Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Year's Best Non-Fiction: 2006 (Recently Published)

This year due to the fact that there are 23 titles contending for the top ten spots, I am judiciously dividing them into two categories. The Top Ten will be titles either published in 2006 or available then (ie: published in late or any of 2005), thus they will be the top ten recently published titles (that I have read, and in my opinion). The Honourable Mentions will consist of older titles, even though they may, indeed, deserve to be in the overall top ten category.

Top Ten:

1. The Federal Vision and Covenant Theology: A Comparative Analysis by Guy Prentiss Waters (P&R, 2006). A must-read follow-up to 2004's Justification and the New Perspectives on Paul.
2. Danger In the Camp: An Analysis and Refutation of the Heresies of the Federal Vision by John Otis (Triumphant Publications, 2006). Another excellent, orthodox evaluation of the Federal Vision kudzu. Comes with a cd with bibliographic material and bonus items.
3. Full Gospel, Fractured Minds: A Call to use Gods Gift of the Intellect by Rick M. NaƱez (Zondervan, 2006). A surprisingly candid admission/survey (by one within the camp) of one of the serious flaws in Pentecostalism/charismania. See my mini-review here.
4. Christian Zionism:Road-map to Armageddon? by Stephen Sizer (IVP, 2005). Though I have read much of his work, in nascent form on the internet years ago, this was a welcome companion to last year's On the Road to Armageddon: How Evangelicals Became Israel's Best Friend by Timothy Weber.
5. True to His Ways: Purity and Safety in Christian Spiritual Practice by R. Davis (Baruch House/AMC ,2006). A moving examination of the occult influences and practices in charismania (Toronto Blessing, Vineyard, by one now settled in a Free Presbyterian fellowship.
6. An Emergent Theology for Emerging Churches by Ray S. Anderson (IVP, 2006). An embarrassing theological ediface/defense for the emergent movement. Worth reading for those who want to see what makes emergent tick. For critiques, see last years Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church: Understanding a Movement and Its Implications by D. A. Carson, and numerous internet articles/reviews.
7. Reel Spirituality: Theology and Film in Dialogue, rev.ed. by Robert K. Johnston (Baker Academic, 2006). The original was published in 2000, and I did not know of it until this past year. If you read and loved Ken Myer's All God's Children and Blue Suede Shoes: Christians and Popular Culture, a popular text for courses on Christianity and culture, you will now be able to read the articulate, opposite view. Worthy for getting an understanding of such.
8. Meet the Puritans, With a Guide to Modern Reprints by Joel Beeke and Randall Pederson (Reformation Heritage Books, 2006). An updated and expanded version of Robert Martin's A Guide to the Puritans (though, not in the same format). Massive! 900+ pages, with illustrations(!), and up to date information on the Puritans in print.
9. The Gospel Code by Ben Witherington III (IVP, 2005). Only due to its publishing date. The Bock title, below, was the best response to the Da Vinci Code craze.
10. The Beliefnet Guide to Gnosticism and Other Vanished Christianities by Richard Valantasis (Three Leaves Press/Doubleday, 2006). A brief, yet comprehensive, survey of the varieties of non- and pseudo-Christian Gnostic and other spiritualities, which existed in the early days of the Church.

No comments: