Best Books of the Year From the Leadership of Servants of Grace for 2014

Posted by on Dec 16, 2014 in Books of the Year, Featured

Best Books of the Year From the Leadership of Servants of Grace for 2014

Another year has come and gone, and with it, another round of book of the year lists have slowly but surely made their rounds around the blogosphere. Here at Servants of Grace, we review a lot of books. We review books Monday through Friday and sometimes on Saturdays. That means we reviewed over two hundred books this year on Servants of Grace. That’s a lot of books! We trust that you, our readers have found those book reviews not only helpful but thought provoking. In addition to this we offered quite a few author interviews, including some from our own contributors. Next year you can expect the same from us—great reviews on great books that people are talking about. Our goal as it pertains to book reviews is to keep you, our readers up to date on the latest and greatest in Christian books.

It is for this reason we offer the following list from the leadership of Servants of Grace: Craig Hurst, the book review editor of Servants of Grace, Mike Boling, the associate editor of Servants of Grace, and myself (Dave Jenkins).

Between Craig, Mike and myself, we are often asked for our recommendations whether at church or on social media. This list serves as our recommendations on the best books of the year. For as many books as we all read, you’ll see not much overlap. We all have our differing interests. We trust that this list will be helpful to you as you consider which books to get for either Christmas, for your book nerd friends, or for 2015 for perhaps yourself, your pastor or one of your friends.

Dave Jenkins

These are by no means in order of their significance or importance; except in the case of number one which in my view was one of the most important books published in quite sometime.

10) Be Holy: Learning the Path of Sanctification by Jason Garwood. I wrote an endorsement for this book, “We are living in a time (and culture) when great confusion exists in the Church regarding how we are to grow in Christ. While many people rightly teach the biblical balance between grace and effort in the Christian life—some overemphasize grace to the neglect of effort. Understanding the difference between grace and effort is critical. This is why I’m thrilled to recommend the book, Be Holy: Learning the Path of Sanctification by Jason Garwood. Garwood understands firsthand the struggles people face because he deals with them every day in his own life and pastoral ministry. He writes to help Christians and the Church to think through the issue at hand in order to more fully understand what sanctification means. As he does this, he roots the explanation of our new identity in Christ to our growth in Christ. Christians are to live from their new identity in Christ; we are to return to the basics of who we are in Christ, remembering what He has done to transform us. Our union with Him informs our communion with Him, which makes not only repentance possible, but provides the basis for our slaying the “dragon of sin” in our lives. This excellent book follows in the tradition of the Reformers and the Puritans, and contemporary authors like John Piper and Kevin DeYoung, who understand this biblical balance. I highly recommend this book, and pray the Lord will powerfully use it in the life of His people, and for the edification of the Church, for His glory.”

9) Taking God at His Word by Kevin DeYoung. Here’s an excerpt from my review: “I highly recommend this book, and it is my sincere prayer that Pastors and ministry leaders would pick up this book and buy it by the truckloads for their people. The Body of Christ has needed a book like this on the doctrine of Scripture for quite some time, one that helps the reader to know what to believe about the Word of God, what to feel about the Word of God and what to do with the Word of God. I hope and pray this book sells by the truckloads for in doing so, we may see the tide of biblical illiteracy begin to turn and a true delight, hunger and yearning for the teaching of the Word of God take its place.”

8) Active Spirituality: Grace and Effort in the Christian Life by Brian Hedges. Here’s an excerpt from my review: “his book will be of great help to you as it has to me as I continue to think through this particular topic. I highly recommend Active Spirituality not only because it is well-written, but also because it stands with the Bible while upholding the long and rich Augustinian and Reformed tradition on the issue of the perseverance of the saints and the assurance of the believer.”
7) The Company We Keep by Jonathan Holmes. Here’s an excerpt from my review, “All in all, The Company We Keep is an excellent book. As I’ve noted already we live in a society that is increasingly isolated. We need books like The Company We Keep to help us think through what biblical friendship is and to provide helpful guidance to us on this vital subject. Whether you are a new or mature Christian, The Company We Keep will help you to not only understand Christian friendship but to grow deeper and more meaningful Christian friendships with God’s people.”

