It seems everybody in the blogosphere have made their own list of top books in 2009. Below are 9 of the best books I read (not necessarily published) this past year. Happy New Year everyone.
9. Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning - I hesitate putting this on the list, but it was well worth the read and timely. The book is a historical sketch from Woodrow Wilson, Hitler, and Mussolini and the modern progressive/fascist movement. It is quit eye opening. Though many hate the label, we should take it seriously. This is a must read for all conservatives and liberals should take it just as seriously.
8. Glenn Beck's: Common Sense: The Case Against and Out-of-Control Government, Inspired by Thomas Paine and Arguing With Idiots: How to Stop Small Minds and Big Government - Glenn Beck must hold the record for the most number one best sellers in a year. These two books stand as his most influential and for good reason. "Common Sense" was my favorite and it is a call for Americans to wake up and realize that things need to change now. Whatever happens in the elections of 2010 and 2012 and the direction of this country I believe will be heavily influenced by Glenn Beck. "Arguing With Idiots" though very much full of jokes and laughs, is a very serious book. Beck lays out the Conservative/Libertarian argument of politics, government, and economics in a comically serious way.
8. Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles - Thomas Sowell has written an excellent book on political assumptions that drive policy and partisan. It breaks down into two camps relating to one issue: anthropology. Liberals believe that men are inherently good while conservatives believe that they are fallen and corrupt. That drives their politics. Though the book is very deep and difficult to read for simpletons like myself, the subject matter is extremely important. By the way, Sarah Palin praises the book in her book.
7. John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine, & Doxology - I am always hesitant about posting anything about John Calvin. But being that this was his 500th Birthday, I read a few books on and by the man. This was by far the best for a number of reasons. If anyone reads anything on Calvin, this is a good one to read. It is more than a theology or a biography.
6. Proclaiming a Cross-Centered Theology - The Together For the Gospel conferences have been really encouraging to me and the books and continued that encouragement. This second book is the best thus far and very well done. The subject matter is timely and should be read by Christians and pastors.
5. Ronald Reagan: How an Ordinary Man Became an Extraordinary Leader - Dinesh D'Souza is one of my favorite writers and commentators and I really enjoyed his book on one of my political hero's and favorite presidents, Ronald Reagan. D'Souza makes a remarkable case for Reagan. Reagan changed the world.
4. Jesus Made in America: A Cultural History From the Puritans to the Passion of the Christ - I find Stephen Nichols' books on history and theology to be among the best (I will be writing a review on one really soon). Here is the first I read and learned much. The history from the Puritans to modern liberalism to postmodernity and the Religious Right is interesting. Who though historical Christology could be so interesting?
3. The Preacher and the Presidents: Billy Graham in the White House - Billy Graham has been a very influential voice in my life and his interactions with the Presidents from Trueman to George W. Bush is very interesting to me. This stands as the best book on the subject.
2. The Disappearance of God: Dangerous Beliefs in a New Age of Openness - Dr. R. Albert Mohler is another very influential voice in my life. Here is perhaps his best book to date. Chapters on the Emerging Church, beauty, the future of Christianity, and so many other subjects remain with me and remain important for our present Christianity. Mohler has an ability to sift through the fog of postmodernity for the Christian to better proclaim the gospel.
1. Going Rogue - Sarah Palin's best seller deserves the number 1 spot. Palin is and will be a force to be reckoned with and this book shows why. Make fun of her all you want, but it only encourages her and her supporters. We haven't heard the end from her yet.
Honorable Mentions (in no particular order):
The Jesus You Can't Ignore by John MacArthur
The War on Christmas by John Gibson
Evangelicals Engaging Emergent by Adam Greenway and William Henard
Men in Black by Mark Levin
The Journey by Billy Graham
Christianity's Dangerous Idea by Alister McGrath
American Gospel by John Meachen
Heaven by Randy Alcorn
A Grief Observed by CS Lewis
The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism by Carl F. H. Henry
Dending the Faith by D.G. Hart
Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
The Prodigal God by Timothy Keller
Jesus: The Greatest Life of All by Charles Swindoll
My Top 5 Reads