Here’s my obligatory (but very enjoyable to write) top books of 2013 list. A few things to mention first. These are the top books I read in 2013, not necessarily released in 2013. Also these are purely what I enjoyed the most in 2013, not necessarily the most important, nor the best in any objective sense. Many of these are academic, but not all. With that said, here’s the list.

  1. The Good God / Delighting in the Trinity by Michael Reeves (my review). This is not a defense of the doctrine of the Trinity, but a rejoicing in it. Reeves catches up the reader in his passion for our Triune God.
  2. Paul and the Law by Brian Rosner (my review). The Mosaic law and the Christian has always been a complicated and controversial issue, and adding the more recent New Perspective on Paul into the mix only complicated matters further. Rosner reexamines the texts and presents a helpful way of simplifying Paul’s attitudes towards the law in this impacting book.
  3. What is Biblical Theology? by Jim Hamilton (my review). Hamilton introduces us to Biblical Theology in a uniquely poetic and practical way, showing how its done, why it is important, and how it can assist every Christian in reading their Bibles.
  4. Understanding Paul by Stephen Westerholm (my review). An articulate, concise and surprisingly humorous introduction to Paul, Romans and the Christian faith. Very unique and accessible!
  5. Jesus the Son of God by D.A. Carson (my review). Carson manages here to cover a complicated Christological title comprehensively yet simply. This was so good that my only complaint is that he didn’t do this for other titles!
  6. Paul and the Faithfulness of God by N.T. Wright (my review). So much is being said about this book already. Wright is an excellent and creative writer, this has been a long-awaited book, and Pauline studies will never be the same. I know I haven’t (hardly) finished the book, but it has already been impacting.
  7. The King in His Beauty by Thomas Schreiner / God’s Glory in Salvation Through Judgment by Jim Hamilton (my review). I’ve put these books together because they both whole-Bible Theologies. They have different strengths and emphases, but both faithfully help one understand the big picture and themes of the Bible better.
  8. Evangellyfish by Doug Wilson. Wilson’s work of satirical fiction is a black sheep in this list but i certainly enjoyed it more than I expected. Evangellyfish tells a very funny, dark, and real story of the church, the world and redemption.
  9. Name Above all Names by Alistair Begg and Sinclair Ferguson (my review). The theology behind Christ’s names and titles is often unfamiliar to the average Christian, and unfortunately the writings on this topic are too academic for most to pick up and benefit from. This is why Name Above all Names stands out; it is a devotional and theological book that incredibly accessible.
  10. The Servant King by T.D. Alexander. Alexander’s book has been out for a while now (2003), but it was hugely helpful in preparing for my Christ and the Cross class. The Servant King traces the promises of the Messiah in a small amount of space with brevity and clarity. Alexander doesn’t fall into speculation, nor anachronism, but instead says what the text says. This is another theological book that I would recommend to any Christian. It is less devotional than #9 but more in-depth.

Well, this was surprising at a few points. Many thanks to the publishers who made each of these books available to review, barring The King in His Beauty, Evangellyfish and The Servant King, all of which I already owned.