6) The Gospel: How the Church Portrays the Beauty of Christ by Ray Ortlund. Here’s an excerpt from my review, “Overall, The Gospel How The Church Portrays the Beauty of Christ is a very good book.  This book will help Christians at all stages of the Christian life to understand how the gospel impacts relationships and how they are to engage one another within the local church because of the gospel. I highly recommend this book and pray the Lord uses it to awaken a culture in local churches where the gospel may not only be the driving force behind what is said on Sunday’s, but also in practice fuel how we do life with one another to the glory of God.”

5) Proof: Finding Freedom Through the Intoxicating Joy of Irresistible Grace. Here’s an excerpt from my review, “PROOF is an excellent book that will help a generation of fresh adherents to Reformed theology understand what they believe from the Word of God. Drinking deeply from the well of God’s grace is immensely satisfying and life changing. This book invites readers to drink from the well of God’s grace. As you do, you’ll awaken once again to the wonder of the cross and discover afresh how Jesus rescues sinners from their sin to Himself. I highly recommend this book and pray the Lord will use it to awaken a new generation from a shallow evangelicalism to the majesty truths taught throughout the history of the church. PROOF is rooted in the history of the Church’s theology, faithful to the Word and accessible to the lay person on up to the scholar. As the authors open up the Word, they invite readers to drink from the well of life in Jesus. This book will not only lead readers to the living well in Jesus Christ but cause you to jump in headlong in wonder at the God who by His grace has saved His people, and who is even now saving sinners, sanctifying His people and will one day glory His own.”

4) Hit List by Brian Hedges. I wrote an endorsement for this book, ““We live in a culture in which spirituality is on the rise, including a resurgence in mysticism, Gnosticism, and every other -ism. Many are confused about what they believe and why it matters, and sin is often minimized or hidden. Hedges draws on the best wisdom of the church to help readers better grasp the seven deadly sins and how the gospel frees God’s people from them. As Hit List blows away misconceptions about the sinfulness of man, readers will be captivated by the magnificence of what Jesus has done so sinners can put their sin to death and grow in the grace of God. This is an excellent and needed book. It can convict you of your sinfulness while pointing you to the sufficiency of the finished work of the Savior—Jesus Christ.”

3) Prayer by Tim Keller. Here’s an excerpt from my review, “Whether you’re a new Christian struggling with prayer or a seasoned saint, Keller’s book Prayer Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God has something for you. This book will help you not only how to pray but why you should pray. In addition to this this book will help enlarge your vision of God’s majesty which will stir your affections afresh with a passion and desire to pray. I highly recommend this wonderful resource by Dr. Keller and pray that the Lord would use it powerfully in the life of His Church and among His people, for His glory.”

2) What’s Best Next by Matt Perman Here’s an excerpt from my review, “I highly recommend this book for Bible college and seminary students and encourage seminary professors to incorporate it into your curriculum for future pastors and ministry leaders. This is a great resource for pastors and ministry leaders to business people and stay at home mom’s. We live in a rapidly changing and fast-paced world. Books like What’s Best Next will help us to learn that the purpose of our work goes beyond just the 9-5 or even making a pay check. Our work is for God’s glory and to expand His fame to the nations. I highly recommend this book and pray it will help readers at all stages of their journey with Christ to discover the true nature and purpose of their work for His glory.”

1) Dispatches from the Front by Tim Keese. Here’s an excerpt from my review, “This book tells some of the grand story of God’s redemptive work in the world. It is for this and many other reasons I think Dispatches at the Front is my book of the year and one of the best books I’ve read in the past decade. I highly recommend this book and pray the Lord would use it to fan the flame of His global mission in His people for His glory.”

Michael Boling

Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works – I have had the pleasure of working my way through the first three books of this series and am looking forward to digging into the remainder of the books. Okay, so this is cheating a bit, but these three books count as one submission on my list.

Sanctorum Communio: This is an excellent dissertation on the biblical concept of community, how that community was broken by sin, how the church is to be an example of what community looks like to a world that only knows brokenness, and how Christ is the center of the communion of saints. For anyone desiring an in-depth study on the topic of biblical community and what that looks like within the church and in daily life, I highly recommend this book.

