My 2012 ‘Book of the Year’

The best book I read in 2012 was Becoming Good, Becoming Holy: On the Relationship of Christian Ethics and Spirituality, by Mark O’Keefe. I give it the “Foster Prize.”

OkeefeO’Keefe is a Catholic writer and I am a Baptist reader, but I do not recall feeling such a oneness with an author since I read C.S. Lewis, who was an Anglican.

 I give Honorable Mention to  Jesus and the Disinherited, by Howard Thurman. It was right up near the top with O’Keefe’s book.

Following are the books I read or listened to in their entirety in 2012, plus how I rated them.

***** Excellent          **** Very Good         *** Good        ** OK        * Poor


1.   A Concise New Testament Theology, by I. Howard Marshall **

2.  Thirsty for God: A Brief History of Christian Spirituality, by Bradley P. Holt ***​

3.  Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth, by Richard J. Foster (second reading) *****

4.  Searching for Meaning: An Introduction to Interpreting the New Testament, by Paula Gooder ***

5.  Life Together and Psalms: Prayerbook of the Bible, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer *****

6.  Who Stole My Church: What to Do When the Church You Love Tries to Enter the 21st Century, by Gordon MacDonald *

7.  Thieves in the Temple: The Christian Church and the Selling of the American Soul, by G. Jeffrey MacDonald ***

8.  Jack: A Life of C.S. Lewis, by George Sayer ****

9.  Pray Without Ceasing: Revitalizing Pastoral Care, by Deborah van Deusen Hunsinger ***

10. Jesus and the Disinherited, by Howard Thurman *****

11. Reading Scripture with the Church Fathers, by Christopher A. Hall ****

12. Beyond Liberalism & Fundamentalism: How Modern and Postmodern Philosophy Set the Theological Agenda, by Nancey Murphy ***

13. Preaching from Memory to Hope, by Thomas G. Long ***

14. Right or Wrong?, by T. B. Maston ***

15. God’s Will and Your Life, by T. B. Maston ***

16. Why Live the Christian Life?, by T. B. Maston ****

17. Same-Sex Partnerships?: A Christian Perspective, by John Stott ***

18. Palestine in the Time of Jesus: Social Structures and Social Conflicts, by K.C. Hanson and Douglas E. Oakman ***

19. A Conspiracy of Goodness: Contemporary Images of Christian Mission, by Donald E. Messer **

20. Choices: Making Right Decisions in a Complex World, by Lewis B. Smedes ****

21. Texas Baptist Leadership and Social Christianity, 1900-1980, by John W. Storey *****

22. Christ and Culture, by H. Richard Niebuhr ****

23. Becoming Good, Becoming Holy: On the Relationship of Christian Ethics and Spirituality, by Mark O’Keefe *****

24. Beyond Tolerance: Searching for Interfaith Understanding in America, by Gustav Niebuhr ***

25. Transforming Christian Theology: For Church and Society, by Philip Clayton ****

26. Boundless Faith: The Global Outreach of American Churches, by Robert Wuthnow ****

27. Killing Floor, by Lee Child ****


1.  UnChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinkgs about Christianity… and Why it Matters, by David Kinnaman and Dave Lyons *****

2. Renovation of the Heart: Putting on the Character of Christ, by Dallas Willard ****

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