My Top 10 Books of 2021
Are you looking for something good to read? Looking for a Christmas gift for the avid reader in your life? I absolutely love books and these are the ten best that I read this past year. Not all of these books came out in 2021, although some did. Also, these are in no particular order, except the first on the list, which is my undisputed #1 for the year.
The Winfeather Saga - Andrew Peterson (fiction)
This is one story in four books. They are actually aimed at older kids (and we are reading them with our kids right now), but I read them by myself and loved every chapter. I am not ashamed to say I cried multiple times. If you liked the Lord of the Rings series or the Harry Potter books, you will love these.
This is the best book I think you'll ever read on the fear of the Lord, a sometimes hard-to-understand concept in the Bible. This one will make you want to go make notes in your Bible, which is a wonderful quality in a book.
Thirty-plus short chapters, each examining a particular "thing" in this world that God has put here to point us to him in significant ways. Wilson is extremely insightful and he is very skilled at mixing beauty and profound theological truths together to lead you to worship even as you are learning a ton.
Matt Merker is what I would consider an expert in this area. In this book he takes a look at what corporate worship is according to the Bible, as well as ways that we have perhaps turned it into something it was never intended to be through our own traditions and concessions to modern culture. Great stuff for any church member.
This is now the first resource I recommend when anyone is thinking through issues of gender and ministry in a church setting—especially on the topic of women in ministry.
This is not light reading, by any means, but if you are into analyzing our culture and the ways it is shaping us as human beings, this is for you. This is especially interesting for Christians, helping us to see how the expressive individualism of our culture has infected the church. I haven't read a cultural critique book as good as this in a very long time.
This book is essentially a biblical study on the idea of "the heart." You'd be surprised at all the ways we have misunderstood this concept. The main thesis is that, according to the Bible, our hearts are comprised of more than simply our emotions, but include our mind, desires, and our will. Wonderful book.
This book is probably more for pastors and elders, but it's one of the very best out there. I think every single young man who is in full-time ministry, or wishes to go into it, should read this book. I mean it... every single one. It's that good.
You might know John Newton as the writer of the famous hymn Amazing Grace, but what I think he should be more known for is his letter-writing. He is perhaps the greatest Christian letter writer the world has ever seen since the Apostle Paul. This is a collection of his letters to one younger minister and they are filled with absolute gold. This is not just for ministers. Great stuff on the entire Christian life here.
The Green Ember Series - S. D. Smith (fiction)
Another wonderful fiction series of four books (one overall story) geared at kids that I read on my own. Like The Wingfeather Saga, I loved every chapter and cried multiple times. This author freely admits he's essentially trying to write the next Lord of the Rings, which is A-OK with me! I have only ever read two stories that make me feel what Tolkien's Lord of the Rings makes me feel (which is the main reason LOTR is such a good read): Winfeather and The Green Ember.