Act and Being: While the concepts and terms presented by Bonhoeffer in this book are scholarly and many might not be completely familiar with the terminology used in this book, the copious footnotes help serve to explain the more difficult concepts and terms in a way that will help the reader grasp what Bonhoeffer is getting across. This is an excellent resource for understanding matters of ontology and epistemology as they relate to sin and the individual’s relationship to God and the necessity of the cross.

Creation and Fall: I highly recommend Creation and Fall by Dietrich Bonhoeffer as a valuable overview of creation, the fall, and the promise of redemption. While I have a few quibbles with some positions Bonhoeffer takes on things such as the days of creation, they are extremely minor points of disagreement that do not impact the overall excellent truth Bonhoeffer shares with the reader throughout this book.

Hit List by Brian Hedges – As Christians, we are called to do battle with sin, what the Puritans called mortifying sin. If you are truly serious about dealing with sin in your life, I recommend you read this book and apply the sound biblical truths Hedges shares. As noted by one of the endorsers of this book, outside of John Owen’s thoughts on the mortification of sin, Hedges book is a clarion call for the importance of allowing the Holy Spirit and the word of God to cut to the root of sin in your life. Give this a book a read as soon as possible!

Resisting Gossip by Matthew Mitchell – Gossip is a poison, one which has infected us all more often than we would like to admit. Mitchell’s book is replete with sound biblical advice containing the prescription that will dig at the root of this cancer in our lives. The only way to rid ourselves of this cancer is to have our hearts endure the life changing chemotherapy found in God’s Word and through the work of the Holy Spirit. I highly recommend this book by Mitchell for all believers, especially those who find themselves struggling with the sin of gossip which is pretty much everyone.

Taking God at His Word by Kevin DeYoung – Taking God at His Word is a highly needed book for a day and age where Scripture so often comes under attack. Sadly some of those attacks come from within the body of Christ itself. DeYoung does an excellent job of sharing what Scripture says about itself, why we can trust the Word of God and most importantly, why all that even matters for us as believers. I highly recommend this book for all believers as it is a tool you will return to over and over again. It is brief yet in-depth, accessible yet scholarly when needed, and most importantly, this book powerfully yet simply states the reality that God’s Word is truth.

The Godly Home by Richard Baxter – Marriage, parenting and family dynamics are no easy issues for anyone and there certainly are no perfect marriages, no perfect parents, and no perfect children as we are all sinners in need of a daily dose of God’s grace. With that said, books such as The Godly Home by Richard Baxter should be required reading for parents and their children. This would be an excellent book to utilize during family devotions as its addresses a plethora of important issues facing families. I highly recommend this as a resource for parents to implement in their parental tool chest as the sound guidance found within its pages will be of great assistance for your family, your children, and their children’s children.

The Watchers in Jewish and Christian Traditions by Angela Harkins, Coblentz Bauch, and John Endres – I highly recommend this book again for the serious Bible student who is interested in understanding the various traditions that interact with the Genesis 6 storyline as well as the writings found in the Book of Enoch. The Watchers is rigorous yet fruitful reading that will provide those who engage its essays with a valuable look into how the tradition of the Watchers has taken shape over the years. Since this story is in the Bible, it is well worth studying.

After They Are Yours: The Grace and Grit of Adoption by Brian Borgman – I highly recommend this book for those thinking about adopting, those currently in the adoption process, and for those who have already adopted a child. Borgman’s personal stories repeatedly hit home, the guidance he provides is biblically sound and extremely practical, and this book will assuredly be a blessing to those who may feel as if they are overwhelmed in the daily grind of what is often involved with adopting and raising that adopted child.

10 Things for Teen Girls by Kate Conner – I highly recommend this book for parents to purchase for their children. Furthermore, I truly encourage parents to read this book as well. Conner includes some very helpful points for discussion at the end of each chapter that would be perfect for family bible study or even in a youth group setting. This book would also be useful as part of a homeschool curriculum, either for reading class or bible class. However you utilize this book, it will greatly benefit your teenage daughter.

Everyone’s a Theologian by R. C. Sproul – For anyone desiring a place to start studying theology, I highly recommend this book. Dr. Sproul is always scholarly yet has the ability to break down difficult scholarly points into manageably understood concepts. Thus this book is very accessible to all believers. As an introduction to systematic theology and some very important and fundamental matters of theology as a whole, namely issues highly relevant for all believers, this book is a homerun. It will be a tool I will refer to for many years to come and it will make a nice addition to the other more voluminous systematic theology texts in my personal library.

