Books I Heard or Read in 2020

As the hell year of 2020 closes out, I wanted to post the books I heard and read in 2020.

I’ll begin with the ones I heard (I listened to some Star Wars novels, but I don’t feel the need to highlight them).

Rebel Yell: The Violence, Passion, and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson – S.C Gwynne

A wonderful biography. Because Jackson was a Confederate general (and one of the greatest in all of American history), he is treated by our woke moderns as a racist villain. He was nothing of the sort, even founding the first black Sunday school to teach literacy and biblical theology to the slaves.

Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution – Nathaniel Philbrick

Philbrick is a brilliant historian on the American colonial and Revolutionary eras. Excellent overview of the events and people leading up to the Revolutionary War and the drama surrounding Arnold’s betrayal. I would also recommend Philbrick’s history on the Mayflower and the Pilgrims. Great Christian history even though it is not specifically written as such.

Foundation – Issac Asimov
Dune – Frank Herbert

Both of these books are getting a film treatment this next year. All the fanfare around them gushes how both books are brilliant empire building epics that inspired George Lucas and other film makers. I had never read Foundation, but it was one of the most boring stories I have listened to. I almost gave up on it. The scientists are the heroes who use their SCIENCE! to predict the future and put the Scientists! all in power when the idiot dummies who run the empires in the galaxy collapse upon themselves.

Dune, on the other hand, was fantastic. I had started reading the book when I was a kid, but it didn’t interest me. I became familiar with the 1984 movie version and the 2000 SciFi channel version. I liked the TV version over the movie version. At any rate, Frank Herbert did a much greater job of writing an empire building story with memorable characters and dialogue than Asimov.

Now to the books I read.

First, the ebooks.

Disloyal Opposition – Julie Kelly. A biography of sorts on the NeverTrump movement. It was entertaining to say the least.

Cynical Theories – Helen Pluckrose & James Lindsay. A book written by two secular unbelievers on the destructive ideas put forth by the current trends of critical race theories and other postmodern nonsense.

A Testimony of Jesus Christ – Tony Garland. An outstanding commentary on the book of Revelation. Over 1000 pages (I’m still reading). The commentary is available in various formats for free on the internet. I bought the Logos version so it can be searchable.

Now to physical books.

Note the photo. Beginning from the top.

The Absurdity of Unbelief and Expository Apologetics are both apologetics oriented books. Presuppositional and Scriptural, as apologetic methodology should be. Picked them up at G3.

He Died For Me explores the extent of the atonement in various Calvinistic expressions. I thought it laid out the discussion rather well. Another G3 find.

Creation Unfolding is written by my old seminary friend from Australia, Ken Coulson. He has since obtained a doctorate in geology. I left a fuller review at Amazon HERE.

Before the Throne is a lay level study on the holiness of God and how we as believers should be shaped by God’s holiness. It’s a good book to utilize in small group Bible studies.

God Doesn’t Whisper, written by my friend Jim Osman, is a book dismantling the disastrous idea that God speaks to Christians through personal signs, omens, murmurings, and unintelligible impressions that a believer then has to decode in some fashion or he will miss out on God’s will. Highly recommended!

History of Christian Thought is the second volume in Justo Gonzalez’s major work on Church History. The 2nd volume covers the middle ages up until the Reformation.

The remainder of my book stack I plan to read this next year. Or in the case of a few, finish them.

1 & 2 Thessalonians. My friend Cameron has started the personal project of reading through all of John MacArthur’s NT commentaries. He told me, “You know, we listen to his preaching every week, attended TMS, and work for GTY and I have never just read his commentary work.” The same with me. The only ones I have read through have been Galatians and 2 Timothy, because I taught those books. So I took up his habit. Cameron began with Matthew and is currently in the Gospel of Luke. I thought I would begin with some of his smaller works first.

Holiness – JC Ryle. I read big portions of this book decades ago and loved it. Ryle set me thinking correctly about sanctification. I was planning on preaching on the topic of holiness with my volunteers this past year, but then stupid COVID lockdowns happened.

What About Evil? This is Scott Christensen’s magnum opus on the problem of evil and how Christians should have a biblical response. Well researched and written. Can’t recommend it highly enough!

The Genesis Account is a commentary on Genesis 1-11. Sarfati, who has become a distant friend of mine on social media, provides a detailed, apologetic work that presents Genesis as legitimate history. Thoroughly exegetical, dealing with all the major views naysayers use to dismiss this foundational book.

A History of Christian Thought Volume 3. Justo Gonzalez’s third and final volume in his historical survey of Christian doctrine. Look forward to starting it.