Over the last several weeks on social media, I’ve been posting different book lists that I’ve come across as I’ve compiled my own reading plan for 2016. But now it’s time to show my own cards, so here’s the list I’ve come to so far. If you have something else you think I should add, let me know!
The Writings of John of the Cross is what I’ve been working through a few pages at a time for devotional reading. I already feel like John is helping me deepen my prayer life.
Essentialism by Greg McKeown is a book about guarding the things you put time and energy into, and making sure that you carefully discern the things you commit to.
Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life by Richard Rohr. I’ve already dipped my toes into this one, and love it. Rohr writes about what it means to press onto maturity in faith.
$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America is a look at life for our neighbors who are struggling in poverty.
Surprised by Hope by N.T. Wright is a much needed book that offers a corrected to our popular understandings of eschatology. (That is the least compelling description, I know.)
The Heaven Promise is Scot McKnight’s version of Surprised by Hope, which promises to be a bit more readable.
Farewell to Mars by Brian Zahnd looks like an interesting book about what it means for Christians to resist our culture’s thirst for blood. I’ve heard Zahnd talk about Christian Nationalism before, and I’m very intrigued.
Paul and the Faithfulness of God by N.T. Wright is the heaviest book on my list this year, literally. Taking my medicine with this one, but the first three in the series have been outstanding…life changing, really.
Prodigal Christianity by Fitch and Holsclaw, whose podcast Theology and Mission has become one of my favorites. We’ll see if the book matches up.
Jesus, Feminist by Sarah Bessey is a book on Gender Justice in the church that I haven’t had a chance to work through yet, so 2016 is the year.
The Powers Trilogy by Walter Wink is something I’ve been needing to read to clarify some of my theological thinking about the dark powers of the world, and the way evil is manifests through systems.
Home and Lila by Marilynn Robinson are on my list after reading the first of the trilogy, Gilead. I found it to be a fantastic novel, the kind that makes you want to read everything the author’s ever written. I’m also including her book of essays, The Givenness of Things.
The Martian is also making the list in the fiction category. I hear good things—You people better not be leading me astray. I’m looking for another good novel.
Leaders Who Last by Dave Kraft has a great reputation as a leadership book.
Lessons in Belonging from a Church-going Commitment Phobe is a fantastic title. Fantastic book? Remains to be seen.
Good to Great and Outliers are two books on excellence I’m looking forward to. I like reading about the sorts of practices that people who stand out exemplify. Not all of these sorts of things translate well, but I think these two will be useful.
Fellowship of Differents is a book by McKNight on Ecclesiology that looks to be very useful. I’m preaching on Ecclesiology this coming summer, and this will be part of my prep work for that series.