Heaven by Christopher Morgan – I highly recommend this excellent book. It will be of great use for all believers in their study of heaven and what Scripture has to say on the subject. Reading this book stirred within me a renewed longing for that day when the Bride will return for his bridegroom for we know that then we will be with him forevermore in a place of perfect peace in the presence of our God forevermore.

Craig Hurst

 What’s Your Worldview by James Anderson – Ideas have consequences and so do beliefs. What we believe shapes the way we live. Using the “Choose Your Own Adventure” concept, James Anderson helps readers navigate through various worldviews. By answering basic questions you are led on the path those beliefs lead you. This is an amazing apologetics book for Christians to hone their understanding of other belief systems and use as an evangelistic tool with a friend.

Growing Up God’s Way for Boy and Girls by Chris Richards & Liz Jones – As a Christian parent I want to teach my kids about sex and do so in a way that is Biblically faithful. No Christian parent should ignore the sex talk with their kids and every parent should be in dialogue with their kids about it as they grow up and leave the house. These two books are both scientifically and biblically based. They address the basic issues surrounding puberty for boys and girls from a Christian worldview. These are must have books for parents.

China’s Reforming Churches by Bruce Baugus – Since I have adopted three children from China I am naturally interested in the country and the state of Christianity within it. Written from a Reformed perspective, this book offers great insight into the state of the church in China. It has insider perspective, theological evaluation as well as positive perspective for the future. This is a great book for those interested in the growth of the church outside USA and China in particular

For the Glory of God: Recovering a Biblical Theology of Worship by Daniel Block – I anticipated this book from the day I saw it and it did not disappoint. Block is the kind of writer you wish you could clone. This book is a comprehensive analysis of worship in Scripture with comprehensive application for the church. It is biblically based and pointedly practical. There will be small quibbles every reader will have but you cannot argue with the main thrust of the book – worship is for the glory of God and not about us.

A Passion for the Fatherless: Developing a God-Centered Ministry to Orphans by Daniel Bennett – As an adoptive father I read as many books on adoption as I can. Most are good but Daniel Bennett’s is the best when it comes to thinking theologically and comprehensively about orphans and adoption. Bennett writes from a pastoral and adoptive father’s perspective which makes the book all the more effective and clear. This is for anyone thinking about adoption, anyone who has adopted but wants to understand it better from a biblical perspective and for churches looking to start an orphan ministry.

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Top 15 Books of 2012

Posted by on Dec 26, 2012 in Books of the Year

It’s that time of year again for top books of the year. Rather than give a list from 1-15 (I have 15 books on this list), I decided just to give you the fifteen books that I most benefited from reading this year. I encourage all of you to read these books in the next year (or two years as some as these are very long).

The Hole in our holiness by Kevin DeYoung (You can read my review here: http://servantsofgrace.org/2012/08/06/book-review-the-hole-in-our-holiness-filling-the-gap-between-gospel-passion-and-the-pursuit-of-godliness/)

Finish the mission by Dr. John Piper and David Mathis (You can read my review here: http://servantsofgrace.org/2012/11/06/book-review-finish-the-mission-bringing-the-gospel-to-the-unreached-and-unengaged/),

Shame interrupted by Dr. Ed Welch (my review of this book is forthcoming in the next few weeks)

Popologetics by Dr. Ted Turnau (You can read my review of this book here: (http://servantsofgrace.org/2012/10/26/book-review-popologetics/

The conviction to lead  by Dr. Albert Mohler (my review is forthcoming in the next few months)

A Puritan Theology by Drs. Beeke and Jones (We are going to review this book here on Servants of Grace but it is going to take some time to read it and then write the review).

