My Favorite Books of 2019

Each year around this time I list my top books read over the past year in philosophy, theology, apologetics, fiction, and non-fiction. As much as it pains me, I’ll restrict myself to the top three in each of these categories. As is custom, I will list them with my one sentence description of the book, as written in my book log. As a bonus, this year I also include the favorite reads of Ethel and the kids! Here we go:

Month Three as a Henry Fellow: Life, Participation, and the Wingfeather Saga

This month, I have two main study and writing goals. First, I plan to read as much of the literature as I can on the origin of life to get a sense of the current state of play in science. The goal is to write one chapter for my popular level book, Eleven Stones, on the origin of life and then one section of a technical article examining how one’s philosophy of nature influences how the scientific evidence for origins is assessed. I’ve written the first section to the technical paper, setting out the two dominant ways of looking at the universe—the neo-Humean view and the neo-Aristotelian view. Now the real work begins…

Month Two as a Henry Fellow

I’m enjoying my time at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School working on the doctrine of creation. My primary focus this past month has been a paper on neo-Aristotelian accounts of divine creative activity. I hope to defend a particular version at some point, but for now, I’m interested in what neo-Aristotelian models of divine creation, if any, are viable (that is, consistent with contemporary science, pre-philosophical intuition, and traditional theology). I’ve been reading on the nature of substance, causal powers, teleology, substantial forms, and the like.

Month One as a Henry Fellow

I’m just about to begin a year of research as a Henry Fellow at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. I’ll be commuting Monday through Thursday from Texas to Illinois. That will be a lot of fun (not!). What will be a lot of fun (and interesting too) is exploring the philosophical underpinnings of the doctrine of divine activity with a group of scholars. My specific project is to explore neo-Aristotelian accounts of divine creative activity.

Top Twelve Books Read in 2018

There is this widespread idea—I’m not sure where it started or how we got here—that dinosaurs roamed among humans in the pre-Internet age. Ok, well not really. Let me try again. There is this widespread idea today that anything before the smartphone age is ancient. Novelty is king and queen today. Being “progressive” or “a forward-thinker” are the new monickers of the contemporary intelligentsia.