Top Ten Favorite Reads in 2014

During 2014 I was blessed to read a number of great books. Here are ten of my favorites. These were not all written in 2014, I just read them this year. I list these books in no particular order, just ten of my favorite reads in 2014.

  1. Ardent Love for Jesus: English Baptists and the Experience of Revival in the Long Eighteenth Century by Michael A. G. Haykin
    This book focuses on an special area of interest of Michael Haykin, who is a respected Patristic and 17th-century English Baptist scholar. But as a former student and friend, I know that very near to his heart are the Baptist men and women of the 18th century. Haykin’s love for this period is infectious in this delightful volume that explores both the need for revival among 18th-century English Baptists, their reaction to the Evangelical Revival, and the fruit of the revival among Baptists in the modern missionary movement.
  2. George Whitefield: America’s Spiritual Founding Father by Thomas S. Kidd (Kindle)
    Thomas Kidd, professor of history at Baylor University, has quickly established himself as one of the foremost historians of religious life in colonial America. This book further cements this position. Kidd has successfully navigated the scholarly waters by offering an interpretation that is both true to his cultural context socially and Whitefield’s own self-understanding theologically.
  3. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand (Kindle)
    This New York Times bestseller has been made into a major motion picture. Hillenbrand expertly describes the trials and triumphs of Louis Zamperini, 1936 Olympian and World War II POW. The book is an inspiring story of perseverance and the grace of forgiveness.
  4. The Pastor’s Justification: Applying the Work of Christ in Your Life and Ministry by Jared C. Wilson (Kindle)
    Pastors are often depressed. This book provides the only lasting remedy–the gospel of Jesus Christ. Pastors need the gospel too and this book applies the gospel to the unique struggles which pastors face.
  5. Daniel (Concordia Commentary) by Andrew E. Steinmann
    I preached through the book of Daniel in 2014 and I really came to love this commentary. It is a comprehensive commentary that combines both the exegetical and theological.
  6. Living By Revealed Truth: The Life and Pastoral Theology of Charles Haddon Spurgeon by Tom Nettles (Kindle)
    Although there are a number of biographical studies of the Prince of Preachers, there was lacking a systematic survey of Spurgeon’s theology. Nettles has filled this lacuna admirably with this massive tome. If you want to learn what made Spurgeon tick, you will want to read this book.
  7. What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done by Matt Perman (Kindle)
    I love books on productivity and I love the gospel. This book combines both of these in a practical way. Perman not only provides a gospel-centered look at productivity, he provides a model for how the gospel should infiltrate and impact every aspect of our lives.
  8. The Lord’s Supper as a Means of Grace: More Than a Memory by Richard C. Barcellos (Kindle)
    Baptists are often thought to have only held to a memorial view of the Lord’s Supper. Barcellos provides the biblical and theological data to support a higher view of the Supper. This case is not only made biblically and theologically, but Barcellos also demonstrates that this was the view held by seventeenth-century English Particular Baptists.
  9. One New Man: The Cross and Racial Reconciliation in Pauline Theology by Jarvis Williams (Kindle)
    With all the racial tension in our world today, this is a great biblical treatment of racial reconciliation. Racial reconciliation is not primarily a political or social issue, it is a gospel issue. Williams skillfully demonstrates this from the Scriptures. This volume is timely appropriate, eminently readable, and expertly researched. Read this and be reminded that racial reconciliation must begin at the house of God.
  10. The Distinctiveness of Baptist Covenant Theology: A Comparison Between Seventeenth-Century Particular Baptist and Paedobaptist Federalism by Pascal Denault (Kindle)
    Many proponents of 1689 Confessionalism seem to view the Covenant theology contained in the 1689 London Confession as identical to its Westminster counterpart. Denault, however, shows that the seventeenth-century Baptists had a different starting place than their Reformed contemporaries. In short, they took the view of the new covenant espoused by the Congregationalist John Owen and took it to its logical ecclesiological conclusion. A very important work for understanding Baptist Covenant Theology.


  1. Thank you for recommending Denault’s important work. It shows that Baptists argued for a progressive view of the covenants, while avoiding the pitfalls of New Covenant Theology. I pray that it not only spurs on healthy dialogue, but will help Baptists get back to their confessional roots.

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