Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

13 Books I’m Looking Forward to in 2019

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I read books in a number of different genres – theology, sports, biography, Christian living, professional development, leadership, faith and work, etc. As I look ahead to 2019, there are 13 books I’m looking forward to:

The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek. To be published December 31.
From the Amazon description:

“The leaders who embrace an infinite mindset, in stark contrast, build stronger, more innovative, more inspiring organizations. Their people trust each other and their leaders. They have the resilience to thrive in an ever-changing world, while their competitors fall by the wayside. Ultimately, they are the ones who lead the rest of us into the future. Any worthwhile undertaking starts with Why – the purpose, cause or belief that inspires us to do what we do and inspires others to join us. Good leaders know how to build Circles of Safety that promote trust and cooperation throughout their organizations. But that’s not enough to help us chart a course through the unpredictable, often chaotic landscape of today’s marketplace.
I now believe that the ability to adopt an infinite mindset is a prerequisite for any leader who aspires to leave their organization in better shape than they found it.

The Hand of God: Finding His Care in All Circumstances by Alistair Begg. To be published January 1.  This is a newly revised edition of the author’s 1999 book.
From the Amazon description:

“In this richly textured study of Joseph’s life, readers will see God at work shaping Joseph’s circumstances so that he can ultimately redeem and reconcile his family. And they’ll see the hand of God in their own lives, lovingly guiding them through their disappointments and struggles to a place of peace.
It’s an amazing and comforting fact: God rules and overrules in the circumstances of life.
God’s authority is neither capricious nor vindictive—quite the contrary—God works through the circumstances of life to bring about something miraculous, something abundantly good, even out of what we perceive to be our darkest moments. We can entrust the baggage of our past, the fears of our present, and the prospects of our future to the God who cares.”

Making a Difference: Impacting Culture and Society as a Christian by R.C. Sproul. To be published January 1.  This looks like it could be a new edition of the author’s 1986 book Lifeviews: Understanding the Ideas That Shape Society Today.
From the Amazon description:
“The great challenge for the Christian in a post-Christian context is how to impact this fallen world with our faith. In Making a Difference, beloved theologian R. C. Sproul shows readers how to confront today’s moral and social issues with an effective biblical response. Dr. Sproul first examines the major philosophies that affect the way Americans think and act–secularism, existentialism, humanism, and pragmatism–and then presents ideas on how to apply a biblical perspective to spheres of public life that need the Christian’s influence today: economics, science, art and literature, and government.”

Irresistible Faith: Becoming the Kind of Christian the World Can’t Resist by Scott Sauls. To be published January 22.  Bob Goth writes the Foreword to this book.
From the Amazon description:

“Jesus said his followers would be a light to the world and a city on a hill–a warmly inviting, neighbor-loving, grace- and truth-filled destination for all. He envisioned his followers as life-giving neighbors, bosses, employees, and friends, the kind of people who return insults with kindness and persecution with prayers. Rooted in biblical convictions, they would extend love, empathy, and care to one another as well as to those who don’t share their beliefs. Over time their movement would become irresistible to every nation, tribe, and tongue. Irresistible Faith is a blueprint for pursuing this vision in our current moment, of redeemed individuals and a renewed community working for a restored world. This is a way of being that gives a tired, cynical world good reason to pause and reconsider Christianity–and to start wishing it was true.”

Leadershift: 11 Essential Changes Every Leader Must Embrace by John Maxwell. To be published January 5.
From the Amazon description:

“In Leadershift, John C. Maxwell helps leaders gain the ability and willingness to make leadership changes that will positively enhance their organizational and personal growth. He does this by sharing the eleven shifts he made over the course of his long and successful leadership career. Each shift changed his trajectory and set him up for new and exciting achievements, ultimately strengthening and sustaining his leadership abilities and making him the admired leadership expert he is today.
Among those leadershifts are the Adaptive Shift from Plan A to Option A, the Production Shift from Ladder Climbing to Ladder Building, and the Influence Shift from Positional Authority to Moral Authority. Maxwell gives specific guidance to readers about how to make these shifts in their own lives. Each one requires them to change the way they think, act, and ultimately lead so they can be successful in a world that never remains the same.”

