Best books I’ve read in 2016 (so far)

I read quite a bit: commentaries and theologies for sermon preparation, too many blogs, journals and magazines, and many books each month.  After six months of 2016, I am slightly ahead of pace to meet my goal for book reading this year, having read almost 50 books so far.

Of all the books I’ve read, a few stand out so far:

Spiritual Life:

The Heart of Christ (Thomas Goodwin) — a puritan work that exalts Christ.  Very readable and encouraging.

Redeemed from the Pit (Marie Notcheva) — a book about eating disorders, primarily focusing on anorexia and bulimia; it is biblical and hopeful.  It’s probably the best “counseling” book I’ve read this year.

Living in the Light: Money, Sex, and Power (John Piper) — my father called this trilogy of potential pitfalls “gold, girls, and glory.” This work provides insight into how to fight against those sins and fight for righteousness.


The Forgotten Fear (Albert Martin) — works on the fear of God have almost always disappointed me. This one did not. It’s brief, biblical, wise, and motivating. It is a book I will return to again and again.

The Vanishing Conscience (John MacArthur) — I read this because of my interest in the biblical discussion on the conscience; only two chapters deal specifically with the conscience and how it functions, but the rest of the book is also helpful.

Conscience (Andy Naselli and J. D. Crowley) — there are very few books on the conscience; this is the best I have seen.  It’s brief, but thorough.

Premillennialism: Why There Must be a Future Earthly Kingdom (Michael Vlach) — the author makes a compelling biblical case for and defense of a premillennial kingdom of Christ.  Vlach is probably the best current defender of dispensationalism and premillennialism.

A Theology of Biblical Counseling (Heath Lambert) — this is probably one of the best of the best books I’ve read this year.  It certainly is among the most important, and is a fitting supplement to or replacement of Jay Adams’ classic, Theology of Christian Counseling.


The Great Escape (Paul Brickhill) — a great story, compelling told. The movie is good; the book is better.

Isaac’s Storm (Eric Larson) — the story of the 1900 Galveston hurricane. It is a well-researched and written, tragic story.

The Passionate Preaching of Martyn Lloyd-Jones (Steve Lawson) — the biographies by Lawson in the “Long Line of Godly Men” series are always theologically compelling and helpful, as this one was.

A Comaradarie of Confidence (John Piper) — I love these biographies in “The Swans are Not Silent” series by Piper.  This may be one of the best in the series (George Müller, Charles Spurgeon, and Hudson Taylor).

God Took Me by the Hand (Jerry Bridges) — this was his autobiography, originally put together for his family only; it was edited for wider distribution and is an interesting story.  I disagree with some of his understanding of discerning the will of God, but it was still interesting to read the story of this godly man and how God worked through his obedience.

Martyn Lloyd-Jones:  His Life and Relevance for the 21st Century (Christopher Catherwood) — written by Lloyd-Jones’ grandson, this is more than a biography as it demonstrates the central aspects of MLJ’s teaching that still is foundational for ministry today.


O Pioneers! (Willa Cather) — my wife and daughter have been telling me for several years that I needed to read Cather; I was not disappointed by this first part of her Great Plains trilogy.

3 thoughts on “Best books I’ve read in 2016 (so far)

    1. No, I haven’t read Welch’s book, but it has been on my “to read” list for a couple of years; and I know of it by reputation and I know that it has been well-received and highly recommended by a number of writers/counselors that I respect.

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