What I read in 2022 – the Long List*

posted in: Reading | 2

After a pretty interesting 2021, 2022 was a year in which I decided I wanted to aim for 200 books. I also intended to write 50 reviews (Having failed miserably at hitting 100 in 2021!). I also wanted to diversify my reading, which I shared about here, and reflect on here. But you aren’t hear for that – you just want the list of what I read in 2022, to inform what you might read in the future. Or, if like me you are a publisher, scrabbling to see if anyone read that wildcard you commissioned eight years ago**.

I’ve managed to meet my reading target (well, at least one of them!) this year by reading 200 books. The books are listed in the order I read them (according to either Twitter or GoodReads – both of which are platforms I’d love to connect with you on) and I’ve got a sentence or two about them, unless I reviewed it, in which case that’ll be linked there too. I’m also adding a star rating, out of five (like GoodReads, but including half stars, like LibraryThing, which is another platform I’d heartily recommend). I’d love to hear from you in the comments if you’ve read any of these this year, particularly if you disagreed with my take on them! Giving a book 5/5 stars doesn’t mean it’s a perfect book, but that I think that it succeeds in what it is trying to do, and I like it. Most of the time, that probably means I agree with the theology in it too, if it’s a Christian book.


what I read in 2022


First finish of 2022 – ‘In His Image’ by Jen Wilkin, published by Crossway. I thought this was a really lovely little devotional on the attributes of God. My only complaint would be that the cover implies it is for women. Short punchy chapters and some beautifully honest writing. 4.5/5

Second was ‘Original Sin and the Fall’, edited by J. B. Stump and Chad Meister, and published by IVP Academic (USA). I love me a multi-perspective book. And this is a vital topic. 4 compelling views, one that did not convince me at all. Reasonable engagement by respondents and plenty of new things to seek out. 4/5

First fiction finish of the year was ‘Giantslayer’ by William King, published by the Black Library. This is fantasy in the original Warhammer universe. Particularly good for some of the metaphysics of the Warhammer Fantasy world. An abrupt end. 4/5

The first book that I reviewed in 2022 was Abraham Kuruvilla’s ‘A Vision for Preaching’, published by Baker Academic. In one sentence – a compelling, readable and practical vision. It’s a book I could see myself using in a local church context to encourage and grow preachers – but you can read my review here. [link]. 5/5

That was followed by a second fiction finish – ‘Orcslayer’ by Nathan Long. This is in the same series as ‘Giantslayer’, but with a different author doing the daunting thing of taking up the baton. Some brilliant action, tense sneaking/stealth sections, and unsettling enemies. 4.5/5

I appreciated Helen K. Bond’s ‘The First Biography of Jesus’, published by Eerdmans. This was a readable and enjoyable academic book – both thorough and provocative. It was interesting to read it after reading Schnabel’s TNTC on Mark over Christmas 2021. 4/5

Rebecca L. Copeland’s ‘Created Being: Expanding Creedal Christology was one where  I was Quite disappointed with the actual words in this well written and nicely produced book. Readable apart from ENDNOTES instead of footnotes. Whilst I’m glad I read it, I can’t recommend it – never has a book promised so much whilst seemingly ignoring so much. 2/5

ed. Bob Carruthers, ‘The Crimean War 1853-1856’ – A random but fun finish – a short book of first hand accounts of the Crimean war. Fascinating. With the Russian invasion of Ukraine soon after reading this, I’m glad I read it in terms of understanding the literal context of some of that ongoing conflict. 4/5

A second book finished by author Nathan Long, ‘Manslayer’ was good fun and a compelling reminder of how vehicles can become characters. RIP Spirit of Grugni. 4/5

ed. Donald Armstrong, ‘Who Do You Say That I Am?’ – A treat! An older gem from Eerdmans with contributions from N. T. Wright and Alister McGrath, amongst others. More than 20 years old but some good stuff and some hilariously pertinent stuff for deconstruction conversations. 5/5

The third book I finished by Nathan Long,  ‘Elfslayer’ in the G+F series. One of the most atmospheric and ‘hold your breath’ so far – a definite high point for G+F so far, and the best Long one, in my opinion. 5/5

Dean R. Ulrich, ‘Now and Not Yet: Theology and Mission in Ezra-Nehemiah. My first NSBT of the year, and a good example of how Biblical Theology can be iconoclastic-of-evangelical-leadership/shibboleth. Excellent on Gods new community. Very good on challenging simplistic readings of Ezra-Nehemiah. Recommended. 5/5

Elisabeth Gerle, ‘Passionate Embrace: Luther on Love, Body, and Sensual Presence’. A chunkier finish that didn’t need to be 300pp. Uninspiring queer theory mixed with misreadings of Luther, culture, Bible and theology. Some pearls. Mostly disappointing. Maybe I had wrong expectation. Anyway, glad to clear it from tbr pile and some useful further leads for research. 2/5

Vince L. Bantu’s ‘A Multitude of All Peoples: Engaging Ancient Christianity’s Global Identity’ is a GIFT to the church. Readable history + calm analysis. He’s very careful not to overstate case but robust in what he does do. Essential reading for missiologists, theologians and historians. Major criticism: wanted it longer! 5/5

Nathan Long’s ‘Shamanslayer – another good Gotrek and Felix dark fantasy romp. This time giving good insight into characters and contexts – again some great series continuity. 4/5

Matthew Barrett’s ‘Simply Trinity: The Unmanipulated Father, Son, and Spirit’ – a solid book from on the vital topic of who God is, but not quite perfect (insofar as books can be). Great theological retrieval, sobering challenges to much contemporary evangelical thought, BUT it was too long and included quite a few ‘bits’ (illustrations, stories, anecdotes) that I felt were extraneous. 4/5

Chee-Chiew Lee’s ‘When Christians Face Persecution: Theological Perspectives from the New Testament’ – A work book – an Apollos gem on a vital topic. Short and readable but meaty. Some helpful pointers for those of us living in less-persecuted places. Fantastic book. 5/5

Gabrielle Thomas, ‘For the Good of the Church: Unity, Theology and Women’ – A wonderful and beautifully written book – come for the stuff on ecumenism and experience of women, stay for deep theology and reflection on power. Unsure about cover personally but an excellent book from SCM. 5/5

L. Daniel Hawk, ‘Ruth’ in the Apollos Old Testament Commentary (AOTC) – I’ve used the AOTC volumes for reference before but not read one through. Ruth was a good choice – ending on Jesus and showcasing the sensible and solid format of this series from Apollos (Which I should note I am now in-house editor for). If you are preaching Ruth, this should be on your radar. 5/5

Nathan Long, ‘Zombieslayer’ – Another G+F finish – a surprisingly actually haunting read with good action and nice character development.

