Top 3 Books of 2008

Here are my top 3 books from 2008. I have read them all twice.


1. Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church, by N.T. Wright.

I had a gut feeling it would be the best book of the and guess what? . . I was right as usual. Even Scot McKnight agrees with me. Eschatology was a big topic in 2008 and Wright puts forward some fresh thinking and a hard core challenge to take the resurrection of Christ seriously.

2. The Great Emergence, How Christianity is Changing and Why, by Phyllis Tickle

Reviewed here on the blog, many months before it was released – I just couldn’t wait. Great panoramic view of the last 4 decades and our current emergence from a publisher’s point of view.

3. GloboChrist: The Great Commission Takes a Postmodern Turn, by Carl Raschke.

I reviewed it here. Carl Raschke points to where we are in this postmodern shift and explores our challenge in confronting a the challenges of globalization, the internet and “Islamism”.

Runner UpThe New Conspirators by Tom Sine which is one of the best books on the emerging church movement ever. Actually, it could easily be one of the top 3 books.


Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.


  • Rob Grayson says:

    Hi Andrew,
    Happy New Year – I’m looking forward to following your exploits in 2009, and hope your journey is both exciting and fulfilling.
    I’m delighted to see that one of the pile of books I invested my Christmas money in is number 1 on your list! Looking forward to reading it.

  • Bob Cornwall says:

    I do think the Tickle book is an important statement, though I found her conclusion rather narrow — I’m not sure if the current emergent church movement is the true center. I think it’s one of the centers. — anyway, I will leave the address for my own rather longish review of the book.

  • Andrew Jones says:

    bob – i take a wide view of that emerging center and not one dominated by a particular group or a particular country.

  • I echo Surprised By Hope…it rocked my world. If you haven’t read it, you should as soon as possible. I can’t speak to the other two, but will put them on my “to read” list.

  • Liz says:

    I have read Surprised By Hope and agree it is an excellent book and gives one a lot of new directions to think towards. I just got Tickle’s book and believe that it will be a great one and I am really excited that you have introduced me to GloboChrist. I looked at the links you provided and it sounds fascinating and I believe it may be just what I am needing as I wander around in this spiritual transition that I seem to be living in.

  • Steven Rossi says:

    I definitely agree with the selection of Surprised by Hope. I plan on reading it a second time in the near future. I read The Great Emergence, as well, and thought it was very good, but I’m not sure I would put it in a list of my top three books of the year. I haven’t heard of the third one, though. Makes me wonder what I’d put for my own top three.

  • Mark Berry says:

    TBH after all the hype I was a bit unconvinced by TGE… I just couldn’t fully buy into her cycle of history premise… so in the end it felt like an attempt to build a historical justification for the emerging church which left me squirming a bit.
    With you on the other two though 😉 Perhaps next year your book will be in the top three 😉

  • Charlie Boyd says:

    Tom Wright’s book was very good and much needed but he did chicken out on the subject of ‘Eternal Punishment’ and not examine closely some of Paul’s hinted at Universalist thinking in Ephesians,Colosians etc.He just said God may have something up His sleeve!Do we not realise that the ‘eternal’ hell thing is what makes many turn away from exploring the rest of what Tom Wright outlines as the ‘Christian Hope’.Maybe Tom will wtite a book to answer the issues raised in’The Evangelical Universalist’ by Gregory MacDonald.

  • Jeromy says:

    I think Phyllis’ book will be remembered as the book to read for ages to come about what is taking place in today’s church. Her insights into history and our current reshaping were profound. 10+

  • Philip says:

    Hey, what do you think of Rob Bell’s book “Jesus Wants To Save Christian” released last year? I really like it and think it’s great!

  • andrew says:

    havent read it. thanks for the recommendation

  • Just want to let everyone who would like to discuss Raschke’s “GloboChrist” that I have a GloboChrist Discussion Group on facebook. Please join & participate! You too, Andrew! 🙂

  • becky says:

    Andrew – You’ll really like Rob Bell’s book – another great read is Jesus for President by Shane Claiborne and Rob Bell not to mention Jeff Sharlet’s, the Family – the later two are excellent books for those wanting to understand the relationship between empire and Jesus here in the States.

Leave a Reply