2016 Books Worth Reading

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Well, I confess I’m a bit late on the “here is my list of books from 2016” blog post that so many people do. Maybe part of that is I don’t like to be too mainstream, or maybe it is just because I haven’t had time. Either way, here is a list of some of the books I read or re-read in 2016 that I think might be worth your time. Let’s share together too. What did you read in 2016 that you think is worth my time? Hope this blesses some of you.

1.) You Are What You Love by James K.A. Smith

This was one of my favorites. Smith is making the claim that we are not first “thinking” beings, but “desiring” beings. We are shaped and formed (for better or worse) by participation in daily and weekly rituals, or what he calls “liturgies”. The world is calling for our desires, and Christian worship is then the place that recalibrate our desires toward God and his vision of the world. Pretty fascinating little book.

2.) Surprise the World: Five Habits of Highly Missional People by Michael Frost

This is a great and simple book on rethinking evangelism. Rather than evangelism simply being about sharing information, Frost is reminding us that the goal is to see the reign of God become a reality in the world. So, he’s proposing five simple missional habits or rhythms that the people of God can live into to proclaim the good news to the world. There is also a free PDF version here.

3.) The Day the Revolution Began by N.T. Wright

You had to know he’d make my list, right? This book was one of my top two, and I’ve probably said enough on this book already. It’s big, and not for the faint of heart, but I think it is a must read. Wright gives us a more Christian view of the cross of Christ than the dumbed down version many of us have inherited.

4.) After You Believe by N.T. Wright

Okay, so he made the list twice. Big deal 🙂 This is a great book on spiritual formation and how we grow into the image of Christ. And being formed into the image of Christ, learning to live his way in the world, this is what being truly human is all about. This book is in line with books like The Spirit of the Disciplines by Dallas Willard (another worthwhile read).

5.) Eat this Book by Eugene Peterson

Peterson does a marvelous job here in getting us to think more deeply about Scripture. Rather than it being simply a fount of information, a list of commands, a book of little promises, he is giving us a fuller vision of Scripture as something that gets into our bones, our DNA and reforms us for a gospel shaped life. And it’s Eugene Peterson, who is such a poetic and unique writer.

6.) Saban: The Making of a Head Coach by Monte Burke

Okay, so I know this is not at all fitting with the above, but it was quite fascinating. This somewhat controversial book (Saban hated it I understand) is very interesting in giving you a background and a little history on Coach and what has made him the way that he is. Whether you are an Alabama fan or not, if you like college football you will probably enjoy this little book. And if you hate Alabama (as some astonishingly do), this may help you hate them more 🙂 This also proves I’m capable of reading something besides a theology book!

So that’s my list. What did you read last year?

2 thoughts on “2016 Books Worth Reading

    Chris Simmons said:
    January 13, 2017 at 9:44 am

    The Way by Carlton – A look at Eastern Orthodox.
    Abba’s Child by Manning – Great book!
    Listening For The Heartbeat of God by Newell – A somewhat history book. I loved it.
    Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality by Rohr – Trying to help understand scripture.
    The Didache by the Twelve Apostles Early Christians – An OLD book
    Atonement for a Sinless Society by Mann – A potentially helpful book to consider for a post-Christian society and how Christ helped to deal with shame.
    Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening by Bourgeault – Trying to help teach Centering Prayer
    Dancing Standing Still: Healing the World from a Place of Prayer by Rohr – Another book that was dealing with prayer.
    The Sin of Certainty: Why God Desires Our Trust More Than Our “Correct” Beliefs by Enns – A great book about letting go of certainty.

      ryanlassiter responded:
      January 13, 2017 at 5:13 pm

      Ah, yes! I forgot “The Sin of Certainty” but had full intentions of adding it to this list. One of my favorites of 2016 for sure!

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