Louise Boland, ‘Bookshop Tours of Britain’ – A marvellous, beautifully illustrated and entirely different from my normal fare sort of book. Tremendous fun and lots of inspiration for future trips – both work and leisure. Big thanks to Chris Green for the gift! 5/5

Emily Beth Hill, ‘Marketing and Christian Proclamation in Theological Persepective’ – A surprisingly enjoyable book about marketing – because it’s theological! Really fascinating, engagingly written and a nice reading of Luther helpful alternatives to the American dream. Really useful cultural engagement. Not much about market practice – perhaps the wrong title? 4/5

Stephen J. Wellum, ‘The Person of Christ: An Introduction’, in Crossway’s Short Studies in Systematic Theology series – High hopes for this one but left wanting more. Will explore his bigger volume.
Some good historical stuff and a few footnotes to follow. Some serious question around kingship, opaque/vague language around obedience, and what I took as a somewhat infuriating tone/posture starting point, which soured the first part of the book in my opinion. A promising series format, though. 3/4

Sarah Yardley, ‘MORE: Trust’ – is a cracker of a little book. Yardkey demonstrates warmth, biblical fidelity and beautiful sensitivity. I nodded and smiled and will be recommending it to several folk. Come for the topic, be released and encouraged to love, live and speak for Jesus. 5/5

Feldmeier/Spieckermann, trans. McNeil – ‘God Becoming Human: Incarnation in the Christian Bible’ – a tour de force from Baylor University Press. Too much for a tweet but with some caveats this is a brilliant and deep biblical theology of the incarnation. Nice cover, and ~80pp of bibliography!!!

Vol. X of the ESV Expository Crossway from Crossway, covering Romans through Galatians. I read this slowly and devotionally – A good book, and one I will use another volume of soon. Obviously not 100% in agreement with all the exegesis but a lovely format. Some devotional gems but probs mostly for preachers. 4/5

Bruce Riley Ashford & Heath A. Thomas, ‘The Gospel of Our King: Bible, Worldview and the Mission of Every Christian‘ – at the time I wrote: ‘This from Baker is a definite book of the month and an early contender for BOTY for me. Spot. On. Kudos to the authors for a superb collaboration. Timely, theological and calm.’ It didn’t quite make my top twenty, but it’s a great book. 5/5

Nigel Beynon & Andrew Sach, ‘Dig Deeper: Tools to unearth the Bible’s treasure’ – Always fun to reread an IVP classic. In this case it’s been about 12 years! Fond memories of uni CU Bible studies and this books tools hold up. Still a great way into meaningfully reading and understanding the Bible for yourself. 5/5

Brenda B. Colijn, ‘Images of Salvation in the New Testament’ – a gem from the American IVP’s Acdemic imprint, I’d seen it referenced in some good stuff so sought out a copy. A brilliant look at the multifaceted beauty of salvation. One to come back to for teaching and preaching, and a great place to start various studies. Excellent. 5/5

S. D. Snyman’s ‘Nahum, Habakkuk and Zephaniah’ in the Tyndale Old Testament Commentary series (TOTC) – a delightful devotional read for me. These minor prophets have big things to say and Snyman teases them out to sing. A balm. Definitely more preachable than might be perceived – and ever-timely. 5/5

Josh Reynolds, ‘Gotrek & Felix: Road of Skulls’ – A bit of a slog but redeemed by some lore insights. Probably weakest so far. 3/5

Tish Harrison Warren, ‘Liturgy of the Ordinary’ – A lovely little book by – particularly pertinent for the present stage of exhausted parenting and other things. This is a book for normal Christians – and one of very few books I think every Christian should read. Lovely writing. 5/5

Paul Beasley-Murray, ‘The Message of the Resurrection’ in the Bible Speaks Today Themes series (BST). Not just rich exposition but some unexpected theological adventures (in a good way!) too. Been a while since I read this gem – still good, and a balm for a grieving soul. Vol. 1 of BST themes. 5/5

ed. Laura Yoder, ‘Living Radical Discipleship’ – A lovely, lovely little book from Langham Publishing – well deserving of its Christianity Today award. Obviously a trailer in part for John Stott on Creation Care, which IVP published late 2021 – was poignantly emotional seeing Laura allude to it. 5/5

Tony Collins, ‘They’ll Never Read That: How to make mistakes in publishing’ – Something quite unique. An autobiography, ish, of a publisher. Of British Christian books! A lovely book, very readable, about an interesting colleague. Well worth reading if you are in/interested in ‘publishing’. 4/5

Josh Reynolds, ‘Gotrek & Felix: The Serpent Queen’ – Another G&F finish. Very slow to get going but some interesting lore and good twists. Certainly caught me out. 4/5

eds. Michael F. Bird & Scott Harrower, ‘Trinity Without Heierarchy’ – a superb book. Excellent contributors and, rarely, not a dud amongst the chapters (some superb but no duds. Well done to Kregel Academic. 5/5 @KregelAcademic)

Margaret Barker, ‘Temple Theology: An Introduction. A short intro, primer for her bigger book (also with SPCK). Barker here on intriguing form but ends too abruptly. Interesting, though. 4/5

Larry ten Harmsel with Reinder Van Til, ‘An Eerdmans Century 1911-2011’ – A really interesting read from and about Eerdmans – well worth perusing if working in Christian publishing. Some fascinating vignettes, amusing anecdotes and intriguing history. A nice little (200p with several pictures) book. 5/5

Bungishabaku Katho, ‘Reading Jeremiah in Africa: Biblical Essays in Sociopolitical Imagination’ – A fascinating, sobering and prophetic read. ‘Reading Jeremiah in Africa’ does what it says on the tin – and is well worth a read for anyone wanting to see how context can influence reading. It’s a shortish and punchy book. Recommended. 4/5

Udo Schnelle, trans. James W. Thompson, ‘The First One Hundred Years of Christianity’ – An excellent and informative doorstop. A translation and gift from Baker Academic – to a non-specialist like me this seems a one-stop shop to the first century. Almost 100p of bibliography. 5/5

ed. Victoria Turner, ‘Young, Woke and Christian’ – I was grateful to the publisher for a review copy of this intriguing book. 3 or 4 chapters well worth reading. Most of the rest less so. Some in my view very theologically dubious. Some food for thought – and some real oddities. Glad I read it, but cannot overall recommend it. 2/5

Graham Tomlin, ‘Navigating a World of Grace: The Promise of Generous Orthodoxy’ – Finished this by  – if this is what ‘generous Orthdoxy’ is, then great! Regardless, this is a helpful book on how the Nicene Creed can work and help today – with particularly helpful stuff about unity, Christology and heresy. 4/5

