1. Collin Hansen’s top 10 theology stories of 2012. Hansen has done this for five years now. He has an exceptionally sharp eye for this sort of thing, and one is edified and instructed by the list itself. Excerpt:
Before we flip the calendar to the new year, it’s sometimes encouraging and always instructive to take stock of the last 12 months. We can see God at work. We can see our sins on full display. And when we look back in the archives of human history (see my lists from 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011), we’re sobered to realize that our priorities and concerns often diverge from God’s. The internet tempts us to live in the moment, but “with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2 Peter 3:8).
2. Ben Decker’s top 10 communicators of 2012. Recommended by Michael Hyatt. I found the descriptions themselves instructive on leadership and communication. Excerpt:
Though only an elected Senator for a few months, there was a reason Marco Rubio was mentioned early and often as a potential Presidential candidate. He is a master communicator. (He’s moved up from #5 in 2010.)In both behavior and message he is confident, authentic – and impressive, as we rated him Best Speaker in February at CPAC. A son of Cuban immigrants, Rubio speaks of this hot issue personally and eloquently – once giving an immigration speech in 2 languages (starting in Spanish, then using humor to switch to English). He relates – and in his 2012 RNC speech he was able to hook his audience with a story about his parents’ home country of Cuba, and keeping a clear point of view through to the end. Senator Rubio communicates likability and authenticity in his writing too, with his memoir, An American Son. On his book tour, he openly discussed his own issues of work-life balance with Barbara Walters on The View – relating to his audience, conveying sincerity, likability.
9. Rob Lister, God is Impassible and Impassioned: Toward a Theology of Divine Emotion (Crossway). Ah yes, the book I always thought I might write, but am glad someone else did first. No doubt, Lister’s scholarship is better than mine would have been. We really are in his debt for doing the heavy lifting through the Church Fathers, the Reformers, Moltmann, and the relevant academic literature on the massively important question “Does God suffer?” Lister says no: God is impassible, but that does not mean he is passionless. I hope Lister will consider a popular level volume on the same topic so that more of the church can benefit from his research and reasoning.
And here’s a fourth of note that isn’t quite a top 10 list, but is helpful nonetheless: Tommy Kidd’s five compelling biographies. I loved a number of these books, too. And here’s a fifth! I can’t stop myself: Credo Magazine’s “Favorite Books of the Year” from contributors. I commended a book on master-theologian Charles Hodge, who I love and whose birthday is today.