Jan 012020 7 Responses

2020 Short Book Challenge

In the day of Instagram pictures, short tweets, and Facebook hot-takes, the idea of reading a book seems old fashioned. Yet on average, a majority of Americans still read at least one book a year. While many behaviors impact our faith–prayer, Bible reading, corporate worship, friendships, etc.–there are few habits as influential to spiritual growth as that of reading books.

Reading a good book can greatly impact one’s spiritual life. That impact is greatly increased when the good book is read in relationship with other people. Discussing insights, hearing the perspectives of others, and working through possible personal applications can impress a book’s ideas deep into one’s mind and soul.

The challenge is to make sure we are reading good books. Just because a book is popular doesn’t mean the book is good. Just because a book is sold under the Christian genre doesn’t mean the book is actually communicating Christian ideas. (See: A Simple Trick to Understand the Bible)

To help people start the habit of reading Christian books and to assist in making sure the Christian books they are reading are actually good books, I’m initiating the 2020 Short Book Challenge.

I’ve chosen 12 (plus 1) short Christian books. Most are Christian classics having proven themselves over the decades as a unique contribution to the church. Others are written more recently, but help in explaining our faith.

My challenge for you is to commit to reading one short book a month. And most of these books are truly short, about 100 pages. The collection of books is eclectic. It’s meant to cover a broad range of topics and to introduce readers to a wide range of writers. Nearly every author has written other books that are worth discovering. My hope is that the challenge will introduce readers to new authors who over time might become the readers’ favorite author.

Join Us

As part of the challenge, I’m opening a Facebook group where ideas can be discussed, questions asked, and bonus material can be added. The group is public for now, but will be set to private after people have been given a chance to sign up. If you are interested in joining us in the reading challenge, click HERE.

The First Book

The challenge will begin in January with The Lord’s Prayer by Wesley Hill. Lexham Press has three books in our challenge as they assemble a series of small books on essential Christian topics. What better way to start the year than by praying the Lord’s Prayer every day, not just in a rote way, but in a meaningful reflection on who God is and what He has done for us.

The Other Books

January: The Lord’s Prayer by Wesley Hill

February: Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Bonus Book: see HERE

March: The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness by Timothy Keller

April: The Apostle’s Creed by Ben Myers

May: Sabbath as Resistance by Walter Brueggeman

June: The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence

July: The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis

August: The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer

September: Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung

October: The Ten Commandments by Peter Leithart

November: Life of the Beloved by Henri Nouwen

December: When God Is Silent by Barbara Brown Taylor

Why a Bonus Book?

Originally, I wanted to pick one short book per month. However, after reading a certain book in 2019, I knew I wanted to include it in this challenge. It’s a little longer than the others, but not by much. It’s newer than any of the other books, written last year. And it covers a different topic than any of the others–it’s a memoir. However, I think the book can make an important contribution to the reading list.

So at the right time, I’ll let you know what the bonus book is. Until then, you have to wait.

Join us on Facebook: facebook.com/groups/2020bookchallenge

7 Responses to 2020 Short Book Challenge
  1. […] I made the first list of the 2020 Short Book Reading Challenge, I noticed one problem–the whol... https://www.kevinathompson.com/the-best-book-ive-read-in-five-years
  2. […] one reason I like this list (and last year’s list) is because it introduces you to great autho... https://www.kevinathompson.com/2021-short-book-challenge

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