David Guymer, ‘Gotrek & Felix: City of the Damned’ – A fiction slog, which was a shame as I’ve enjoyed the authors previous work. 2/5

Vol. VII of Crossway’s ESVEC, covering Matthew-Luke. Another devotional finish, another nicely produced multi-book ESVEC. Personally the standout was probably Tom Schreiner on Lk., would love to see him stretch his legs in a longer one on Lk. Mammoth though – 1100+ pages – so beware your back if you get one! 4/5

eds. Jospeh Sievers & Amy-Jill Levine, ‘The Pharisees‘ – Appreciated the breadth, depth and unexpected clarity of this tome from Eerdmans. A really fascinating read, probably not ALL needed by pastors, but with some valuable insights for preachers and teachers. One to be aware of – and I’ll refer to it in the future. Do read my review, linked in the title here. 5/5

eds. T. A. Noble and Jason S. Sexton, ‘British Evangelical Theologians of the Twentieth Century: An Enduring Legacy’ – A really helpful volume – the coda from Sexton both crowns it nicely and also explains the demographic monochromacity. Lovely blend of theological reflection peppered with personal anecdote. 5/5

Rowland White, ‘Harrier 809: Britain’s Legendary Jump Jet and the Untold Story of the Falklands War’ – First library book finish in a while – fine example of narrative history. Reads like a thriller. Some fascinating insights into multiple aspects of the Falkland’s war. 5/5

Sarah Clarkson, ‘This Beautiful Truth: How God’s Goodness Breaks into Our Darkness‘ – This is one of the best books I’ve read this year, and is haunting me after I put it down. Stunning. Recommended to anyone wondering about beauty, faith, mental illness, hope and confusion. 5/5

Hwa Yung, ‘Leadership or Servanthood? Walking in the Steps of Jesus‘ – an interesting comparison to ‘The Gift’ byChris Green. I enjoyed Yung’s book, with some quibbles. I reviewed it for Christianity magazine. 4/5

Peter J. LeitharT, ‘1 & 2 Kings’ in the Brazos Theological Commentary – Much gold, quite a bit of weirdness, and overall a good case for ‘theological’ commentary. Recommended but not as the only or best comm. on Kings for a preach. 4/5

Tim Chester, ‘John Stott on the Christian Life: Between Two Worlds’ – My heart was thoroughly warmed by this gem from Crossway, in a series that is very readable. Chester captures Stott’s heart for Jesus wonderfully. An instructive read for reviving and recovering evangelicalism from the extremes we are continually tempted by. 5/5

Linda L. Belleville’s ‘Philippians’ in the New Covenant Commentary Series – a devotional finish. As ever for the NCCS a really readable and focused commentary. It’s short length (97pp!) is both good and bad. Some bibliography gaps imo and some distracting typos BUT really insightful commentary and much food for discipleship thought! 4/5

Helen Joyce, ‘Trans: When Ideology Meets Reality’ – A calm but firm book on one of the most contentious set of questions in our culture today. Superbly referenced, thoroughly honest, and well worth a read. A couple of qualms from a Christian perspective but the investigative work here is impressive. A sobering read. 4/5

Christopher R. Seitz, ‘Joel’ in the International Theological Commentary – An interesting devotional finish. Took a lot of pages to get going but good at the end. I’ll be reading more theological commentaries. 4/5

Soong-Chan Rah, ‘The Next Evangelicalism: Freeing the Church from Western Cultural Captivity’ – I for one am late to the (2009) party but lots of helpful and arguably prophetic stuff in this – telling that it still rings true In many ways. Read it if you want to think about evangelicalism. And you, like me, think the last (at least) 10y of USA evangelicalsm hasn’t been ‘brilliant’… 5/5

Samuel M. Ngewa’s ‘Galatians’ in the Africa Bible Commentary Series. Another devotional finish. A lovely little commentary from Langham’s Hippo Books imprint. Really focused interesting layout for preachers, plenty of African contextual gems to open up the text, and discussion/reflection questions. A couple of minor quibbles but definitely a good’un! 5/5

Colin Gunton, ‘Yesterday and Today’ – a delight. SPCK should bring this back into print. Beautiful Christology grasping at being faithful. Some clangers and some beautiful moments. Well worth reading. 4/5

Leah McFall, ‘MORE: Trust’ – A really short but really good read. A good gift for student age people but also faffy 30yo millennials like me and friends freaking out about parenting/singleness/careers/any-everything. A great little book. 4/5

Glen Scrivener, ‘The Air We Breathe‘ –  It is very good and ends well. It is not for me though – this is a book for normal people who cba to read Holland’s Dominion or Dickson B+S. Does what it sets out to do with some brilliant moments. 4/5

Alan Noble, ‘You are Not your Own: Belonging to God in an inhuman world. A VERY strong contender for Book of the Year. If not then it’s pretty much a ringer for book-to-give-to-anyone-who-can-read-of-the-year. Wonderfully written, nicely packaged, theologically deep. Thankyou, Alan and IVP USA.

‘Everyone Gets to Play: John Wimber’s writings and teachings on life together in Christ’ – It’s not brilliantly edited and it’s got some infuriating contradictions but there is a lot of good here. Recommended to more conservative friends wondering what ‘Vineyard’ might be. Recommended if imperfectly. 4/5

eds. Andrew Atherstone, Mark P. Hutchinson and John Maiden, ‘Transatlantic Charismatic Renewal, c. 1950-2000’ – A solid edited collection from Brill – standout chapters for me theologically/missiologically are the ones on France, the Mennonites in the US; personally the Wimber chapter, and professionally the Logos one. Will get around to publishing a short review. 4/5

Mary J. Evans, ‘the message of 1 & 2 Samuel’ in the Bible Speaks Today Old Testament series. A powerful devotional read. Classic from IVP recently updated sensitively. Evans on 1+2 Sam has lots of good and some painfully pertinent things about power, leadership, celebrity and women which she draws out. Recommended. 5/5

Joanne Ramos, ‘The Farm’ –  A re-read of a Novel. Still haunting – perhaps even more so now A+I have two kids. Well worth a read. 5/5

David F. Ford, ‘The Gospel of John: A Theological Commentary’ – Finished, after a while. I think I remain underwhelmed. Not yet quite sure why. I will review it imminently [I wrote at the time – at the time of writing this post, the review is still underway]. Under the salad image lies a beautifully put together, lovely to hold and read. TLDR: it’s fine with some gold but also dross. Not a must buy imo. 3/5

Bitrus A. Sarma’s ‘Blessed New Humanity in Christ: A Theology of Hope for African Christianity from the Book of Ephesians‘ – another devotional finish. Not a commentary on (although if it were it’d be top 5 for me for preachers) but an interesting read through Ephesians from Langham. Some gold, any dross is heavily influenced by the less brilliant parts of Western evangelicalism in my view. 4/5

