Top Ten Reads of 2012

Continuing the tradition, here are my favorite reads from the year:

  • Him We Proclaim: Preaching Christ in All the Scriptures by Dennis Johnson - Substantial book on Christ-Centered preaching. More hermeneutics than preaching principles.
  • A Theology for the Church edited by Danny Akin - This is a contemporary systematic theology by Southern Baptist theologians. As with any edited work, some chapters are better than others. Mark Dever has a great chapter on the church and Russell Moore's chapter is worth the price of the book.
    Here is a review essay and here is Craig Blaising's review of Moore's chapter.
  • The Israel of God in Prophecy by Hans LaRondelle - More hermeneutics, specifically with how Christians should approach Israel and the land. Lots of insight here. This won't make the top ten lists of any dispensationalists.
  • Young, Restless, and Reformed by Collin Hansen - I think this little book should be read by all evangelicals who have the slightest bit of interest and what all this Calvinism is about. Really well written.
  • Introducing Paul by Michael Bird - It is hard to find good introductions to Paul that aren't overly technical or massive. At less than 200 pages, this is now the book I recommend first to people trying to get a hold of Paul's thought. Really enjoyed this one.
  • Apostle of the Crucified Lord by Michael Gorman - At 600 plus pages, this is one of those massive introductions to Paul, but can be used as a great reference for each letter if one didn't want to read it straight through. Gorman is one of my favorite interpreters of Paul. He also has a good, short introduction called Reading Paul.
  • A Place at the Table: George Eldon Ladd and the Rehabilitation of Evangelical Scholarship in America by John D'Elia - This was probably my most enjoyable read of the year. It is sort of a theological biography. Ladd has been hugely influential in evangelical theology and knowing his place in our history is important. Ladd was a gifted scholar, but led a strange and dark life. As one of the blurbs says, "although he wrote extensively of the presence of the kingdom, he struggled to taste its fruits in his own life."
  • Transformed by God: New Covenant Life and Ministry by David Peterson - Peterson is always a steady exegetical guide and here he works through Jeremiah 31 and the major NT texts dealing with the new covenant. Here is a review by Stephen Wellum.
  • Kingdom Through Covenant by Peter Gentry and Stephen Wellum - This is the book I was most excited about reading this year. It is a feast of biblical and systematic theology. They argue for a via media between Dispensationalism and Covenant Theology: Progressive Covenantalism, a species of New Covenant Theology. The is the major academic work that New Covenant folks have been waiting on. Here are all sorts of links. They did not have room to deal with many NT passages, so grabbing Peterson's work would be a great supplement (as if 900 pages needs supplement??). If you don't want to wade through it all, read ch. 16 which is a 61 page summary of the book. If you can't afford the book, here is a chapter by Dr. Wellum that is also a good summary of the argument of the book.
  • Abraham's Four Seeds by John Reisinger - This was the first New Covenant literature I read back in 2004. I have referenced it on occasion, but re-read it a couple of weeks ago because I had the students of a class I taught on New Covenant Theology read it and wanted to be refreshed. Refreshed I was. This is such an important book. I was also struck by how much Kingdom Through Covenant builds on this work (e.g. the fact that CT and DT are ironically hermeneutical bedfellows re: the Abrahamic Covenant, the church is Israel via union with Christ, etc). Praise God for John Reisinger.

Top 10 in 2006
Top 10 in 2007
Top 10 in 2008
Top 10 in 2009
Top 10 in 2010
Top 10 in 2011