#1 – The End of Christendom by Malcolm L. Muggeridge. I am glad this book was only 62 pages, because I was bored out of mind reading it. I think in this book, Muggeridge is trying to separate Christendom from Christianity … I think. But I have no idea how or why or what. BOOK RATING: 5 out of 10 stars.
#2 – Preparing for Marriage by Dennis Rainey. If you are a couple engaged to be married and are needing pre-martial counseling, I suppose this might be a helpful resource if you do not have a godly couple to meet with you. If you and you fiancé are all alone and have no other couple to meet with, this book can help you. However, for a more mature believer looking for less “homework” and more “reading material”, this book will disappoint. BOOK RATING: 5 out of 10 stars.
#3 – Signs of the Spirit by Sam Storms. What Justin Taylor and Kelly Kapic did for John Owen’s Overcoming Sin and Temptation, Sam Storms seeks to do something similar for Jonathan Edwards Religious Affections. While Storms book serves more like an adaptation of Edwards Affections, it also serves as a commentary for the modern reader who hasn’t been privy to the older English commonly used in Edwards day. I was genuinely sad to have this book come to an end. I thoroughly enjoyed Storms’ faithful analysis and explanation of one of the most important books written in church history. If you ever wanted to read Religious Affections, but found it lexically challenging, read this book by Storms and he will most certainly whet your appetite for the real thing. BOOK RATING: 9 out of 10 stars.
#4 – Proclaiming a Cross-Centered Theology by multiple authors. In 2008, four men (Mark Dever, Ligon Duncan, C.J. Mahaney, Albert Mohler) gathered in Louisville, KY to host a conference entitled Together for the Gospel (T4G). This was the one and only T4G I have had the privilege to attend. This book is the compilation of the sermons preached at the conference. The chapters are adapted sermon transcripts from Ligon Duncan (“Sound Doctrine: Essential to Faithful Pastoral Ministry”), Thabiti Anyabwile (“Bearing the Image”), John MacArthur (“The Sinner Neither Willing nor Able”), Mark Dever (“Improving the Gospel: Exercises in Unbiblical Theology”), R.C. Sproul (“The Curse Motif of the Atonement”), Albert Mohler (“Why They Hate It So: The Denial of Substitutionary Atonement”), John Piper (“How Does the Supremacy of Christ Create Radical Christian Sacrifice?”), and C.J. Mahaney (“Sustaining the Pastor’s Soul”). The only thing missing from T4G that cannot be recorded in a book is sitting among 5,500 men singing classic hymns at the top of their lungs! BOOK RATING: 8 out of 10 stars.
#5 – A Body of Divinity by Thomas Watson. This Puritan work came to my shelf courtesy of an elder at my church who went to be with the Lord in 2014. I haven’t read much of Watson in my years of study, but I will say I was pleasantly surprised on this work of theology. This book is an exposition or commentary of the Westminster Shorter Catechism. Because Watson was a pastor, he brings the audience of lay-people to this overview of the attitude of God, salvation, sin, etc. BOOK RATING: 7 out of 10 stars.
#6 – Encouragement: The Key to Caring by Larry Crabb and Dan Allender. Rarely do I read a book that I don’t finish. Rarely do I read a book I can’t get some help from. Unfortunately, neither of those things happened when I read this book. I could only stomach 54 out of 139 pages. What is supposed to be a book on how to encourage one another practically in the local church turned into a collection of psycho-babble, rambling unhelpful counsel that was poorly exegeted from Scripture. BOOK RATING: 1 out of 10 stars. (It gets 1 star because it can still be good kindling for a fire or to take up space on a book shelf.)