John Swinton, ‘Finding Jesus in the Storm: The Spiritual Lives of Christians with Mental Health Challenges‘ –  is a GEM from Swinton and SCM Press – not quite five stars BUT THE BEST chapter on depression I’ve read in years, possibly ever, and brilliant final chapter on healing that leaves me thinking. A really helpful resource – perhaps more so for those not suffering. 4/5

Tremper Longman III’s ‘Song of Song’s in the New International Commentary on the Old Testament (NICOT) from Eerdmans. Another devotional finish – Song of Songs is brilliant and Tremper’s NICOT is very readable (maybe my perception of the series level is wrong?). Not much for application. But learnt a lot. As ever from this publisher a lovely example of a book as a thing. 5/5

Graham A. Cole’s ‘Faithful Theology: An Introduction’ in Crossway’s SSST series. I am thus far 100% a fan of Graham Cole – this little SSST is really good on method and posture in theology. Historically, exegetically, culturally and emotionally aware. Cracking little book which would be great for evangelical theology students in universities to read, mark and discuss. 5/5

Marianne Meye Thompson’s ‘Colossians & Philemon’ in The Two Horizons New Testament Commentary –  Another gem from Eerdmans (though is the series defunct?) which is both a great commentary on Col/Phil and a superb bit of theology on image, identity and Christology. Golden. 5/5

David Guymer, ‘Gotrek & Felix: Kinslayer’ – A really underwhelming start to the finale of this story. A couple of good moments but mostly a definition of meh. Came very close to breaking my ‘always finish a book’ rule. 2/5

Matt Searles, ‘Tumbling Sky: Psalm Devotions for Weary Souls’ – A devotional finish from 10Publishing. Mixed feelings. On the one hand much gold – on the other the devotions are REALLY short and I wanted Matt to write more. Beautiful writing. Odd format. 4/5

Herman Bavinck, ‘Christian Worldview’ – Well my first Bavinck of the year (planning to start ‘Ethics’) was a treat. Beautifully produced by Crossway and translated legibly by Eglinton, Brock and Sutanto –  ‘Christian Worldview’ is a tour de force. A little book to pack a punch and encourage Christians. Gold. 5/5

Katelyn Beaty’s ‘Celebrities for Jesus: How Personas, Platforms and Profits are hurting the church‘ – Well I’ve been wanting this book to exist in some form and Beaty has made a great stab at it for Brazos. A really important and helpful book – I’ll be recommending it to editorial and other teams at IVP and also our wider group. Bravo! 5/5

Jeffrey A. D. Weima, ‘1 & 2 Thessalonians’ in the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (BECNT) – A devotional finish, but also definitely reminding me why the BECNT is one of my go to reference series. Even handed and readable – perhaps not as warm as might be expected. A worthy addition to a pastors library, though. 4/5

John A. McGuckin, ‘Saint Gregory of Nazianzus: An Intellectual Biography’ – Glad to have reached the end of this – a weird blend of slog and fascinating. A good one stop shop start if interested. A quirky gem from St Vladimir’s Seminary Press. 4/5

Samuel Emadi, ‘From Prisoner to Prince: The Joseph Story in biblical theology’ – This is superb, and possibly a contender for a Top Ten slot for the year for me. Readable and careful and exciting – it’s excellent. A work book that I didn’t edit. Rare to read BT that’s so readable and fresh – marvelous imo. 5/5

Mark A. Noll, ‘The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind: with a new preface and afterword’ – Simple verdict? 3 out of 5. Why? An unfortunate infatuation with power, some updates that echo that, and a detachment from some realities. At the same time it’s essential reading, especially the new afterword. Tremendous fun to read, and I’ve a review forthcoming somewhere. 3/5

James Carroll’s ‘Constantine’s Sword: the church and the Jews’ – Finished this chunky tome, which took time. Mixed feelings. Primarily sobering re church’s treatment of Jews (apart from a Luther vignette focus is mostly on Roman Catholicism). Not sure way forward is what author suggests. Well put together history – and 100pp of ref/bio etc. 4/5

Dr Gavin Francis, ‘Recovery: The Lost Art of Convalescence’ – Some good nuggets but a lot of white space – a short book! Well worth a read but perhaps a little weak on mental rather than physical health. Love the cover and also enjoyed the genial tone – reassuring! 4/5

Chloe T. Sun, ‘Conspicuous in His Absence; Studies in the Song of Songs and Esther‘ – A beautiful, haunting and thought provoking read. Brilliant publishing from IVP USA’s academic imprint. Powerful both in a close reading of the two books but also an honesty and sensitivity in the writing. Recommended, though it will unsettle some. 5/5

Alec Motyer’s ‘The Prophecy of Isaiah’ – Few ‘classics’ hold up, after a point. This, however, is stunning. A feast for heart and mind. A commentary like this is a rare gift. A jewel in the IVP crown – not at all daunting to be working on commentaries now! 5/5

Jeffrey Boakye, ‘Black, Listed: Black British Culture Explored’ – A superb book. Made me laugh, wince and reflect. Boakye can WRITE – and in that writing, teach. You don’t have to agree with it all to learn a lot. Wonderful writing. 5/5

Gregg Davidson & Kenneth J. Turner, ‘The Manifold Beauty of Genesis One: A Multi-Layered Approach’ – This is a rather nice little book – drawing together some of the multitude of scholarship on Genesis 1-3, sorting it, and presenting it readable and with tables/preachable stuff. A really helpful little book from Kregel Academic. 4/5

Camden Bucey, ‘Karl Rahner’ in the ‘Great Thinkers’ series from P&R. A cracking little book – come for a brief and fairly friendly (critical friend) to Rahner, stay for the very interesting theological possibilities he sketches out.
One to revisit – and a series I’ll need to watch. Bravo! 5/5

John Stott, ‘the message of The Sermon on The Mount’ in the Bible Speaks Today New Testament series. A devotional finish. Stott profoundly makes the Sermon SING. Well worth reading/revisiting. Latest IVP edition has nice cover and better typesetting.