I Still Believe: A Memoir of Wreckage, Recovery, and Relentless Love by Russ Taff and Tori Taff. To be published February 26.
From the Amazon description:

I Still Believe is a story that spans decades of multiple Grammy winner and Christian music icon Russ Taff’s life, told from the first-hand perspective of Russ and his wife, Tori. You’ve seen the movie; now get the complete, unflinchingly honest details of the journey from childhood abuse to massive success with music, from the searing pain of addiction to his hard-won recovery. Russ opens up in-depth for the first time about the shame and trauma that irrefutably impacted his faith, his family, and his career. But woven throughout I Still Believe is a miraculous testament to the power of love—from God, family, and friends, but especially from Tori, who was fierce in her love for her best friend who was slowly disappearing before her eyes. And how this relentless love and a lot of hard work, have helped Russ move out of hiding and into the light of recovery and acceptance.
Above all, this is a story about hope. Hope for anyone who feels they have been hurt too badly, fallen too far, or caused too much damage along the way. This memoir stands as a testament that there is always a reason to believe that life and marriage can be saved. Russ and Tori’s beautifully broken story will encourage any reader that there is no need to be defined or held back by the trauma of the past; instead, life can be rooted in and restored through faith, recovery, love, and the promise that God will never let you go.”

Win the Heart: How to Create a Culture of Full Engagement by Mark Miller. To be published March 5.
From the Amazon description:

“Every great company has an engaged workforce, and nurturing a culture of engagement is at the heart of great leadership—employees who really care about their work, their coworkers, and the organization can supercharge a company’s success. But for many years, engagement has been suffering. Gallop reports that 70 percent of employees are not fully engaged on the job. Mark Miller draws on more than forty years of leadership experience to show leaders at all levels how to change the conversation and create real competitive advantage in the process.
In the fourth book in Miller’s High Performance Series, CEO Blake Brown sets out to discover how to create the kind of workplace where everyone feels excited to come to work, passionate about what he or she brings to the company, and energized at the end of the day. It’s a journey that takes him literally all over the world—from Italy to Greece to Green Bay and more. What he discovers from the pages of history is as relevant as the evening news.
Engagement unleashes untapped potential buried deep within the hearts of your people. An engaged workforce is more creative, more driven, and more enthusiastic about reaching company goals. If you put the lessons in this book to work, your people will never look at work, or their leaders, the same way again.”

The Apostles’ Creed: Discovering Authentic Christianity in an Age of Counterfeits by Albert Mohler. To be published March 26.
From the Amazon description:

The Apostles’ Creed has shaped and guided Christian faith for almost two thousand years. Few documents in the history of the church have similar influence on the life of ordinary believers. Shared by Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox traditions, the Apostles’ Creed is perhaps the most compelling and formidable statement of Christian doctrine the world has ever known. But do we know what it really means–and how it applies to us today?
In The Apostles’ Creed, renowned theologian and pastor R. Albert Mohler Jr. works line-by-line and phrase-by-phrase through each section of the Creed, explaining in clear terms what it means and how it equips Christians to live faithfully in a post-Christian culture. From understanding the nature of the Trinity and the miracle of the Incarnation to the world-shaking truth of the resurrection and the hope of Christ’s return, the theological heritage contained in this ancient statement has the power to shape us for vibrant and steadfast living today. The Apostles’ Creed shows us how.”

