My Top 10 Books of 2008

#1 Total Church: A Radical Reshaping around Gospel and Community

As two pastors outline the biblical calling to make both the gospel and community central in the Christian life, they apply this dual focus to evangelism, social involvement, church planting, discipleship, youth ministry, and more, urging the body of Christ to rethink its perspective and way of life.

#2 Why We’re Not Emergent (By Two Guys Who Should Be)

Kevin and Ted are two guys who, demographically, should be all over this movement. But they’re not. And Why We’re Not Emergent gives you the solid reasons why. From both a theological and an on-the-street perspective, Kevin and Ted diagnose the emerging church. They pull apart interviews, articles, books, and blogs, helping you see for yourself what it’s all about.

#3 Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World

Life in this fallen world can draw our hearts far from God and from growth in godliness. Worldlinessequips you to search your heart for the presence of worldliness and gives practical help for resisting the world’s influence in the areas of media, modesty, music, and material possessions.

#4 Death by Love: Letters from the Cross

Real people. Real sin. Transformed lives. Deep theology meets gritty pastoral experiences as Death by Love explains the practical implications of what Jesus accomplished on the cross. This compilation of heartfelt letters written from a pastor to his people is for all those who have sinned and have been sinned against.

#5 Living For God’s Glory: An Introduction to Calvinism

In this introduction to the doctrinal system known as Calvinism, Joel Beeke—with contributions from Sinclair Ferguson, Michael Haykin, Derek Thomas, Ray Pennings, and others—displays the biblical, God-centered, winsome, comprehensive, and practical nature of Calvinism. In this comprehensive survey of Reformed Christianity, Dr. Beeke and eight fellow contributors offer twenty–eight chapters that trace the history of Calvinism; explore its key doctrinal tenets, such as the so-called five points of Calvinisms and the solas of the Protestant Reformation; reveal how Calvinists have sought to live in devotion to God; and survey Calvinism’s influence in the church and in the world at large. In the end, the book asserts that the overriding goal of Calvinism is the glory of God. Saturated with Scripture citations and sprinkled with quotations from wise giants of church history, this book presents Calvinism in a winsome and wondrous fashion.

#6 John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine, and Doxology 

John Calvin is often reviled as a humorless doctrinarian who preached an austere theology that twisted Scripture. In John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine, and Doxology, Burk Parsons and a cadre of godly pastors and scholars seek to set the record straight in honor of the 500th observance of John Calvin’s birth in 1509. The book’s nineteen succinct chapters explore aspects of Calvin’s life, ministry, and teachings, and establish his importance even for the twenty-first-century church. Contributors, in addition to Parsons, include some of the most gifted and godly Reformed leaders alive today: Derek W. H. Thomas, Sinclair B. Ferguson, D. G. Hart, Harry L. Reeder, Steven J. Lawson, W. Robert Godfrey, Phillip R. Johnson, Eric J. Alexander, Thabiti Anyabwile, John MacArthur, Richard D. Phillips, Thomas K. Ascol, Keith A. Mathison, Jay E. Adams, Philip Graham Ryken, Michael Horton, Jerry Bridges, and Joel R. Beeke. The foreword is by Iain H. Murray. 

#7 Reformed Dogmatics, The completion of the 4 volume-set

The Dutch Reformed Translation Society is proud to offer in English for the very first time all four volumes of Herman Bavinck’s complete Reformed Dogmatics. This masterwork will appeal not only to scholars, students, pastors, and laity interested in Reformed theology but also to research and theological libraries.

#8 Theological Guide to Calvin’s Institutes

Capturing both the best of elite scholarship, as well as exhibiting a firm understanding of and passion for Calvin’s own work, these essays by 20 elite Calvin scholars who appreciate the abiding value of Calvin’s Institutes provide definitive and section-by-section commentary on Calvin’s magnum opus.

#9 Vintage Jesus: Timeless Answers to Timely Questions 

This popular-level theology book introduces the person and work of Christ to those who are seeking answers to some of their most basic–and pivotal–questions.

#10 Introduction to Systematic Theology, 2nd Ed.

Van Til explores the implications of Christian theology, particularly for philosophy, as he discusses epistemology, general and special revelation, and the knowledge and attributes of God. Cornelius Van Til taught apologetics for more than forty-five years at Westminster Theological Seminary. This newly edited and typeset edition features an introduction and explanatory notes by William Edgar.

Honorable Mention: The New Media Frontier: Blogging, Vlogging, and Podcasting for Christ, Spectacular Sins: And Their Global Purpose in the Glory of Christ, Reforming or Conforming?: Post-Conservative Evangelicals and the Emerging Church, Christ and Culture Revisited,  Is Rome the True Church?: A Consideration of the Roman Catholic Claim, Francis Schaeffer: An Authentic Life, A Christian Manifesto, and Truth with Love: The Apologetics of Francis Schaeffer

You can compare them with others here, here and here.

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