Michael Leyden, ‘Faithful Living: discipleship, creed & ethics’ – read for a review in the journal Concilium. Lovely writing and a clever cover. I’m not 100%, or even probably 80% where Leyden is on various issues, but this is a helpful book that shows his thinking and ties everything to the creed. Thoughtful. 4/5

Karen Soole, ‘Liberated: How the Bible Exalts and Dignifies Women’. An interesting book. An annoyingly abrupt ending. Mostly excellent with just one question not imo adequately resolved. Lots of good stuff though. I also really like the art style on the cover. 4/5

Katherine Hayhoe, ‘Saving Us: A Climate Scientist’s Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World’ – A helpful and important book. Engagingly written, packed with facts and humanity. Come for the topic, stay for a powerful book about how to engage well with people we disagree with on important things. Not perfect, but a superb example of a Christian writing in and for the world. 5/5

Robert Chao Romero, ‘Brown Church: Five Centuries of Latina/o Social Justice, Theology, and Identity’ – a fascinating book from IVP USA – a window into a part of the church I would not otherwise easily encounter. Lots to learn about resilience, hope, justice and living as a minority. Imperfect but so glad I read it. 5/5

David Johnson and Jeff VanVonderen, ‘The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse: Recognizing and Escaping Spiritual Manipulation and False Spiritual Authority Within the Church’ – a practical and helpful book. Published in 2005 it’s not dealing with recent spiritual abuse discussion but doing something really important. A helpful and hopeful book that is well worth reading if you feel uneasy. Recommended. 4/5

Gavin Ortlund, ‘Finding the Right Hills to Die On: The Case for Theological Triage’ –  Appreciated tone and substance of what Ortlund had to say – wished it had tackled LGBT* issues and the shades of gray that some folk try to throw around it. But a helpful and wise book, I also appreciated the authors autobiographical notes – not just ideas. 5/5

Krish Kandiah, ‘Paradoxology: Why Christianity Was Never Meant to be Simple’ – A cracking little book, nicely written even where I disagree with Krish. Could probably do with a second edition to get rid of some of the now unfortunate Galli/Hybels quotes – and also because Covid would resonate with much of it. Recommended. 4/5

Richard Hughes Gibson and James Edward Beitler III, ‘Charitable Writing: Cultivating Virtue Through Our Words’ – a lovely book. Not what I expected, but still good, and well written it occasionally a bit theologically ambiguous. Definitely one to recommend to particularly academic authors I work with. V. glad I read it. 4/5

Vol II of Crossway’s ESVEC – again read  devotionally, this year I’ve really appreciated the ESVEC as a book/object to hold, as well as mind/soul food. Deuteronomy and Joshua solid. Judges and Ruth felt a bit rushed. But still enjoying the format especially having chunks o’Bible before the comment. 4/5

Mez McConnell, ‘The least the last and the lost’ – an extremely readable if thick book from an author I appreciate. A superb book, modelling well some of what he is arguing for by giving pages to other voices. Definitely a prophetic challenge to UK Evangelicalism – with many sacred cows skewered. Will we heed the call? (This is a book that deserves a shorter ‘redux’, for a wider readership). 5/5

Mike Reeves, ‘Gospel People: a call for evangelical integrity’ – an encouragingly clear, theologically rooted and missionally focused definition of evangelicalism. As you might expect from Mike it’s warm-heartedly Trinitarian (if arguably reliant on Stott). A good book – hope and pray it lands in the US too. 5/5

Dane Ortlund, ‘Surprised by Jesus: Subversive Grace in the Four Gospels’ – a lovely, warm hearted book all about Jesus. Nice writing and format – I’d love to see someone take the same angle to eg atonement theories or the Pentateuch. Smart new cover too. 4/5

Joy Clarkson, ‘Aggressively Happy: A Realist’s Guide to Believing in the Goodness of Life’ – first book of a good long holiday. An absolute gem – genuinely lovely writing, deep wisdom, and also funny and honest. One to recommend widely and reread regularly. Write more, please Joy! 5/5

Pu Yi, ‘From Emperor to Citizen: The Autobiography of Pu Yi the Last Emperor of China’ – Long winded and with an abrupt ending but a fascinating insight into a time and place I do not know much about. Haunting.

Isaac Adams, ‘Talking about Race: Gospel Hope for Hard Conversations’ – a necessary and powerful book, clearly and calmly written, and hung carefully around a narrative about people. One I’ll recommend. 5/5

J. R. R. Tolkien, ‘Tree and Leaf: Including Mythopoeia and The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth’ –  a deligthful book to read on holiday. Leaf by Niggle will stay with me for a while. 5/5

Tim Marshall, ‘Worth Dying For: The Power and Politics of Flags’ – A cracking holiday read- very enjoyable and informative. Could’ve done with a stronger conclusion but more good writing from an author I appreciate. 4/5

Paul Overland’s ‘Proverbs’ in the AOTC – finished devotionally. A magisterial and wonderfully readable guide to Proverbs. I thought I knew it well and now I know it a little better. Thank you, Paul Overland! 5/5

Ben Counter, ‘The Grey Knight’s Omnibus’ – dark fantasy sci-fi, lots of action. Enjoyed rereading Alaric’s saga but the third ends too abruptly. Hope Counter can do more? 4/5

Craig L. Blomberg and Mariam J. Kamell, ‘James’ in the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (ZECNT) – a devotional finish. First full read of a ZECNT. A good commentary on James from Blomberg and Kamell – liked the format. A good mid-weight commentary. Probably particularly helpful for preachers! 5/5

Marilynne Robinson, ‘Absence of Mind’ – I mean it’s fine as far as it goes and there are some moments where her writing songs. But it’s not doing anything groundbreaking so far as I can tell. Probably a good one to be aware of. 3/5

Puttangunta Satyavani, ‘Seeing the Face of God: Exploring an Old Testament Theme’ – A fascinating read from Langham – a careful, provocative and technical monograph. Could do with a popularization – even one rung down for preachers. Or perhaps a Biblical-Theological approach to culminate in Christ. Very glad to have read it. Fine work from Satyavani. 4/5

Herman Bavinck, edited by John Bolt, ‘Reformed Ethics Vol. 1: Created, Fallen, and Converted Humanity’ – after reading Bavinck’s Reformed Dogmatics last year I didn’t know what to expect from this. This however has been stunning. Bavinck is excellent in this register. Unexpected genius on some current feuds, generous to disagreements and clear. Will become a conversation partner for me. On to vol. 2! 5/5

Voddie T. Baucham Jr., ‘Fault Lines: The Social Justice Movement and Evangelicalism’s Looming Catastrophe’ – a fascinating, readable and well written book. Voddie’s personal story is well told and the overall argument clear. And yet… Being a white Brit I see some things but also see a LOT of Americanism. 4/5

Steven Smith’s ‘Exalting Jesus in Jeremiah and Lamentations’, in Broadman and Holman’s ‘Christ-Centered Exposition commentary – Appreciated a lot of this from – similar level to BST, slightly more personal and also more about Jesus fulfilment than purely the text of Jeremiah/Lamentations. But some great nuggets and Gods used it to minister to me devotionally. Lamentations perhaps particularly. 4/5

