December 16, 2017

Of the Making of Books

Don Johnson

Ecclesiastes 12:12 And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

I don’t know how many books were published in 2016, I am sure there were more than any one of us could ever read. We need to rely on others to point us to those books that might be most profitable. Two interesting lists of books appeared recently that I thought might be of interest to our readers. Both lists appeared on The Gospel Coalition website. Our readers should be aware that we have some significant disagreements with TGC and with the evangelical world in general. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t profit from work done in many fields of Christian study.

The first list is the TGC Book Awards list. I have not read any of these, but several titles look very interesting. In the First-Time Author category, Mindy Belz of World Magazine has a book called They Say We Are Infidels: On the Run from ISIS with Persecuted Christians in the Middle East. The book discusses Christians under persecution from ISIS in the middle east.

In the International Outreach category, Nabeel Qureshi has a book called No God But One: Allah or Jesus?. It is meant to convince Muslims of the biblical claims of Christ, but as the column notes, “it also provides Christian readers with a fresh perspective on their own beliefs.”

The Bible and Theology category had a tie, with two books highlighted. In particular, Stephen Wellum’s book on Christology, God the Son Incarnate: The Doctrine of Christ seems quite promising.

Read the whole column to see which other books the judges awarded as winners.[1]

The second list is Kevin DeYoung’s personal “Top Ten” for the year. I am not sure I can read more than ten books a year, let alone select a top ten. However, one of the books on this list I’ve read and can’t recommend highly enough. I reviewed Unchanging Witness here on Proclaim & Defend (review here). It addresses the Christian teaching on homosexuality through the centuries and proves the witness has been consistent across all denominations, including those we would profoundly disagree with in many key areas. It made number 9 on DeYoung’s list.

If any readers have read any of these titles, perhaps they could give their impressions in the comments section. In addition, if you’ve read a good book this year, this is your chance to tell the rest of us about it.

Don Johnson is the pastor of Grace Baptist Church of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada.

  1. Perhaps an enterprising reader could submit a review to us for the benefit of all. []


  1. Aaron Merrick says:

    Just a warning that Hillbilly Elegy, which oddly enough made the top ten list of DeYoung, is laced throughout with profanity. Another battle Christians unfortunately seem to ‘agree to disagree’ about.

    • Thanks, Aaron. Very helpful. I’m surprised DeYoung didn’t mention it.

      Don Johnson
      Jer 33.3

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