My Favorite Books of 2016


Two books occupy my “best book of 2016” position:

1. Brand Luther by Andrew Pettegree
This is the story of how Martin Luther transformed a small backwater town into a publishing power house. It is about Martin Luther. It is about Luther’s world and work. And, yes, like all good history books there are pictures.

2. God The Son Incarnate by Stephen Wellum
I saw yesterday that Carl Trueman proclaimed this volume as his pick for “Book of the Year.” This is theology as doxology and devotion. As I read it I couldn’t help but give thanks given the fact that the Son has been diminished within some conservative circles. I place God The Son Incarnate alongside my other favorite books of Christology: The Person of Christ by Donald MacLeod and Systematic Theology (Vol. 2) by Douglas Kelly. Like the other two volumes, Wellum’s fine book will be one I return to again and again.


Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance
It seems obligatory to place this book on the list because so many others have done so. But it belongs on such a list. It is a funny, tragic, and deeply moving memoir.


Destroyer of the Gods by Larry Hurtado
Excellent and readable study of what made Christianity so distinctive in the first three centuries by one of the great experts in the field.

Two companion volumes from the faculty of Reformed Theological Seminary deserve special attention. If you are a preacher or teacher of the Bible these books ought to be in your library. If you are a Christian who desires to understand the history, content and main themes of each book of the Bible and how they all fit together then you ought to consider trekking through these excellent volumes.
A Biblical-Theological Introduction to the Old Testament, Miles Van Pelt (editor)

A Biblical-Theological Introduction to the New Testament, Michael Kruger (editor)

Two books addressing our current cultural crisis made my list this year:
Resurrecting the Idea of a Christian Society by Rusty Reno
Reading Rusty Reno is always a treat. The man has a way with words. But he never stoops to sophistry. Reno is, in my mind, one of the most cogent thinkers on the scene. Reno offers a truly humane vision for our nation that only a Christian moral framework can sustain.

The Fractured Republic by Yuval Levin
Levin is unflinchingly realistic about what ails us as a nation. But he is not unhopeful. Levin, a conservative, challenges the simplistic partisan solutions offered by so many within the pundit class.

Two books for younger readers make the list this year. They are both outstanding.
TheOlogy by Marty Machowski

The Radical Book for Kids by Champ Thornton

* There is a book that did not make my list but probably would have had I received it earlier. I’m going to add it to the list because of what men I respect have been saying about it. I'm really looking forward to reading The Triune God by Fred Sanders.