Generally, at the end of every year, it has been my habit to list out the books that I either heard on audio, or read electronically or in physical form. I honestly hadn’t planned on adding a list this time around because I have been spending the last year either prepping lessons for 3rd graders or writing on a forthcoming book (hopefully in print at the end of this new year) on apologetic methodology.
But someone in the Twitterverse asked when I was publishing my end of the year book list because he needed to know what to read this next year and I was shamed into writing up my reading list.
It’s not a whole lot. In fact, my reading has been rereading old apologetic books, which I have actually enjoyed. I only read and listened to a few new things. BTW, In order to hurry up the publishing of this list, I won’t supply purchase links to all of the items listed. I trust you can search out the titles on Amazon or what ever book seller you use.
And if anyone is wondering, I secure my epubs from either Amazon Kindle, or I get a hold of the pdfs and translate them into epubs via Calibre and then listen with an app call Evie. That was a game changer for my book consumption.
So here we go (in no particular order):
Books I Heard
Against All Opposition – Greg Bahnsen. An excellent treatment on the basics of apologetic methodology. Well done, like much of Bahnsen’s material. If you look on the American Vision website, you’ll find that this book is a part of a trilogy of books on apologetics by Bahnsen.
The Justification of Knowledge – Robert Reymond. This is an overlooked work by the late theology professor who gave us one of the absolute best systematic theologies ever written with his New Systematic Theology. The Justification of Knowledge is his class notes on apologetic methodology that he worked up into a short, readable book. Some folks claim the book is dated (it’s no longer in print), but the material and ideas he covers are timeless. It is available for free at the Monergism website, that has available loads of free books. I also downloaded the epub of the Existence and Attributes of God by Charnock and the attributes of God by Thomas Watson (that book is the section on God and His attributes from his famous work on the Westminster Confession, A Body of Divinity).
In The Closet of the Vatican: Power, Homosexuality, Hypocrisy – Fredric Martel. This book, written by a openly gay Italian author, chronicles the secret goings-on at the Vatican, which according to the book, is led by sodomites that reach up to the highest levels near the pope. The book is controversial because it’s critics claim the author exaggerates the experiences he had while staying at the Vatican. But even if some of this work is exaggerated, it still is troubling that the worlds largest religious organization is ran by flaming homosexuals. What else would we expect to come out of the antichrist and the beast?
The Quest for Cosmic Justice – Thomas Sowell. This was a quick listen as it is a series of essays written a number of years ago talking about what really is the seeds of the current woke heresy we are dealing with in our modern times. Sowell is brilliant and prophetic.
The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self – Carl Trueman. I kept hearing all the reviews gushing how it was a fantastic, life-changing work. It was good. And Trueman does a fine job documenting the descent of sinful man into all the trans madness we are experiencing these days. It wasn’t life-changing, though.
Books I Read
Reprobation and God’s Sovereignty: Recovering a Biblical Doctrine – Peter Sammons. My dear friend Dr. Peter took his doctoral thesis that traces the history and theological development of the doctrine of reprobation and turned it into a reader-friendly book. He does a study on the relevant texts from Scripture showing us how the Bible clearly teaches the often despised doctrine, even among professed believers.
The Believer: Alien Encounters, Hard Science, and the Passion of John Mack. – Ralph Blumenthal. John Mack was a Harvard trained psychiatrist who wrote a Pulitzer prize winning biography on T.E. Lawrence, you know, the Lawrence of Arabia guy. Anyways, Mack turned his research toward the alien abduction phenomena, and began dealing with individuals who claimed they were taken by aliens. He of course was ridiculed by his uppity, elitist snob academic friends like Carl Sagan. I believe he was documenting genuine demonic experiences these people were having. The book goes back and forth between his UFO/abductee research and his dysfunctional life with his marriage, his Cold War activism, and other boring elements. I skipped a lot of those sections of the book. I wished it would have stayed focused on the UFO stuff.
The Mystery of the Trinity – Vern Poythress. I was told by 1689er cage-stage Thomistic fanboys that Poythress’s work is heterodox and I shouldn’t read it because it would make me Socinian. 1689er cage-stage Thomistic fanboys are some of the most annoying and irritating people on social media in recent days who are consistently wrong about a lot of stuff, so I picked this book up at ShepCon back in March. I thought it was good and I was largely encouraged by reading it (It is a bit heady in the academic theological sense, btw) and I didn’t become Socinian. Ignore the complaints of 1689er cage-stage Thomistic fanboys.
Every Believer Confident: Apologetics for the Average Christian – Mark Farnham. I recently started this book so I could add it to my apologetic research collection. It was a Christmas gift to myself. Farnham is professor of apologetics at Lancaster Bible College in Pennsylvania. It is a brief book that provides a basic overview of apologetic systems and then focuses upon presuppositionalism as the most effective means for defending our faith and sharing the gospel.
Dispensational Hermeneutics: Interpretation Principles that Guide Dispensationalism’s Understanding of the Bible’s Storyline – Michael Vlach. As that Puritan sermon length title suggests, it is a book that discusses the hermeneutics of dispensationalism. Vlach interacts with other systems like typology and the so-called christocentric hermeneutic employed by covenant theology and presents the historic-grammatical way to read the Bible like God intended.
The Expanse Series – James S.A. Corey. The Expanse is a running series of novels written by two SciFi nerds, Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck. James Corey is their joint pen name. The books take place in the future (like all good scifi) where humanity has colonized the solar system. Mars has become it’s own independent planetary nation/state and the outer planets like Jupiter and Saturn are also their own political entity, though they are broken into various groups and tribes. The three factions of Earth, Mars, and the OPA (outer planet alliance) are always at odds with each other. Each has developed it’s own unique societies and cultures. Then, an alien molecule was secretly discovered on one of Jupiter’s moons and a shady tech company from earth (always a shady tech company) has been developing it as a weapon. The molecule gets loose and the stories take off at a blistering pace.
These are probably some of the best scifi books I have read in years because of the author’s attention to the details of the story and the realism of space. For instance, going super fast in space will still have the same physical effect on your body like it would here on earth. If you stop immediately in space decelerating from 17,000 miles an hour to 10 miles an hour, you’re instantly dead. They are available at various places on the internet in epub and pdf form as well as Amazon. I will be starting the next volume, Nemesis Games, sometime this year. (They turned the novels into a tv show, which is good, at least the early seasons. When the SciFy channel canceled the series due to expense, Amazon picked it up and finished it out. There’s swearing and such in the episodes, just to give you the heads up. But as is always the case, the books are far, far superior to the episodes).
How to Find and Film a Bigfoot: An Exercise in Critical Thinking – ThinkerThunker. So I love Bigfoot; and one evening, after watching a Les Stroud Survivor Man episode on Youtube, I stumbled upon the YouTube channel of the anonymous ThinkerThunker and was immediately enthralled with his work analyzing footage and sonic fingerprints of Sasquatches. He provides some original insights into the legendary forest giants, what he calls Bigfoot. His work is extremely well done and researched, especially the aspect of scientific measurement when it comes to body proportions, as well as the breakdown of audio sounds that are unique to a Bigfoot. He constantly asks, if these photos and videos are hoaxed, would the hoaxers come forward and demonstrate how they did it, because there is a lot of impossible situation that an average man in a monkey suit in the middle of the deep forest would be unable to pull off. ThinkerThunker is one of my youngest daughter’s favorite channels.