>Best of 2010

>Best CD’s on the mellow side:
1. Train: Save Me, San Francisco (released late 2009). Just a lot of fun!

2. Mumford and Sons: Sigh No More. I love the cd, but the language means I can’t listen to it at church or with the kiddo’s in the care. Makes me want to drink a stout.

3. Zach Williams: Story Time. Best CD of the year for me. I love it. Don’t know how to describe it, so just go and listen to it (for free at NoiseTrade)

Best CD’s on the harder side:
1. Stone Sour: Audio Secrecy. Good, especially the hard stuff. I can leave the ‘ballads’.

2. Stone Temple Pilots: Stone Temple Pilots. Fun. Groovy. Rockin.

3. Pearl Jam: Backspacer (actually released late 2009). There’s only an album or two of Pearl Jam that I haven’t really liked.

4. Apocalyptica: 7th Symphony. Didn’t think I’d like this, but it’s great. Cello rockers!?! The guest vocals make the album especially good.

5. 30 Seconds to Mars: This Is War Technically, it came out in Dec. 2009, but I got it in 2010. Great album. Creative

Best Christian CD’s:
1. Caedmon’s Call: Raising Up The Dead. Good.

2. Red Mountain Music: All Things New. Fantastic! This has some wonderful hymns – some I knew, others I wasn’t familiar with. I love it.

Books (Fiction):
1. King Raven Trilogy (Hood, Scarlet, Tuck), Stephenen Lawhead. I loved these books and flew through them. Caleb also liked them very much. Wish there were three more books in the series!

2. Night Angel Trilogy, (The Night Angel Trilogy), Brent Weeks. This series is not in my typical genre. Filled with ninja type stuff, and magic. I loved it. Ok, so I’m not a classics kind of guy – that much we know.

Books (Theology, Spiritual, etc):
1. Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters, Tim Keller. Really good. Our small group studied through it. We dragged it out too long – it’s a book to read in a week or less. We took 3-4 months. Still, great book.

2. Jesus Made in America: A Cultural History from the Puritans to “The Passion of the Christ”, by Stephen Nichols. Eye opening. It’s witty, insightful, at times very depressing. Very good – wish every Christian in America would read it.

3.American Evangelical Story, The: A History of the Movement, Doug Sweeney (reread). I like history, especially the history of the church. Filled with blunders, heretics (Finney!), and screwballs, but still it’s Christ’s church and it advances. If you wonder how we, the church in America, got to be how we are, this is a great book.

4. The Pilgrim’s Progress: From This World to That Which Is to Come, John Bunyan. Classic. Rereading it, this time with the kids on Sunday afternoons before nap. Thanks Aunt Mary for the gift.

5.The Trellis and the Vine: The Ministry Mind-Shift That Changes Everything, Colin Marshall and Tony Payne. Wonderful, practical, simple. No need to reinvent the wheel of ministry – just keep doing what the church as always done.

6. The Masculine Mandate: God’s Calling to Men, Richard Phillips. Manly stuff. Good, not over the top, pound your chest and live wildly crap. Made me want to be a better father, husband and see my boys grow up to be godly men too.

7. The Good News We Almost Forgot: Rediscovering the Gospel in a 16th Century Catechism, Kevin DeYoung. I had little to no exposure to the Heidelberg Catechism till this year. DeYoung writes a great intro to it. We’re not done with it, but faithfully plodding along in the mornings.

10. Retrieving the Tradition and Renewing Evangelicalism: A Primer for Suspicious Protestants, DH Williams. We read this as a staff. It was a wonderful reminder of how indebted we are to tradition and how we should embrace it as a way forward.

11.Adolf Schlatter: A Biography of Germany’s Premier Biblical Theologian, Werner Neuer. I am in awe of Schlatter – his humble piety and his immense ability as a theologian (among other things). Wish I could find more about him and by him.

12. John Williamson Nevin: High-Church Calvinist, DG Hart). A great intro to Nevin’s life and thought. Of the bio type books on Nevin I read, this was the best. Nevin is so out of step with American Evangelical Christianity, his alien perspective is a welcome corrective.

13. Dual Citizens: Worship and Life Between the Already and the Not Yet, Jason Stellman. Ok, I have to be honest here – all the talk about the church transforming the world sound overly triumphalistic (and exhausting) to me now-a-days. The ‘steady as she goes’ approach to church and ministry; the doctrine of the two kingdoms and the spirituality of the church as won me over. Stellman’s book is a great introduction to the two kingdom approach to church and life. I highly recommend it.

14. The Mystical Presence, John Nevin. This is a hard, dense book, but for a rich theology of the incarnation, the church and the sacraments, it’s fantastic. If you can get through it, you’ll be enriched, big time. You won’t (shouldn’t) agree with everything Nevin presents, but even where you disagree, you’ll be challenged to rethink things you’ve probably just assumed. Oh, and it’s free on GoogleBooks!

Movies (I saw in 2010 – often I’m slow in seeing movies, so most are from 09 or even 08):

1. I Love You Beth Cooper. Childish, and I laughed hard.

2. Hurt Locker. Great movie. I usually hate movies that are up for awards, but his was awesome.

3. ZombieLand. Great movie. Again, laughed hard.

4. Ninja Assassin. Ok, not high art – but people get their skulls cut in two. Makes for a great movie.

5. Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. I liked this a lot better than HP7.

6. Iron Man 2. As good as the first – and a great soundtrack.

7. Toy Story 3. I liked it better than TS2.

8. Clash of the Titans. Not as good as the original, but still a good movie.

9. Kick Ass. Guilty pleasure. What kid hasn’t wanted to be a superhero!

10. Inception. Really cool. Reminded me of Jacob’s Ladder from 1990.