Joshua Luke Smith, ‘Something You Once Knew: Waking up to the Extraordinary in your Ordinary Life’ – a gem, beautifully written and studded with truth. The kind of book that gives me hope that Christians can write. 5/5

Herman Bavinck, edited by John Bolt, ‘Reformed Ethics Vol. 2: The Duties of the Christian Life’ – while it was less brilliant than v. 1 there is much Bavinckian gold. As ever, beautifully produced by Baker and the spread of topics and interlocutors is excellent. 4/5

Matthew S. Harmon, ‘Galatians’ in the Evangelical Biblical Theological Commentary’ from Lexham Academic – a gem of a devotional finish. 1st read of an EBTC – I loved the commentary proper. Bib/Theo themes excellent work but could’ve been more integrated. This is a great commentary for preachers imo, but also doing other interesting work. 4/5

Carl F. H. Henry, ‘God, Revelation and Authority: Volume I. God Who Speaks and Shows: Preliminary Considerations’ – a long held ambition to *actually read* this. Oft referenced! There’s some gold, some anachronisms, but lots to learn. Kudos to Crossway for keeping it in print! 5/5

Ian M. Duguid, ‘Numbers: God’s Presence in the Wilderness’, from Crossway’s Preaching the Word (PTW) series – another devotional read for me. A lovely book from Crossway as ever – not 100% convinced by the PTW format. At least moving notes from end to foot would help. But warm, doxological, and readable. 4/5

Andrew Atherstone, ‘Repackaging Christianity: Alpha and the Building of a Global Brand‘ – a fascinating book by a proper historian. On the one hand it’s an encouraging, well researched (only one obvious error, see my review) and very readable history. On the other it’s a sobering warning about uncritical unity and the challenge of repackaging without losing the gospel. Lots to ponder. 4/5

Craig S. Keener, ‘Miracles Today: the supernatural work of God in the modern world’ – an encouraging, excruciatingly referenced (it’s Keener) book that made a normal evening rather exciting. 5/5

Lizzie O’Hagan, ‘The Visa’ – not my usual fare but a thoroughly enjoyable diversion with plenty of twists, tension and humour. I’ll be keeping an eye out for more from this author. 5/5

Alan F. Thompson, ‘Colossians and Philemon’, in the Tyndale New Testament Commentary (TNTC) – a devotional finish. A wonderfully Christ-exalting commentary (Colossians special to me as 3:1-17 was preached the day I followed Jesus). A worthy replacement for the N. T. Wright volume. 5/5

eds. William R. Edwards, John C. A. Ferguson, Chad Van Dixhoorn, ‘Theology for Ministry: How Doctrine Affects Pastoral Life and Practice’ – A very good festschrift for Sinclair Ferguson – some articles were a bit meh, but they were outweighed by some corkers (particularly Horton, Venema, Ryken and David Gibson imo) and general calibre excellent. 5/5

Geoffrey W. Grogan, ‘Psalms’ in Eerdmans THOTC – A quality commentary – though the (very astute) theology could have been more integrated into the exegesis. Felt like two books in one jacket. Will look out for more Grogan stuff. 5/5

Carl F. H. Henry, ‘God, Revelation and Authority: Volume II. God Who Speaks and Shows: Fifteen Theses, Part One’ – this volume started to intersect more with some of my key theological interests, with stuff on God’s name particularly interesting. That and other things intersected with my reading of Grogan’s Psalms volume! 5/5

Pastor Mick Fleming, ‘Blown Away: From Drug Dealer to Life Bringer’ – I rarely finish a book in one go, but this had me on the metaphorical edge of my seat one evening. I’d describe it as a modern day ‘Run Baby Run’ etc. Quote: “I’m just a broken persons who’s trying to show other people where the river is so they can have a drink, I guess”. Gripping and raw. 5/5

Anne Bogel, ‘I’d Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life’ – a lovely little book – not quite what I expected and it didn’t ‘do’ anything – but maybe that’s the point.If you love reading books, you might enjoy this. A random gem from – particularly nice cover which has echoed drawings throughout. 5/5

G. Walter Hansen, ‘The Letter to the Philippians’ in the Pillar New Testament Commentary series (PNTC) – A warm, readable and thorough commentary on Philippians – an epistle that until this year I don’t think I’d loved. Hansen opens it up and shows us Jesus beautifully. Devotionally rich but plenty of technical detail for when that’s needed. 5/5

W. David O. Taylor, ‘Open and Unafraid: The Psalms as a Guide to Life’ – a gem on some of the Psalms (though generally all). Perfect for a group or perhaps a mentoring pair. Takes seriously questions of life inc. deconstruction – by drawing readers deep into the Psalms. 5/5

Phil Moore, ‘Joshua, Judges and Ruth: 60 Bite-Sized Insights’ from his Straight to the Heart of series – An interesting read – part commentary part exposition. Warm hearted and some golden nuggets. Will read another. 4/5

Amanda Porterfield, ‘Corporate Spirit: Religion and the Rise of the Modern Corporation’ – This was a bit of a slog. More descriptive than anything else – the occasional helpful link/observation makes it worth keeping but I’m honestly none the wiser about much. A meandering tour of business development throughout history that didn’t perhaps do what I’d hoped. 3/5

Justo L. Gonzalez, ‘The Mestizo Augustine: A Theologian Between Two Cultures‘ – A marvelous little book. Gonzalez is readable and penetrating, and makes much of primary sources. An excellent intro to Augustine, or reminder for those of us non-experts. Genuinely excellent. 5/5

Ralph P. Martin, ‘2 Corinthians’ in the Word Biblical Commentary (WBC) – Another devotional finish. A bit of a slog (WBC format is odd) but some gems that came from close reading of text… I am aware of revised version. 4/5

Dave Gobbett, ‘The Environment‘ in the Talking Points series from The Good Book Company – an excellent little primer for evangelicals wondering about the Christian view of the environment. Praying this’ll be a gateway and a catalyst. 5/5

Carl F. H. Henry, ‘God, Revelation and Authority: Volume III. God Who Speaks and Shows: Fifteen Theses, Part Two’ – Halfway mark of Carl Henry reached. This was a mixed slog. 4/5

Graham McNeill, ‘Ultramarines: The Second Omnibus’ – A bit of a drag but the ending was gripping and dragged the omnibus from 3 to 4 stars. Probably won’t revisit the first two in it though. 4/5

Ernest C. Lucas’s ‘Daniel’ in the AOTC – A calm and careful guide to Daniel. Focused commentary with helpful epilogue. Also interesting to have ‘Additions to Daniel’ in the appendix – though more could have been said about these. A solid AOTC. 5/5

