Although there were no books reviewed on Covenant of Love in 2012, there are some books that I read this past year which I’d like to recommend.
BEAUTY WILL SAVE THE WORLD BY BRIAN ZAHND
Question: how will beauty save the world? Answer: the cruciform. The paradox of the cross is that in all it’s grotesqueness, it is simultaneously attractive and alluring. In this remarkable book Brian challenges the church to become beautiful, to use art and creativity and to rise above war, fighting, old apologetics. I loved this book. For any person who would self-subscribe to what Roger Olson calls “postconservative,” this book belongs as a part of their essential collection. (paperback . kindle)
PLATFORM BY MICHAEL HYATT
Michael Hyatt has been a big inspiration for me this year. Former CEO of Thomas Nelson publishing, he blogs and podcasts about practical issues in life with particular emphasis on leadership. This book, Platform, covers almost everything you could imagine about building a solid platform to get your message out. For people who struggle with social media, Platform is an absolute must read! (hardcover . kindle)
BIBLICAL HERMENEUTICS: FIVE VIEWS
What are five different approaches to biblical hermeneutics (how to study the Bible)? The views in this book are The Historical-Critical/Grammatical View (Craig Blomberg); The Literary/Postmodern View (Scott Spencer); The Philosophical/Theological View (Merold Westpbal); The Redemptive-Historical View (Richard Gaffin Jr.); The Canonical View (Robert W. Wall). Personally, my approach is the same as Craig’s because, as he says, his approach is “both, and, and, and, and” in that it is the foundation upon which the other views ought to be laid. I have some concerns with the Postmodern view and the Canonical view; the philosophical view is not a view at all. It’s main concern is not how should we approach the scriptures, but why do we approach the Bible the way we do. Anyways, good book. (paperback . kindle)
STEVE JOBS BY WALTER ISAACSON
I really enjoyed this biography for several reasons: 1. I love technology. 2. when I read it Steve had only recently passed away and I just purchased my first Apple product. 3. personal computers are pretty much as old as I am, I grew up with them, making this book sort of like a biography of a long time friend (computers, not Jobs). 4. Steve Jobs life is all around fascinating and there are lessons to be learned at every turn. (hardcover . kindle)
AN INTRODUCTION TO ANCIENT MESOPOTAMIAN RELIGION
I hesitate talking about this book because, although it’s right up my alley, most people won’t be interested. There is no secret to what it’s about, it’s an introduction to ancient Mesopotamian religions. This is definitely a text book and is sometimes a dry read, but it’s only 130 pages and covers a lot of ground. Sometimes I get frustrated with overly simplified “Christian resources” on ancient cultures. While this book is written by a Christian, it is not dummied down. A great introduction to a cultural background that helps shine light on things relevant to the Christian faith. (paperback . kindle)
What was the best book you read in 2012? If you reviewed it on your blog link to it in the comments so I can check it out. Thanks!