Top 10 Books | 2017 |

I think this year may have been the year in which I have read the most “Jesus” books (I don’t like to use the word “spiritual” because of the cultural baggage it comes with…) There is no specific ranking for the Top 10 – it is simply too hard to rank them one by one.  Hopefully my few words on each may inspire you to take a look at some of them.

  1.  The Pastor: A Memoir (Eugene Peterson)
    Eugene Peterson remains one of the biggest influences on my walk in Christ. Like Scott Sauls (another “hero” of mine) writes, “Peterson’s books on pastoral ministry in particular (they are magnificent), his emphasis on ordinary faithfulness over a shallow pursuit of extraordinary experience, his repudiation of Christian celebrity, his inspiration toward “a long obedience in the same direction…”  have mentored many. This book is filled with heart-warming stories of how God has shaped Peterson’s pastoral, tender heart that truly embodies grace as a Person.
  2. Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church (N.T. Wright)
    Wright’s writing sometimes seems to be unorganised (for me), but this book articulates well against the common misunderstanding of Christian faith of being “going to heaven when you die” whereas the reality is “heaven coming down to and on earth”. We Christians have not lived as resurrected people.
  3. Waiting On God (Andrew Murray)
    A wonderful daily devotional by Murray on an active and hope-filled waiting on God.
  4. Letters from a Skeptic: A Son Wrestles with His Father’s Questions about Christianity (Greg Boyd)
    I am definitely not an “open-theist”, but it does not at all affect how much I appreciate this book. I have truly enjoyed this book and am thankful for its publishing. Boyd’s love and patience for his father is an inspiring pattern to all of us, not to mention he so eloquently articulates many things that I have tried to expressed in words, yet find it difficult. I think every believer should read this.
  5. All Is Grace: A Ragamuffin Memoir (Brennan Manning)
    Many modern-day Pharisees enjoy condescending Manning in either an out-there or a subtle way, but Manning’s life, as recorded in this memoir, exactly manifests “where sins run deep, Your grace runs deeper” (Romans 5:20).
  6. Eat This Book: A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual Reading (Eugene Peterson)
    See my book review here
  7. God’s Big Picture: Tracing the Story-Line of the Bible (Vaughan Roberts)
    Based on Graeme Goldsworthy’s work, Roberts summarises how the kingdom of God is the central theme of the Bible. I came across this book during my time in The Hookses with the brother and sisters in my local church.
  8. A Meal with Jesus: Discovering Grace, Community, & Mission Around the Table (Tim Chester)
    A refreshing read on sharing meals with non-believers by Tim Chester, one of my favourite authors of today (not that I have read many of his books).
  9. You Can Change: God’s Transforming Power for Our Sinful Behavior and Negative Emotions (Tim Chester)
    See my book review here
  10. The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness (Tim Keller)
    A great little book by Keller, even the non-habitual readers should read it! What we need most today are indeed messages like this: not I but Christ.

“Honourable Mentions”

  1. Heaven Misplaced (Douglas Wilson)
  2. A Public Faith: How Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common Good (Miroslav Volf)
  3. Art & the Bible (Francis Schaeffer)
  4. Simply Good News: Why the Gospel Is News and What Makes It Good (N.T. Wright)
    See my book review here
  5. Love That Lasts: How We Discovered God’s Better Way for Love, Dating, Marriage, and Sex (Jefferson and Alyssa Bethke)
    See my book review here

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