Best Books of 2016 … So Far

booksI’ve read roughly 43 books so far this year. Many have been good, some have been terrible, but only a few have been amazing. Here are my top five favorite books I’ve read this year…so far:

1. Who Shall Ascend the Mountain of the Lord?: A Biblical Theology of the Book of Leviticus by L. Michael Morales

This is a brilliant work that develops far more than just a Biblical theology of the book of Leviticus, though that is its central focus. The first few chapters of the book go above and beyond to give us a beautiful, brilliant, and intertwined theology of the Pentateuch. Morales, gives incredible insight to the Old Testament, and reveals the nuances and depth of familiar passages in a way that is unparalleled. I love the New Studies in Biblical Theology series from IVP, but this particular volume from that series is, by far, the best!

2. Biblical Counseling and the Church ed. by Robert Kellemen and Kevin Carson

There are many great works on Biblical counseling available to the interested reader, but this volume from the Biblical Counseling Coalition stands out as unique. It is a tremendous guide on the outworking of Biblical Counseling in the local church and a great tool for the development of a counseling ministry. It will surely become my standard textbook for training counselors in our methodology courses. Brad Bigney and Ken Long’s chapter on integrating counseling into small group ministry is, I believe, worth the price of the book.

3. A Theology of Biblical Counseling by Heath Lambert

Lambert’s new book is more than just a defense of Biblical Counseling, though it is certainly that. It is a thorough theological development of it. His three opening chapters on the sufficiency of Scripture and on common grace are particularly invaluable. I loved this book. It integrates systematic theology with case studies and foundational concepts in Biblical counseling in a way that is unique. This will become my regular textbook in my Biblical Counseling foundations courses.

4. Do Ask, Do Tell, Let’s Talk: Why and How Christians Should Have Gay Friends by Brad Hambrick

Brad has written one of the most insightful books on same-sex attraction to date. He addresses both the need for and the means by which Christians can befriend those who experience same-sex attractions. The book is sensitive to the concerns, frustrations, and experiences of the gay and lesbian. He also writes with real bent towards compassion and practical application. The book is short, but not simplistic, and it is a welcomed addition to the growing literature on this subject. I highly recommend this work and consider it one of the best books of the year!

5. The Heart of Domestic Abuse: Gospel Solutions for Men Who Use Control and Violence in the Home by Christ Moles

This is a one-of-a-kind book. It is written about abusers, focuses on matters of the heart, and provides a helpful guide to evaluating change. It is also written by a conservative pastor, Biblical Counselor, and Complimentarian. It is truly unique. It is also incredibly helpful. The church has desperately needed this volume for many years as it has failed to care well for those caught in abusive situations and been unprepared to counsel those who abuse. Moles, an experienced batterer interventionist gives us an incredible guide for working with abusers and seeking to encourage their repentance and heart change. I cannot speak highly enough about this important work.

Honorable Mentions:

  1. Addiction and Virtue by Kent Dunnington
  2. Addiction and Change by Carlo DiClemente
  3. Gospel Treason by Brad Bigney
  4. Theology as Discipleship by Keith Johnson

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