Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

My 2020 Favorites

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As has been my practice for several years, I want to share with you my favorites for 2020 in a variety of categories. (Here is my list from 2019). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s list will look very different from past years, as concerts and conferences have been cancelled and movie theatres have been closed.

Except for books, and the film A Hidden Life (a 2019 film that wasn’t available for me to see until 2020), these are all items that were released in 2020. For books, I include my favorite books that I read during 2020, regardless of when the book was published.

Enjoy, and please let me know what you think of my list, as well as what would be on your list.

Movies

Top Pick: A Hidden Life (read my review here).

Other films I enjoyed, in no particular order, were:

      • Hamilton
      • Just Mercy
      • 1917

Music: Albums

Top Pick: Patient Kingdom – Sandra McCracken (read my review here)

Here are the rest of my Top 10 albums of 2020:

  1. The Life of Christ Quintology – Keith and Kristyn Getty (and friends)
  2. Rough and Rowdy Ways – Bob Dylan
  3. McCartney III – Paul McCartney
  4. Restoration – Lecrae
  5. Out of Body – NEEDTOBREATHE
  6. Chris Tomlin and Friends – Chris Tomlin
  7. Live from the Forum MMXVIII – Eagles
  8. Blues with Friends – Dion
  9. Let There Be Wonder – Matt Redman

Other albums I enjoyed, in no particular order, were:

  • American Standard – James Taylor
  • Christ Be All EP – Grace Worship
  • The Lost Demos EP – TobyMac
  • Evensong – Hymns and Lullabies at The Close of Day – Keith and Kristyn Getty
  • Letter to You – Bruce Springsteen
  • A Drummer Boy Christmas – for King & Country
  • Vintage – Shane and Shane

Music: Songs

Top Pick: “Christ Our Hope in Life and Death” – Matt Papa, Keith Getty and Kristyn Getty (Watch the “Songwriter’s Edition” of the song performed at the Sing! Global conference, featuring Keith Getty, Kristyn Getty, Matt Papa, Matt Boswell, Matt Merker and Jordan Kauflin)

Other songs I enjoyed, in no particular order, were:

    • “Forever Jesus” – Stuart Townend
    • “Murder So Foul” – Bob Dylan
    • “Song for Sam Cooke (Here in America)” – Dion (featuring Paul Simon)
    • “The Lord is in His Holy Temple” – Keith and Kristyn Getty
    • “I’ll See You in My Dreams” – Bruce Springsteen
    • “I Will Sing” – Sandra McCracken
    • “Christ Be All” – Grace Worship
    • “Softly and Tenderly/Ashokan Farewell (Medley)” – Keith and Kristyn Getty (Vince Gill, Ellie Holcomb, Sierra Hull, and Deborah Klemme)
    • “Hang On” – NEEDTOBREATHE
    • “Drown” – Lecrae (featuring John Legend)
    • “Thank You Lord” – Chris Tomlin (featuring Florida Georgia Line and Thomas Rhett)
    • “All Praise” (Acoustic) – Matt Redman
    • “Goodbye Jimmy Reed” – Bob Dylan
    • “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” – for King & Country, featuring Bear Rinehart of NEEDTOBREATHE
    • “Lavatory Lil” – Paul McCartney

Books

Top Pick: Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers – Dane Ortlund (read my review here)

Here are the rest of my Top 10 books 2020:

  1. Lead: 12 Gospel Principles for Leadership in the Church – Paul Tripp
  2. The Seamless Life: A Tapestry of Love and Learning, Worship and Work – Steven Garber
  3. The Gathering Storm: Secularism, Culture and the Church – Albert Mohler
  4. Becoming Elisabeth Elliot – Ellen Vaughn
  5. A Gentle Answer: Our ‘Secret Weapon’ in an Age of Use Against Them – Scott Sauls
  6. A Way With Words: Using Our Online Conversions For Good – Daniel Darling
  7. Tie: Ben Hogan: An American Life and The Range Bucket List: The Golf Adventure of a Lifetime – James Dodson
  8. To Seek and to Save: Daily Reflections on the Road to the Cross – Sinclair Ferguson
  9. The Motive: Why So Many Leaders Abdicate Their Most Important Responsibilities – Patrick Lencioni

Other books I appreciated, in no particular order, were:

  • Coronavirus and Christ – John Piper
  • Where is God in a Coronavirus World? – John Lennox

Blogs

Top Choice: Tim Challies Ala Carte
This is required reading for me each Monday through Saturday morning. Challies includes helpful Kindle deals, links to a wide variety of helpful articles and a quote. Check out Tim’s blog here.

Other blogs I enjoyed, in no particular order, were:
– Ligonier
– Desiring God

Podcasts

Top Pick: Albert Mohler’s The Briefing

This is required listening for me each weekday morning. Mohler hosts a fast-moving podcast featuring worldview analysis about leading news headlines and cultural conversations. The podcast runs approximately 25 minutes and is usually posted by 5:00 am. Check out Dr. Mohler’s website here.

Apps

Top Pick: Ligonier Ministries

Other apps I enjoy are:
Albert Mohler
RefNet
The Gospel Coalition

Television Shows

Top Pick: Tucker Carlson Tonight

Other shows I enjoyed were:

  • The Last Dance
  • The Crown
  • The Mandalorian

New Resources

Top Pick: Union with Christ teaching series – Sinclair Ferguson

Other new resources I enjoyed were:

  • Blessing and Praise: Benedictions & Doxologies in Scripture teaching series – H.B. Charles Jr.
  • No Other Gospel: Paul’s Letter to the Galatians teaching series – Derek Thomas
  • Blessed Hope: The Book of Revelation teaching series – Robert Godfrey

These are my 2020 favorites in a variety of categories. How about you? What were some of your favorites?

Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence ~ married to my best friend for more than 40 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.

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