When your husband is addicted to pornography by Vicki Tiede (You can read my review here: http://servantsofgrace.org/2012/10/22/book-review-when-your-husband-is-addicted-to-pornography-healing-your-wounded-heart/)

Contend: Defending the Faith in a Fallen World by Aaron Armstrong.  I wrote an endorsement of this book and said the following: “The Internet has brought with it online shopping at the click of your fingers, e-books, blogs, and podcasts, some of which are edifying for Christians to read and grow in their faith. Sadly, a great deal of the content on the Internet in addition to what is taught through movies, television, and radio today isn’t helpful but rather harmful to the daily walk of grace of the Christian. In Aaron’s new book he argues that in order for Christians to contend well to the glory of God they must love doctrine and people. This is precisely why I’m excited about this book, because it will help a generation of Christians to rightly understand from Scripture that to contend for the Gospel doesn’t mean compromising our doctrine or our concern for people, but in fact means loving God, His Word, and His people. I encourage you to pick up this book and learn from the Word of God and Aaron’s example about what it means to contend for the faith once and for all delivered to the saints.”

Real: Owning Your Christian Faith by Dan Darling. I wrote a review of this book here: http://servantsofgrace.org/2012/07/02/book-review-real-owning-your-christian-faith/ I also endorsed the book and said, “Rarely does a book come along that combines faithfulness to the Bible, the Gospel, and practical suggestions that is as raw and creative as Real Owning Your Christian Faith is. RealOwning Your Christian Faith written by my friend Dan Darling, a Pastor and seasoned Christian will not only help second generation Christians but every Christian to understand what it means to not play religious games, but to be an authentic and honest disciple of Jesus Christ. Reading Real: Owning Your Christian Faith will be a wakeup call not only to those who are apathetic but will also help those who minister to second generation Christians.”

Gospel Deeps by Jared Wilson. You can read my review of this book here: http://servantsofgrace.org/2012/11/21/book-review-gospel-deeps/

Everyday Church by Steve Timmis and Tim Chester. You can read my review of this book here: http://servantsofgrace.org/2012/10/07/book-review-everyday-church-gospel-communities-on-mission/

Dangerous Calling by Paul David Tripp. You can read my review of this book here: http://servantsofgrace.org/2012/10/31/book-review-dangerous-calling-confronting-the-unique-challenges-of-pastoral-ministry/

Every Good Endeavor Connecting Your Work to God’s Work by Dr. Tim Keller. My review of this book is forthcoming.

Center Church: Doing Balanced, Gospel-Centered Ministry in Your City by Dr. Tim Keller. You can read my review of this book here: http://servantsofgrace.org/2012/12/19/book-review-center-church/

Finally, The Two Fears: Tremble Before God Alone by Chris Poblete. I endorsed this book and said the following:  “In this excellent and easy to read book, Chris Poblete tackles a topic that is often overlooked in contemporary Christian theology. As he examines an unhealthy fear of man and the fear of God, he leads his readers straight into the throne room of the One who is sovereign in and over all things—the One who is wisdom from God—the Lord Jesus Christ. Read this book, but beware—rather than you examining it, the Word of God will examine you and encourage you to consider that the God of the Bible is far more majestic and glorious than you ever dared to imagine.”

Here are two lists by our contributors Aaron Armstrong who gives his top ten list of books for 2012 here and Jared Oliphint who does so here

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Top Books for 2011

Posted by on Dec 16, 2011 in Book Reviews, Books of the Year

Top Books for 2011

Another year is coming to a close, which means book lists are slowly but surely coming out.  One of our contributors Aaron Armstrong posted his top books for 2011 list on Wed. You can access his top books for 2011 here: http://www.bloggingtheologically.com/2011/12/14/my-favorite-books-of-2011/

This year I read well over a hundred books between reading for seminary, publishers, personal reading, and research papers. Truthfully I stop keeping track after I read one hundred books, which was around September of this year. I have always enjoyed reading since I was a child but most of my reading these days is academic in nature. My wife and I joke that my “hobby” of reading has become an addiction, and I think she may be onto something as the pile of books in my office continues to grow so much that I have to put more and more of my books from my office in the garage where I store books I don’t read very often in large covered storage tubs.

Here’s my “top eleven” list of books I read in 2011. At the bottom of this post, I have also included a list of  “honorable mention” books I think deserve to be read by every Christian.

