My Top 5 Books of 2011
Below are my top 5 books of 2011, along with my short comments on it. I also linked it to my reviews (except for one). So in no particular order:
1. Dug Down Deep by Joshua Harris – This is my first finished reading for 2011. And it was a great read to start the year. Unlike his other books, Harris deals with basic theology in Dug Down. He discusses the basic doctrines of Christianity. But his approach in doing so isn’t too formal or academic ala Wayne Grudem. Instead, he does so by using personal stories, showing how the doctrines are weaved with real life. With this approach, readers, including myself, are inspired to live out the doctrines. Theology, then, becomes practical.
2. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis – I always wanted to read a C.S. Lewis book. Of course, this is the book to begin with. When I began reading the book, I immediately knew I was diving into the mind of a great thinker (I had to read and reread the chapters of the book to fully grasp his thoughts). What I like most about the book is the way Lewis explains his ideas. He uses analogies to drive his point home. Complex topics become simple because of the analogies. Indeed, Mere Christianity is rich in deep and provoking thoughts.
3. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell – This is my only non-Christian reading for the year. I did so as part of my “reading widely” habit. In this book, Gladwell helps readers to look at success in a very different way. He shows that success isn’t because of one’s inherent ability. Rather, he proves that it is a product of extraordinary opportunities and cultural legacies. What I like most about the book is that as every chapter goes by, his thesis become stronger and stronger, as each chapter compounds the former one. He digs from various sources to illustrate his point. Truly, Outliers is written by a brilliant journalist. (Book review coming soon).
4. The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul – A classic from the contemporary Reformed theologian, R.C. Sproul. In this book, Sproul helps readers understand the holiness and justice of God. This book is loaded with expositions (I love his exposition of Isaiah 6), illustrations, and sometimes personal stories from Sproul’s life. Reading this made me held a high view of God.
5. The Reason for God by Timothy Keller – Along with Mere Christianity, this book moved my intellect. Here, Keller writes to both believers and skeptics. He is apologetic in his tone, addressing the common objections to Christianity and explaining the doctrines of the faith. He quotes from different known personalities to prove his point. These include people like the Christian philosopher Alvin Plantinga, atheist Richard Dawkins, Anglican theologian and New Testament professor N.T. Wright, American reformed theologian Jonathan Edwards, and of course, C.S. Lewis, whom Keller quotes in every chapter.