Recommended Books Read in 2020

Submitted by: The Pennington Park Staff

Whether you’re thinking about books for Christmas gifts (giving or receiving), or you’re thinking about possible books to read in 2021, below are some recommended Christian books by staff members that we read this year. Books can help us think more biblically, grow our view of God, and provide encouragement along the way. We hope these can point you in the right direction.

Books for Adults

Joel Israel, Director of Student Ministries

Chris Beals, Lead Pastor

  • Chasing Contentment by Erik Raymond: I was challenged to think through contentment as a lasting reality because it’s sourced by an unchanging God, not something that comes and goes based on circumstances.
  • Making All Things New by Benjamin Gladd and Matthew Harmon: I’ve always been intimated by the subject of eschatology but this book helped me understand how deeply practical eschatology is for how I should live in the present and not just future truths in the end times.
  • Generous Justice by Tim Keller: I appreciated the clarity this book brought on how the gospel empowers and shapes the way we love others who are marginalized.

Tim Lukasiewicz, Pastor of Worship Arts & Global Outreach

  • Adorning the Darkby Andrew Peterson. Learn about how creativity and Christianity interact in this personal account from author and songwriter, Andrew Peterson.
  • Habits of Graceby David Mathis. Spiritual disciplines are designed to be means that lead us into grace, not guilt, and Mathis’s book is a great starting point for growing through these habits.
  • Living Life Backwardsby David Gibson. This book is rooted in Ecclesiastes and helps us consider what it might look like to live with now with the finitude of life and the certainty of death in mind.

Heidi Sweet, Director of Children’s Ministry & Women’s Ministry

  • Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles that Can Radically Change Your Family by Paul Tripp. This book does not provide you with a checklist for parenting, but rather a vision for God’s design for parenting in within His will for you and your children. I recommend this book for parents but also grandparents, married couples, and individuals who disciple parents and children.
  • The Gospel Comes with a Housekey by Rosaria Butterfield. God has given us many blessings to use for His Kingdom, but we often take our homes and our immediate families off that list. Through this book, Butterfield challenges believers to “walk the walk” through a practical l approach to evangelism and discipleship of those around you including your family by simply opening up your life to others. For out of the overflow of the heart, the house speaks.
  • The Ology by Marty Machowski. Sometimes, the best books for adults are children’s books. This book is a great book to understand foundational truths from God’s Word to understand Who God is and Whose we are. It includes overarching doctrinal truths, citing God’s Word throughout the book.

Dustin Crowe, Pastor of Discipleship

Books for Kids and Families, Recommended by Heidi Sweet, Kali Miller, and Hannah Booher

  • The Tale of Three Trees by Angela Elwell Hunt. This book is a great example of how the Lord’s plan for us is often far beyond, and much more beautiful than, what we could dream up ourselves.
  • Baby Believer Primer Books. These books lay the foundation for your baby/toddler of theology and Bible truths all while tying them into the basics knowledge base you teach your children, such as counting, alphabet, animals, etc.
  • The Beginner’s Gospel Story Bible by Jared Kennedy. The Beginner’s Gospel Story Book is a great book for little hearts to learn big truths. This book beautifully displays the gospel story on every page from Creation to Revelation and engages the hearts of children to know God more deeply.
  • Exploring the Bible: A Bible Reading Plan for Kids by David Murray. Great starter book for elementary kids or families to practice daily getting into the Word and prayer, laying out the overarching themes of Scripture.  It also includes a space for Sunday sermon notes.