Top 10 Books I read in 2014

17:22

It's that time of year again when people give their top 10 book lists. I, however, have just stumbled upon the list I meant to post this time last year, but forgot. But these books are all still good, so I thought I'd share my year-old list anyway.

Favourite Book of the Year:

· Donald Fairbairn, Grace and Christology in the Early Church

For the second year in a row, Donald Fairbairn is at the top of my list of favourite books. Grace and Christology in the Early Church is somewhat more technical and narrowly focused than last year’s favourite (Life in the Trinity) – it is, after all, an academic work on Patristics/historical theology published by Oxford University Press, and is the published form of Fairbairn’s PhD thesis – yet the two works have rather a lot in common. If you’re not used to reading academic theology, then go for Life in the Trinity, but for those who do have a theology/church history background, don’t miss out on this one.

Top 2 Books for a Wider Readership:

· Glen Scrivener, 321: The Story of God, the World, and You
· Michael Reeves, Christ Our Life

I didn’t read all that many books that were actually published in 2014 during 2014, but I made room for these two as I rather imagined they’d be among the books of the year, and I wasn’t disappointed. Both are great. Get them and read them. Both are about Jesus, and you'll benefit from them both. 321 is really an evangelistic book (although I think Christians will benefit from it as well) so get a few copies and give them to friends who want to know why you believe in Jesus or have questions about the Christian faith.

Favourite Patristic/Classical Theology Works of the Year:


· Cyril of Alexandria, On the Unity of Christ
· Athanasius, Letters to Serapion on the Holy Spirit
· Fulgentius of Ruspe & the Scythian Monks, Correspondence on Christology and Grace
· McGuckin, Saint Cyril of Alexandria and the Christological Controversy

The reason I didn’t read a lot of up-to-date books in 2014 was that I spent most of the year reading the Church Fathers. Cyril of Alexandria’s On the Unity of Christ was the first book I read in the year, and after that Cyril had me hooked. I could have made up my top ten books of the year list almost entirely of Cyril, but in the interests of not boring you too much I’ve limited him to the one entry, plus the cheat of McGuckin’s book, which not only includes the history of the Christological controversy, but a good number of translations of texts by Cyril. (Oh, and of course, I have Donald Fairbairn’s books to thank for introducing me to Cyril in the first place.)

A Modern Work of Academic Theology:

· Thomas Torrance, The Christian Doctrine of God

After loving Torrance’s Incarnation last year, I wanted to read a lot more Torrance. The Christian Doctrine of God might look like a small book, but it’s definitely not a quick (or easy – I did say it was a work of academic theology, and not the simplest of those either) read. It is, however, well worth the time and effort.

Two Books on Christian Living:

· Tim Chester, You Can Pray
· Michael Reeves, Enjoy Your Prayer Life

Two more books actually published in 2014 and both about prayer. But not only are they two new books about prayer that I rather like, they’re probably the two most helpful books about prayer that I’ve ever read. I’ve been recommending them lots.

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The Tenets of the Apostolic Church


The Unity of the Godhead, and Trinity of the Persons therein.

The utter depravity of human nature, the necessity for repentance and regeneration and the eternal doom of the finally impenitent.

The virgin birth, sinless life, atoning death, triumphant resurrection, ascension, and abiding intercession of our Lord Jesus Christ; His second coming, and millennial reign upon earth.

Justification and Sanctification of the believer through the finished work of Christ.

The Baptism of the Holy Ghost for believers, with signs following.

The nine gifts of the Holy Ghost for the edification, exhortation and comfort of the Church, which is the body of Christ.

The Sacraments of Baptism by immersion and of the Lord's Supper.

The Divine inspiration and authority of the Holy Scriptures.

Church government by apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, elders and deacons.

The possibility of falling from grace.

The obligatory nature of tithes and offerings.