Confession: I didn’t read nearly as many books this year as I have in the past. A few years ago I think I probably read between three to five books a week (yeah, no TV… ever). Now I’m happy if I can finish five books in a month. Pastoral ministry has changed and the needs of a family of six require much more of my time, and I gladly trade reading for that time with people and most importantly, my family.
So this list isn’t going to be crazy long. I’ll reserve it to ten books, just like everyone else, and work my way to my favorite book of the year.
10.) Historical Theology: An Introduction to Christian Doctrine, by Gregg R. Allison – This book is really an accompaniment to Grudem’s Systematic Theology and provides a historical survey of the development of Christian doctrine. So if you were interested in the Doctrine of the Inerrancy of Scripture, Allison provides a survey of that doctrine from the early church, through the Middle Ages, Reformation, Post-Reformation, and into our current day. He actually interacts well with a variety of sources and provides a great starting point for further study. This is a great book on a subject that Christians should spend more time studying.
09.) A New Testament Biblical Theology: The Unfolding of the Old Testament in the New, by G. K. Beale – Another confession: I haven’t finished reading this yet. After all, it just released at the beginning of December. So why is it on my list? What I have read is really, really, really good. I can’t say I agree with all of Beale’s conclusions, but more often than not, I do. He has challenged me and helped my understanding of the Temple (thanks largely in part to his NSBT contribution, The Temple and the Church’s Mission). His work on the NT’s use of the OT has shaped my appreciation for the NT writers enormously and I can’t think of a more interesting book of worship than his We Become What We Worship. Beale has fast become one of my favorite theologians. The reason I believe this book will probably become a “classic” for me is because it builds beautifully upon the foundation laid by George Ladd regarding the Kingdom of God. Throughout Beale’s work, the “already and not yet” framework of the Kingdom functions as a controlling motif. This is one of the better works I have read on inaugurated eschatology in quite some time. And I’m still reading.