Best Books of the Year…So Far

books so farI read quite a few books every year which means that there are bound to be some disappointments. This year was, of course, no exception, and yet I am always surprised by how many refreshing and encouraging books are available to help edify and educate the church. So, here are the best books I’ve read this year…so far.

1. Washed and Waiting by Wesley Hill

Though the book was written originally in 2010 it has easily been the best book I read this year. As a theological memoir Hill wrestles Biblically with the subject of same-sex attraction and then directs us to see what Biblical faithfulness looks like as it is applied to his own personal struggle with SSA. He supplements this well with the stories of others who have struggled in similar ways. I know of no book that better addresses this issue with Biblical faithfulness, winsomeness, and sensitivity. The only qualms I have are his use of the word “homosexual” which has long been identified as a label carrying a lot of cultural baggage, and the identification as a “gay” which has its own set of cultural baggage. Read my full review here.

2. Counseling the Hard Cases ed. by Stuart Scott and Heath Lambert

This book makes such a convincing case for the usefulness of Scripture in counseling even those with the most serious mental, emotional, and psychological disorders. We used it as the textbook for our training program and I found it to be not only edifying but deeply encouraging. I highly recommend this book for counselors. Read my full review here.

3.  Good Mood Bad Mood by Charles Hodges

Charles Hodges brings amazing insight and clarity to the subjects of depression and bipolar disorder. As both a medical doctor and a Biblical Counselor he is in a place to provide pushback to the psychological community and help to the Biblical Counseling community, both of which he does in this fantastic resource. Read my full review here.

4. Recovering Classic Evangelicalism by Gregory Alan Thornbury

I loved this work by Thornbury. He utilizes the work of the late Carl F. Henry to encourage a return to epistemological studies in contemporary theology. The book does more than just eulogize a great theologian, in highlights issues in contemporary theology that must be addressed for the restoring of confidence in Evangelicalism. Read my full review here.

5. Desiring the Kingdom by James K.A. Smith

I have heard praise for this book for too long not to have read it sooner than I did. Smith’s work unpacks the role of practice and liturgy in the shaping of disciples. It is a book that corrects the reductionist understandings of discipleship in the modern church, and offers us a new way forward. Though Smith’s primary interest is Christian higher education, the work he does here has massive implications for discipleship of all kinds. In that regard it has been a great help and encouragement to me this year. Read my full review here.

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