Here are some of our favorite books we read and podcasts we listened to in 2017:
12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You by Tony Reinke
This is quite possibly the most important book I read this year, because Tony Reinke not only exposed to me a problem I didn’t realize I had, but he also provided a solution for it. The problem? My smartphone addiction. The solution? To use my smartphone as a God-glorifying aid in pursuit of the heavenly kingdom.
Bloodlines by John Piper
Initially I did not want to read this book, though I’m not sure why – maybe I doubted John Piper’s ability to write on the issue of racial divide in the U.S., but boy was I wrong! This is perhaps the best book Piper has written as he addresses the issue of racism from personal experience, historical research, biblical affirmations, and pastoral concern.
Dignity and Destiny: Humanity in the Image of God by John F. Kilner
This book is on my list because it caused me to change my theological understanding of what it means to be created in the “image of God.” In this book, John Kilner helps the reader understand that being created in the “image of God” ultimately expresses God’s intention for man, which is seen in Jesus Christ, “who constitutes a complete picture of what God intends for people in God’s image to be and to do.” Disclaimer: This book is pretty technical and heavily footnoted.
The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges
The Pursuit of Holiness is an excellent book filled with convicting, biblical thoughts about God’s righteous demands for holy living, but it’s also bursting with encouragement for believers as we consider with grateful hearts that we are covered by Christ’s perfect holiness in our flawed attempts at living holy lives. This book was life-changing for me in my quest for holy living in a fallen world. Though I still have such a long way to go, Bridges showed me the importance of continually pursuing holiness, one step at a time.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
I am slowly but surely trekking through the HP series. These books are fun and super easy to read! Book 3 has been my favorite so far, but I’ve heard from many people that it won’t be my favorite once I’ve finished Book 4. We’ll soon find out!
No Little Women by Aimee Byrd
This book is not only written to women, but also to pastors as they seek to diligently shepherd the women within their congregations. In No Little Women, Byrd points out that too often women and women’s ministries within churches are left to fend for themselves rather than receive the pastoral care and guidance they so desperately need, which can then lead women to be easily swayed by poor, or even false, theology. I cannot recommend this book enough!
United by Trilia Newbell
Does God Listen to Rap? by Curtis “Voice” Allen
Risky Gospel by Owen Strachan
Greek for Life: Strategies for Learning, Retaining, and Reviving New Testament Greek by Robert Plummer and Benjamin Merkle
Lectures on Calvinism by Abraham Kuyper
The Happy Rant (Barnabas Piper, Ted Kluck, and Ronald J. Martin)
My first impression of this podcast was that it was quite possibly the worst podcast I’d ever listened to, but I just couldn’t stop listening! My feelings toward the podcast have since changed – I no longer think it’s the worst podcast, but I still cannot stop listening. I love the blend of Barnabas Piper, Ted Kluck, and Ronald J. Martin as they remind me that it’s okay for Reformed Christians to have fun. These guys don’t take themselves seriously, they are quite sarcastic, and they don’t use disclaimers. If that’s not your cup of tea then you’ll certainly be disappointed, but if you want to hang out with three really cool Christian guys, this is the podcast for you!
For the Church (Jared C. Wilson)
This is Jared C. Wilson’s new podcast, which is an extension of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s “For the Church” resource center. I’ve enjoyed every episode I’ve listened to, especially the recurring episodes with Jared and Christian George. Their personalities work so well together that they should consider doing a weekly podcast. They might even rival The Happy Rant, at least in my book.
Doctrine and Devotion (Joe Thorn and Jimmy Fowler)
This podcast explores Christian faith and practice from a Reformed Baptist perspective. The way in which these guys sarcastically banter back and forth is not for everyone, but they are doctrinally sound and don’t hesitate to speak the truth, even when it hurts.
Mortification of Spin (Carl Trueman, Todd Pruitt, and Aimee Byrd)
Good-natured sarcasm with practical and biblical insight regarding contemporary Christian topics. This one has now made it on my list two years in a row because I love it that much.
Thinking in Public by Albert Mohler
Pastor’s Talk by Mark Dever and Jonathan Leeman
Crimetown by Gimlet Media
We’re Alive by Wayland Productions
Renewing Your Mind by Ligonier Ministries
BOOKS WE PLAN TO READ IN 2018:
Facing Tyson by Ted Kluck
The Curious Christian: How Discovering Wonder Enriches Every Part of Life by Barnabas Piper
Sing!: How Worship Transforms Your Life, Family, and Church by Keith and Kristyn Getty
Elon Musk: Tesla, Space X, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance
Eight Women of Faith by Michael A.G. Haykin
Glimpses of Grace: Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home by Gloria Furman
We are always looking for book recommendations. Corey is especially looking for a good fiction book or series to read this year. Any recommendations? Let us know!
Corey and Kristen