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2015 CBMW Books of the Year

December 23, 2015
By CBMW Staff

‘Tis the season for celebrating books! We at CBMW love books. Because we know you do, too, we’re celebrating a great year in publishing by releasing our first-ever CBMW Book Awards.

Below are the titles that drew our applause in 2015. These are texts with a focus on the issues we cover–manhood, womanhood, the family, marriage, sexual ethics, and more–that are biblically faithful, spiritually vibrant, and personally impactful.

Without further ado, our award winners. Read, buy, and be enriched by these terrific books, just as we were.

The Mingling of Souls by Matt Chandler. Marriage books are a dime a dozen, but not many marriage books walk through dating, engagement, and early marriage as winsomely and helpfully as Chandler’s. This is an excellent book to give to couples who are serious about marriage and singles who want to be married.

Word-Filled Women’s Ministry by Kathleen Nielson and Gloria Furman. There are a lot of opinions about how women should minister to other women, but one thing is clear: if women aren’t teaching other women in our churches, they are unfaithful to Scripture. This book takes us back to what should be the primary focus of ministry among women—God’s word. Nielson and Furman join with a solid list of contributors to deliver a wealth of knowledge about women’s ministry and scripture.

The Pastor’s Wife by Gloria Furman. As a pastor’s wife in another cultural context, Gloria reminds us that there really are no problems we face that are not common to all, yet there is a gospel powerful enough to equip us for the task he has called us to. We’re so thankful for Gloria’s writing–she is a faithful worker and a lyrical author.

What Does the Bible Say About Homosexuality? by Kevin DeYoung. This year, evangelicals witnessed massive cultural changes–and carried out a needed discussion of homosexuality and, in particular, what the Bible says about it. DeYoung unpacks key passages in his lucid style, showing that God’s word has spoken decisively and clearly to this subject.

Transforming Homosexuality by Denny Burk and Heath Lambert. In the Christian world, there is much debate and confusion over how to shepherd those dealing with same-sex attraction. Burk and Lambert provide wisdom that readers on all sides will resonate with, pointing to the only hope for all our fallen desires–Jesus.

The Accidental Feminist by Courtney Reissig. Charting feminism’s history and its impact on our understanding of being a woman, Reissig points to God’s original design for women as a better answer than feminism for the problems women face. A tremendous resource for women who are trying to figure out what godly womanhood looks like in a feminist culture (which is most Christian women today).

Held in Honor by Matthew Haste and Rob Plummer: This book is a gem because it includes profound quotes about marriage by church leaders from the past 2,000 years. Haste and Plummer give excellent background and short explanations of the quoted passages.

Designed for Joy by Jonathan Parnell and Owen Strachan. Complementarian voices for a new day unpack age old truths from God’s word on his design for us. The focus of this book is on applying biblical wisdom as a young man or woman, and makes it especially helpful for discipling, small group ministry, and college groups. (It’s not every day that John Piper asks to write the foreword to a book, as he did with Designed for Joy!)

Men’s Devotional Bible by Crossway: This devotional Bible, edited by Sam Storms, is the new tour de force of men’s devotional Bibles. Thoughtful, encouraging, and Christ-centered, this Bible will encourage men in their spiritual walk and help them form a Christian view of manhood.

Openness Unhindered by Rosaria Butterfield. Butterfield writes to help clear up confusion to those who think the Christian gospel to be implausible. She has a burden, furthermore, to help fellow Christians understand how to minister to their homosexual neighbors. Her prose is lively and full of rich insight into the human condition and the good news of the gospel to broken sexual sinners.

Onward by Russell Moore. Moore–formerly CBMW’s chairman of the board–argues for faithfulness in the face of a culture that is increasingly hostile to the Christian witness. Instead of panic, Moore urges fellow evangelicals to keep calm and carry on, a smile on our faces as we confront a new sexual order. We’re grateful for his spirit and leadership.

We Cannot Be Silent by Albert Mohler. Cultural change in 2015 forced evangelicals to think deeply about the nature of human sexuality and personhood. For this reason, books like Dr. Mohler’s are of extreme importance. The result is a Christianity and Liberalism for our times by the Machen of our era.

Walking With God in the Season of Motherhood by Melissa Kruger: This book on motherhood is incredibly refreshing, because rather than centering on the mother-child relationship, the focus is on the glory and knowledge of God. CBMW Board Member, Ligon Duncan, endorsed it saying, “Timely biblical wisdom and rich devotional theology from an author, colleague, friend (and mom!) I trust. Walking with God in the Season of Motherhood will be a real encouragement to believers in the midst (or on the cusp) of the demanding season of motherhood. And frankly, dads should read and learn from it too.”

The Things of Earth by Joe Rigney: All of us desire to honor Christ in our lives. But do things like playing sports, rolling around on the floor with our children, or eating bacon really give him glory? In this book, Rigney seeks to show how enjoying God’s gifts is an extension of our worship of him without becoming idolaters or ascetics.

The Story of Everything by Jared Wilson. This book will leave you stunned by the glory of God in all of life, even the mundane. A great book to read and then chew on, mulling over how your life as a man or woman uniquely honors the Lord. Everything matters; all of life is doxological, as Wilson shows.

At CBMW, we are delighted to see rich complementarian resources flooding the market (and the church book stall!). The books listed above have sold like hotcakes, garnered other honors, and transformed many lives. These titles–and many others–testify to the strength and health of the complementarian movement in our time. We’re grateful for publishers who produce such rich resources for Christ’s church.

We congratulate our winners, and thank our readers for a terrific 2015.

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