2012

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Awards:

  • Book of the Year: Richard Weaver, Ideas Have Consequences
  • Surprise of the Year: Anthony Esolen, Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child
  • Worst of the Year: Andrew Womack, God Wants You Well

Scoring:

0     The book was notable for lacking this category repeatedly.

1     The book dipped into this category at times.

2     The book consistently demonstrated this category.

Non-Fiction Categories:

  • Weight: Did the book ask and answer the most germane questions about an important topic?
  • Research: Did the writer demonstrate a thorough command of the subject?
  • Style: Did the theme, vocabulary, and composition represent an enduring standard?
  • Logic: Did the book model logic in definitions, formatting, and focus?
  • Affections: Was some truth presented powerfully to the affections?

NON-FICTION: Annotated Bibliography

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Currid, John. Calvin and the Biblical Languages, Mentor, 2006, 106 pages.Calvin knew Hebrew and Greek very well. Therefore, we should too in the 21st century. 2 1 1 1 0

5

Wommack, Andrew. God Wants You Well, Tulsa, OK: Harrison House, 2010.The title says it all: It is never God’s will for a person to be sick and thus implicitly death is also not God’s will. Great bad examples. 1 0 0 0 0

1

Frame, John. Doctrine of the Word of God, P&R, 2010, 684 pages.The text is only 334 pages, and the appendices are the next 300. An insightful, fresh defense of inerrancy, inspiration, a closed canon, and numerous other issues. Well-organized and readable. 2 2 2 2 1

9

Spencer, Robert. The politically incorrect guide to Islam (and the Crusades). Washington, DC; Lanham, MD: Regnery Pub., 2005, 269 pages.An indicting account filled with references to the Hadith and Koran about wicked, foolish, and contradictory beliefs and practices in Islam. Readable. 2 2 2 1 1

8

NON-FICTION: Annotated Bibliography

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Oliver, Robert W. History of the English Calvinistic Baptists, 1771-1892 : from John Gill to C.H. Spurgeon. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 2006, 410 pages.One hundred important years of Reformed Baptist history in Engalnd. This book gave me some good examples of piety and theology while making me glad to be a confessional Baptist. 1 2 1 2 2

8

Weaver, Richard M. Ideas have consequences. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1948, 187 pages.Cultural forms should be evaluated by whether they promote classic and enduring ideas. Though written when he was 38, Weaver appears to have mastered his subject. There are no throw-away sentences in the 187 pages, and only 9 pages escaped marks from my pen on the first read. 2 2 2 2 2

10

Frame, John M. The doctrine of the Christian life. Phillipsburg, N.J.: P & R Pub., 2008, 1069 pages.A helpful, pastoral, academic, readable book on ethics including Frame’s trademark tri-perspectivalism. Nearly 500 pages of the thousand were devoted to issues. 2 2 2 2 1

9

Sande, Ken. The peacemaker : a biblical guide to resolving personal conflict. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books, 2004, 318 pages.A Gospel-centered, Scriptural, and popular discussion of the most practical aspects of resolving conflict. 2 2 2 2 1

9

Van Rheenen, Gailyn. Communicating Christ in animistic contexts. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House, 1991, 342 pages.Sounded more helpful than it was. 1 1 1 1 1

5

  1. 10.
Driscoll, Mark. The radical reformission : reaching out without selling out. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2004, 204 pages.The book repeatedly referenced, endorsed, or celebrated a wholehearted embracing of contemporary popular culture. The presupposition seemed to be, “The Gospel does not change our cultural forms.” 1 0 1 0 1

3

NON-FICTION: Annotated Bibliography

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  1. 11.
Noll, Mark A. Jesus Christ and the life of the mind. Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans Pub., 2011, 180 pages.An academic work on the now-popular subject of thinking and Christianity. It was disappointing for his lack of Scripture, a party-line chapter on science that—big surprise—promoted the responsible integration of evolution and faith, and repeated snide references to Baptists, fundamentalists, creation science, and Bible churches. There is some good here, but even Catholicism gets a few things right. 1 1 1 0 0

3

  1. 12.
Platt, Richard. As one Devil to another : a fiendish correspondence in the tradition of C.S. Lewis’ The screwtape letters. Carol Stream, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers, 2012, 190 pages.A retelling of Lewis’ classic amazingly in Lewis’ own accent. Excellently done. Helpful and fun. 2 2 2 2 1

9

  1. 13.
Esolen, Anthony M. Ten ways to destroy the imagination of your child. Wilmington, Del.: ISI Books, 2010, pages.Why does it take a Catholic to write so lucidly on imagination? A smile repeatedly broke on my face as Esolen mixed an endless flow of samples from great works of art throughout Western civilization to prove the most basic (and non-politically correct) presuppositions of a classic and enduring culture. 2 2 2 1 2

