I read quite a few good Christian books in 2021. Here are seven of my favorites, plus a bonus book.
Insider Church: Ekklesia and the Insider Paradigm, by S. T. Antonio. What should a church composed of Muslim-background believers in Jesus look like? How contextualized can/should such a church be? Solid and readable Christian ecclesiology worked out in a Muslim context. See my interview with the author.
Surprised by the Parables: Growing in Grace through the Stories of Jesus, by Michelle Lee-Barnewall. I found this book to be very grounding during a period of external turbulence. Insightful perspectives on a selection of Jesus’s parables by a woman who has a soft heart for her Savior.
How Does it Look From the Top of the Wall? Through Isaiah’s Eyes, by David Needham. I can’t tell you how delighted I was to discover that one of my favorite college professors had written a book I didn’t know existed—and about the Book of Isaiah, at that! This book is perceptive, discerning, devotional, and, at the moment I’m writing, only 99 cents on Amazon Kindle.
A God-Sized Vision: Revival Stories that Stretch and Stir, by Collin Hanson and John D. Woodbridge. Full disclosure: this was actually the second time I read this encouraging book. Hanson and Woodbridge draw us back to moments in history when God’s Spirit awakened his church and ushered many people into God’s kingdom.
Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers, by Dane C. Ortlund. If the number of amazon reviews is any indication, I’m not the only person who appreciated this book. Ortlund shepherds us into profound reflections on the heart of Christ, drawing upon Puritan authors as dialogue partners and guides.
Miracles Today, by Craig S. Keener. This book is not about miracles that occurred in the first century A.D. (see his outstanding two-volume tome Miracles for that). This book is about miracles that occur today. Reading accounts of so many attested miracle stories invigorated my faith. See my recent short book review.
Adorning the Dark: Thoughts on Community, Calling, and the Mystery of Making, by Andrew Peterson. Tantalizing reflections on creativity by an accomplished Christian songwriter and author. Reading this book made me want to go out and write something!
A World Without Email, by Cal Newport. This final book is not a Christian book, per se. But since I am a Christian, and furthermore, since I benefitted in my Christian life from reading it, I am happy to recommend it alongside my other seven books. Newport spurred me to think about ways I could keep from getting sucked into “the hyperactive hive mind.”
There you have it, my 7+1 favorite Christian books of 2021. Happy reading!
Here is my list for 2020.
Here is my list for 2019.
Here is my list for 2018.