Ten Books To Buy Yourself or Someone Else for Christmas

November 25, 2020  |  Seth Troutt

If you’re tempted to dive into the “new year new me” hysteria, look no further for all the help you need. Leaders are readers; those who desire to lead themselves will “get wisdom; get insight” (Proverbs 4:5).

1. The ESV Study Bible – It takes some work to understand the Bible. Both the articles and footnotes in the ESV Study Bible tend to be the first place I look for help. This is the best all-in-one resource for studying the Bible.

2. My Tech-Wise Life – Amy Crouch, a college student, describes how she and her parents pursued a life that included healthy relationships with digital technology.

3. Gently and Lowly – Dane Ortlund reflects on how Jesus said he is “gentle and lowly in heart” and applies this neglected yet central reality to who he is for sinners and sufferers today. I cannot overstate how good this book was for my soul in 2020.

4. Live Not By Lies – Rod Dreher leans on the wisdom of survivors of Soviet persecution to warn American Christians of the approaching dangers of Leftist “Soft-Totalitarianism” and casts a vision for what faithful resistance might look like.

5. A Praying Life – Paul Miller lays out a pattern for living in relationship with God and includes helpful habits and approaches to prayer that enable us to return to a childlike faith. 

6. The Soul of Shame – Curt Thompson unpacks shame neurologically and theologically. Shame affects every aspect of our personal lives and vocational endeavors and this book helps us see a path towards wholeness in our identity in Christ.

7. Divided by Faith – This book (written 20 years ago) reframes the “racism” conversation into a “racialization” conversation in a way that I found helpful and convincing. If you haven’t read anything substantive on this topic, this is a good place to start.

8. Analog Church – Are online churches, video venues, and brighter lights truly the future? As a pastor in Silicon Valley, Jay Kim says “no”: we need real, embodied people in real embodied places in order to flourish.

9. Family Discipleship – Discipling your family can feel like an intimidating task, but it doesn’t need to be overwhelming or complicated. With a simple plan in place, discipleship is something every parent can do. The authors give us the tools we need to create that very-doable plan.

10. Run With The Horses –  In a series of reflections on the life of Jeremiah the prophet, Peterson explores the heart of what it means to be fully and genuinely human. His writing is filled with wisdom, helping to set a course for us on the quest for life at its best.