I’m sharing this largely because I would really love to hear your answers. Here are just a few of my most enjoyable reads of 2012 (aside from the Bible). These are not the most spiritually challenging or moving reads of 2012 so don’t interpret them as such. Rather, they were just really enjoyable reading. Also, I feel like I need to say that I don’t agree with everything these books communicate.
Steve Jobs (Walter Isaacson). This was one of the first books I finished in 2012. It is a very well written biography of Steve Jobs. He was a deeply spiritual man although he was not a follower of Jesus. It was intriguing to read about his spiritual life as well as his leadership and creative style.
Lit! A Christian Guide to Reading Books (Tony Reinke). I really loved reading this book. It may have been my most enjoyable read of 2012. Reinke gives a framework for valuing reading as a Christian. He discuses how Christians should approach reading both fiction and non-fiction. He even mentions how we should evaluate which books are appropriate reads for those who are ‘renewing their minds.’ Also, he discusses how parents should encourage a love for reading in the home. I thought Reinke did an incredible job and this may be one I read more than once.
Christianity with Power: Your Worldview and Your Experience of the Supernatural (Charles Kraft). I am constantly growing and developing theologically as I continue to mature in my relationship with Jesus and as I continue to study his word. This book was a part of that journey for me as I have found myself studying what we call spiritual warfare. I know Dr. Kraft personally and I have been encouraged by his heart and wisdom on this matter and found this book personally challenging. I would not recommend this book as indiscriminately as the others because it requires a basic theological foundation. However, with that foundation this book is an extremely eye-opening read.
The Justification of God (John Piper). I read this book for the second time this year. As we have been journeying through the book of Romans, and arrived at chapters 9-10, I have found it extremely helpful. Piper is a man who loves Jesus incredibly and devours his word veraciously. He is a pastor and a scholar (which is another of his books, The Pastor as Scholar). For this reason I find his writing very beneficial. He approaches the scriptures boldly and carefully while exhibiting the calling of a shepherd who loves people and wants to see them grow in the love of the Savior. This book is his study on one of the most difficult passages of Romans.
The Magician’s Nephew: The Chronicles of Narnia (C.S. Lewis). This is another one I have read before. To be honest, we’re not completely finished with it but we should be really soon. This makes the list because this is the first time I have shared this masterpiece with my children. I want my children to love all kinds of writing, fiction and non-fiction. I want my children to read a great work of fiction and understand the spiritual themes that are underlining the story (there are always spiritual themes whether good ones or bad). This is a phenomenal book that is written for children and it has been a great joy to share it with mine.
Outside the rules…
The Acts of the Apostles (Luke). I know… the Bible is an obvious answer. This is a little different. I sat down and read the book of Acts from beginning to end as a story. I didn’t stop to study it. I wanted to see the larger storyline as I would if I read any other story. It allowed me to be reminded of the larger themes and reoccurring struggles that took place in the life of the early church. It allowed me to connect dots that a person cannot connect if you only study a paragraph or a chapter. This was probably one of the most encouraging reading endeavors I had this year. There is so much written and said about the church and often times we neglect to find our instruction at the source.
What were one or two of your most enjoyable reads of 2012? Whether fiction or non-fiction it doesn’t matter… I’d love to hear!