Hello everyone, and happy almost New Year! I promise we’ll have a proper family/ministry update soon, but each year, I typically post a list of the books I’ve read over the past 12 months. This is partially because people have asked in the past for recommendations, and partly because it helps me to look back and think about some of the written data I’ve consumed over the year. I’m only posting books I’ve read cover to cover in 2018. I’ll make some comments here and there, and as a side note, I certainly don’t endorse every book or author as holding to my own particular beliefs (especially because the vast majority of my reading is related to Christianity). I’ve separated the books loosely by category, mostly fairly specific, with an added catch-all Theology/Christianity/Other category at the end. Hope you enjoy, and feel free to ask questions, make comments, and let me know what you’ve been reading yourself 🙂
The Chronicles of Narnia: A Horse and His Boy – C.S. Lewis
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Magician’s Nephew – C.S. Lewis
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Last Battle – C.S. Lewis – It was a joy to finish up reading my favorite childhood books to Maggie, our oldest, fairly early this year. I regularly came close to tearing up. Lewis is a master.
Out of The Silent Planet – C.S. Lewis
Perelandra – C.S. Lewis – Wow! Lewis’ versatility is amazing. I look forward to finishing up the space trilogy this year, and every time I read a new book from him, he is solidified as my favorite author.
Alice in Wonderland/Through The Looking-Glass – Lewis Carroll
Spiritual Disciplines: I taught a series on spiritual disciplines, or “Rhythms” as I called the series, for our church’s young adults group this year. Most of these books were immensely helpful! I’ve organized them here by category (prayer, fasting, etc.)
A Long Obedience In The Same Direction – Eugene Peterson
The Spirit of the Disciplines – Dallas Willard
Renovations of the Heart in Daily Practice – Dallas Willard & Jan Johnson
Celebration of Discipline – Richard Foster
Habits of Grace – David Mathis
Power Through Prayer – E.M. Bounds
Praying – J.I. Packer & Carolyn Nystrom
Letters to Malcolm (Chiefly on Prayer) – C.S. Lewis
Prayer: Conversing with God – Rosalind Rinker
A Hunger For God – John Piper – This is the book I would recommend to anybody for fasting!
God’s Chosen Fast – Arthur Wallis
The Lord’s Supper as a Means of Grace – Richard Barcellos
The Sabbath – Abraham Joshua Heschel
The Practice of the Presence of God (and Spiritual Maxims) – Brother Lawrence
Lent for Everyone: Matthew, Year A – N.T. Wright
Family Worship – Don Whitney
Daniel (NIVAC) – Tremper Longman III
Daniel (Reformed Expository Commentary) – Iain Duguid
A Theology of James: Wisdom for God’s People – Christopher Morgan
The Letter of James (PNTC) – Douglas Moo
The Spirit, The Church, & The World – John Stott – An excellent commentary on the book of Acts that I read for fun and as a supplement as I study through Acts in a School of Ministry class I’m taking.
God’s Wisdom For Navigating Life – Tim Keller – Not a strict commentary per se, but this was my choice of devotional this year, and Keller gave great insights on through the book of Proverbs
How To Read The Bible Book By Book – Gordon Fee & Douglass Stuart
Living By the Book – Howard & William Hendricks
The Bible from 30,000 Feet – Skip Heitzig
Homosexuality: A specific category to be sure, but I taught on the subject for our church’s high school group earlier in the year, and figured three books was enough to warrant its own category
What Does the Bible Really Teach About Homosexuality? – Kevin DeYoung
God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships – Matthew Vines – I wanted to read one book from an opposing view that allows for Christians to be practicing homosexuals. As expected, the logic was full of unwarranted presuppositions and based on flawed and lazy biblical interpretation.
Is God Anti-Gay? – Sam Allberry
Becoming A Welcoming Church – Thom Rainer
Calvary Chapel Distinctives – Chuck Smith
Gather God’s People: Understand, Plan, and Lead Worship in Your Local Church – Brian Croft & Jason Adkins
Four Views on the Book of Revelation – Kenneth Gentry, Sam Hamstra, Marvin Pate, & Robert Thomas
The Last Days According to Jesus – R.C. Sproul – I have the utmost respect for the brilliant, late R.C. Sproul, and agree with him on many things. His preterist position is not one of them.
Cross-Cultural Connections – Duane Elmer
Serving As Senders Today – Neal Pirolo
Sundar Singh: Footprints Over the Mountains – Janet & Geoff Benge – I was surprised and a bit shamed to realize I only read one biography this year! Considering, I just put this one under missions. But this one was amazing and challenging to my Christianity.
The Explicit Gospel – Matt Chandler – I loved Chandler’s overview of the Gospel in the air and on the ground, an extremely helpful way of explaining Christianity, especially to young adults
Simply Christian – N.T. Wright
The Whole Christ – Sinclair Ferguson
Knowing God – J.I. Packer
In His Image – Jen Wilkin
Garden City – John Mark Comer
Every Good Endeavor – Tim Keller
Just Do Something – Kevin DeYoung
Don’t Waste Your Life – John Piper
Desiring God – John Piper – Both of these books by Piper are amazing. I’ve had a good grasp of his Christian Hedonism concept through listening to his sermons, but specifically the last two chapters of Desiring God ignited a renewed passion in me for dying to self for the sake of God’s glory.
Andrew Murray on the Holy Spirit – Andrew Murray
Absolute Surrender – Andrew Murray
Humility – Andrew Murray
That Incredible Christian – A.W. Tozer
The Pursuit of God – A.W. Tozer
Words to Winners of Souls – Horatius Bonar
The Skeletons in God’s Closet – Joshua Ryan Butler
Shepherding A Child’s Heart – Tedd Tripp
Come Let Us Adore Him – Paul Tripp
Man’s Search For Meaning – Viktor Frankl – One of only a couple of non-Christianianity-based books on my list, but very informative and helpful. There was a lot of truth here that had me thinking deeply.
If you would like to support us financially either on an ongoing basis or through a one-time donation, you can do so by clicking the “Become A Financial Partner” button below, OR you can mail a check written out to Saving Grace World Missions with “Joel Garcia support” in the memo section to Saving Grace World Missions, 17451 Bastanchury Rd., Suite 203, Yorba Linda, CA 92886-1873.
We also would love to keep you updated on our ministry via our newsletter email updates if you are interested. You can sign up for those by clicking the button below: