Book List

It’s been some time since I last updated this and can’t see myself writing a full review on all of these. This list is now much larger than it was when I started. I read several books a month.

Ok – so I have no chance of getting all of these written. I thought it was a possibility, but each review takes me around an hour to write and some of these I am finding I virtually need to go back and reread the book to write the review, which is a pretty pointless exercise.

I will commit to writing reviews as I get time and on books that I think are worth it. Apart from that, I will link each book to either the author’s page, or to a book seller.

Sorry to let you down by not writing reviews. Let’s face it, my impressions are really, just that, mine. You should read these books for yourself. I’ll offer a quick note on each for now.

  • 12 Rules for Life (Jordan Peterson) Interesting read but ultimately, missing the bible and therefore doomed to fail in explaining life
  • Fathered by God (John Eldredge) This is a very good book that leads men through a framework of discovery of themselves as mature and adult men
  • Finding Organic Church (Frank Viola) The problem with this book is that it is a little too prescriptive, nevertheless, the concept is sound and pretty close to my heart
  • The Cost of Discipleship (Dietrich Bonhoeffer) I read this, knowing nothing about Dietrich Bonhoeffer, it was very powerful and then to read of his life, oh wow. Highly recommend this book.
  • Pagan Christianity (Frank Viola) This book broke me in some respects. I will write a review. Read it if you are strong in your faith, otherwise, leave it aside for now. It will challenge you in ways that might shake your faith.
  • Good Strategy Bad Strategy (Richard Rumelt) I am struggling to remember much about this book. My work in senior management means that I am constantly working through strategy and I read this to support my work.
  • Life on Purpose (Victor J Strecher) I read this at a time where I was struggling to make sense of where and what I was meant to be about. The book encourages you to find a rudder for the boat of your life.
  • The Power of Habit (Charles Duhigg) What makes us form habits that affect our lives for good or bad? This book assists very much with understanding the neuroscience of habits. I recommend it!
  • So good they can’t ignore you (Cal Newport) So often we are told to “follow your passion” as a career. I have long distrusted this advice – otherwise, I would make a career out of reading in a log cabin somewhere! This book recommends that you develop a skill set that makes you impossible to overlook. Pretty good advice.
  • Ego is the Enemy (Ryan Holiday) This book is a great encouragement to humility and learning from others. It misses God in the formula, but nevertheless, it is pretty powerful in its context.
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow (Daniel Kahneman) An interesting delve into neuroscience and how we think.
  • Emotional Intelligence (Daniel Goleman) I read this because this is an area of weakness for me. It was ok.
  • The Utter Relief of Holiness (John Eldredge) Sadly, I felt a little let down by this. Not sure if that’s my failure or if John missed the mark? I have been meaning to re-read it and try to “get it”.
  • The Untold Story of the New Testament Church (Frank Viola) I will write a review on this. I found this powerfully moving, though I didn’t realise it until towards the end. Frank does seem to me to have an issue with his chronology (trying to fit the NT into the period pre-AD70) but nevertheless, it does really help to contextualise the New Testament.
  • From Eternity to Here (Frank Viola) Wow – just restructures your thinking about what we are here for. Highly recommend this book. If you ever thought Numbers 14:21 was limited, then this is your book!
  • Changed into His Likeness (Watchman Nee) This book demonstrates strength from weakness, I really recommend it.
  • The Sacred Romance (Brent Curtis, John Eldredge) I gather this is the book the started it all for John. Interesting for the prototype ideas that he develops in his later books.
  • Insurgence (Frank Viola) For some reason, this book just didn’t engage me at all. Not what I was looking for at the time I guess.
  • The Normal Christian Life (Watchman Nee) A good read and important to ensure that you do read it
  • Elpis Israel (John Thomas) I found it profound when I read it in full instead of studying passages. Some of the book will send you to sleep and other parts will hit you hard. I recommend reading it carefully and recognising it for the era and style it was written in.
  • Walden (Henry David Thoreau) Pretentious
  • The Church in the Eternal Purpose of God (Watchman Nee) I read this because I was struggling to deal with the church and its value. This book helped me to separate the Body of Christ, from the often hypocritical human institution of organised religion.
  • Shaken (Tim Tebow) I read this on the advice of a friend. I found it helpful when I was in a pretty dark place
  • Letters to the Church (Francis Chan) I read this in the midst of my turmoil around leaving organised religion. I can’t remember a lot of it now, but I do recall that I was not in a place where I was ready to hear Francis…
  • Mere Christianity (CS Lewis) One of the most important Christian books to read. Highly recommend.
  • Hearing God (Dallas Willard) I read this at a time when I was not really in a relationship with God – He was in a relationship with me, but I wasn’t listening properly. This book helped me get myself sorted out.
