It's a nice 53 degrees in Houston—which is a chilly Christmas for Houston standards. Now that Christmas shopping is full-speed ahead, I want to share some recommendations, my favorite book of the year, and great books for Christian spirituality.
Book of the Year
While this was released in 2019, this volume from Bavinck is the best book I've read in 2022. My doctoral studies have me steeped in all kinds of writers on the spiritual life, and for my money, Bavinck is one of the best. Don't let the title fool you. He defines ethics in a way that is about living the regenerated life before God and neighbor. And the second part of this volume (Book II) is all about the spiritual life, the converted humanity. He addresses various ways the spiritual life is pursued, how we get imbalanced, the role of the word, prayer, and other spiritual disciplines. Here's the table of contents for the second half of this book.
While talking about the Trinity and Christian spirituality, Bavinck makes a profound point on how the spiritual life of Christians avoids yawns and boredom because we commune with the Trinity. "The spiritual life always moves among these three persons and is therefore a genuinely rich life, rich in diversity, without monotony" (250). Get this book!
Here are some of my favorite books that I've read recently in the area of spirituality:
Books for Christian Spirituality
- Spiritual Disciplines of the Christian Life by Donald S. Whitney. The best out there on forming and pursuing a spirituality that is informed by the Scriptures.
- Dynamics of Spiritual Life: An Evangelical Theology of Renewal by Richard Lovelace. Essential reading in understanding the theology and fruit of the spiritual life.
- Praying the Bible by Donald S. Whitney. No other book outside of the Bible has shaped my spiritual life as much as this one.
- Hearing God's Words: Exploring Biblical Spirituality by Peter Adam. Many studies and books on spirituality emphasize and explore (rightly!) various traditions, but sometimes they forget that the Bible is the source of information for our transformation. Peter Adam helps keep us grounded in the role of the Bible in our spirituality.
- Biblical Spirituality: A collection of essays on a variety of topics. Solid!
- Psalms in 30 Days by Trevin Wax
- Be Thou My Vision: A Liturgy for Daily Worship by Jonathan Gibson
- Morning & Evening by Charles Spurgeon
Books for Young Kids
- The Biggest Storybook Bible. Age: 10 and under. Great for family reading too.
- The Friend Who Forgives Storybook: A True Story about how Peter Failed and Jesus Forgave by Dan Dewitt. Age: 3–6.
- Wherever Ever You Go, I Want You to Know... by Melissa Kruger. Think of a great Christian version of Dr. Seuss's Oh, The Places You'll Go! Great gift for all ages.
- Praise Him! by Lauren Chandler. Age: 2–6