I read quite a few books this year, but I did not get to read as many new volumes as I would have wanted. It’s getting more difficult to accomplish all the reading I plan for in a year. So, instead of promoting the best books published in 2022 this will be my list of best books I read in 2022:
(1) You Are Not Your Own: Belonging to God in an Inhuman World by Alan Noble
This might be one of the best books I have ever read. It’s theologically and philosophically insightful, but it is also beautifully written. With an ability to weave together literary interpretation, cultural critique, and practical application Alan Noble has written a powerful book helping us to diagnose the problems in our souls (even as they are problems in our society). He avoids simplistic answers, but he helps us understand ourselves and our world better. Ultimately he points us towards the concept of belonging to God as a key and vital solution to our weariness, insecurity, and striving in life. I loved this book and recommend it to everyone!
(2) Angry with God: An Honest Journey Through Suffering and Betrayal by Brad Hambrick
This was such a profound little book, packed with insight and practical help for facing our hurts and confusions with the Lord. Brad walks readers through processing the pain of their past, wrestling with their theological questions, and turning towards the Lord in our sorrow. I was encouraged by this book and have found myself using it over and over again in counseling. It is an amazing resource! It would be my choice for best new book of the year!
(3) Resourcing Theological Anthropology: A Constructive Account of Humanity in the Light of Christ by Marc Cortez
I picked this volume up o a whim and without any knowledge of its content or its author. It was stunning! Certainly it is an academic book and rather dense at points, but it was brilliant. It is often claimed that Jesus shows us what true humanity is supposed to look like, but Cortez points out that this is often an empty phrase thrown around and then he spends 300+ pages explaining how profound this truth actually is. The book helped me consider a number of things related to the person and humanity of Christ that I had not considered. I was blown away by its breadth and depth and the level of insight I gained from reading it. Absolutely fantastic volume!
(4) When Doctrine Divides the People of God: An Evangelical Approach to Theological Diversity by Rhyne Putman
In preparation for a course on theological methodology I picked up this book to give me some fresh material to interact with. I was not prepared for how helpful it would be as a volume on methodology. Putman doesn’t merely help readers wade into theological disagreements he helps them understand the overall process of theologizing. His commitment to Evangelical doctrine enables him to work within an orthodox framework, but without resorting to simplistic explanations. He can embrace nuance, tension, and helps his readers to learn where the true “dividing lines” should be in theological discourse. I was really intrigued, challenged, and encouraged by this volume.
(5) The Person of Christ by Donald Macleod
I knew that this book would be good but I could not have prepared myself for how devotional it was. This is an academic theological work on the person of Christ, but Macleod’s writings and insights were often moving and brought me to moments of rejoicing throughout reading. He has an impressive ability to speak beautifully about our Lord and to draw out insights that seem obvious only after he explains them. I really loved this book and referenced it often in my year-long-study of the humanity of Christ. A great volume academically, and a surprisingly wonderful volume devotionally.