  • Get Your Life Back (John Eldredge) If you feel like your life is not yours to surrender to God, read this. Then make your life a living sacrifice.
  • Waking the Dead (John Eldredge) One I need to re-read – I have forgotten some of it.
  • The Knowledge of the Holy (AW Tozer) I didn’t finish this. I found it too obscure and too “churchy”. It just didn’t feel authentic to me.
  • The Pursuit of God (AW Tozer) I found this book more accessible than “The Knowledge of the Holy” and pretty powerful. Inspirational.
  • Becoming a King (Morgan Snyder, John Eldredge) A friend of mine recommended this book, I found it fairly un-engaging. It seems to rehash much of Wild at Heart and Fathered by God.
  • A Gentle Thunder (Max Lucado) I strongly recommend this one.
  • Winning the War in your Mind (Craig Groeschel) I have had too much therapy and counselling to be too excited by pop psychology. This book is pretty good for what it is and at least puts a Christian spin on the therapies that you should be working through with a professional if you have a mental illness.
  • Hope in the Dark (Craig Groeschel) If you are in trouble right now, this is the book for you… in fact, read it now so you have some tools for when trouble hits (as it inevitably will)!
  • A Fellowship of Differents (Scot McKnight) Probably a little too American centric for mine. I found that the book scraped a few raw wounds for me – I try to accept all, why do I struggle to be accepted?
  • The Christian Atheist (Craig Groeschel) So, that was an interesting read and I will write a review soon. In the meantime, I highly recommend it – it challenges us to actually live our faith not just talk about it. Craig has written another winner.
  • Church History in Plain Language (Bruce L Shelley) Currently reading it. I am up to the Renaissance period so at least 2/3s of the way through. Well worth the voluminous read! Provides great contexts for the development of the church over the centuries.
  • Don’t Give the Enemy a Seat at your Table (Louie Giglio) Good Read
  • The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts (Gary Chapman) Great Read and gave me a great opportunity to have a good conversation with my wife.
  • Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible (E Randolph Richards and Brandon J O’Brien) I think this is possibly one of the more challenging reads I have had in awhile. Not because I disagree or struggle with the content, but because it recast a lot of my preconceptions about a lot of Scripture.
  • The Battle For God (Karen Armstrong) I am not sure what I think about this book. There is a lot to like and then there is a lot to think about. The book delves very deep into fundamentalism and its roots in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Ms Armstrong’s thesis seems to be that fundamentalist leanings are typically a response to crisis rather than a throwback to a historical base. I agree – I saw a lot of that in the pandemic with anti-vax, anti-mask stuff being made a test of a person’s faith. I am not sure that I agree with the author’s conclusions (such as they are as this is more narrative than an argument).
  • Chase the Lion (Mark Batterson) Not read yet
  • Whisper (Mark Batterson) I have purchased two of Mr Batterson’s books and only read one of them. In this book he speaks of God’s love languages and I thought it was ok, but ultimately not very memorable. In a review of the book, I read, “Discover how simple it is to hear God’s voice in every aspect of your life!” I don’t know that the Author had any input to this review… In modern society, I am not sure that I would characterise the process of hearing God as “simple”.
  • The Purpose Driven Life (Rick Warren) I wanted to like this book and perhaps it’s just the stage of life I am in – I abandoned it pretty quickly. I might have another crack at another time.
  • Suffering and the Heart of God (Diane Langberg) Again, I really wanted to like this book and I just couldn’t quite get there. I abandoned it about halfway through, I am afraid.
  • The Forgotten Trinity: Recovering the Heart of Christian Belief (James R White) About to Read
  • The Unseen Realm (Dr Michael S Heiser) returned it fairly quickly – I didn’t get it and really didn’t like it.
  • Evidence that Demands a Verdict (Josh McDowell, Dr Sean McDowell) This is an absolute monster of a book. I have been reading and researching in this book for months and I have not long finished it (June 23). It is very comprehensive and I am not sure that it is really intended for a straight read through as I have done. I have both the hardcopy and the Audible version but I am primarily going to be using the book as a reference tome. It is worth it. If you ever are confronted with someone like Richard Dawkins or some other contrarian, this is the book to lay your concerns to rest.
  • The Forgotten Trinity (James R White) Loved this book and really recommend it for a good overview of the doctrine of the Trinity.
  • The Problem of Pain (C S Lewis) Again, a very good quick read that delves into the issue of suffering and the heart of God. Not sure I agree with all of the theology, but still a solid read.
  • Encounters with Jesus (Timothy Keller) Highly recommend this book. So much covered that gives us an insight into the relationship of Jesus with the believers and helps very much in understanding our relationship with him.

You may also like...