Top Books Read in 2013

I’m attempting a second blog post from the iPad. I’m not quite a fan of the free Blogger app (it doesn’t seem to let me actually embed links or videos), but haven’t yet found anything better that is free. 2013 was a heavy reading year for me, and for the first time I actually averaged about a book a week.  Here are a few highlights from my reading. Unfortunately I didn’t quite finish NT Wrights majestic Paul and the Faithfulness of God, so it didn’t make the list only for that reason. Maybe I’ll devote a post or two to that book when I finish it (not that the internet really needs another post on it!).

God of the Oppressed by James Cone (http://amzn.com/1570751587)
My first exposure to black liberation theology. Powerful, convicting and thought provoking. An excellent experience in reading theology located outside my tradition and culture.

Torn: Rescusing the Gospel from the Gays vs Christians Debate by Justin Lee (http://amzn.com/1455514306)

Justin’s story as a gay Christian is very relatable and his approach to the Bible was disarmingly humble. 

The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate by John Walton (http://amzn.com/0830837043)
A popular level treatment of Walton’s cosmic temple inauguration thesis regarding Genesis 1. Very helpful treatment of the text based on ancient near east thought.
Institutes of the Christian Religion Books 1-3 by John Calvin (http://amzn.com/0664239110)
Not just for Calvinists! I particularly appreciated his treatment of the Ten Commandments using the filter of the two great commandments (love of God and neighbor). 
Church Dogmatics Vol IV.1: The Doctrine of Reconciliation by Karl Barth (http://amzn.com/B0078OSAUI)
The best volume of CD that I have read to date! Barth’s insights into “God with us” in the incarnation are invaluable!
Karl Barth: Letters 1961-1968 (http://amzn.com/0567093212)
An intimate picture of the later Barth. His Church Dogmatics remain unfinished but he continues to answer questions that come his way. (I shared a few excerpts from this book here earlier this year)

The Coming of God: Christian Eschatology by Jurgen Moltmann (http://amzn.com/080063666X) 
A complete eschatology by the famous “theologian of hope”. The climax of this book for me was his treatment of the restoration of all things, which is much bigger than the personal salvation of human beings. Moltmann says some things that will make American evangelicals uncomfortable, but this is much better than the pop-eschatology that is out there. 
I close with a quote from this book (from an earlier section of the book… About death)

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