Best Books I Read in 2013

As we conclude 2013, I thought it would be appropriate to highlight the 10 best books I read this year. Not all of these books were published in 2013, but rather are books that I read this year. Most are in theology and Christian life, but with a memoir and a few history books thrown in. Enjoy!

10. A Higher Call by Adam Makos

A fascinating World War II story of honor, generosity, and mercy, in which a German fighter pilot assisted a badly-wounded Allied bomber back to safety. This book describes the event, as well as the journeys of the men on both sides of the battle that day.

9. Crucifying Morality by R.W. Glenn

A great guide to reading the Beatitudes (Matthew 5) through the lens of the gospel. This is a book I will turn to whenever I am studying the Beatitudes, or when I need a gospel check-up.
(my review)

8. Eyes Wide Open by Steve DeWitt

This book highlights the awe and wonder of beauty, whether it is a scenic vista, a beautiful painting, or a wondrous musician. DeWitt reminds readers of the source and inspiration behind all beauty on earth: God. He seeks to draw people further in awe of the beauty of God, as well as show how God’s beauty is reflected in the things we find beautiful.
(my review)

7. Surprised by Hope by NT Wright

This book opened my eyes to how the promise of New Creation affects our present lives. This broken world is not something we are to flee from; rather it is where God has called us to minister.

6. Operation Mincemeat by Ben Macintyre

A WWII story almost too good to be true! This book recounts the true story of a plot, conceived by Ian Fleming (future creator of James Bond), to plant fake documents on a courier’s body and have it fall in the hands of the Nazis. Throughout the twists and turns in the plot—not to mention all the difficulties of truly faking the death of an already dead body—this book highlights how Operation Mincemeat literally changed the course of the war.

5. Dismissing Jesus by Douglas Jones

Jones warns that the 21st-century church too much reflects the world, at the cost of neglecting the teachings and priorities of Jesus Christ. The remedy? A rejection of the ways of the world, in favor of complete submission and obedience to Christ. No book challenged me more in 2013 than this one.
(my review)

4. Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert by Rosaria Butterfield

This book tells the powerful testimony of Rosaria Butterfield, who was a lesbian with a tenured professorship in queer studies before she encountered the life-altering gospel of Jesus. The book is a raw, emotional, and beautifully honest memoir of conversion, showing how she truly counted the cost and found Christ irresistible.
(my review)

3. King in His Beauty by Tom Schreiner

Schreiner writes a compelling whole-Bible biblical theology. He walks readers through both testaments book by book, showing each book’s contribution to the redemptive history. This has increasingly become the first biblical theology book I reach for as I prepare for sermons.
(my review)

2. Jesus on Every Page by David Murray

Murray does an excellent job of showing Christian readers the importance—even necessity—of reading the Old Testament. In this accessible yet powerful book, Murray takes the readers on an expedition through all the sections of the Old Testament, only to discover Jesus around every corner.
(my review)

1. Intolerance of Tolerance by D.A. Carson

Carson describes the current trend in redefining “tolerance,” towards a view of acceptance and equality; tolerance now means all truth claims are equally valid. Because of this, the culture has now become intolerant of anyone not holding to this new view of tolerance. Carson’s words are prophetic, as these behaviors have been seen several times in the last year, most recently in the Duck Dynasty debacle just this week. This is probably my favorite of Carson’s books—and that is saying something!
(my review)

Here’s my list of best books I read in 2012.

Brandon Schmidt

I am Brandon Schmidt: writer, husband, father, brother, reader, and laugher.

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