: I only read TWO fiction books until the month of December where I knocked out several of the Harry Potter books. I’m routinely revisit the whole Harry Potter series, typically in December, to relive one of my childhood obsessions. So I’ll say the four Harry Potter books I read this year, with Goblet of Fire always being a personal favorite, tie with the best fiction novels on the year.

Best Biography: I didn’t read too many true biographies this year, but one that counts as a biography is the story of Jang Jin-sung in his book “Dear Leader” which is an account of how he escaped North Korea. I love books that are hard to put down and this was certainly one of them. The action, suspense, and heartbreak read like a fiction drama that will intrigue many.

Runner Ups: Five Presidents, Lincoln, Elephant Company

Best History Book: I think that hands down the best book this year in this category was “Operation Thunderbolt.” Much like “Dear Leader,” I could not put this book down. It keeps you intrigued for the entire book and the resolution is both heartbreaking and satisfying.

Runner Ups: Rough Riders, Valiant Ambition, SPQR

Best Theological Book: Not including the aforementioned John Walton book, I think this would have to go to Bruce Ware’s “God’s Greater Glory.” I love his ideas and it’s kind of brilliant how he solves the problem of God’s sovereignty and human responsibility.

Runner Ups: Systematic Theology, Living in God’s Two Kingdoms

Worst Book of the Year: This is a new category but a sorely needed one. Sometimes I finish a book and I regret ever reading it in the first place. In this case, the worst book of the entire year I actually read all the way through has to be “The Smartest Guys in the Room.” While the premise sounds interesting, the Enron scandal, it was full of boring information about financials that would take a CPA to understand. Would NOT recommend.

Runner Ups: In the Name of Rome, Americans in Paris

Francis Chan begins the book as getting your mind right; it’s a review for those who may not know and a reminder for those who do of who God is and what the Gospel means. With this introduction, Chan dives into our response as Christians. Here is this God who loves us more than we comprehend and He asks certain things of us. He asks us to go unto all the nations and make disciples, preach the Gospel, and baptize. And yet, we have trouble reading our Bibles in our $300,000 homes with our two cars, iphones, and computers;

This book is essentially about epidemics. How did Pokemon Go become a phenomena literally overnight? How does advertising spark exponential rise in sales? Why do certain ideas stick and others don’t? This is the first part of the book. Gladwell examines several different reasons why ideas are spread. He makes it akin to a virus: a virus, like the common cold, infects a community. It starts with just one person until soon many people have it. But ideas are not like the cold. They have to be communicated in a way that disseminates the information. In this, Gladwell introduces three personas: the connectors, mavens, and salesmen. Connectors are people who have a vast array of acquaintances. They know a lot of people and they are generally well versed in their lives.

Greg Harris is a name that I’ve continually come back to for his incredible books. Earlier this year, I read the phenomenal book, “The Cup and the Glory” by Harris. The “Darkness and the Glory” I read last year and I thought it was brilliant. I wanted to revisit this book to glean some of the things I had missed the first time around.

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