I’ve made it a challenge of mine to read more books each year. I’ve been successful 3 years in a row! It will get harder and harder, but I hope to keep the streak going in 2015. I’ve read books of all different genres from fiction to self-help to historical to business to christian living. I love reading a lot of different subjects, but historical and christian living tend to be my favorite. I thought, maybe if only for my own benefit, it could be nice to rate the top books for the year 2014. There are always those books we’d consider reading again after we’ve finished them, and these are those books for me.
#1 Scripture and the Authority of God by N.T. Wright — This book really got me thinking on all different things scripture. It takes many hard questions and delves into them, no holding back. I have always been intrigued about how to go about reading the Bible in today’s world. This book, while extremely complex, does a great job of breaking down the complexity of scripture. N.T. Wright has a way with words, but you better be locked in.
#2 You and Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity by Francis & Lisa Chan — I think Samantha would agree, this is by far the best marriage book I’ve ever read. This book lead to some very deep discussion and searching that we otherwise couldn’t have gotten to on our own. The use of scripture probably takes half the pages, but what more could you want from a book striving to guide couples on a Christian marriage? This book is based solely on “marriage in light of eternity” as the tagline says. I believe this can and will transform many marriages, if people will allow it. If you’re interested in this book, Francis and Lisa made it available FOR FREE at www.youandmeforever.org(specifically here is the PDF). At the very least, it is worth reading Chapter 4: Don’t Waste Your Marriage.
#3 Charis: God’s Scandalous Grace for Us by Preston Sprinkle — I have this third, but if people asked for one recommendation from me, this would be it. Everyone has written a book on grace, but I don’t know that I’ve ever found one more refreshing and different. I’d encourage any and every Christian to read this.
#4 Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell — This movie, this book… everything. The story is one that borders on unbelievable and will keep you locked in for long periods of time. You can feel their pain and the intensity of the situation. Hearing in detail the cultural aspect really just highlights how different people around the world are. Marcus now has the people group who were almost responsible for killing him to also thank for his life. Not much will resonate more and humanize the battle that wages in the Middle East.
#5 Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt by Michael Lewis — Just fascinating, but not for everyone. I’ve always been down on high-frequency trading and think Mark Cuban knows his stuff on this subject. This book really shone light on many of the details I wasn’t aware of previously. Every few pages I had a mouth agape just in shock at what I’d read. And as Samantha loves to say: the Russians are behind everything.
To provoke thought: Fight: A Christian Case for Non-Violence by Preston Sprinkle — I couldn’t stop at 5. Like Charis at #3, this is also a book I’d suggest to those who could handle it. As you can see by choice at #4, the look in my eye around guns, and my right leaning, I’m not anti-war. But, this book does a great job of looking at violence through the lens of the Bible. As Christians, how should we respond to violence and war?
I could list so many more, and culling this list to only 5(6) took me more time than I’d like to admit. If you’d like to see the full list of books I read, the ratings I gave, or a rare review… check out my profile on goodreads.com.