Top 5 Books of 2012

Derek Ouellette —  January 1, 2013

Although there were no books reviewed on Covenant of Love in 2012, there are some books that I read this past year which I’d like to recommend.




Question: how will beauty save the world? Answer: the cruciform. The paradox of the cross is that in all it’s grotesqueness, it is simultaneously attractive and alluring. In this remarkable book Brian challenges the church to become beautiful, to use art and creativity and to rise above war, fighting, old apologetics. I loved this book. For any person who would self-subscribe to what Roger Olson calls “postconservative,” this book belongs as a part of their essential collection. (paperback . kindle)




Michael Hyatt has been a big inspiration for me this year. Former CEO of Thomas Nelson publishing, he blogs and podcasts about practical issues in life with particular emphasis on leadership. This book, Platform, covers almost everything you could imagine about building a solid platform to get your message out. For people who struggle with social media, Platform is an absolute must read! (hardcover . kindle)




What are five different approaches to biblical hermeneutics (how to study the Bible)? The views in this book are The Historical-Critical/Grammatical View (Craig Blomberg); The Literary/Postmodern View (Scott Spencer); The Philosophical/Theological View (Merold Westpbal); The Redemptive-Historical View (Richard Gaffin Jr.); The Canonical View (Robert W. Wall). Personally, my approach is the same as Craig’s because, as he says, his approach is “both, and, and, and, and” in that it is the foundation upon which the other views ought to be laid. I have some concerns with the Postmodern view and the Canonical view; the philosophical view is not a view at all. It’s main concern is not how should we approach the scriptures, but why do we approach the Bible the way we do. Anyways, good book. (paperback . kindle)




I really enjoyed this biography for several reasons: 1. I love technology. 2. when I read it Steve had only recently passed away and I just purchased my first Apple product. 3. personal computers are pretty much as old as I am, I grew up with them, making this book sort of like a biography of a long time friend (computers, not Jobs). 4. Steve Jobs life is all around fascinating and there are lessons to be learned at every turn. (hardcover . kindle)




I hesitate talking about this book because, although it’s right up my alley, most people won’t be interested. There is no secret to what it’s about, it’s an introduction to ancient Mesopotamian religions. This is definitely a text book and is sometimes a dry read, but it’s only 130 pages and covers a lot of ground. Sometimes I get frustrated with overly simplified “Christian resources” on ancient cultures. While this book is written by a Christian, it is not dummied down. A great introduction to a cultural background that helps shine light on things relevant to the Christian faith. (paperback . kindle)

What was the best book you read in 2012? If you reviewed it on your blog link to it in the comments so I can check it out. Thanks!

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Derek Ouellette

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a husband, new dad, speaker, writer, christian. see my profile here.
  • Paul Bruggink

    The best book I read in 2012 was Peter Enns’ “The Evolution of Adam,” which I reviewed on Amazon. A close second and third are two books that I just finished reading on basically the same topic, but from a Roman Catholic perspective: William G. Joseph’s “In Search of Adam and Eve: A Case for a Theology of Evolution,” and Jack Mahoney’s ” Christianity in Evolution: An Exploration.” Neither of these two authors claims to have “the answer,” but both have described their personal explorations of Chriastian theology without the Fall and Original Sin for others to consider. I plan to write Amazon reviews of both of them sometime this month.

    • Derek Ouellette

      Thank’s Paul. I’ve seen Enns book around, but am particularly interested in the other two you’ve mentioned. I’ll be checking those out for sure!

      • Paul Bruggink

        If you are interested in the historicity of Adam and Eve (or all of Genesis 1-11 for that matter), Denis Lamoureux’s “Evolutionary Creation: A Christian Approach to Evolution” is also worth a look.

  • Paul Bruggink

    Ancient Mesopotamian religions are also covered in 68 out of 177 pages of text in Johnny V. Miller & John M. Soden’s ” In the Beginning . . . We Misunderstood: Interpreting Genesis 1 in Its Original Context,” which, unlike the three books I mentioned earlier, does not presuppose biological evolution as the process God used to create life.