These are the books in my current stack of reading material. There’s a story with each one and why that book is on my nightstand, as it were. But I won’t bore you with that, as probably no one is interested in all of them, and I’m happy to tell you why the one or two you might be interested in is in this stack, if you ask me. I want to encourage you, as we begin to prepare for a new year with the typical yearend review and new year resolutions, is to read heart-changing books in 2019. I don’t mean read sappy stuff that tugs at your heart. I mean substantive books that don’t just give you information, but lead to transformation. Books that impact the heart.

If you’re reading this blog, my guess is that you are either enrolled in the seminary or you have an interest in theological education and training. I remember seminary as a time when I read all kinds of great books, but had no time for a stack like this. My reading list was dictated for me. And even if it wasn’t, in those years I was still drawn to theological topics that were controversial, lesser known to me, or that would teach me more about knowing something for its own sake. 

But this past year has reminded me how important and impactful in my life these kinds of books are. That top one on the stack (With: Reimagining the Way You Relate to God) is a great case in point. I read Jethani’s book last year about this time, and am now on my third reading. No single book in a long time has created categories in my life to recognize nuances of applied biblical truth like this one. Whether it’s how I’m interpreting Scripture, or singing songs in worship, or reading another book in this stack, I’m quicker to recognize what’s really important in my relationship with God, and with others who share this journey with me.

So in this new year, resolve to read books that will impact your heart.

  • Bruce Winter is the Director of Operations at ITS