TimSpivey.Com Best Books of 2009, part 2

IStock_000004965846MediumContinuing with the best books I've read in 2009 by category. See yesterday's post for other categories:

Family LifePastor Dad, by Mark Driscoll. It's a raw book—and not remotely P.C., but one that the average dad will love reading for those reasons. It's available as a free e-book download at theresurgence.com. Churches need to pay better attention to reaching and maturing men!

Christian LeadershipAxiom, by Bill Hybels. One of the best practical ministry books I've read in the last ten years. Axiom is just a series of short leadership proverbs from a man whose ministerial and experience and wisdom are jaw-dropping.

Ministry StrategySticky Church, by Larry Osborne. I had many to pick from in this category. I chose Sticky Church because it caused me to change my thinking more than any other strategy book this year. Osborne is lesser known to some in the Bible belt. Pick up anything he writes or says.

Apologetics/EvangelismThe Reason for God, by Timothy Keller. This book should be put in the hand of every Christian. It's the most effective, common sense, existential apologetics book since Mere Christianity.

Preaching – Thomas G. Long's, Preaching from Memory to Hope. This year's top book on preaching. Note: There isn't a whole lot of great stuff being published in the area of preaching right now. Preaching could use some strong, and fresh voices. Craddock, Long, and the legends of preaching can only carry us so long.

Spiritual Formation Knowing Christ Today: Why we Can Trust Spiritual Knowledge, by Dallas Willard. Faith and reason belong together.

DevotionalWhen the Game is Over, it all Goes Back in the Box, by John Ortberg. FANTASTIC book on seeking the Kingdom first and prioritizing one's life rightly. Wayne Cordeiro's, the Divine Mentor, is an honorable mention here.

I'd love to know which books of 2009 you think we all need to read. What are they? 

Dr. Tim Spivey is Lead Planter of New Vintage Church in San Diego, California. He is the author of numerous articles and one book, "Jesus: The Powerful Servant." A sought after speaker for events, Tim also serves as Adjunct Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. Tim serves as a church consultant, and his writings are featured on ChurchLeaders.com, Church Executive magazine, Faith Village, Sermon Central, and Giving Rocket.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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7 thoughts on “TimSpivey.Com Best Books of 2009, part 2

  1. Tim,
    I also had another question. I have not read Tim Keller’s book (its on my wishlist) but was curious seeing you describe it as “…the most effective, common sense, existential apologetics book since Mere Christianity” (I have heard other greats comments about this book). I was wondering if you have read “Simply Christian” by N.T. Wright? I wonder because the description you give to Keller’s book is pretty much the same description I would give to N.T. Wright’s book (an author who is very much becoming this generation’s C.S. Lewis). I thought Wright did an outstanding job contextualizing his apologetic case for the Christian faith to the questions of a postmodern/post-Christian culture.
    Grace and peace,

  2. I did enjoy the book. I knew she had a specific agenda or purpose, whatever term we prefer, when writing the book and I have no qualms with that. It just appeared that in her telling of recent history she was more disposed to include the stories from every part of Christianity except for the evangelical/conservative wing of Christianity (which she makes pretty clear in the book her odds with the evangelical camp she was a part of while in seminary). This I believe was unforunate because she could have kept with her purpose and yet refrained from excluding a wing because of her personal negative bias, especially when the best of that wing equally has some great stories that contribute to “the other side of Christianity.”
    I hope that explains a little clearer my only critique of the book. I did like her attention to the “good works” which Christianity has been involved in and think it is equally needed word to contemporary Christianity which, from where I sit, sometimes has divorced the relationship between faith and deeds.
    Grace and peace,

  3. Rex,
    It was Bass’ goal to be “biased” by presenting “the other side of the story.” Even the title was a play on a rather biased history book. No foul there as far as I’m concerned because she didn’t make claims of objectivity.
    Having said that…bias doesn’t make a truth claim true or untrue. I also appreciated her effort to tell the other side of the story in an age when everyone is tripping over themselves to apologize for Christianity as though it’s history is altogether terrible.

  4. I read the Diane Butler Bass book and enjoyed much of it but also thought it was very biased despite her apparent disdain for other such biased written histories. For instance, since the books aim was to mostly point out how the Christian faith was being lived out by ordinary Christians (non clergy/theologians), I thought it was strange that when discussing the most recent Christian history that the examples were all that of practicing social justice. I do not recall any discussion about the Jim Elliot’s and Nate Saint’s of recent Christian history or those Christians in other parts of our world who are regularly being persucuted for their faith.
    Don’t get me wrong, I am not against social-justice. In fact, I believe it is an equal part of our gospel witness that is too often downplayed in many conservative/evangelical type churches. But in a time where truth is being questioned by many, even among Christians, I believe the stories of those in recent history who have become martyrs for the truth of Jesus would be a welcomed and needed encouragement to the scope of readers Bass is hoping to reach.
    Having said all that, I still would recommend the book. That was just my one critique.
    Grace and peace,