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The Books I Read in 2017

Last year at this time, I read a blog post from my friend Joel Garcia about his goal to read 50 books in one year. I am an avid reader, and naturally, this post caught my eye. Joel and I then set out to read one book a week in 2017. Throughout the year we kept each other accountable, and both of us made it. You can visit Joel’s blog to check out his 2017 list.

To be honest, this was a challenge. As a High School Pastor, I study and have read bits-and-pieces of dozens upon dozens of commentaries (which are not included in the list below) as I put together at least two sermons per-week. Also, as you might know, I am taking anywhere from twelve to eighteen credits per-semester, with three semesters in a year, through Liberty University. Most of my course textbooks are listed below (LU) and most of these I read two to three times each as I needed to know the content to pass the class. Lastly, I did not include my Bible readings from this year in the list below.

I thoroughly enjoyed this challenge and will be continuing it into 2018 with a slightly different goal. My son Malachi and I have challenged each other to read the Bible as many times as we can in one-year. The winner gets a $50 Amazon gift card (of course, he is going to get a gift card no matter what). He just finished listening to the whole Bible (minus the Song of Solomon) last week. I’ve also given him a headstart for 2018, and he has already made it halfway through Exodus. Along with this, my focus in 2018 will be towards Biblical and Systematic Theology books. There is a series of 39 books I would like to purchase called New Studies in Biblical Theology which Logos Bible Software lists at $370. Also, MacArthur recently released a Systematic Theology book called Biblical Doctrine that I would like to go through along with Grudem and Geisler’s Systematic Theology books. So 2018 might look a little different than this year as my goal of reading one book a week might not be practical as most of these books (not including the NSBT books) are five to eight hundred pages each.

Lastly, before I list the books that I read this year, please note that just because I read these book does not mean I agree with them or would recommend them. As a pastor and a full-time Bible student, I read books from many points of view and I never shy from reading books from a point of view that I disagree with or would consider heretical. If would like to know my thoughts on any of the books listed, please contact me, and I’ll be happy to give you my opinion.

2017 Books

  • A Theology for the Church – Daniel Akin (LU)
  • According to Plan – Graeme Goldsworthy (LU)
  • Biblical Theology in the Life of the Church – Michael Lawrence, Thomas R. Schreiner (LU)
  • Biblical Preaching – Haddon Robinson
  • Can I Be Sure I’m Saved? – R. C. Sproul
  • Can I Trust the Bible – R. C. Sproul
  • Convert: From Adam to Christ – Emilio Ramos
  • Daniel and Esther: Israel in Exile – John MacArthur
  • Developing the leader within you – John Maxwell
  • Everyday Evangelism – Ben Gutierrez (LU)
  • Everyday Theology – Etzel and Small (LU)
  • Every Young Man’s Battle – Arterburn and Stoeker
  • Every Young Woman’s Battle – Ethridge and Arterburn
  • Faith Alone – Schreiner
  • Faith Alone – Sproul
  • Finding Ourselves in World Literature – Mark Schmidt
  • Follow Me – David Platt
  • Freedom of the Will – Jonathan Edwards
  • Friend Raising – Barnett
  • From Topic to Thesis – Michael Kibbe (LU)
  • God is the Gospel – John Piper
  • God’s Word Alone- Matthew Barrett
  • Gospel Centered Youth Ministry – TGC
  • How to study the Bible – D. L. Moody
  • Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret – Taylor
  • Introducing Christian Doctrine – Millard J. Erickson (LU)
  • Institutes of the Christian Religion (mostly read) – Calvin
  • Leading with Cultural Intelligence – David Livermore (LU)
  • Let the Nations be Glad – Piper
  • Life By Design – Detwiler, Mitchell & Reichenbach (LU)
  • Men of the Bible – D. L. Moody
  • Ministering Cross-Culturally – Lingenfelter and Mayers (LU)
  • New Covenant Theology – Wells and Zaspel
  • None Other – John MacArthur
  • On Being a Missionary – Hale and Daniels
  • Perspectives on the World Christian Movement (LU)
  • Reading the Bible supernaturally – John Piper
  • Spiritual Leadership – J. Oswald Sanders
  • Student Ministry Essentials – Vandegriff and Brown
  • Taking God at His Word – Keven DeYoung (LU)
  • The Attributes of God – Pink
  • The Christ of the Covenants – Robertson
  • The Gospel According to Jesus – MacArthur
  • The Gospel According to Paul – John MacArthur
  • The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
  • The King Jesus Gospel – Scot McKnight (LU)
  • The Last Christian Generation – McDowell
  • The Mingling of Souls – Matt Chandler
  • The Pursuit of God – A. W. Tozer
  • The Seven Signs: Seeing the Glory of Christ in the Gospel of John – Anthony T. Selvaggio (LU)
  • The Truth About Forgiveness – John MacArthur
  • The Total Money Makeover – Ramsey
  • The 40 Most Influential Christians – Darryl Aaron
  • Unlocking the Scriptures – Hanz Finzel (LU)
  • Unraveling the Origins Controversy – David DeWitt (LU)
  • What is Biblical Theology – James Hamilton (LU)
  • What is the Gospel? Bryan Chapell
  • What is the Gospel? – Greg Gilbert
  • Who is the Holy Spirit? – R. C. Sproul
  • You Can Understand the Book of Revelation – Skip Heitzig
  • Your Guide to Writing Quality Research Papers (mostly read) – Vyhmeister (LU)
  • 20 Basics Every Christian Should Know – Wayne Grudem
  • 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership – John Maxwell

The discipline of reading has vastly disappeared from our culture. We do, however, waste our nights numbing our minds in front of a TV. I know the excuses people have for why they can not read – “I’m to busy.” I’ll go you schedule to schedule and prove to you that you are not to busy to invest in furthering your knowledge and deepening your character by picking up and reading a book. You do not need to read as much as I did, but I would encourage you to start developing a habit of reading in your day-to-day life, especially a habit of reading the Bible. Make a goal for 2018 to read through the Bible from cover to cover at least once and pick one book per-month to tackle. That is a very obtainable goal. You might need to wake up a half an hour earlier, but you can do it.

May God rightly bless you this year as you seek to know and understand Him more.

God Bless,
Pastor Mike


Pastor Mike and his wife Erin serve state-side as full-time missionaries through Saving Grace World Missions and raise their own missionary support. If you would like to partner with Pastor Mike and Erin to help them further the ministry of Missions Training, please click the “ways to give” image¬†below.