Other people have done this. I read a lot of books, so why not me?
Sadly, I don’t have too good of a memory, but I suppose the books I remember I read are the ones that are some of my favorites.
My rankings are just as subjective as the BCS, and, so, without further ado, my top theological books that I read in 2008 (in particular order) are as follows:
This was a seminary reading by one of our professors (Gary Schnittjer, duh). Gary engages with the first five books of the Hebrew Scriptures (i.e., Genesis-Deuteronomy) in a very accessible way for even the average church-goer.
Probably, the most controversial theological book within evangelical, Old Testament scholarship within the past few years. Enns explains that the Bible should be understood as fully-God and fully-human in the same way that Jesus Christ is understood as such.
Phyllis Tickle explains, basically, that about every 500 years, the church cleans house, and the result is a purer church. We live in such a time now. I have explained to some that, if one asks how they could better understand me theologically, I would give them this book.
If you’re like me, you’re tired of hearing how the purpose of being a Christian is simply “to go to heaven when you die,” and you wonder if there is anything more to the believing in Christ’s death and resurrection. N.T. Wright thoroughly explains how our view on heaven and the resurrection directly influences what we, as the church, see as our mission. This book is an excellent summary of much of Bishop Wright’s teachings elsewhere, and he elaborates on these topics in a very accessible way.
No other book has assisted me so much throughout a political season than this one by Claiborne and Haw. Even if I read this book in 2009, it would still be number 1 or 2 on my list. Shane and Chris show how from cover-to-cover Scripture explains that our allegiance must be with God and his mission, and our loyalty should not be shared with the powers of this world. From explaining how we need to be creative in how we handle conflict to suggestions for subversive living like making your own clothes to the complementary, beautiful artwork throughout, Jesus for President ranks at the top of my list.