I know that there are a zillion end-of-year book lists out there, many by more eloquent and insightful readers than I am. However, because I love to share books I like, let’s make it a zillion and one.
- Suffering by Paul Tripp
Paul Tripp is a prolific author, so you have probably encountered him either in your own reading life or through the ministry of your church. It’s often said of Tripp that his books are all very similar to one another—and I don’t think he would disagree. Tripp has a knack for taking the sundry circumstances of life and winsomely yet skillfully showing how to apply the Gospel in that specific instance.
Suffering has classic Tripp readability and biblical clarity; however, it’s not your average Tripp book. Written in the midst of a season of intense personal pain, Suffering has the rawness of the author’s having wrestled with the topic himself. Far from theory and the hypothetical, this volume is as authentic as it comes and will help you navigate your own seasons of suffering. I cannot recommend it highly enough if you or someone you know is walking through the furnace of adversity.
- The Right Kind of Strong by Mary Kassian
Unlike Paul Tripp, Mary Kassian may not be a familiar name to you. A leading voice in the True Woman movement and professor of women’s studies as Southern Baptist seminary, Kassian loves the Word of God. In The Right Kind of Strong, she explores a concept our culture embraces—a strong woman. However, Kassian doesn’t draw her conclusions from society; rather she exegetes 2 Timothy 3:6-7 and Paul’s description of the “weak women” of Ephesus. Kassian gives seven “surprisingly simple habits of a spiritually strong woman.” Her conversational style makes this book easy to read, but her commitment to truth makes it convicting.
- Even Better Than Eden by Nancy Guthrie
This book is all about biblical theology. Maybe you read that phrase and think, “Isn’t all theology supposed to be biblical?” Well, yes. But biblical theology is actually a branch of theology that traces a theme or concept throughout the storyline of scripture. Systematic theology (biblical theology’s more popular older brother), on the other hand, seeks to learn all the Bible has to say about a topic (such as salvation) and systematize it. Anyway, what Guthrie does in this book is trace nine concepts from Creation to the New Creation and show how the Bible make sense as one story—and affects your personal story. If you want to get to know the big picture of the Bible a little better, this book will help!
- Sing! How Worship Transforms Your Life, Family, and Church
by Keith & Kristyn Getty
This book as been out for a couple of years, so you may already be familiar with it. And if you don’t recognize the book itself, you will likely recognize the authors—or at least their other work in writing/performing some of the most powerful and theologically driven hymns of our age, such as “In Christ Alone,” “The Power of the Cross,” and “Speak, O Lord.” Keith and Kristyn Getty, however, are not just musicians and performing artists. They have a heart for worship within the church and the home. This book isn’t written just for music pastors or accomplished musicians. It is meant to help every Christian consider why they sing at church, why they should have music in the home, and how worship impacts them as individuals. It’s short, simple, and straightforward, but it will help you think more deeply about a topic that you’ve likely taken for granted.
- (A)typical Woman by Abigail Dodds
I almost hesitate to recommend this book, not because of any fault of its own, but because it could be labeled as “one of those books.” You know the ones I mean—”pink” books about having a “meek and quiet spirit” and being a “Proverbs 31 woman.” I don’t mean to denigrate either of those ideas; they’re obviously both Scriptural—and I could use all the help I can get in growing in both of them! However, if you’re anything like me, you can get weary of the topic and feel like that’s all Christian women are allowed to read or study about. Not to mention the guilt that inevitably comes from reading them! However, (A)typical Woman is about biblical womanhood, but it’s a little different read than many of the resources already on the market. Dodds centers her conversation on the Gospel and the identity that women can find there. Even if you have a pretty good grip on what it means to be a biblical woman, you will probably find this book refreshing. And if the concept of biblical womanhood is gobbledygook to you, then start here!