Kelly M. Kapic, ‘You’re Only Human: How Your Limits Reflect God’s Design and Why That’s Good News’ – a stunningly beautiful book. I’m honestly not sure I have a major fault with it (other than possibly endnotes, although actually that sorta worked here). Read it. Bravo, Brazos Kapic. 5/5

Graham Beynon & Jane Tooher, ‘Embracing Complementarianism: Turning Biblical Convictions into Positive Church Culture’ – definitely for complementarians – and rather than explaining the why, it seeks to winsomely explain the how. So for convinced complementarians it’s going to be a useful resource. Could also make a useful conversation starter for disagreement. 4/5

Mikeal C. Parsons, ‘Acts’ in the Pideia Commentaries on the New Testament series from Baker Academic – an interesting commentary in an interesting series. Some gems but occasionally manages to make a powerful narrative weirdly boring. That said, definitely worth being on the radar of anyone doing technical work on Acts. Less sure about utility for preachers. 3/5

Gordon J. Wenham, ‘The Book of Leviticus’ in the NICOT – a devotional finish. Wenham has given us a gem – even if perhaps dated this is a masterclass in explaining an OT book. Devotional and warm. As ever a lovely physical book from Eerdmans.

John Webster, ‘Confronted by Grace: Meditations of a Theologian’ –  A warm and nourishing feast in my devotional time. Amongst the heart of the sermons there is much meat for the head, too. Classic Webster, in my limited experience. Nice bit of publishing from Lexham Press – printing the passage opposite the start of the sermon a nice touch. 5/5

David P. Nystrom’s ‘James’ in the NIV Application Commentary (NIVAC) from Zondervan – another devotional finish. Lots of wisdom from author – including prescience (from ‘96) about evangelicalism and politics. Very good. NIVAC format straightforward and good for preachers, esp new or occasional ones. 5/5

Len Deighton, ‘SS-GB’ – an enjoable fiction diversion – good twist, believable world and strong characters. My inner ‘history’ nerd enjoyed the sandbox. 4/5

Walter Brueggeman’s ‘Genesis’ in the Interpretation series from Westminster John Knox – I’ve never been blown away by Brueggeman – this didn’t help. Well written and engaging. But wildly insistent and often infuriating. Worth consulting but not top tier. Not really even 2nd. But some gems amidst the muddle. 3/5

Kaitlyn Schiess, ‘The Liturgy of Politics: Spiritual Formation for the Sake of Our Neighbor’ – not the book I expected (it’s less party/issue political and more about living well in public) but it’s a book I think every Christian should read. Calmly. 5/5

Lester Ruth and Lim Swee Hong, ‘A History of Contemporary Praise and Worship: understanding the ideas that reshaped the protestant church’ – an interesting if occasionally over-detailed read. Beautifully produced book from Baker – and Ruth and Lim have written a fine history. Probably essential for specialists. Well worth reading if the topic interests. 4/5

Richard D. Phillips’ ‘Revelation’ in the Reformed Expository Commentary (REC) from P&R – A devotional finish. “At the end of the world God sits enthroned”. Nicely produced and occasionally thrilling. Format wise this felt to me like a bloated BST/PTW – some sections deserve their own volume. Will need to read something else from this series. 4/5

T. Desmond Alexander, ‘Exodus’ in the AOTC – devotionally, this was like eating steak every morning. So good I finished it one evening for the joy of the thing. Monumental in more than just page count, Desi has delivered a fine commentary here. 5/5

Carl R. Trueman, ‘Strange New World: How Thinkers and Activists Redefined Identity and Sparked the Sexual Revolution’ – An interesting book from Carl Trueman. Lots I agree with, some quibbles. More practical than ‘Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self’ which was my quibble with that book. 4/5 (for American readers who may not be aware of it, Glynn Harrison’s ‘A Better Story‘ is well worth seeking out)

Klyne R. Snodgrass, ‘You Need a Better Gospel: Reclaiming the Good News of Participation with Christ’ – a shorter book but very valuable. Snodgrass makes a compelling case to put remember participation in the gospel. Good stuff and pretty accessible – something church leadership teams/elders could read together. 5/5

Liuan Huska, ‘Hurting Yet Whole: Reconciling Body and Spirit in Chronic Pain and Illness’ – a few theological eyebrows raised, but a beautifully written, honest book. Shows what chronic pain looks and feels like. Vital for those in pastoral roles/church leadership wanting to think practically about inclusion/serving us/them too. Will stay with me for a while.  4/5

Carl F. H. Henry, ‘God, Revelation and Authority: Volume IV. God Who Speaks and Shows: Fifteen Theses, Part Three’ – The project continues. May *just* finish it this year. This was a 600+ page slog – a flabby start and quite a lot of stuff now less useful. BUT some good anthropology and prophetic/perceptive stuff on homosexuality, social Justice, and evangelical fragmentation. 4/5

Rich Villodas, ‘The Deeply Formed Life: Five Transformative Values to Root Us in the Way of Jesus’ – This is excellent. As in, really good. Possibly a contender for BOTY from me in how it interweaves many good things. 5/5

Erica Monge-Greer, ‘So Say We All: Religion, Spirituality, and the Divine in Battlestar Galactica‘ – a little gem. Also a readable and theologically fertile little book. If you like BSG and theology/religious studies, you’ll enjoy it. If you don’t know BSG, it might pique your interest. Some helpful insights and also FUN. Recommended. 5/5

Paula Gooder, ‘Lydia: A Story‘ – brings to life the fascinating world of the early Church in this enjoyable read, which has the added benefit of giving some context to the texts we think we know well. A short review for Christianity Magazine. 4/5

Lucy Peppiatt, ‘The Imago Dei: Humanity Made in the Image of God‘ (Cascade Companions) – a superb introductory/orienting look at the imago dei from Peppiatt. This is a great book that would make a good intro text, but also raises lots of helpful questions. 5/5

David McKay, ‘A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Humanity’ – a short primer from a conservative reformed position on what humanity is. 7day/complementarianism aside it’s a helpful primer – if occasionally a bit speculative. Good on what renewed and redeems looks like. 4/5

Charles A. Wanamaker, ‘The Epistles to the Thessalonians’ NIGHT – a devotional finish. A 1990 NIGTC – doxologically rich. Some slightly random arguments I’ll need to consider elsewhere, but mostly a good read. Less intimidating than expected. 4/5

Timothy C. Tennent, ‘For the Body: Recovering a Theology of Gender, Sexuality, and the Human Body’ – a very readable broad evangelical theology of the body. Some missteps and omissions and overly focused on USA context (ironic as he repeatedly affirms global evangelical diversity/statements). But a good positive book. 4/5

