Spring books

Things fall apartChinua Achebe (1959) // Stirring work of fiction set in pre-colonial, pre-missionary Africa. Chosen for a class project.

By grace alone: How the grace of God amazes me – Sinclair Ferguson (2010) // Short, devotional book on the basics of the gospel. Ferguson bases his work on the outline of a translated African hymn. In his writing, Ferguson’s love for and use of hymnody is second only to his love for and use of Scripture.

Let’s study Philippians – Sinclair Ferguson (1997) // Read for men’s study at church, of which I was a sparse attendee. Regardless, this is an excellent introduction to a great book about joy, perseverance, and the glory of God.

Economics in one lesson: The shortest and surest way to understand basic economics – Henry Hazlitt (1988) // Based on the sound principle that economic decisions should be made by taking into account short and long term consequences, as well as effects on all involved parties. Unfortunately repetitive and outdated, it is a great candidate for a revised edition.

All God’s children and blue suede shoes: Christians and popular culture – Ken Myers (1989) // Myers needs to write more books. This is his only monograph, but it’s a classic. Outdated in many respects, but the principles and conclusions are still potent. A revised edition would be very timely and well-received, though T. David Gordon’s Why Johnny Can’t Sing Hymns leans heavily on Myers’ work, so that’s almost like a modern rewrite.

The mortification of sin (abridged Puritan Paperbacks version) – John Owen (1656) // Abridged Owen is much more accessible than original Owen, but still as sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel. Excellent book in which Owen’s main point is to “be killing sin, or it will be killing you.”

The authenticity hoax: How we got lost finding ourselves – Andrew Potter (2010) // An engaging book on the quest for the authentic life in the wake of modernity. It is equal parts historical analysis, cultural critique, philosophical pinings, and pop culture bromides.

Gilead – Marilynne Robinson (2006) // Beautiful and stunning work of fiction. Incredibly written, poetic prose. Light on plot but heavy on artistry. Not a light read, but one can’t help but be changed by the book.

Harry Potter and the deathly hallows – J.K. Rowling (2007) // Yes, I like the Harry Potter series. Yes, I like fantasy literature. I picked this up as an easy, entertaining read between semesters, and this coincided with the release of the final film installment.

The deep things of God: How the Trinity changes everything – Fred Sanders (2010) // Good, not great. Accessible and whirlwind tour of the Trinity and its importance in many aspects of life. First two thirds of the book were foundational (but not apologetic), while only the final third was about how the Trinity “changes everything” – but only touches on Bible reading and prayer. Written for a mainstream evangelical audience, and would have been improved if it included chapters on how the Trinity really changes everything, including preaching and the sacraments, for example.

My life for yours: A walk through the Christian home – Doug Wilson (2004) // Wilson doing what he does best: marriage and family. Excellent book on how the gospel is to permeate every room of the house, from the front door to the bedrooms.

The inimitable Jeeves – P.G. Wodehouse (2007) // Fun romp of British wit and humor. My first Wodehouse book, and certainly not my last.


2 thoughts on “Spring books

  1. Woo, feel dizzy just looking at your list of books.If you remember (or maybe this was before your time) we discussed a paper on the relationship between the Trinity and economics by a senior economics adviser to the EU in Culture Club. We clearly don't understand how the Trinity is foundational to who we are (even as Christians).

  2. Joel – great book list. The only book I have been reading is the "Black and Decker complete guide to home repair." You seem to critique Hazlitt as being "repetitive," but the thing you have to remember is that when such basic principles are daily forgotten by just about every government official (and most Americans), you have to repeat yourself, a lot. At any rate – good stuff all around.


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