I know everyone has already put up their lists. I’m only just managing to get this up this in 2019. But I’ve read some wonderful books this year, so I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to recommend them to you.
These are my favourite reads of 2019, though not all the books were published this year. I haven’t put them in any particular order. They’re all books that I’m still thinking about at the end of the year, whether it’s a paragraph or a concept which stuck with me. I reviewed many of these books for this blog or Reformers Bookshop, so I’ll link to the full reviews in case you want to read more.
7 Myths About Singleness by Sam Allberry
This was the most recent Christian book I read, and it’s got to be among my very favourites from this year. Sam Allberry addresses these singleness myths with clarity, thoughtfulness, and biblical faithfulness. He is single, so I felt like I relate to many of the struggles he describes in the book. Yet he does this without dwelling in self-pity—he always lifts our eyes to the joy of knowing Jesus. Highly recommended for both single and married people.
Enjoying God by Tim Chester
As believers we know we’re in relationship with God, but what does this actually mean? Tim Chester helps us understand what this looks like, and how to pursue that relationship more deeply. He structures the book around the three persons of the Trinity. We relate to the Father, Son, and Spirit in the everyday stuff of life—in pain, joy, and temptation; as we meet with other Christians and as we pray. I’ve already gifted this book to two people since I read it in November, and I suspect I’ll keep giving it away. It’s that good.
Competing Spectacles by Tony Reinke
In this media-saturated age, we need all the help we can get to keep our eyes fixed upon Christ. Tony Reinke provides that help. In this book he exposes the false spectacles which vie for our attention, and shows us that Jesus is a far more satisfying spectacle. He strikes a balance between careful research and piercing application. Read this book and allow your gaze to be captivated by our Saviour. Read my full review here.
The Promise is His Presence by Glenna Marshall
In this book Glenna traces the theme of God’s presence through the whole narrative of the Bible. From the beginning to the end, God made a way to dwell with his people—through the tabernacle, temple, and ultimately in Jesus Christ. Glenna interweaves her personal story which helps us see how God’s presence brings joy and peace even in the midst of great suffering. I love that this book seriously deals with biblical theology while also being deeply personal. This is Glenna’s first book, and I’m already excited for her second (Everyday Faithfulness) to release from Crossway in June. Read my full review here.
Humble Calvinism by J.A. Medders
This book walks through the five traditional points of Calvinism: Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace, and Perseverance of the Saints. But he doesn’t do this merely so we will understand the doctrines. Instead, Medders wrote this book to point us to their true purpose: not changing our doctrine, but rather allowing our doctrine to truly change us. Calvinism should make us the humblest and gentlest people—which is quite confronting for bookish theology nerds like me who tend to become puffed up by knowledge. This was a needed correction. Read my full review here.
The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah Burroughs
I love Puritan books, and I’m trying to make my way through the stack on my bookshelf. They make for slow reading because they’re so rich with truth. The Rare Jewel was no exception. In a world that continually urges us to seek after more, this seventeenth-century book illuminates a different path: contentment in God. Burroughs describes the beauty of contentment, tackles the excuses we make for why we’re not content, and directs us how to pursue this grace.
A Theology of Biblical Counseling by Heath Lambert
I’m not a biblical counselor, but I’m interested in learning more about the field and how it can inform pastoral care. This book was a helpful introduction. Lambert helped me to see why we must have the Bible as the basis in our counseling, and how our key doctrines speak into the issues of life. As well as “professional” interest, this was also a useful tool for self-reflection. I was able to see some of my own disordered thinking and how the Bible addresses it. The real-life stories woven throughout the book made this an enjoyable read too.
The Good Life in the Last Days by Mikey Lynch
I struggle to make decisions. It’s hard to weigh up all the factors involved, and I’m always worried that I’ll make the wrong decision. Mikey Lynch helped me sort through the mud with this book. He gives biblical and practical guidance on how to make decisions in light of our eternal purpose and the reality of living in this world. I’m sure I’ll browse through this book again over the next year, as I decide whether to continue pursuing ministry after my apprenticeship. Read my full review here.
See my list from last year: My Favourite Books of 2018