The PhxP Books Of The Year

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15 Responses

  1. Duane Arnold says:

    I don’t normally read much fiction, but “A Gentleman In Moscow” by Amor Towles was outstanding. The writing is simply elegant.

    On the music side of things, the two volume biography of The Beatles’ producer George Martin by Kenneth Womack was inspiring on many levels.

    In theology/Church history, I read again, after an interval of over 25 years, “The Stripping of the Altars. Traditional Religion in England 1400-1580” by Eamon Duffy. It is a magisterial study of the pre-Reformation Church that, in my opinion, is “required reading” for any serious student of Anglicanism.

  2. Michael says:

    I’m already a year behind on my required reading!

  3. Xenia says:

    Just to forestall anyone calling Hart an “Orthodox theologian” and concluding he is speaking for Eastern Orthodoxy, I am giving a link to an article about him written by Fr. John Whiteford:

  4. Michael says:

    Hart’s book did not make Xenia’s top five..thousand…

  5. Babylon's Dread says:

    Some musings about my readings this year, a NOT all top books of the year list but some are good.

    The Universal Christ Richard Rohr – The much ballyhooed Catholic mystic theologian has written his most impacting book judging by the reception. He is unapologetically a panentheist as well as having a horrific view of “Christ” over against Jesus. The book checks all the progressive inclusive boxes and is without question compelling in tone and tenor. However. theologically it is assertions without historic definitions and rivers without banks.

    History and Eschatology:Jesus and the Promise of Natural Theology N T Wright – Wright’s Gifford Lectures the first by a NT scholar since the lectures by the same title of Rudolph Bultmann 1955. In all candor I listened to the lectures this year and just bought the volume into which they were written. Wright never disappoints the serious and textually devoted reader.

    The Madness of Crowds Douglas Murray – My journey into culture has landed me among the kin of Murray. His book does more to diagnose the illness and offer a cure. Murray is a cogent voice for those who sense the rotting of Western culture and the determination of the academia to support it.

    Unpunishable: Ending Our Love Affair with Punishment, Danny Silk
    This book both challenges and disappoints me. He definitely shows us the problem we have with dealing with fallen brethren and points to some roots of it. However, he offers a nuanced and I’d have to say therapeutic definition of repentance as a solution. He also gives us a case study that is odd in that it is in process and has not been proven. All in all I’d say this adds to the discussion but leaves us less than helped for a remedy.

    Coddling of the American Mind: How Good intentions and Bad Ideas are Setting up a Generation for Failure, Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff – This book was 2018 but wow. As an aid to what to do about a culture that is producing weak citizenry this is important. Over and again I am finding in my readings left wing voices who see the utter failure of progressivism as an ideology.

    Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know – I love everything Gladwell writes and find him to be such a refreshing voice. This book is a long wade through a deep problem that mostly convinces us that we know almost nothing that we thought we knew. I kept waiting for the big reveal. As it turns out there was not really one offered. Along the way we simply learn that communication is damned by so many false assumptions. The book fueled my already untrusting mind.

    I did delve into Hart a bit – ugh. Now I guess I need to finish.

  6. Michael says:


    I want to read the Murray and Wright books this year.
    “Over and again I am finding in my readings left wing voices who see the utter failure of progressivism as an ideology.”

    At this point, it seems like all ideologies are failing us…

  7. bob1 says:

    Speaking of Dread’s “Boblical” on another thread….

    Had to laugh — a CNN crawl this PM said “evangecicals.” Close to dangerous!

    The other typo I’ve seen over the years: spelling Arminian as
    :Armenian.” Even in “Christian”publications once in awhile.


  8. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Everyone on the internet is coming out with their top books. I read mostly to pass the time – fiction and political histories and biographies. Any theology is usually read as you would a reference book.

    I would like to see a top 5 list of books we put down as a waste of time after 30 to 50 pages. I’ve never kept track but it’s plenty. If they haven’t captured my interest in 30 pages, I’m done.

  9. Chris says:

    Adorning the Dark by Andrew Peterson for those among us who are creative’s. Every Moment Holy by Douglas Mckelvey is interesting and refreshing. It’s a book of liturgies for everyday life happenings.

  10. Xenia says:

    All I read last year were books for school, mostly medieval literature. Pretty much every class assignment list began with “Read Beowulf.” Good thing I love Beowulf!

  11. Muff Potter says:

    I’ve become just as disillusioned with progressive Christian ideology as I became years ago with Calvary Chapel fundagelicalism.

  12. Michael says:


    Interesting comment…expand on that if you would…

  13. Babylon's Dread says:

    A sociological examination of progressivism (even the secular kind) reveals that it is virtually a mirror image of hard core fundamentalism.

    Watching that unfold and quickly develop has been both fascinating and maddening.

  14. Dan from Georgia says:


    I recently came across several articles online that talk about just that..putting down and not revisiting books that are boring, a chore to read, etc.

    I’ve put down a few books in my life and never went back: “Out of the Saltshaker” by Rebecca Pippert, as well as some book Donald Miller wrote before “Blue Like Jazz”. Also stopped 3 or 4 books into the CS Lewis Narnia series.

  15. Laura Martin says:

    I’m late to comment, but I recently read and reviewed Kate Bowler’s latest book released in Oct. 2019. Since you appreciate her, I’ll attach my review, in case anyone is interested:

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