Writings on Christianity

2021 Books READ

2021 was another great year of reading. I am so thankful for the gifts of books and eager to get into some new ones in 2022. Some of these were re-reads, some were audio, and some we read aloud together as a family.

Here’s a few highlights from 2021:

Most Culturally Insightful Book

“The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self” by Carl Trueman was most culturally insightful book I read this year. He puts his finger well on what is going on around us and how we got here. It was a hard read, but worth it; his insights have really helped me think about the culture around me.

Most Spiritually Helpful Book

As a family we read aloud a book called “Taking Root: Devotional Stories about Conversion” by Diana Kleyn. I loved the stories (true stories) and the questions and talking points I had with my children through it.

Best Historical Book

I think “We the Fallen People” by Tracy McKenzie was the best historical book I read this year. He helps us see how the Founders viewed human nature–VERY different from how we do today–and the danger of populism.

Most Fun

We read aloud the “Green Ember” series by S.D. Smith with our kids this year. Great stories and a lot of fun to read together.


  1. “Becoming a Pastor Theologian” Edited by Todd Wilson and Gerald Hiestand
  2. “The Wingfeather Saga: The Monster in the Hollows” by Andrew Peterson
  3. “An Ark for all God’s Noahs” by Thomas Brooks
  4. “Heidi” by Johanna Spyri (read aloud as family)
  5. “The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self” by Carl Trueman
  6. “The Wingfeather Saga: The Warden and the Wolf King” by Andrew Peterson
  7. “Charles Simeon of Cambridge” by Hugh Evans Hopkins
  8. “The Pilgrim’s Progress” by John Bunyan (audio, reread)
  9. “The Science of Virtue” by Mark R. McMinn
  10. “Why Johnny Can’t Preach” by T. David Gordon
  11. “The Privy Key of Heaven” by Thomas Brooks
  12. “The Stranger” by Albert Camus
  13. “The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  14. “The Wingfeather Saga: On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness” (reread; read aloud as a family 1st time)
  15. “Against God and Nature: The Doctrine of Sin” by Thomas H. McCall
  16. “Worldly Saints: The Puritans as they Really Were” by Leland Ryken
  17. “The Time Machine” by H.G. Wells
  18. “The Final Days of Jesus” by Andreas Kostenberger and Justin Taylor
  19. “How to Reach the West Again” by Tim Keller
  20. “Heaven on Earth” by Thomas Brooks
  21. “Confessions” by Augustine (reread; audio)
  22. “The Heart of the Church: The Gospel’s History, Message, and Meaning” by Joe Thorn
  23. “Christian Meditation” by Edmund Clowney
  24. “Founding Brothers” by Joseph J Ellis
  25. “Grace to the City: Studies in the Gospel from China” Edited by S.E. Wang and Hannah Nation
  26. “ The Character of the Church: The Marks of God’s Obedient People” by Joe Thorn
  27. “The Life of the Church: The Table, Pulpit, and Square” by Joe Thorn
  28. “Benjamin Franklin” by Edmund S. Morgan
  29. “All of Grace” by Spurgeon (audio)
  30. “The Pastor as Counselor” by David Powlison
  31. “Spiritual Leadership” by J. Oswald Sanders
  32. “A Cabinet of Jewels” by Thomas Brooks
  33. “Virtual Reality Church” by Darrell Bock and Jonathan Armstrong
  34. “Deacons” by Matt Smethurst
  35. “The Mind of the Maker” by Dorothy Sayers
  36. “Swift and Beautiful” by David B Calhoun
  37. “Bible” by God (reread)
  38. “The Green Ember” S.D. Smith (read aloud as family)
  39. “Christianity at the Crossroads” by Michael J. Kruger
  40. “Brothers, We Are Not Professionals” by John Piper (reread)
  41. “Phantastes” by George MacDonald (reread)
  42. “The Hiding Place” by Corrie Ten Boom (audio; reread)
  43. “Green Pastures: A Primer on the Ordinary Means of Grace” by J. Ryan David
  44. “Surviving Religion 101” by Michael J. Kruger
  45. “The Lost Fleet: Dauntless” by Jack Campbell
  46. “The Screwtape Letters” by C.S. Lewis (reread)
  47. “The Abolition of Man” by C.S. Lewis (reread)
  48. “The Hobbit” by Tolkien (reread; audio as family)
  49. “The Mortification of Sin” (abridged) by John Owen (reread)
  50. “Things Unseen: A Systematic Introduction to the Christian Faith and Reformed Theology” by Machen
  51. “Ember Falls” by S.D. Smith (read aloud as family)
  52. “When God’s Voice is Heard: the Power of Preaching” edited by Christopher Green and David Jackman
  53. “Taking Root: Devotional Stories about Conversion” by Diana Kleyn (read aloud as family)
  54. “We the Fallen People” by Tracy McKenzie
  55. “Beowulf”
  56. “God and the Transgender Debate: What Does the Bible Actually Say About Gender Identity?” by Andrew Walker
  57. “Am I Just My Brain?” by Sharon Dirckx
  58. “Created to Draw Near” by Edward T. Welch
  59. “The Crown and Glory of Christianity” by Thomas Brooks
  60. “Discipling” by Mark Dever
  61. “Dune” by Frank Herbert (reread)
  62. “The Pastor Theologian” by Gerald Hiestand and Todd Wilson
  63. “Bearing Fruit” by Diana Kleyn (read aloud as family)
  64. “Robert Murray M’Cheyene” by Andrew Bonar
  65. “Ember Rising” by S.D. Smith (read aloud as family)
  66. “The God Who Became Human” by Graham A. Cole
  67. “The Golden Key to Open Hidden Treasures” by Thomas Brooks
  68. “Providence” by John Piper
  69. “Ember’s End” by S.D. Smith (read aloud as family)

By Tom Schmidt

Christian, husband of Rach, Church Planter,musician,

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