Soteria Staff Shares
The best books your pastors read in 2022
- The Wingfeather Saga (Andrew Peterson) – I mentioned this in a previous post but hadn’t yet finished the series. It is comprised of four books and aimed at upper elementary or middle schoolers. However, don’t let that deceive you! The story is engaging and action-packed.
- The Winter King (Christine Cohen) – You’ll spend the first third of the book figuring out what’s going on in this strange world, but then you’ll be eager to see how the plot resolves. It’s a dystopian story but doesn’t hit too close to home in terms of current events. Great book for seventh grade on up through adult.
- The Wisdom Pyramid (Brett McCracken) – What is your source of information in this world? What do you rely on the most? Unfortunately, people today shape their worldview from sound bytes and social media. Brett McCracken pleads with us to put those things at the bottom and make sure Scripture is at its rightful place at the top of the wisdom pyramid.
- The Privileged Planet (Guillermo Gonzalez) – This book isn’t overtly Christian but argues for intelligent design based upon the evidence of creation. The author was a professor at Iowa State University and was denied tenure because of this book. There is also a documentary based on the book. Both book and documentary are thought-provoking and help to build faith in the fact that this planet was designed and not accidental.
- Animal Farm (George Orwell) – If you liked 1984, you will enjoy this book as well.
- Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God’s Spoken World (N.D. Wilson) – I have mentioned this book before, but I reread it this year and it continues to be a favorite. I especially like the way it deals with the problem of evil.
- Sacred Marriage (Gary Thomas)
My favorite book of 2022 was easily Rembrandt Is in the Wind by Russ Ramsey. Ramsey explores the importance and power of beauty within a broken world and then tells the stories of some of history’s most famous artists. I didn’t expect to binge-read stories about Michaelango’s David or famous art thefts, but that’s what I found myself doing.
I reread Lewis’s Ransom trilogy last year, and I loved it even more on this, the third time through. A friend gave me Deeper Heaven by Christiana Hale. Hale offers a reader’s guide to the Ransom trilogy. Her insights into the world and wisdom of Lewis unlocked even more wonder in Lewis’s writings and the cosmos.
I began 2022 with Dane Ortlund’s very short book, How Does God Change Us?: Real Change for Real Sinners. It was absolutely worth the 45 minutes, and I’ll read it again.
If I had to round out a top five list, I would likely add In the House of Tom Bombadil by C.R. Wiley and The Last Green Valley by Mark Sullivan.
- The Mysterious Benedict Society (Trenton Lee Stewart) – I try to read a few works of fiction each year, and I really enjoyed the first installment of this series. It follows Reynie and a few friends through adventure and problem solving.
- Disciplines of a Godly Man (R. Kent Hughes) – I read this book with a friend. We would meet every few weeks to discuss each chapter and how it applies to our lives. Pastor Hughes gives much biblical and practical wisdom on how Christian men can pursue holiness and discipline.
- Recalling the Hope of Glory (Allen Ross) – Undoubtedly, this was the best book I read this year. Although it is fairly lengthy (592 pages), you will finish the book celebrating the God of creation. In Recalling the Hope of Glory, Ross walks through the entire Bible’s teaching on one topic: worship. In 2023, this would be a great book to slowly work through. Your soul will be blessed.
- The Relentless Encourager (Mark Hallock) – For some of us, our default is to continuously critique and complain about people in our lives. For the rest of us, we simply mind our own business without acknowledging those around us. The Relentless Encourager is a biblical and practical book that would be great for small groups to read and apply together. Because there is encouragement in Christ, we can encourage one another in Christ.
- Descriptions and Prescriptions (Michael Emlet) – With the advent of psychology, psychiatry, and therapy, there is a lot of confusion among Christians regarding mental illness, psychiatric diagnoses, and psychoactive medications. Emlet helpfully walks through how a Christian is to respond to these things without sacrificing his faith and Bible on the altar of mental health. As a bonus, it’s only 100 pages!