I’ve read about 40 books so far this year. Not all of them were new publications, most were my first time reading some older works. While many focused around some specific study topics, others were just for fun. Here is my list of the top five best books I’ve read this year…so far:
1. Suffering and the Heart of God: How Trauma Destroys and Christ Restores by Diane Langberg
A phenomenal book on some of the conceptual and practical issues related to counseling trauma victims. Langberg gives great insight from her years of counseling experience, along with a number of great applications of Scripture to the experience and pain of the trauma victim. With some caveats, this is one of the best books I’ve ever read on the subject!
I was shocked by how much I enjoyed and was provoked by this book. I had anticipated finding it lacking in exegesis and disagreeing immensely with its theology. Instead I found myself drawn in, compelled by the theological vision, challenged by the Scriptural exegesis, and intrigued by the experiences it described. This book has given me much to chew on.
3. How Does Sanctification Work? by David Powlison
A wonderful exploration of the doctrine of sanctification, with a specific interest for counselors. This book gives tremendous nuance to the doctrine, clarifies its application in counseling, and pushes against some of the popular views and teachings on sanctification. A great theological book, which should be required reading for all counselors!
4. The Holy Spirit: Works & Gifts by Donald Bloesch
Bloesch gives readers a theological history of the doctrine of the Spirit’s work in this massive volume. It is dense at times and yet it thorough interaction with historical theology made it an invaluable tool for my own study.
This is easily one of the best books on approach our past that I have ever read! It gives not simply a theology of the past, but a practical framework for interacting with our pastor or helping other navigate their past. This has already proven a helpful tool in counseling and will likely become a regular one.