My Top 3 Reads from 2016
This is strictly my opinion and I base these ratings off of the books that I read this year! I am aware that there are probably better books out there, but I obviously could not have read them all…. I hope that this encourages you to read more and hopefully guides you in the right direction if you are on the fence about reading one of these books.
3. I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist
By: Norman L. Geisler, Frank Turek
Pros: This book was quite well constructed. The way that the authors were able to walk through the evidence for God’s existence blew me away. If I had to break down the book into two halves they would be debunking evolution and proving Jesus’ death and resurrection. The authors walked through scientific evidence for God’s existence and they also explained philosophical evidence such as morality and the origin of morals. The section on moral law has got to be by far one of the best explanations I have read to date. The authors began the book by proving the existence of God, then presented their argument that the God of the universe is, in fact, the God of the Christian religion. Geisler tackled this by walking through evidence of Jesus’ death and resurrection, along with the many transcripts of the Bible that we have today. The authors explained this evidence in a way that provides you with ample knowledge in an easy to understand format.
Cons: A major con from this book, in my opinion, was the assumption that everyone who believes in evolution is, in fact, an atheist. I know plenty of born-again Christians who believe in the evolutionary theory, yet I do not doubt their salvation for one minute.
Verdict: I highly recommend this book. I truly believe that it can be read from high school reading level. It will expand your knowledge and allow you to better defend your faith. In the back of the book, there are a few debates that are extremely interesting to read. I highly recommend that you grab this book when you can!
Purchase the Book Here: I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist
2. Systematic Theology
By: Wayne Grudem
Pros: This book was probably the 2nd best book that I have read to date (you will see the first in a moment). It would be too hard to explain in detail all of the pro’s so I will just touch on the major ones. This book truly helped me gain a better understanding of Biblical doctrine, which, unfortunately in this day and age, many Christians do not care to study. I gained a better understanding of predestination and other topics that are highly debated within Christian culture. Grudem gives answers to some of the most common questions that non-Christians have such as, why are we here? Where did we come from? Where are we going? And how is the world going to end? This book provides biblical answers to these questions using scripture as its defense. Grudem addresses everything from the role(s) of demons to the role(s) of angels.
Cons: This book is definitely written as more of a textbook/reference book and would be very difficult to read cover to cover. If you plan on doing so, be aware that it is not an easy endeavor. However, if used as a reference book or a book for a class (Bible colleges use this book often), it serves its purpose well. Grudem offers many answers to the questions mentioned above, from various theological perspectives. I sometimes found it difficult to find the perspective that he agreed with, although I only ran into this problem a few times while reading.
Verdict: The hardcover copy of the book can be rather expensive, but when given the opportunity to buy it, it is a great resource to add to your library. I would not say it is a MUST have, but when you need an explanation of Biblical doctrine in an easy to read format, this book offers just that.
Purchase the Book Here: Systematic Theology
1. The Holy Bible
Pros: It is the inspired word of God. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Cons: Well… None.
Verdict: Of course, I would recommend reading the Bible cover to cover this year if you have not yet done so in your walk with Christ. Every Christian should be reading God’s Word regularly. I think that the Bible fluency of today’s Christians is pitiful, and I am being more than generous by saying that. Read “The Church’s Theology Misconception” for more on that topic. In short, the Bible is not an optional resource for Christians. (2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.) This year I have grown so much in my faith and without the Word of God I would still be in the same place I was in last year. I am more than grateful for what God has taught me and showed me through His word. I want the same thing for you! And, more importantly, God wants that for you!
Purchase the Book Here: The Holy Bible (ESV Study Bible)