Best Books I Read in 2014

I am always reading books. While I didn’t have as much free time in 2014—mostly due to the new addition to our family—I still managed to read a fair amount of books. In this post, I’ve compiled a list of the best books I read in 2014.

Before we get to the list, a few observations. The list is dominated by memoirs, apologetics, and church revitalization. Much of this is is because I am working in those areas in ministry. The list is also short on fiction and history, primarily because I had less free time to read.

Best Books I Read in 2014


11. Unveiling Grace by Lynn K. Wilder

Lynn Wilder shares her story about converting to Mormonism, raising her family in the Mormon faith, and finally embracing the grace of Jesus Christ. A good read for anyone with loved ones who are Mormon, and a great example of the power of the Gospel. (my review)

10. Cold-Case Christianity by J. Warner Wallace

A cold-case detective looks at the authenticity of the New Testament, including the claims of the gospel writers. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a good, readable primer into New Testament and Christian apologetics. (my review)

9. Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi

Like Unveiling Grace before, this is the memoir of a person’s journey to find the grace of Jesus Christ. Only Qureshi comes from a conservative, fundamental sect of Islam. His story, which involves critically engaging with the claims of both Christianity and Islam, is another helpful read for those interested in apologetics. (my review)

8. The Adam Quest by Tim Stafford

Stafford interviews eleven Christian scientists as they seek to reconcile their faith with their work. A helpful book dedicated to showing how brothers and sisters in Christ can agree that God is Creator, even if they disagree how He did it. (my review)

7. Futureville by Skye Jethani

The value of this book is less about changing your views about the end times and more about applying your Christian faith in everyday life. (my review)

6. Rebuilt by Father Michael White and Tom Corcoran

This book is a helpful memoir of a Catholic parish that went through a season of revitalization. I appreciate hearing the authors’ honesty as they struggled through changing their parish’s culture.

5. The Spy Who Came in From the Cold by John le Carré

A thrilling espionage book that tells a Cold War tale of deceit and double-crosses. The lone fiction book to make the list, this is my favorite book by le Carré (so far), and one of my favorite spy books I’ve read.

4. C.S. Lewis – A Life by Alister McGrath

A wonderful modern biography of the popular writer. While McGrath does respect Lewis, he does not hold back in criticizing his subject. Also, McGrath does a remarkable thing: he corrects Lewis on his conversion date! (my review)

3. Truth Matters by Andreas Köstenberger, Darrell Bock, and Josh Chatraw

An accessible yet powerful apologetic, this book answers some of the more popular questions people have with Christianity. This is a book I frequently hand out to students and skeptics. (my review)

2. Outgrowing the Ingrown Church by C. John Miller

A common symptom of an unhealthy church is an inward focus: the ministries of the church exist solely to meet the needs of members. Miller argues that this is not only unhealthy, it is not being true to the Gospel. This book casts a new vision for revitalizing a church, helping it turn its focus outward to the world. (my highlights)

1. Autopsy of a Deceased Church by Thom Rainer

This little book takes a powerful look at what can kill a church. With tons of practical advice, this book helps readers evaluate the health of any church, and reminding of what truly matters in a church. (my review)

Here are the best book lists from 2013 and 2012.

Brandon Schmidt

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

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