I read a lot of helpful Christian books this past year, but here are my seven favorites. Surprisingly, I read the first five before the end of January!

Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy: Discovering the Grace of Lament, by Mark Vroegop. The author first teaches how to lament and then moves on to explain what we can learn from lament. I needed this book and highly recommend it. Here’s my short review.

Is It Abuse? A Biblical Guide to Identifying Domestic Abuse and Helping Victims, by Darby A. Strickland. Wise, informed, compassionate and biblically-rooted advice for women facing domestic abuse and those wanting to help them.

Bearing God’s Name: Why Sinai Still Matters, by Carmen Joy Imes. On the importance of the Mosaic Law with special attention to the third commandment. (We each have an “invisible tattoo” with God’s name on it—and should live like it.) Readable biblical theology spanning the whole Bible.

The Destruction of the Canaanites: God, Genocide, and Biblical Interpretation, by Charlie Trimm. A short book comparing various solutions to God’s command for the Israelites to destroy the Canaanites. Trimm summarizes various approaches. He leaves his own view(s) unstated.

Overcoming Apathy: Gospel Hope for Those Who Struggle to Care, by Uche Anizor. The book’s title will tell you what it’s about. A few weeks ago this book was selected as Christianity Today’s Book of the Year — and for good reason.

Total Abandon: The Powerful True Story of Life Lived in Radical Devotion to God, by Gary Witheral. A biography of the life and martyrdom of Bonnie Witherall — as told by her husband Gary. An example of full surrender to the Lord in life and death.

If God is Good: Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil, by Randy Alcorn. Thoughtful reflections on suffering and evil. He employs apt and powerful examples — especially the further you move through the book. Probably too long for most people to finish so feel free to skip ahead to chapters you think might be helpful.

As I reflect on this list, I am aware that my “favorite” books this past year address some rather heavy topics — heavier than my favorites from previous years. I suspect that in some measure this reflects the heaviness of our historical moment. Nevertheless, I found these books helpful, and hope that some of you will be helped by them as well.

Here is my list for 2021.

Here is my list for 2020.

Here is my list for 2019.

Here is my list for 2018.

This post and other resources are available at Kindle Afresh: The Blog and Website of Kenneth Berding.