Best Books of 2014, Part One

Pastor Josh Stinger had this to say about some of his best books of 2014

  • In Walking With God Through Pain and Suffering, Timothy Keller, as usual, provides a masterful blend of biblical scholarship, cultural apologetics, pastoral care and sensitivity on a difficult subject. Consider reading this before you go through something difficult.  It’s better to get your feet firmly planted on the rock before the storm hits. 
  •  1776 by David McCullough takes the reader through one of the most pivotal years in American and British history, primarily through the eyes of George Washington. The book is well paced and packed full of excellent historical narrative.
  • Having shared in the preaching duties through Romans at the south Wheaton campus, I found Romans (volumes 1-3) by D. Martin Lloyd-Jones to be theologically helpful and pastorally insightful. Originally preached by “the Doctor” over 50 years ago, it was fun and refreshing to read, particularly as commentaries go. I’ll be looking forward to reading the next few volumes this year in this 14 volume set.

The book that topped Pastor Steven Lee's list was Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God by Timothy Keller. Writes, Steven, "The best book I've read this year and the best book on prayer that I've come across. A Praying Life by Paul  Miller was also a great read on prayer (I've read it many times over the years) and I've read my fair share of E.M. Bounds, but Keller's book is particularly helpful because he shows the reader the reasons and motivations behind prayer, defines prayer against other writers that may have had a skewed understanding of prayer; then delves into practical ways to learn how to pray (citing extensively from Calvin, Augustine and Luther). It has enlivened by prayer life and I would highly recommend it.

Pastoral Resident Michael McKittrick describes some of his best books for 2014.

  • Everyday Church by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis. Church is more than an event on Sunday morning. The church is God's people together on mission for him. In this book, the authors use 1 Peter to help us think about how we can be the people of God every day. It is both a book that casts vision and practical ideas on how to be used by God all week long.
  • The Gospel at Work by Greg Gilbert and Sebastian Traeger. In my own life and as I talk to other, I have seen a struggle to know how one's work fits in with the calling to be a disciple of Jesus. This book helps answer that question. It is short, biblical and practical. If you want to learn more about how to honor God in your work or how your work has any value, then please read this book.
  • The Epic of Eden by Sandra Richter. While I do not agree with everything in this book, the author does a great job of helping Christians see how the Old Testament tells one big story that is fulfilled in Jesus Christ. It is useful in understanding both the background of the Old Testament and how the storyline fits together. This the book I would recommend as an entry point for those wanting to better understand the Old Testament.
  • Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. Malcolm Gladwell is a good writer. I'm not sure if he is a Christian, but I found this book fascinating as I read about how our minds work. Gladwell's book made me appreciate how intricately God has designed us and left me wanting to better follow Paul's instruction in Romans 12:1-2 to conform our minds to God rather than the patterns of this world. It also has some interesting thoughts that pertain to recent racial tensions and police actions that I found helpful.