My top Christian books of 2013. Related: Top secular books of 2013.
- Confessions, by Augustine. Emotionally raw and incredibly honest, this book is Augustine’s reflections on his slavery to sin and his eventual conversion, all in the context of a prayer to God. I accidentally picked up an abridged version, but it was nonetheless astonishing.
- Serving without sinking, by John Hindley. The church’s book of the summer, and with good reason. Hindley starts by diagnosing many bad reasons for service, spends the majority of the book discussing how Jesus serves us, and only then moves to our service of him. It left me delighting in Jesus more and with a fresh joy in his service, and for that it comes warmly commended.
- J. Hudson Taylor: A Man in Christ, by Roger Steer. I can’t believe it took me so long to get into reading Christian biographies. This one was a real encouragement. Seeing God using an ordinary, sinful man to bring thousands of Chinese people to Christ and to raise up multiple generations of Jesus-loving missionaries, all off the back of simple, faithful prayers, gave me a renewed heart for God’s mission to the world and a renewed confidence that he is powerfully at work to this day.
- Integrity, by Jonathan Lamb. I’d been meaning to read this for a while, and it didn’t disappoint – in fact I read it twice! Jonathan Lamb shows how Christians need to be those with integrity – to have lives that reflect the God we love to the church and to the world. It’s a thematic walk through 2 Corinthians and deserves thoughtful reflection. I need the message of this book daily.
- Emotions, by Graham Beynon. I had great expectations of this book, and it came very close to fulfilling all of them. I found it pastorally helpful, realistic, biblical and encouraging. My one concern is that I already agreed with its thesis, and I’m not sure what those of a more stoical mindset will make of it. Still, a much needed message in the Christian sub-culture I’m in (precisely because we tend to be more stoical than biblical when it comes to emotions!).
Honourable mentions go to Tim Chester’s Unreached, Richard Sibbes’ The Bruised Reed, Phil Ryken’s Loving the way Jesus loves, and Christopher Ash’s Bible Delight. The latter two are brilliant books for daily devotions.