I love to read, and while I don’t want this to be a book-review blog, those who know me well know that I can’t stop myself from talking about books I like. While not every book is for every reader, I’m confident that you will not be sorry you read any of these five books. They may make you uncomfortable and challenge your thinking, but you’ll be better for it.
- A Small Book About A Big Problem by Edward T. Welch
This book on anger is not your typical Christian-growth book. It’s the size of a gift book and contains fifty devotional-length meditations intended to be read over fifty days. Welch intentionally designed his book to be used this way because the fight against anger is a long one. Honestly, probably a lot longer than 50 days, but if you work through this book over the course of seven weeks as intended, you’ll have been (hopefully) making incremental gains that whole time. In his typical winsome style, Welch addresses different forms in which anger manifests itself, frustration, judgmentalism, jealousy, venting, etc. However, he not only deals with anger, he also discusses the cure for anger: wisdom. This is really a book for everyone because we all have an anger problem. Yours may look different from mine, but it’s a problem for both of us. You can pick up this small, unintimidating book at Amazon here.
- The Tech-Wise Family by Andy Crouch
In this short and very readable book, Crouch offers ten principles regarding technology he has tried to implement in his family. While you may not make the very same choices for your own family, Crouch’s well-reasoned and researched arguments will help you think through technology boundaries for yourself and your whole family. This is a topic that should be of importance to anyone with a smartphone and internet access—especially if you have kids at home. This book won’t take you long to read, but it will leave you thinking long after you’re finished. Get on Amazon here.
- Union with Christ by Rankin Wilbourne
This is hands-down my favorite book that I have read this year–I’m currently reading it for the second time! The topic of our union with Christ is one that should absolutely saturate our minds. Once you get your hands around it (and it is, admittedly a bit slippery), it will revolutionize your spiritual life. I don’t think I’m overstating that. The fact that we are united with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection should change our mindset about sin, temptation, and spiritual growth. Wilbourne, though not an author I was familiar with before learning of this book, does a wonderful job of bringing this somewhat difficult topic down to street level as he explains both what it means and why it matters. Though this book is not as short as Welch’s or Crouch’s, it is absolutely worth the read! Get it here.
- Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey
You need to read this book. You just do. Admittedly, it is the most intimidating one on this list, but you need to read it. Pearcey delves into what she calls the “two-story dichotomy” and demonstrates how prone we all are to relegate certain areas to a “lower story” and others to the more important “upper story.” This is how, for instance, abortion advocates rationalize their view when they know scientifically that life begins at conception. They separate “life” and “personhood” into two different “stories” in their thinking. The same happens in the gender debate as “gender” and “sex” are in two different stories. It’s not just liberal worldviews that do this, however; Christians do it too. Have you ever caught yourself thinking that pastor is a little bit holier an occupation than janitor? Or being a missionary is holier than being a plumber? Nancy Pearcey will explain the danger and ubiquity of the two-story paradigm and point us to a better framework for worldview. This book will challenge you and shake you up, but it is worth the work! Get your copy here.
- None Greater by Matthew Barrett
I had heard quite a bit about this book before I read it. It showed up on a lot of “best-of” lists last year, so my hopes were pretty high as I began it. If I’m totally honest, it was different than I expected, and I started out a little disappointed. However, Barrett absolutely succeeded in bringing theology proper (the study of God the Father) down to street-level so that laymen could understand why the aseity and simplicity of God really matter. By the time I was finished with the book, the points that he had tried to hammer home were on repeat in my mind. While not the most fun read on the attributes of God, in many ways it’s one of my favorites. Barrett writes with the average guy in mind and makes difficult theological concepts accessible. He doesn’t write just about the attributes of God that you’re most familiar with; he bites off some that are much more difficult and obscure—but also critically important to understand. If you want to grow in the fear of God, check out None Greater. Pick it up here.