18
Dec
2015
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Calvinist Batman’s Top 5 Books of 2015

2015 has been a crazy year. My podcast has taken off. I also got an interview and book review opportunity late this year from two different book publishers! This has given me the ability to read and interview some amazing authors who wrote some great books.

I decided to list the top five I have had the pleasure of coming across this year. The only two rules for this list were that the book had to be published in 2015 and had to have some kind of personal impact for me. There are other great lists that talk about the best book ever for 2015. This list is more personal. Some of the great books may not be accessible to the common layman. However, each of these books ought to be. For those who choose to read these titles, I hope you enjoy these books as much as I did.

THE JOY PROJECT by Tony Reinke

This is by far the best book I’ve read this year. It’s simple and short, but overwhelmingly joyful. In this book, Reinke covers the doctrines of grace. He explains them well, but more importantly, writes in such a way that leads you to gladness and worship at these doctrines. When asked what book should a newly reformed person read first, this will now always be my first answer.

Tony Reinke was also on my podcast to talk about this book. Click here to listen.

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TRANSFORMING HOMOSEXUALITY by Denny Burk and Heath Lambert

This book was better than I could have hoped it to be, not just in the matters of the homosexuality debate, but because of what it brings to the table regarding internal and external temptation. Its passages on Christology were eye-opening. I couldn’t stop highlighting this book once I started reading it.

Denny Burk was also on my podcast to talk about this book. Click here to listen.

THE BIGGEST STORY by Kevin DeYoung (illustrated by Don Clark)

As a father, I’m a huge fan of children’s books. I love being able to teach my kids truth, and I love how attractive some of these books are. Make no mistake, The Biggest Story might be the most beautiful book I have ever seen, yet it is packed with deep, strong, and powerful biblical truth. The gospel is everywhere in this book. I think it actually beats The Jesus Storybook Bible as my favorite children’s book.

THE THINGS OF EARTH by Joe Rigney

I grew up in an Assembly of God church that taught me that the world (and basically everything outside of the church) was evil and not to be desired or enjoyed. These things included alcohol, sex, nature, games, sports, etc. Rigney blows this theory and false teaching out of the water with his superb book. I am forever grateful for reading it. Though I’ve been reformed for years, it reminded me of all the good things God has surrounded me with that are meant to be enjoyed and thereby glorifying to Him.

Joe Rigney was also on my podcast to talk about this book. Click here to listen.

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A HISTORY OF WESTERN PHILOSOPHY AND THEOLOGY by John M. Frame

This is the end-all presuppositional apologetic works on old and modern philosophy and thought. Frame masterfully shows how each of man’s philosophies fall to the ground when coming across the gospel. It’s more than just a history book on these issues. Frame spends a good deal of time within the last century discussing current mindsets and false ideas. This is a must have to anyone wanting to improve in their apologetics.

John Frame was also on my podcast to talk about this book. Click here to listen.

BONUS

I promised myself that I would not make this list forever long. I prefer short lists that tell you what are the best of the bests so that if you could only buy 2-3 books, you know which ones to get. There are tons of other books I could mention (like any in the Theologians On Christian Life series like Tony Reinke’s Newton on the Christian Life and also Kent Hughes’ The Pastors Book) but I will leave it to just one extra pick.

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GOD’S KINGDOM THROUGH GOD’S COVENANTS by Peter J. Gentry and Stephen J. Wellum

This book is a condensed version of 2012’s masterful work Kingdom Through Covenant: A Biblical-Theological Understanding of the Covenants. The reason this book is on the list is because of future impact. This book needed to be written. Its 850-page brother is amazing but is too scholarly for most readers that I know. This 300-page version is not only smaller but written very intentionally for the layman in mind. I am excited for Wellum’s 2016 followup, “Progressive Covenantalism” that will lay out more practical thoughts and implications on this subject, but until then, this book will help more and more learn about a third way, a middle ground you might say, of viewing the covenants.

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