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Top Books Read in 2022 from Two Reading Aficionados

Book reviews from Indianapolis, from Greg Enas offering his Big Ten and Russ Pulliam adding the bottom ten. Greg and Russ share a Jeremiah 29:7 prayer for making Indianapolis as well known for commitment to Christ as it is for auto racing and basketball.


The Everlasting People, G. K. Chesterton and the First Nations | Matthew Milliner

This short but powerful writing from a Wheaton College professor of art history demonstrates God’s work among indigenous peoples amidst terror and exile.

Founding Brothers - The Revolutionary Generation | Joseph J. Ellis

How incredible it was for seven fairly incompatible men and one woman (Abigail Adams) to come together for the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the third way between state and federal authority to create the United States of America.

Children of Fire, A History of African-Americans | Thomas C. Holt

From the slave trade to President Obama, a grand, painful, even redemptive sweeping narrative that is hard to put down.

Wildland, The Making of America’s Fury | Evan Osnos

It turns out I preached in my friend’s West Virginia church where a Democratic state senator, given ample time for his story here, has also been a member. Chicago, Greenwich CT, and Clarksburg W VA all connect to make a fascinating story.

An Impossible Marriage - What Our Mixed-Orientation Marriage Has Taught Us About Love and the Gospel | Laurie Krieg and Matt Krieg

Here is the wonderful testimony of this same-sex attracted wife and mother of her and her husband’s three biological children. Their candid story shows how Jesus has made all the beautiful difference.

Marriage - Sex in the Service of God | Christopher Ash

Very deep dives into the Old and New Testament within cultural and historical contexts make this one of the best lenses on marriage I have ever read.

The Mind of the South | W.J. Cash

Published in 1941, this son of the Carolinas brings southern culture to life, and at times death, as I trembled at God’s view of man playing out in human history yet came away with a very necessary cultural understanding.

Separate Pasts - Growing Up White in the Segregated South | Melton A. McLaurin

In this amazing little memoir published 35 years ago, a retired UNC professor recounts his days growing up in a prominent family in tiny Wade, NC. I hung on to every word as the future professor comes of age while working in his granddaddy’s store on the outskirts of town.

No Flesh Shall Glory - How the Bible Destroys the Foundations of Racism | by C. Herbert Oliver

This one was originally published around the time I was born (the 1950s). The author grew up in Alabama and became an OPC pastor in Maine and gives one of the best biblical interrogations of racism I have ever read.

Bread of Life: Savoring the All-Satisfying Goodness of Jesus Through the Art of Bread Making | Abigail Dodds

Simply. Beautiful. The prose, pictures, recipes, and stories from this Midwestern mom of five, including one with special needs, make this one of my very favorite books to literally and figuratively savor.


From Virginia Slave to African Statesman, Hilary Teage (1805-1853) | C. Patrick Burrowes

A strong biography of someone whose story needs to be remembered for the sake of the future of Liberia.

Hugh Redwood, with God in Fleet Street | William Clark

In some ways, this British reporter did not have an exciting life. He did not bring down a prime minister. He was just a faithful news reporter and editor who told the story of the Salvation Army in news stories and books.

The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self | Carl Trueman

An incredibly important book, like How Should We Then Live by Francis Schaeffer in 1976.

J-Curve: Dying and Rising with Jesus and Everyday Life | Paul Miller

He captures the Philippians 2:3-4 vision and covers some strong sanctification themes in the context of Christ’s purposes for our suffering.

Authentic Ministry: Serving from the Heart | Michael Reeves

Like Paul Miller, Reeves writes about themes of grace from a pastor’s heart.

Holy Humanitarians, American Evangelicals and Global Aid | Heather Curtis

A good book about the Christian Herald magazine, Bowery Mission for the homeless in NYC and efforts to help people worldwide, 1890—1920. They were applying the doctrine of Christ’s kingship over all the earth.

Chief Scottish Man, The Life and Ministry of Thomas Chalmers | Sandy Finlayson

If someone is surrounded by books all day, likely he could write a good one himself. Sandy Finlayson, the librarian at Westminster Theological Seminary, wrote this solid biography of Thomas Chalmers, the founding father of the Free Church of Scotland.

Broken Pieces and the God Who Mends Them: Schizophrenia Through a Mother’s Eyes | Simonetta Carr

A sad story, but the author puts her hope in Christ. She writes great biographies for young people, and now she has written an autobiographical story of her family in suffering over one of her many children.

Stronger Together: A Gospel Lens on Unity | Maria Garriott

Maria Garriott claims no deep expertise in racial reconciliation. In her humbleness, though, she offers on-the-ground lessons she and her husband Craig have learned in 40 years of PCA church service in inner-city Baltimore.

Christian Parenting: Wisdom and Perspectives from American History | David P. Setran

In one parenting book, David Setran links Puritan Cotton Mather, child psychologist James Dobson, 19th-century century theologian Horace Bushnell, and novelist Harriet Beecher Stowe. The result is good history lessons and much wisdom.