Jeremy Pettitt on Communication and Culture

The Best Books I Read In 2020

Posted on December 31, 2020

Here are the best books I read in 2020:

1. The Presence of the Kingdom
by Jacques Ellul

The French philosopher, lay theologian and professor Jacques Ellul lays the groundwork for understanding what it can mean to live as faithful biblical Christians in our technological age in this powerful book. While acknowledging the tensions of modern life, he reminds us that real life can only be found in relation to the Kingdom of God.

2. Misreading Scripture With Western Eyes:
Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible

by E. Randolph Richards and Brandon J. O'Brien

Richards and O'Brien's insightful and personal work challenges our Western assumptions of biblical interpretation. Their challenge to go deeper and see the iceberg of meaning below the surface brought fresh views of Scripture passages I've been reading for most of my life.

3. The Invisible Man
by H.G. Wells

This classic work of science fiction from one of its masters delivers powerful observations about the human soul. Though written in 1897, Well's story of the unseen man reveals the darkness and lust for power lying within the human heart seen all around us today.

4. Dear Theo: The Autobiography of Vincent van Gogh
by Irving Stone and Jean Stone

Vincent van Gogh's letters to his brother Theo offer us a glimpse into the developing genius and madness of a master artist. Full of artistic advice, philosophy, historical anecdotes and struggle, van Gogh reveals to us his innermost reflections and challenges. Simultaneously inspiring and haunting, these letters remind us that even those geniuses of history we have so admired were mortal men trying to make their way through the world the best they knew how.

5. Reaching Out: The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life
by Henri J.M. Nouwen

In this classic work on spiritual development, priest, professor and author Henri Nouwen lays out the the three movements each of us is called to make: from isolation to solitude within our own heart; from hostility to hospitality in relationship to others; and from illusion to prayer in relationship to God. Filled with penetrating wisdom and practical steps forward, Nouwen's book offers something for every person of faith, regardless of their level of spiritual maturity.

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