Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Recommended Reading for 2010
By Brian Nixon
Special to ASSIST News Service
ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO (ANS) -- I have the privilege of working in the publishing field. It has been over four years since I made the “switch” from the world of education. Both fields (publishing and education) are wonderful means to influence our culture and the future, affording me the opportunity to impact the world in two wonderful ways: with people and with ideas.
I had one such request recently.
As usual, I had to think hard. Would I give an “easy-read” list, with approachable books for the common reader? Would I give an “academic-read” list, made mostly for scholars? Should I include “older” books with “newer” books? Or could I make a list combining the various traits mentioned?
I elected to go with my last proposal: making a list of recent releases and older, classic books: both scholarly and amicable to easy reading.
Yet I must state two angles or biases in my list: one, all books are “educational” in the sense that I hope someone will learn something from them; and most come from a distinctly conservative, Christian viewpoint.
Finally, my requestor asked that I limit my list to ten books. Now this may seem easy, but it is not. Sadly, I could list 100 books. But I would be shot.
So for the sake of dwindling down the 100 books to only ten, I asked myself two simple questions. What books will have a lasting impact on the readers? What concerns and issues should the reader be aware of as they enter this new decade?
Here is my list—with a few comments following:
Justification, N.T Wright. Wright gives a balanced and biblical view on the doctrine of justification, discussing the all-important principle—and recent controversy—discussed in the Church today.
2. Basic Christianity, John Stott. A wonderful primer on the essential
3. Historical Theology, Alister McGrath. A magnificent overview of the main themes, doctrines, and thinkers of the Church, covering the early Church up to the modern era.
4. Fabricating Jesus, Craig Evans. Evans critiques how modern scholars distort the Gospels in the media and so-called scholarly pursuits.
5. Dethroning Jesus, Darrell Bock and Daniel Wallace. Bock and Wallace tackle six popular claims made by liberal scholars, critiquing books written by various individuals, including New York Times best seller, Bart Ehrman.
6. There Is A God, Antony Flew. Though not a Christian, Flew helps Christians see into the mind of a former atheist, and the various aspects and arguments that helped change his mind to believe “there is a God.”
7. Convergence Culture, Henry Jenkins. Though not a Christian book, Jenkins gives an insiders view on how the media is changing the world. In the book he deals—although briefly—with the Church and media.
8. Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis. A classic! Need I say more?
9. Knowing God, J.I Packer. A classic work on God’s attributes.
10. The Christian Mind, Harry Blamires. A classic book on developing a Christian worldview.
So there you have it: my recommended reading list for 2010.
Now for those of you who look at the list and think, “Are you kidding me? This looks like a college list,” here are a few addendums (following my criteria mentioned above):
Surprised by Joy, C.S. Lewis. This is Lewis’ own story of how he became a Christian.
Simply Christian, N.T Wright. Wright discusses “why Christianity makes sense.”
Birds our Teachers, John Stott. Stott, a life-long bird watcher, discusses what Christians can learn from the life of birds. Wonderful pictures and lessons to glean!
Affirming the Apostles’ Creed, J.I. Packer. This is a mini-theology lesson, using the Apostles’ Creed as the basis.
Flickering Pixels, Shane Hipps. Hipps discusses “how technology shapes [our] faith.”
If you decide to read one—or have done so recently—I would love to hear from you. Just go to http://www.briannixon.com and drop me a note.
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This story is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of the ASSIST News Service or ASSIST Ministries.