A new year is upon us, and if you know me, that means new books are coming (It’s like every month is Christmas!). Some people look forward to the Hollywood blockbusters, but I find myself at the year looking at future catalogs and anticipating what’s to come for my shelves.
This year, my “major reading” project is two-fold: I have outlined a reading plan for volumes 3 and 4 of Bavinck’s Reformed Dogmatics, taking it much slower than I did when I first read them. I’ll spend my weekdays working on that, and will have what I’m calling “Weekends With Sibbes,” where I’ll begin diving into the works of Sibbes at a leisurely pace on Saturdays and Sundays.
Along with this, here are just 12 books that are coming out in 2017 that I am looking forward to reading, though there are certainly going to be many more that I look forward to reading. You should get all of these and read one each month!
William Edgar, Created and Creating: A Biblical Theology of Culture (January, IVP Academic)
“By exploring what Scripture has to say about the role of culture and by gleaning insights from a variety of theologians of culture―including Abraham Kuyper, T. S. Eliot, H. Richard Niebuhr, and C. S. Lewis―Edgar contends that cultural engagement is a fundamental aspect of human existence. He does not shy away from those passages that emphasize the distinction between Christians and the world. Yet he finds, shining through the biblical witness, evidence that supports a robust defense of the cultural mandate to “be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it” (Genesis 1:28). With clarity and wisdom, Edgar argues that we are most faithful to our calling as God’s creatures when we participate in creating culture.”
Michael R. Wear, Reclaiming Hope: Lessons Learned in the Obama White House About the Future of Faith in America (January, Thomas Nelson)
“More than a memoir of the Obama administration, Reclaiming Hope is also a passionate call for faith in the public square, particularly for Christians to see politics as a means of loving one’s neighbor and of pursuing justice for all while promoting racial reconciliation and fighting for religious freedom for people of all faiths. At a time when large numbers of thoughtful Christians are arguing for withdrawal from participation in public institutions, Wear’s experience at the white-hot center of civic life shows how and why Christians must be involved in every aspect of cultural life—even if failures seem to outnumber successes—while working on behalf of the nation’s common good.”
Edited by Christian George, The Lost Sermons of C. H. Spurgeon Volume I: His Earliest Outlines and Sermons Between 1851 and 1854 (February, B&H Academic)
“This multi-volume set includes full-color facsimiles of Spurgeon’s original handwriting, transcriptions of his outlines and sermons, biographical introductions, and editorial commentary that further illuminate Spurgeon’s work. Taken together, The Lost Sermons of C. H. Spurgeon will add approximately 10 percent more material to Spurgeon’s total body of literature, making it a must-have for pastors and scholars as well as the multitude of Spurgeon enthusiasts around the world.”
*Another cool note on this project: My brother Cody actually worked on this project. How awesome to see it finally in print!
Erik Raymond, Chasing Contentment: Trusting God in a Discontented Age (March, Crossway)
“In this immensely practical book, Erik Raymond teaches us what contentment is (the inward gracious spirit that joyfully rests in God’s providence) and how we can learn it through the same Holy Spirit who was in Paul. Wisely and winsomely, this book helps us discover the key to contentment, encouraging us to trust in God rather than our circumstances—no matter what life brings our way.”
Gloria Furman, Alive in Him: How Being Embraced by the Love of Christ Changes Everything (March, Crossway)
“In Alive in Him, Gloria Furman leads us deep into the biblical text, exploring the main themes in Ephesians and showing us how the blessings we have received in Christ empower us to walk in a new way. Designed to be read alongside the biblical text, Alive in Him draws us into the plotline of Scripture, directing our gaze to the love of Jesus Christ—a love that has the power to transform how we live.”
Rod Dreher, The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation (March, Sentinel)
“The Benedict Option shows believers how to build the resistance and resilience to face a hostile modern world with the confidence and fervor of the early church. Christians face a time of choosing, with the fate of Christianity in Western civilization hanging in the balance. In this powerful challenge to the complacency of contemporary Christianity, Dreher shows why those in all churches who fail to take the Benedict Option aren’t going to make it.”
Tony Reinke, 12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You (April, Crossway)
“Drawing on the insights of numerous thinkers, published studies, and his own research, writer Tony Reinke identifies twelve potent ways our smartphones have changed our lives—for good and ill. Reinke calls us to cultivate healthy habits for smartphone use in the digital age, encouraging us to be grateful for technological advance, develop skills aimed at maximizing the blessing that we (and others) can receive through our phones, and grow in the wisdom we need to avoid the many pitfalls that exist with such a powerful tool.”
Edited by Collin Hansen, The New City Catechism Devotional: God’s Truth for Our Hearts and Minds (April, Crossway)
“The New City Catechism Devotional is a gospel-centered, modern-day resource that not only summarizes important Christian beliefs through 52 questions and answers but also helps readers meditate on and be transformed by those foundational Christian doctrines.”
John Piper, Reading the Bible Supernaturally: Seeing and Savoring the Glory of God in Scripture (April, Crossway)
“With insights into the biblical text drawn from decades of experience studying, preaching, and teaching Scripture, Piper helps us experience the transformative power of God’s Word—a power that extends beyond the mere words on the page. Ultimately, Piper shows us that in the seemingly ordinary act of reading the Bible, something supernatural happens: we encounter the living God.”
Michael Horton, Rediscovering the Holy Spirit: God’s Perfecting Presence in Creation, Redemption, and Everyday Life (April, Zondervan)
“In Rediscovering the Holy Spirit, author, pastor, and theologian Mike Horton introduces readers to the neglected person of the Holy Spirit, showing that the work of God’s Spirit is far more ordinary and common than we realize. Horton argues that we need to take a step back every now and again to focus on the Spirit himself—his person and work—in order to recognize him as someone other than Jesus or ourselves, much less something in creation. Through this contemplation we can gain a fresh dependence on the Holy Spirit in every area of our lives.”
Jared C. Wilson, The Imperfect Disciple: Grace for People Who Can’t Get Their Act Together (May, Baker)
“For the believer who is tired of quasi-spiritual lifehacks being passed off as true, down-and-dirty discipleship, here is a discipleship book that isn’t afraid to be honest about the mess we call real life. With incisive wit, warm humor, and moving stories, Jared Wilson shows readers how the gospel works in them and in their lives when they can’t get their act together, they think God is giving them the silent treatment, they think church would be better without all the people, they’re not happy with the person in the mirror and much more.”
Jen Pollock Michel, Keeping Place: Reflections on the Meaning of Home (May, IVP)
“To be human is to long for home. Home is our most fundamental human longing. And for many of us homesickness is a nagging place of grief. This book connects that desire and disappointment with the story of the Bible, helping us to see that there is a homemaking God with wide arms of welcome―and a church commissioned with this same work. “Many of us seem to be recovering the sacred, if ordinary, beauty of place.” Keeping Place offers hope to the wanderer, help to the stranded, and a new vision of what it means to live today with our longings for eternal home.”