It’s the time of year when book awards are being given out. Here are the ten books (two sets of five) published this year that have been the most generative for my thinking, scholarship, and formation.

First, here are five recently books I have not quite finished, but that have already made an impact on me. I may finish most or all of them before the year is up, but will not finish them before I finish this list!

Bavinck: A Critical Biography by James Eglinton – a deeply researched account of a theologian who is just beginning to get his due.

How God Becomes Real by Tanya Luhrmann – a fascinating follow up to her book When God Talks Back – both represent an outsider’s attempt to make sense of human experiences of God’s presence.

The End of Christian Life by Todd Billings – coming to terms with our mortality is one of the most important things we can do, especially in light of 300,000+ Covid deaths

Art + Faith by Makoto Fujimura – an elegant embodiment of one of the central arguments of my own book, that we must learn from artists how to commend our faith

Work and Worship by Matthew Kaemingk and Cory Willson – the disconnect between Sunday and Monday has never seemed so stark; these brothers help us bridge the divide.

And now, five books that I have finished, all of which provoked my imagination in the best possible way:

Jack by Marilynne Robinson – Robinson’s newest; the best book I read this year, a story told through the eyes of an atheist haunted by grace

Strange Rites by Tara Isabella Burton – a strange but powerful exploration of the religious landscape outside the walls of the church

Jesus and John Wayne by Kristen Kobes du Mez – the American Jesus somehow looks more like John Wayne; somehow the explanatory power of this book continues to grow a time goes on

Reading While Black by Esau McCaulley – we have much to learn from the black church about how to read the Bible, how to resist despair, and how to bear faithful witness; my review for In All Things

Imagining Theology by Garrett Green – the imagination matters for how we do theology; my review for In All Things

Honorable Mentions: All That God Cares About by Rich Mouw and Reformed Theology and Evolutionary Theory by Gijsbert van den Brink.

So many books, such little time! Here’s to a new year of reading and growing!

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