#11- Marriage Matters: Extraordinary Change Through Ordinary Moments (New Growth Press, 2010) by Dr. Winston Smith. Many marriage books major on providing self-help advice but do not explain how the Gospel ought to affect believers’ marriages. In Marriage Matters Dr. Smith takes biblical principles and applies them to daily life so that ordinary marriages can become extraordinary. Every married couple should read this book in order to learn how to communicate with one another in a God-honoring way. Here is my review of Marriage Mattershttp://servantsofgrace.org/2010/12/15/review-of-marriage-matters/ Dr. Smith blogs at http://www.ccef.org/authors/winston-smith

#10- Getting Back in the Race: The Cure for Backsliding  Top Books for 2011(Cruciform Press, 2011) by Dr. Joel Beeke. This is an important book that will help believers diagnose not only where they struggle in their walk with God but how to address backsliding in their lives. This book is thoroughly biblical, written purposeful with a pastoral tone and is Gospel-saturated. Here is my review of Getting Back in the Race: The Cure for Backslidinghttp://servantsofgrace.org/2011/11/17/book-review-getting-back-in-the-race-the-cure-for-backsliding/

#9– Servanthood as Worship: The Privilege of Life in a Local Church Top Books for 2011 (Cruciform Press, 2010) by Nate Palmer offers Christians a biblical understanding of Servanthood that is grounded in the Word of God and the Gospel of God. This book will help churches and or long-established congregations to understand and live out the Truth of the Gospel in their local context. I recommend every Christian read this book to get a better understanding of what biblical Servanthood is. Here is my review of Servanthood as Worshiphttp://servantsofgrace.org/2011/10/19/book-review-servanthood-as-worship-the-privilege-of-life-in-a-local-church/ Nate contributes weekly to Servants of Grace.

#8-  Jesus + Nothing= Everything Top Books for 2011 (Crossway, 2011) by Pastor Tullian Tchividjian contains the story of how God rocked Pastor Tullian’s life by reading, studying and preaching though the book of Colossians. This is a very good book that will help the reader understand the sufficiency of Christ, and the relationship between justification and sanctification. I recommend every Christian read this book. Here is my review of Jesus + Nothing = Everything:  http://servantsofgrace.org/2011/10/31/book-review-jesus-nothing-everything/ Pastor Tullian blogs at http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tullian/

#7-  The Deep Things of God: How the Trinity Changes Everything Top Books for 2011 (Crossway, 2011) by Dr. Fred Sanders. In this book Dr. Sanders explores how the Trinity should be the central concern of evangelical theology by demonstrating with passion, and conviction how the Trinity is grounded in the Gospel itself. This book will help the reader to understand how a robust doctrine of the Trinity has massive implications for their lives in the area of prayer, worship, Bible study, missions and fundamental Christian doctrine. I recommend this book for Pastors, Professors, Bible college, seminary students and those interested in theology. Here is my review of The Deep Things of Godhttp://servantsofgrace.org/2010/09/19/the-deep-things-of-god-how-the-trinity-changes-everything/ Dr. Fred Sanders blogs at: http://www.scriptoriumdaily.com/author/fred-sanders/

#6-  God’s Glory In Salvation Through Judgment Top Books for 2011 (Crossway, 2011) by Dr. Jim Hamilton. This is an important contribution to the field of biblical theology that seeks to demonstrate how Exodus 34 unites the metanarrative of Scripture under one theme God’s glory in salvation through judgment. I recommend this book for Pastors, Professors, Bible College, seminary students and those interested in biblical theology. Here is my review of God’s Glory in Salvation Through Judgmenthttp://servantsofgrace.org/2011/01/20/review-of-gods-glory-in-salvation-through-judgment/ Dr. Hamilton blogs at: http://jimhamilton.info/

#5- Awaiting a Savior (Cruciform Press, 2011) by Aaron Armstrong is a very important book on a topic that frankly needs to be taught on more. In this book Aaron explains how poverty at root is a sin issue. As he explains the nature of sin, he also applies the Gospel to the issue of poverty. This is a book I strongly recommend you read especially if you minister to the down and out, and homeless. Here is my review of Awaiting a Saviorhttp://servantsofgrace.org/2011/09/29/book-review-awaiting-a-savior-the-gospel-the-new-creation-and-the-end-of-poverty/ Aaron contributes here at Servants of Grace, at The Gospel Coalition blog, and daily at http://bloggingtheologically.com/

#4- Tempted and Tried Top Books for 2011 (Crossway, 2011) by Dr. Russell Moore. In this book Dr. Moore uses his considerable knowledge of theology, popular culture and the Bible and writes in my opinion a classic on the temptation of Christ. This book will help you understand and overcome temptation. Not only does Dr. Moore provide a good treatment on temptation, but he encourages Christians to understand temptation in terms of warfare through encouraging them with the truth that victory has already been secured through the triumph of Christ. I recommend this book for every Christian. Here is my review of Tempted and Triedhttp://servantsofgrace.org/2011/04/15/review-of-tempted-and-tried/ Dr. Moore blogs at: http://www.russellmoore.com/

#3-  Did Adam and Eve Really Exist?: Who They Were and Why You Should Care  (Crossway, 2011) by Dr. C. John Collins is one of the most important books of the year on an issue that touches at the heart of the authority of the Bible, and the Gospel. I recommend every Christian to get a copy of this book as it will be a good introduction for you on an issue that is affecting the Church. Here is my review of Did Adam and Eve Really Exist?http://servantsofgrace.org/2011/07/07/review-of-did-adam-and-eve-really-exist-who-they-were-and-why-you-should-care/

#2- Practicing Affirmation (Crossway, 2011)  Top Books for 2011by Pastor Sam Crabtree is another very good book written with a warm pastoral tone. Pastor Crabtree in this book shows how to engage in robust “God-centered affirmation. In my opinion this is one of the most important books I’ve read in awhile and one that I’ve recommended to many others. I recommend every Christian read this and learn how to encourage and affirm others. Here is my review of Practicing Affirmationhttp://servantsofgrace.org/2011/03/17/review-of-practicing-affirmation/ Pastor Crabtree blogs at: http://hopeingod.org/news-events/news/pastor-sams-blog

#1- Note to Self The Discipline of Preaching To Yourself Top Books for 2011 (Crossway, 2011)  is written by Pastor Joe Thorn. Note to Self is one of the most important books published this year and perhaps in the last several years in my opinion. I say this because it addresses a topic that is currently undergoing much discussion in the blogosphere. This book will lead that conversation on preaching the Gospel forward in significant ways by causing the discussion to not just be theoretical but now to be aimed primarily on application. Joe Thorn has written the definitive book on “preaching the Gospel to oneself.”  I recommend every believer read this book and learn from Joe on how to preach the Gospel to yourself. Here is my review of Note To Selfhttp://servantsofgrace.org/2011/05/26/review-of-note-to-self-the-disciple-of-preaching-to-yourself/ Pastor Thorn blogs at: http://www.joethorn.net/

Honorable Mentions:

Licensed to Kill Top Books for 2011 (Cruciform Press, 2011) by Pastor Brian Hedges is a very helpful book that will help believers to understand how to put sin to death in the power of the Gospel and dependence on the Holy Spirit. I recommend every Christian read this book to understand how to put sin to death and depend on the Holy Spirit. Here is my review of Licensed to Killhttp://servantsofgrace.org/2011/09/12/book-review-licensed-to-kill/ Pastor Hedges blogs at http://www.brianghedges.com/

 Gospel Wakefulness Top Books for 2011 (Crossway, 2011) by Pastor Jared Wilson will help awaken readers to the power of the Gospel by challenging believers to live out the power of the Gospel with a fervent, genuine zeal. I recommend every Christian read this book to grab hold of the brilliance of the Gospel. A review of Gospel Wakefulness will be coming in the next few weeks. Pastor Wilson blogs at http://gospeldrivenchurch.blogspot.com/

The Next Story Top Books for 2011 (Zondervan, 2011) by Pastor Tim Challies will help believers’ understand the intersection between faith and technology. I recommend every Christian read this book to understand how to use digital technology from a biblical worldview. Pastor Tim blogs at http://www.challies.com/

What Is the Mission of the Church? Top Books for 2011 (Crossway, 2011) by Pastors Greg Gilbert and Kevin DeYoung is a few helpful introductory treatment on an issue currently being discussed in the Body of Christ.  Here is my review of The Mission of the Church http://servantsofgrace.org/2011/10/10/book-review-what-is-the-mission-of-the-church-making-sense-of-social-justice-shalom-and-the-great-commission/ Pastor DeYoung blogs at: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/ Pastor Gilbert blogs at http://www.9marks.org/blog/by-author/greg-gilbert

What are the top ten books you read this year? 

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