#1 – The Christian Imagination by Willie James Jennings (My Top Ten 2020 Reads)

This may be the most important theology book I have read in a long time. If I was to recommend one theology book to pastors and teachers to read right now, it would be this one. Jennings argues the Christian imagination is deficient and he traces the roots of this to the dawn of modernity.…

#2 – Reading While Black: African American Biblical Interpretation as an Exercise in Hope by Esau McCaulley (My Top Ten 2020 Reads(

Absolutely brilliant. McCaulley presents here the hope and history of “black ecclesial interpretation.” This is the tradition of reading and preaching found in the black churches since the earliest days of America. One of the challenges McCaulley puts forth in the beginning is the pull from one side to leave the Bible and Christianity behind,…

#3 – Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation by Kristin Kobes Du Mez (My Top Ten 2020 Reads)

This book is the story of white American evangelicalism’s love affair with hyper-masculinity and it is highly readable while managing to pack in a lot of history. Its also highly depressing and frustrating. I feel I grew up in the best of white American evangelicalism but as I look around, I fear the worst has…

#4 – White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity by Robert Jones

In each of these posts, I am sharing one of my top ten along with an honorable mention that is thematically similar. This was the toughest of all because both the books in this post could be #4. Its sort of a tie.White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity by Robert…

#5 – The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson (My Top Ten 2020 Reads)

This book is a brilliant work of history. That said, it is not just an epic history of the Great Migration, it is a heart moving and tear jerking tale of amazing people. Wilkerson tells the story of the Great Migration through three who moved from the South to the North: Ida Mae Gladney in…

#6 – Healing Our Broken Humanity by Grace Ji-Sun Kim and Graham Hill (My Top Ten 2020 Reads)

Healing our Broken Humanity by Grace Ji-Sun Kim and Graham Hill is an absolutely fantastic work of spiritual discipline and practice. A large part of the reason for this is that it is different than any other book of spiritual disciplines I have read. There are plenty of books on spiritual practice (two of my…

#7 – Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi (My Top Ten Reads of 2020)

This book is a brilliant work of history that challenges and changes what you think you know about race and racism. While I purchased this book prior to the national protest that has erupted after the murder of George Floyd, I started reading it right while the protests were heating up. Reading this book then…

#8 – The Enchantments of Mammon: How Capitalism Became the Religion of Modernity by Eugene McCarraher (My Top Ten Reads of 2020)

This book is a brilliant work of history. Let’s start with another book. Charles Taylor’s book A Secular Age is a brilliant story of how the western world moved from a premodern age of enchantment to our current secular age. Refuting the commonly told subtraction story (we learned science and got rid of religion), Taylor…

#9 – Postcards from Babylon by Brian Zahnd (My Top Ten Reads 2020)

Brian Zahnd is one of my favorite contemporary authors. Everything he writes, from books to Tweets, deeply resonates with and challenges me. Postcards from Babylon: The Church in American Exile might be his best book (at least my favorite of of the ones I’ve read). Nationalism has long been the greatest temptation for American Christians.…