what do you think I should read this year?

I’m developing a shortlist of books to try to read this year. And I need your help.

It’s worth you knowing something up-front though. Typically, the list of books I’ve read at the end of the year looks quite different from the reading list I set myself at the start.

That’s largely down to the pressure I’ve felt in pastoral ministry to pick up a big chunk of my reading reactively (in response to the questions people are asking) as well as on a project basis.

In fact, I’ve already got a bit of an agenda along these lines, travelling mainly in the orbit of the New Atheism, leadership, and missional engagement/faithful presence.

But I’m keen work towards developing a more balanced diet of (modest) proactive reading — my own personal R & D programme if you like.

So I’m setting myself to read two or three books in each of the following categories (culled from N. T. Wright, New Testament And The People of God, p 123):

  1. Identity
  2. Environment
  3. Evil
  4. Eschatology

Can you help me compile a shortlist?

I’d love for you to tell me what you think I should read — please share your pick for the top book (or two) on each topic. Let the comments begin!


  1. It occurs to me that I managed to make my request pretty darn convoluted. So to try to help things along, let me give an example or two:

    In the identity category, I’d like to finish reading (or at least make more of a dent in) Charles Taylor’s Sources of the Self.

    In the environment category, I’d like to read Sallie McFague’s A New Climate For Theology and Tim Flannery’s Here On Earth.

    Basically, I’m looking for a way to organise my reading without giving in to the typical ‘church history’, ‘theology’, ‘ethics’, ‘ministry’ kind of divisions people use.

  2. Hi Chris

    hope you are doing well

    a suggestion that touches a couple of categories…
    ‘Bound to Sin: Abuse, Holocaust and the Christian Doctrine of Sin’
    (Alistair McFadyen).

    Michael Jensen mentioned it in an old RTR.

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