30 Favorite and Important Books I Read — 2010-2019
This list by no means represents all the books I read and enjoyed in the past ten years, but I have tried to boil it down to some of the most important and eye-opening ones I’ve had the privilege of digesting.
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On Jesus-Shaped Spirituality
Mere Churchianity: Finding Your Way Back to Jesus-Shaped Spirituality
by Michael Spencer
On Church and Pastoral Ministry
The Pastor: A Spirituality
by Gordon Lathrop
Slow Church: Cultivating Community in the Patient Way of Jesus
by C. Christopher Smith and John Pattison
This Odd and Wondrous Calling: The Public and Private Lives of Two Ministers
by Lillian Daniel and Martin B. Copenhaver
On Reading the Bible Better
The Return of the Chaos Monsters and Other Backstories of the Bible
by Gregory Mobley
The Bible Made Impossible: Why Biblicism Is Not a Truly Evangelical Reading of Scripture
by Christian Smith
The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It
By Peter Enns
A High View of Scripture? The Authority of the Bible and the Formation of the New Testament Canon
by Craig D. Allert
The Seven Pillars of Creation: The Bible, Science, and the Ecology of Wonder
by William P. Brown
Reading Romans Backwards: A Gospel of Peace in the Midst of Empire
by Scot McKnight
On Understanding the Gospel More Clearly
The King Jesus Gospel: The Original Good News Revisited, by Scot Mcknight; and How God Became King: The Forgotten Story of the Gospels, by N.T. Wright
Paul and the Gift
by John M.G. Barclay
The Very Good Gospel: How Everything Wrong Can Be Made Right
by Lisa Sharon Harper
On Christian Living
Spiritual Formation: Following the Movements of the Spirit
by Henri Nouwen
The God Of The Mundane: Reflections on Ordinary Life for Ordinary People
by Matthew B. Redmond
The Holy Longing: The Search for a Christian Spirituality; and Sacred Fire: A Vision for a Deeper Human and Christian Maturity, by Ron Rolheiser
My Bright Abyss: Meditations of a Modern Believer
by Christian Wiman
Evolving in Monkey Town: How a Girl Who Knew All the Answers Learned to Ask the Questions
by Rachel Held Evans
The Pastor: A Memoir
by Eugene Peterson
Luther: Man Between God and the Devil
by Heiko A. Oberman
Union with Christ: The New Finnish Interpretation of Luther
by Carl E. Braaten & Robert W. Jenson
On How We Reason Morally and Relate to Others
Unclean: Meditations on Purity, Hospitality, and Mortality
by Richard Beck
The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
by Jonathan Haidt
On American History and Ideals
The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels
by Jon Meacham
The Civil War Volumes 1-3
by Shelby Foote
The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration
by Isabel Wilkerson
Fiction and Poetry
Gilead: A Novel
by Marilynne Robinson
by Wendell Berry
15 thoughts on “Decade’s End: 30 Favorite and Important Books I Read — 2010-2019”
And, to be sure, his memoir is one of the top three overall on this list, IMO.
Ah, you’ve put your finger on my weakness. I seriously need to read more fiction and poetry.
It would have made my list for sure, but I unfortunately didn’t make much progress through it at the time. It’s on my list to read in Lent this year.
Randy, I’ll probably second that once I get a little deeper into my copy. Scholarly yet a lively read.
Wiman, Seneca. Wiman. Not “women.” We’ve already explained this.
Christian Wiman? Huh?
I hope to read the Meacham book this year.
So many good books in your list, thank you for giving me some good leads
Happy New Year! That is indeed an impressive list. Might I suggest for this next decade you flip the list with 29 fiction and 1 non fiction?
Apparently there is a new book in the series coming this year!
The God of the Mundane must have become a collector’s item, the cheapest used copy I found was over 50 bucks! Not likely many will be reading it sorry to say.
One glaring omission here, in my view: Fleming Rutledge’s “The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ.”
(I realize that this is your list and not mine, but I simply had to mention this terrific book.)
One of the strangest reading experiences for me ever. I slogged my way through it, having to convince myself to keep pressing on, that it would “get better,” and it never really did “take off.” But when I reached the end I realized what a profound book it was, with characters and situations that seemed so real that you’d think they really existed. And I wanted to re-read it IMMEDIATELY!!! Never before had I instantly wanted to re-read an incredibly challenging book.
Such a difficult but amazingly rewarding read. Highly recommend!
The next book in the series – “Home” – is also highly recommended, though quite somber, and the third book – “Lila” – is to me the most brilliant of the three. The Lila character who is a very minor character/player in the first book gets a whole book, and it’s as fascinating a character study as you’ll ever read.
Thanks for the recommendations.
Personality, I think I should read Mere Churchianity every year as well as The God of the Mundane/—loved both!
Relating to others:
I enjoyed Richard Beck’s “The Authenticity of Faith:The Varieties and Illusions of Religious Faith
He tackles Freud’s “The Future of an Illusion” concerning psychological consolation. Lots of truth there.However, there are other psychologies that relate to truth above explanations toward relation to society.