Nine Lies about Work: A Freethinking Leader’s Guide to the Real World by Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall. To be published April 2.
From the Amazon description:

“Your organization’s culture is the key to its success. Strategic planning is essential. People’s competencies should be measured and their weaknesses shored up. People crave feedback.
These may sound like basic truths of our work lives today. But actually, they’re lies. As strengths guru and bestselling author Marcus Buckingham and Cisco Leadership and Team Intelligence head Ashley Goodall show in this provocative, inspiring book, there are some big lies–distortions, faulty assumptions, wrong thinking–running through our organizational lives. Nine lies, to be exact. They cause dysfunction and frustration and ultimately result in a strange feeling of unreality that pervades our workplaces.
But there are those who can get past the lies and discover what’s real. These are freethinking leaders who recognize the power and beauty of our individual uniqueness, who know that emergent patterns are more valuable than received wisdom, and that evidence is more powerful than dogma. With engaging stories and incisive analysis, the authors reveal the essential truths that such freethinking leaders will recognize immediately: that it is the strength and cohesiveness of your team, not your company’s culture, that matters most; that we need less focus on top-down planning and more on giving our people reliable, real-time intelligence; that rather than trying to align people’s goals we should strive to align people’s sense of purpose and meaning; that people don’t want constant feedback, they want helpful attention. This is the real world of work.
If you embrace each person’s uniqueness and see this as key for all healthy organizations; if you reject dogma and engage with the real world; if you seek out emergent patterns and put your faith in evidence, not philosophy; if you thrill to the power of teams–if you do all of these, then you are a freethinking leader, and this book is for you.”

One Faithful Life: A Harmony of the Life and Letters of Paul by John MacArthur. To be published April 2.
From the Amazon description:

“In One Faithful Life, you’ll encounter in a new way the life and writings of the apostle Paul. Weaving together Paul’s writings to the early church against the background of the Gospels and the dramatic story of Paul’s life as told in the book of Acts, One Faithful Life brings into vivid focus not only Paul’s biography, but also the circumstances and context underlying the epistles that make up most of the New Testament. Pairing Scripture text from the beautiful and trustworthy New King James Version with Dr. MacArthur’s section introductions and verse-by-verse explanations, One Faithful Life presents a powerful and encouraging vision of a life devoted to the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Grace Defined and Defended: What a 400-Year-Old Confession Teaches Us about Sin, Salvation, and the Sovereignty of God by Kevin DeYoung. To be published April 30.
From the Amazon description:

“Christians love to celebrate grace, but often talk about it in vague generalities. But such an important biblical concept ought to be clearly defined so it can be consistently defended. In this book, best-selling author Kevin DeYoung points modern readers back to an old document originally written to do just that. Warmly pastoral and broadly accessible, this book introduces readers to the Canons of Dort, a 17th-century work summarizing the central doctrines of the Christian faith. Widely regarded as a key pillar of the Reformed tradition, the Canons of Dort stand as a faithful witness to God’s grace—offering a depth of understanding that the church still needs today. In three concise sections—covering history, theology, and practical application—DeYoung explores what led to the Canons and why they were needed, the five important doctrines that they explain, and Dort’s place in the Reformed tradition today.”
In addition, the Good Book Company plans to release a few books in their God’s Word for You series in 2019. Two that I am interested in are:

1, 2 & 3 John by H.B. Charles. Publish date to be determined.

Acts for You, Vol. 2 by Albert Mohler. Publish date to be determined.

I’m excited about these upcoming 2019 books. What upcoming books are you looking forward to?

Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence ~ married to my best friend for more than 39 years and a St. Louis Cardinals fan. Before retiring I served as a manager at a Fortune 50 company; I'm a graduate of Covenant Theological Seminary and in leadership at my local church. I enjoy speaking about calling, vocation and work. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people develop to their fullest potential and to utilize their strengths more fully. I am an INTJ on Myers-Briggs, 3 on the Enneagram, my top five Strengthsfinders themes are: Belief, Responsibility, Learner, Harmony and Achiever, and my two StandOut strengths roles are Creator and Equalizer. My favorite book is the Bible, with Romans my favorite book and 2 Corinthians 5:21 my favorite verse. Some of my other favorite books are Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper, The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul, The Prodigal Son (originally titled A Tale of Two Sons) by John MacArthur and Crazy Love by Francis Chan. I enjoy Christian hip-hop/rap music, with Lecrae, Trip Lee and Andy Mineo being some of favorite artists.

2 thoughts on “13 Books I’m Looking Forward to in 2019

  1. Going to have to check out that book by Russ Taff. Thanks for letting me know it’s coming!

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