My Top 5 Books of 2013
December 26, 2013 4 Comments
2013 is coming to an end which means it’s the time of year when every blogger does a year-end wrap-up post of some sort.
Since I like reading, here are the top 5 books I read in 2013:
- Holiness: It’s Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties, and Roots by J.C. Ryle
By far one of the most impactful books on my Christian faith that I have ever read. Pursuit of personal holiness is one fo the most neglected areas for many Christians today. Ryle skillfully exposits 20 short passages related to holiness and powerfully applies them for his readers. He delves into topics like sanctification, fighting sin, counting the cost to follow Christ, and bringing glory to God in all areas of life. Though it was written in 19th-century England, 21st-century American readers will have no trouble relating to many of the themes he addresses since there are many parallels between Christianity in the two periods. I highly recommend this book to any Christian.
“Holiness is the habit of being of one mind with God, according as we find His mind described in Scripture. It is the habit of agreeing in God’s judgment, hating what He hates, loving what He loves, and measuring everything in this world by the standard of His Word.” -J.C. Ryle
- Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
As an introvert in an extroverted world, this book definitely resonated with me. Cain provides some intriguing research on the difference between introverts and extroverts (and the complex relationship the two have with each other). She also highlights the strengths of introverts while recommending the kind of work environments that introverts can place themselves in to excel. Whether you are extroverted or introverted, this is a wonderful book that will help you understand, relate to, and lead the introverts in your life.
“Don’t think of introversion as something that needs to be cured…Spend your free time the way you like, not the way you think you’re supposed to.” -Susan Cain
- Follow Me: A Call to Die. A Call to Live. by David Platt
Nominal Christianity is one of the most difficult challenges for the church today. In Follow Me, Platt makes the case that every Christian should be involved in making disciples in one way or another whether that is evangelism, missions (local or global), or edification of believers (individuals or groups). He outlines what it means to be a Christian and offers a lot of practical application for people to become disciple-makers. Platt also challenges those who claim the name of Christ, but doesn’t have a desire to grow in knowledge of Christ and share it with others, to reexamine if they are truly saved. A great read for Christians of any maturity level.
“Making disciples of Jesus is the overflow of our delight in being disciples of Jesus.” -David Platt
- The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell
Ever wonder why some products, ideas, or styles take off and others fall flat? Then read this book. Gladwell explains the three elements that commonly work together to make something “tip” and saturate a group (or groups) of people. With a handful of poignant examples and admonitions, he shows how utilizing these three elements can cause your idea to spread faster than any multi-million dollar advertising campaign. A recommended book for anyone interested in ideas, marketing, or business in general.
“The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire.” -Malcolm Gladwell
- The Joy of Calvinism: Knowing God’s Personal, Unconditional, Irresistible, Unbreakable Love by Greg Forster
Calvinism often gets a bad rap for being overly-intellectual, harsh, emotionless, and cold. Forster’s Joy of Calvinism explores the entirety of Scripture to show that this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, the Reformed doctrines of God’s grace are a source of immense comfort, motivation, and joy. Forster clearly explains how Calvinism stems from the character of God as loving Father and merciful Judge, framing his discussion around four aspects of God’s love (as opposed to arguing from the five points of Calvinism aka TULIP). Overall, a short and deep explanation of Reformed theology ideal for Calvinists and non-Calvinists alike.
“Few would disagree with the statement that a true Christian is a person who clings for salvation, not to the church; not to the sacraments; not to the Bible; not even to the proclamation of the gospel or the believer’s belief in it; but to the cross and the empty tomb. Calvinism is just the systematic application of this truth in all doctrine, piety, and life.” -Greg Forster
- Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart: How to Know for Sure You Are Saved by J.D. Greear
- Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God by John Piper
- Lovemarks: The Future Beyond Brands by Kevin Roberts
If you’d like to keep up with what I’m reading now and what I’ve read in the past, check out my Goodreads profile. Also be looking for more book reviews (like this and this) in the coming year now that I’m part of BookSneeze and NetGalley. Happy reading!
Read any of these books or have any that would recommend reading in 2014? Tell me about them in the Comments below.
Learn It. Love It. Live It.