9

  1. 14.
De Bruyn, David. Building Conservative Churches, Religious Affections Ministries, 2012, 124 pages.Here’s a helpful book in the genre of Mark Dever’s 9 Marks. I wish he had taken more time on the ordinate affections aspect as that was the most insightful part of the book. The book list at the end was suggestive and inspiring. 1 2 2 2 2

9

  1. 15.
Viola, Frank, and George Barna. Pagan Christianity? : exploring the roots of our church practices. Carol Stream, Ill.: BarnaBooks, 2008, 291 pages.A bad book. Viola wants to prove that the cultural forms of conservative Christianity are bad so he is reduced to mis-exegeting history and ignoring significant Scriptures to prop up his favorite new cultural forms. 0 1 1 0 0

2

NON-FICTION: Annotated Bibliography

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  1. 16.
Longman, Tremper, Raymond B Dillard, and Raymond B Dillard. An introduction to the Old Testament. London: Apollos, 2007, 528 pages.Technical, rarely helpful, and frustrating as he repeatedly came to the same edgy conclusions on things like authorship and date. 1 2 1 1 0

5

  1. 17.
Pratt, Richard L. He gave us stories : the Bible student’s guide to interpreting Old Testament narratives. Phillipsburg, N.J.: P. & R. Pub., 1993, 492 pages.A mildly interesting guide on how to observe carefully from the OT. Some sections were more complicated than they needed to be. 1 2 1 1 0

5

  1. 18.
McCracken, Brett. Hipster Christianity : when church and cool collide. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books, 2010, 255 pages.The third in this year’s triumvirate of bad books on culture. He was one step removed from Driscoll and two from Viola, but still in the same category. 1 1 2 0 0

4

  1. 19.
Aikman, David. The delusion of disbelief : why the new atheism is a threat to your life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. Carol Stream, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers, 2008, 248 pages.An interesting, brief read from an evidentialist standpoint. 1 2 2 1 0

6

  1. 20.
Duffy, Dave. Can America be saved from stupid people : and other essays. Gold Beach, Ore.: Backwoods Home Magazine, 2007, 281 pages.A collection of editorial essays from an Old Right point of view. 1 1 1 1 1

5

  1. 21.
Murray, Iain Hamish. John MacArthur : servant of the word and flock. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 2011, 246 pages.God used this book to encourage me to renewed faithfulness as a pastor and a preacher. A fun and easy read. 2 1 2 1 2

8

  1. 22.
Mounce, William D. Basics of biblical Greek grammar. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2009, 419 pages.This book felt like it deserved better than an 8. It is hard to imagine how a Greek grammar could be better. The logic and formatting were brilliant. The etymological insights were steeped in a thorough command of the subject. Excellent work. 2 2 2 2 0

8

FICTION: Annotated Bibliography

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  1. 23.
Orczy, Emmuska. The Scarlet Pimpernel, Kindle.A seemingly good-for-nothing member of the English aristocracy tries to save members of the French upper class during the Revolution. 1 2 2 1 1

7

  1. 24.
Alcorn, Randy C. Edge of eternity. Colorado Springs, Colo.: WaterBrook Press, 1998.A modern retelling of Pilgrim’s Progress that powerfully brings eternal realities to the forefront of the imagination. Highly recommended though the first 50 pages didn’t grip me. 2 2 2 2 2

10

  1. 25.
Brink, Carol Ryrie, Caddie Woodlawn.An engaging children’s account of hard work and integrity on the American frontier. 1 1 2 2 1

7

  1. 26.
Stowe, Harriet Beecher. Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Kindle.The slave trade looks darker when you get into the lives of people actually affected by it. Stowe did not ignore the difficulties of the issue or the differences between white and black, but the overall effect of this book was compassion for the hurting and a hatred of sin. Very helpful. 2 2 2 2 2

10

  1. 27.
Melville, Herman. Billy Budd. New York: Washington Square Press, 1962.A humanistic account of the nature of man that was surprisingly contradictory—the hero is supposed to be man untainted by sin; but the antagonist is a sinner. How came these two to differ? No explanation is offered even though Melville’s writing style and classical knowledge is amazing. 1 1 2 2 0

6

  1. 28.
Stoker, Bram. Dracula. Kindle.The entire book is written in diaries and newspaper accounts—annoying and unbelievable when the diary begins to recount pages of dialogue verbatim. Stoker lacked a Christian worldview so there were several important contradictions, but there were flashes of creativity. 1 2 2 1 0

6

  1. 29.
Sherlock Holmes, sign of the four. New York, N.Y.; Prince Frederick, MD: BDD Audio ; [Distributed by] Recorded Books, 1998.All Sherlock stories have a kind of similarity, but I love the way they urge me to be more observant in life. 1 2 2 2 0

7

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