We asked our partners what their favorite book of 2020 was and here’s what they said:
“This biography is deeply impactful as it chronicles the power of the gospel in a person’s life resulting in the gospel being taken to one of the darkest corners of the globe birthing the church in Burma (Myanmar), and how Judson followed Scripture and became a Baptist! He serves on missionary teams and works through many trials through leaning on His great God. Reading biographies like this helps ground our perspective on what being a follower and leader in Christ’s church is like.”
Andy M, Immanuel Network Director
“Ortlund does a great job showing the reader Christ’s heart for sinners. While uplifting holiness and not minimizing sin, he shows the beauty of being a child of God in the family of God. There is balm for the soul on every page of this book as it invites us and challenges us to believe that the gospel is actually good news for sinners. So often we forget that Jesus came to seek and to save the lost. He is for us! To anyone who wants to know Christ more, this is a book that uses Scripture to show Christ’s heart is for His broken people.”
Steve Keating, International Church Planter
“Why do we need statements of faith when they are not inerrant and written by fallen people? Trueman seeks to answer these questions and explain why creeds are vital to the well being of the church. Trueman argues there are public and private confessions and every church has one of them, and he presents the pros and cons of both. Public confessions allow for public accountability and demonstrate which doctrines are important to a particular church. Private confessions are those which are not written down, not open to public examination, and largely assumed within a congregation. This book would be exceptionally helpful for current or aspiring church leaders.”
Wayne Luna, North America Partner
“For the nerds, Ancient Greek Grammar for the Study of the New Testament by von Seibenthal is clearly written, wonderfully structured, and deeply exegetically helpful.”
Nate, International Missionary
“When our son turned six, we realized our parenting needed to change. We knew our parenting would be modified as our children grew, especially in the teen years, but were largely unprepared for parenting a boy in the quite distinct age range of 6–12. Wilson’s book upholds the biblical role for men and gives a storehouse of wisdom and practical advice on how to prepare your boys—who will be the future men—to actually be men. My go-to book for parenting boys.”
Jonny Atkinson, Communications Director for the Immanuel Network
“Delighting in the Trinity was a helpful and worship-inspiring treatment of the Trinity.”
Abigail, International Missionary
“Smith represents a lot of classical Christian educational philosophy, without calling it such. He rightly challenges broad evangelical thinking that tends to over-emphasize conscious reception of information as the foundation to true knowledge. His main thrust is that human beings are worshipers and lovers by design, shaped more by liturgy than information. We all learn a TON before we even realize it, through the different liturgies in our lives. He then gives us good alternatives to the world’s liturgies, to help Christians in the formation of hearts for the Kingdom of Heaven.”
Todd Morikawa, Pastor
“I know this book is pretty standard but until you’re in a church revitalization context you don’t realize how accessible, simple, and helpful this book is to your congregation. I have taken my entire leadership team through this book and it is the book we read for our new members class. It has sparked wonderful discussion and is hard to argue with as Dever roots everything in Scripture. This book has helped my leadership team see why membership interviews matter, why we shouldn’t be so quick to baptize, and why a biblical understanding of conversion is so necessary. It even has sparked conversation about church discipline which likely would not have been brought up otherwise this early in my time at this church.”
Jordan Friessen, Pastor
As I read Live Not By Lies, Proverbs 22:3 kept returning to my mind – “The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it.” Highlighting the various testimonies of those who lived in dissent of the tyranny and lies of Soviet Communism, Dreher helpfully and persuasively makes the case that we need to wake up to trajectory towards soft totalitarianism and do something in response. He connects the dots between Soviet Russia and the present “Social Justice” culture and its demands for ultimate allegiance to the doctrines and sacraments of progressivism. Dreher offers some helpful suggestions for how we can live strategically in the truth in this “Brave New World” that demands that we live by lies.
Josh Kary, Pastor
I recommend The Lost Letters of Pergamum because it illustrates NT background through a unique narrative/correspondence format, making it very accessible. This is helpful for anyone wanting to better understand the first century church and its Greco-Roman and Jewish cultural setting, which is key for proper interpretation. For those working among honor-shame and patron-client cultures, the book also provides a surprisingly helpful window into a similar ancient worldview, as well some examples of how those concepts were redefined among the first century Christians. Contemporary Westerners do not naturally think in these categories, thus we need much help in learning to understand and then to faithfully contextualize in cultures that do think in these ways. This book proved to be surprisingly helpful for me in this regard.
Drew, International Church Planter
I would consider The Cross of Christ one of the, “must read” books out there. It is extremely well written, wonderfully expositional, refreshing in its focus, and rich in its application. I plan to read it a third time this year.
Luke Williams, Pastor
The doctrine of the Trinity is the heart of everything we say about who God is—it is what sets Christianity apart from every other worldview, and it is a fountain of worship, joy, and comfort for believers. Sadly, this crucial doctrine has been neglected in evangelicalism and many have also gone down unhelpful paths with wrong understandings. Praise God that Scott Swain has given a beautiful, clear, and succinct presentation of the doctrine of the Trinity, showing us the ancient paths of biblical and confessional truth and steering us away from error. As I neared the end of the book, I was so overwhelmed by the grandeur and glory of our Triune God that I had to pause after every sentence to worship. A must-read for all pastors!
Aubrey Sequiera, Pastor