My Favorite Books of 2015

A list of recommendations

C.H. Spurgeon’s Autobiography: The Early Years (audiobook read by Robert Whitfield) – Spurgeon is my favorite dead theologian, and I loved hearing about his conversion and struggles to come to faith. My favorite line is “My mother said to me, one day, “Ah, Charles! I often prayed the Lord to make you a Christian, but I never asked that you might become a Baptist.” I could not resist the temptation to reply, “Ah, mother ! the Lord has answered your prayer with His usual bounty, and given you exceeding abundantly above what you asked or thought.””

 

I’m going to jump on the 2015 book list bandwagon. The books are listed in the order they were read/listened:

C.H. Spurgeon’s Autobiography: The Early Years (audiobook read by Robert Whitfield) – Spurgeon is my favorite dead theologian, and I loved hearing about his conversion and struggles to come to faith. My favorite line is “My mother said to me, one day, “Ah, Charles! I often prayed the Lord to make you a Christian, but I never asked that you might become a Baptist.” I could not resist the temptation to reply, “Ah, mother ! the Lord has answered your prayer with His usual bounty, and given you exceeding abundantly above what you asked or thought.””

The Democratization of American Christianity by Nathan O. Hatch – A very interesting look at how the mindset of American Christianity was shaped by our culture.

The Distinctiveness of Baptist Covenant Theology by Pascal Denault – I am indebted to R.C. Sproul for opening up the beauty of Covenant Theology to me. But I am even more indebted to Pascal Denault for making the case that I can hold Covenant Theology and be a Baptist.

The God of the Mundane by Matthew B. Redmond – I laughed, cried, and was very encouraged by this little book.

The Creedal Imperative by Carl Trueman – No creed but the Bible? Read this, and you may reconsider that position.

Prelude to Philosophy by Mark W. Foreman – This book resonated with me and removed the stereotype that philosophy is nothing but a bunch of dead guys in togas discussing nothing of practical value. It challenged me to be a thinking Christian.

Who’s Tampering With the Trinity? by Millard Erickson – I read this because I was interested in the debate over the doctrine of the Eternal Subordination of the Son. The author presented both views fairly and also gave a good primer on analyzing opposing ideas. FWIW, I still disagree with ESS.

Openness Unhindered by Rosaria Butterfield – I appreciate Butterfield’s emphasis on our identity in Christ when it is the norm to consider sexuality as one’s identity. Her chapter on hospitality is challenging, convicting, but very inspiring.

O, Jerusalem by Laurie R. King (audiobook read by Jenny Sterlin) This is the only fiction book on the list even though I reread and re-listened to a lot of fiction this year. This is the 5th book in the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series by Laurie R. King, and the only audiobook my library had of this series. I had previously read it, but it came to life in audio. The setting is post WWI Palestine. The region is still unstable with hidden forces that want to incite another conflict. Will Russell and Holmes succeed in uncovering the plot? You’ll have to read or listen to find out.

Unholy Charade: Unmasking the Domestic Abuser in the Church by Jeff Crippen & Rebecca Davis – I care deeply about domestic abuse victims and want to be a voice to help the church respond better. Very often though, it is ignorance which causes a lack of response so I highly recommend this book. It lays out the characteristics of the abuser with firsthand accounts of Christian abuse victims. I am still hoping to write a more in-depth review.

God Without Passions: A Primer by Samuel Renihan – This is small book on the doctrine of Divine Impassibility, which has very big implications. What is God? What is He like? Is He composed of His attributes or is He His attributes? Is He affected by things outside of Himself and then responds based on those outside forces? But if God is not affected, does that make Him cold and unloving? You may think this is ivory tower stuff, but it gets at the very foundation of our understanding of God and thus is very important for Christians to consider.

Persis Lorenti is an ordinary Christian. You can find her at Tried With Fire and Out of the Ordinary. This article appeared at her blog and is used with permission.