Sunday, December 07, 2008

Paul's Top Books of 2008

This past year I have read around 36 books and I thought I would share with you the 10 books that I made a lasting impression on me this past year, because I know you are all dying to know. I do have two books I am reading right now, but I don’t think I will be done with them by the end of the year since they are both heavy reading: The Anti-Federalist Papers and Parables: Jewish Context and Christian Interpretation.

10. Wide Awake by Erwin McManus: Most of you know that Erwin McManus is a hero of mine, and so it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that his newest book made the list. The book is about discovering God’s dreams for our lives, and how we can live out those dreams. What I appreciated was his discussion about the reality that most people are not able to live their dreams, because each day is a struggle to survive, but God has given us in this country an opportunity to live out those dreams. We need to take advantage of the freedom we have in the United States.

9. Caesar Against the Celts by Ramon Jimenez: This was actually the second time I read this book. It is a great book to give provide some context to what the Roman Empire was like around the time of Jesus. What I got of the book this reading was the loyalty of Caesar’s troops. They were more loyal to Caesar than they were to Rome, which explains why the went with Caesar across the Rubicon. That is the type of loyalty that Christ demands from us.

8. The Irrational Atheist by Vox Day: The last couple of years we have been hit by the “New Atheists,” atheists who are more vocal about their atheism. The New Atheists are men like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens. Vox’s book is written to uncover the flaws in their arguments. The Irrational Atheist isn’t a book that gives a rational reason for theism, rather it is a book that breaks down the atheists arguments. While I was reading it I kept on thinking this is the way I would write a book about atheism. One word of caution about this book though, Vox Day does tend to be a little crude in the language that he uses, so it is not a book I would recommend if that type of language offends you (so I guess it isn’t exactly the book I would write).

7. The Revolution by Ron Paul: This was the second book that I read in one day. It is also the book that officially caused me to leave the Republican party and the reason I voted for Chuck Baldwin in November rather than for Senator McCain or Senator Obama. Not only does Congressman Paul point out the flaws in the government, but he also provide some common sense ways to restore our republic.

6. Rumors of Another World by Philip Yancey: This is only the second Yancey book that I have read, and it made me wonder why I haven’t read more. What this book did was help clarify my thinking about the spiritual world. By ignoring the spiritual we miss out on what God is doing and what He desires for our lives.

5. Walking with God by John Eldredge: I am so indebted to John Eldredge for where I am in life right now. This book is really a practical application of his book Waking the Dead, it shows how we can allow God to direct our lives everyday. It deserves another read soon.

4. Constitutional Chaos by Judge Andrew Napolitano: The book that got me thinking about leaving the Republican Party. It is scary to think about how much power the federal government now has and how it abuses that power. The bottom line is that we the people gave the government more power in exchange for a little security, and in the end we will discover we don’t even have that.

3. Following Jesus by N. T. Wright: A fabulous little book. N. T. Wright is a first rate theologian and helped clarify some of my thinking about the Kingdom of Heaven. I would recommend this book to anyone wanting a little more spiritual depth. It is short, sweet, and easy to understand. At the end you will come away with a little more knowledge.

2. How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill: A great history book. I loved Cahill’s style of relating history through telling stories. What I really liked about this book is that it showed how God worked through history to preserve Christianity. How God used Saint Patrick to turn a bunch of illiterate savages into literate scribes in a generation is amazing. I will be celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day this year.

1. Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey: Without a doubt this is the book that has impacted my life the most this year. Money has always been one of those things that brought fear to my heart, but within a few pages Dave Ramsey gave me hope that I could manage my money. If you are having money problems and debt is a big issue in your life I would recommend that you read this book. The thing is you have to go through his steps, but if you do I promise you will find financial freedom in shorter time than what you thought was possible.

Those are the best books that I read this year. I am sorry I didn’t put any fiction on the list, but none of the fiction I read this year I thought was good enough to be included. Though if you like westerns I would suggest West of Dodge by Louis L'Amour, a great short story collection. I would like to know what books you enjoyed this year.


Anonymous said...

Nice list. Great range of books: history, law, theology, economics and more. Cool. Thanks for posting, I'm not familiar with Ceasar against the Celts. I'll have to look it up.

Paul said...

Doug, thanks for reading and commenting.

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