Sandra L. Richter, ‘The Epic of Eden: A Christian Entry into the Old Testament’ – excellent. A solid introduction to the Old Testament. Some wonderful turns of phrase that consistently turned my heart to praise. A good way to think about the story. 5/5

Timothy R. Ashley, ‘The Book of Numbers (Second Edition)’ in the NICOT – a devotional finish (with a few tabs for work projects!). A solid, workmanlike commentary – not much excitement but a fine translation with good text. crit. stuff. Didn’t read 1st ed so can’t comment on changes. Readable and calm. 4/5

J. V. Fesko, ‘Death in Adam, Life in Christ: The Doctrine of Imputation’ in the Reformed, Exegetical and Doctrinal Studies series from Christian Focus – a heart warming book. Some quirks and odd sources aside, it’s an excellent overview of imputation. Would recommend as a way in. Good Bible stuff for a systematic/historical treatment. Will keep an eye out for other REDS volumes. 4/5

Benjamin L. Gladd, ‘From the Manger to the Throne: A Theology of Luke’ in the New Testament Theology series from Crossway – the packaging (whilst beautiful) might not be exciting but this is a cracking little book from Gladd in what looks to be a good new series from Crossway .A gift for preachers, but warm and worshipful for the rest of us. Recommended. 5/5

Amy Peeler, ‘Women and the Gender of God’ – fascinating, and readable. Lots of things to agree with, some to push back on, and plenty to reflect on. A candidate for a slow review, perhaps. 4/5

ed. Scott M. Manetsch, ‘2 Corinthians’ in the Reformation Commentary on Scripture from IVP USA – a devotional finish of a fascinating book – less a commentary than a collection of comments. Possibly a great research tool, personally I found it rich and encouraging for devotional time, reading with those who have walked before. 4/5

Patrick Schreiner, ‘Political Gospel: Public Witness in a Politically Crazy World’ – excellent. Not as American as the author fears, carefully using the breadth of the biblical text, and drawing on sensible political theology. Very good primer – would work well with ‘A Mucky Business’ and the aforementioned ‘The Liturgy of Politics’. Recommended. 5/5

eds. David G. Firth & Brittany N. Melton, ‘Reading the Book of the Twelve Minor Prophets‘ – a great edited collection, check out my review for more. 4/5

Elizabeth Mburu, ‘African Hermeneutics’ – a superb book on hermeneutics from Langham Publishing. Instructive and eye-opening for this Western reader, but wonderfully encouraging and straightforward too. Would be a good refresher for pastors or for an undergrad course. And some great nuggets on other things. 5/5

ed. Nicholas Scott-Blakely, ‘To Be Welcomed as Christ: Pursuing a Hospitable Evangelicalism‘ – I didn’t realise this was a festschrift, but I enjoyed most of – and was thoughtfully provoked by – this festschrift for Dennis Okholm. Models some of what it does, and some genuinely innovative/generative pieces. 4/5

J. G. McConville, ‘Deuteronomy’ in the AOTC – There’s a reason why this is well-respected – a readable, deep and rich gift. Re-opened Deuteronomy for me over Alast week or so of mornings – what a wonderful God who cares for his people. Keep an eye out for more volumes in the series. 5/5

Aida Besancon Spencer, ‘A Commentary on James’ in the Kregel Exegetical Library – It’s a good sign when a commentary is so readable you read it in two sittings. This from Spencer was a wonderful devotional aid. The translation format was a bit odd and occasionally the tangents were distracting but there is gold here. Lots of application. 4/5

Humphrey Hawksley, ‘The Third World War’ – a cracking geopolitical thriller, read it before and it holds up again. 5/5

Protestant Social Teaching: An Introduction‘ from the Davenant Institute – Strong shot across the CST’s bows, looking forward to more. 4/5

Tish Harrison Warren, ‘Prayer in the Night: For Those Who Work or Watch or Weep’ – A late contender for a top 10 slot – a gem of prose and poetic theology. Some parts theologically broader than I might go but near the core of this book is an honest suffering that I resonate with. And a humble hope of prayer. Beautifully written. 5/5

Carl F. H. Henry, ‘God, Revelation and Authority: Volume V. God Who Stands and Stays: Part One’ – probably the volume of Henry I’ve enjoyed most thus far. Lots of nuggets, some dated stuff. 5/5

William C. Placher, ‘Mark’ in Belief: A Theological Commentary on the Bible from Westminster John Knox – A fine example of a theological commentary – some genuinely useful application. Some quirks. A helpful read, I think. 4/5

Humphrey Hawksley, ‘Dragon Strike: The Millennium War’ – Around 20 years old, this feels painfully relevant as informed fiction. Slow start, but impossible to put down by the end. 5/5

John Goldingay, ‘Ecclesiastes’ in the new (it’s the first and only volume as at start of 2023!) ;The Bible in God’s World Commentary Series from Wipf and Stock – a devotional finish. A very readable and enjoyable (!) commentary on Ecclesiastes that wears its scholarship lightly, opens up the text, and bodes well for this new series. Planning to read more Goldingay in the New Year. 5/5

Kathryn Mannix, ‘With the End in Mind: Dying, Death & Wisdom in an age of denial’ – a profoundly moving, beautifully written secular book about the end of life by a palliative care consultant. I would strongly recommend it. 5/5

Humphrey Hawksley, ‘Dragon Fire’ – another cracking novel, tight writing and different kinds of prose work really well. 5/5

Spencer Dunmore, ‘Lost Subs: From the Hunley to the Kursk, the greatest submarines ever lost – and found’ – a fascinating diversion into military history and underwater archaeology. Beautiful pictures, sobering memorials. 4/5

Catherine Campbell, ‘Journey With Me: 365 Daily Devotions’ – a somewhat mixed bag for me with some quirky formatting, but some absolute gems (arguably the highs here are higher than the other 365, but there is more ‘meh’). Solid bitesize daily inspiration – I’ll keep an eye out for another 365 from Campbell. 4/5

Alistair Begg, ‘Truth for Life: 365 Daily Devotions’ – a gem. The Good Book Company knocked it out of the park with this one – balanced throughout, deep and rich, and incorporating a bible reading plan. I’ll be using vol. 2 in 2023. 5/5

*also an incomplete list
**eight years ago I was an MA student, so can’t be held responsible for publishing decisions.

2 Responses

    • Tom Creedy

      Hi, Phil, thanks for reading and commenting! Honestly, it’s because I try and approach each book on it’s own merits, and try and understand what it is setting out to do. So I lean in favour of 5 rather than 4, though a lot of things would be 9/10, if I did that.

      Practically speaking, Goodreads is responsible – it’s a useful reading tracking tool, with 5* review taking, so I echo that. Something to think about for 2023, though.

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