10 Books for 2022

Each year we endeavor to produce a list of books that pastors and church leaders would benefit from reading. This year’s list features recommendations from a variety of people, with an aim to recommend books that are timely for today, not just books that are good to read. 

  1. Dave Harvey: The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self: Cultural Amnesia, Expressive Individualism, and the Road to Sexual Revolution, by Carl Trueman

This book is essential for every Christian leader because moralistic, therapeutic self-centeredness is not merely an idea fighting to gain ground in the church. The invasion is over, the conquest is complete and the flag of Modern Self is now flying unknowingly over many churches who regard themselves as evangelical, biblical, and gospel-centered. For the leader today, ministry includes using wise and winsome methods to expose its presence and unseat its power through the perfect life, atoning death, and life-giving resurrection of Jesus Christ.

  1. Daniel Yang: The Starfish and the Spirit (2020), by Ford, Wegner, and Hirsch

I think the authors do a good job putting the context of the local church and disciple-making in the context of missional movements, and a more meaningful decentralized church. They provide practical information for pastors to rethink and reimagine the church.

  1. Collin Hansen: The Mirror and the Light, by Hilary Mantel

I know a lot of church leaders would never read novels, let alone long ones that bring a trilogy to conclusion. But nonfiction just can't deliver the same kind of character study you'll get from Mantel's Thomas Cromwell. Conviction and compromise will always be necessary from church leaders. Wisdom is knowing when to deploy each. And sometimes, as Cromwell's life shows, you'll just need to trust your soul to God.

  1. Daniel Im: Welcome Holy Spirit, by Gordon T. Smith

This is one of the most theologically balanced and articulate books on the Holy Spirit that I’ve read in a long time. It’s the best treatment on the Holy Spirit that I’ve read since J.I. Packer’s book, In Step with the Spirit.

  1. Stephen Love: Christian Ministry, by Charles Bridges

When I was first called into Christian ministry, it was my father who said "every pastor" should read this book. I read it then, and it was helpful. 20 years later, it is invaluable. The sections on intercessory prayer and the pastor's interaction with members are worth the cost of the book alone. Much of pastoral ministry can get lost in the periphery. This book helps to bring our focus back to the center. In my humble opinion, this book fleshes out 1 Timothy 4:16 better than any I have read. 

  1. Francois Turcotte: Living in Union with Christ: Paul's Gospel and Christian Moral Identity, by Grant Macaskill

This book will help anyone understand the real theological basis to understand how we should face our sanctification. Very helpful.

  1. Dan Hammer: The Pastor’s Justification, by Jared Wilson 

This book is a Gospel lifeline thrown to the pastor or church leader struggling to keep their head above the choppy waters of the relentlessly stormy seas in the past two years. In 2022, like any other year, Wilson does a great job of reminding us that as pastors, we need to be reminded again and again of the reality that the first person we need to preach the Gospel to is ourselves.

  1. Marty Duren: A Gospel for the Poor, by David C. Kirkpatrick

This historical and theological overview reminds us that the global evangelical movement is broader than its North American expressions.

  1. Jared Wilson: Congregational Leadership in Anxious Times, by Peter Steinke

I really benefited from this book. The lessons in it are very relevant for today.

  1. John Crabtree: Beyond the Suffering, by Robert Kellemen and Karole A. Edwards. 

This book is about helping people find hope in the midst of suffering. This book will wreck your life!

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