1. Stations of the Heart - The year began by reading Richard Lischer's account of his son Adam's dying. A powerful and challenging read.
2. Born of a Virgin? - This is an excellent detailed exploration by Andrew Lincoln, Professor of New Testament at the University of Gloucester, on the question of whether the New Testament affirms a doctrine of the virgin birth and whether it is a necessary doctrine.
2. Honey From the Lion - The referundum on Scottish independence dominated 2014, in Scotland at least, the rest of the UK only took notice during the last four weeks, which probably says a lot about the Scottish-English relationship. Honey From the Lion was Doug Gay's well-timed engagement with the question of the ethics of nationalism. Gay argues for the possibility of an ethical nationalism and came out in favour of Scottish independence. This was a book on how political theology should be written.
3. Beyond Old and New Perspectives - A collection of essays edited by Chris Tilling responding to Douglas Campbell's The Deliverance of God, plus responses to the responses from Douglas himself. The soul of Pauline theology is currently a battle between Douglas and Tom (Wright) - see there recent public conversation at Duke here. Beyond Old and New is a great introduction to Douglas' work.
4. A Brief Theology of Sport - Lincoln Harvey's book was brief, almost too brief, but made a great argument for sport theologically, rooting it in the doctrine of creation. Sport and theology have rarely be brought together, at least favourably, and so Harvey's book is a welcome introduction to how a Christian theologian can be an Arsenal season-ticket holder.
5. Hauerwas: A (Very) Critical Introduction - If Harvey's book is brief, this critical introduction to Hauerwas by Nicholas Healy is equally brief (160 pages). It is certainly provocative as Healy labels Hauerwas as another Schleiermacher, although fans of Hauerwas will probably not be too worried, although John Webster thinks Healy has Hauerwas on the ropes.
6. Ten by John Pritchard - this is a simply conceived book. It is a collection of ten things to say about a variety of topics that concern the Christian faith - why believe in God, relationship to science, key beliefs about Jesus, cliches to avoid. Pritchard, whose just retired as Bishop of Oxford, has yet again written an excellent little and very readable book that helpfully thinks about Christianity.
7. Baptists and the Communion of Saints - Paul Fiddes, Brian Haymes and Richard Kidd have work together on this book (2 chapters each), exploring how Baptists can and should understand and live in light of the doctrine of the communion of the saints. This has never been a big doctrine in the church, and even more so amongst Baptists, so much to enjoy, question, and reflect on.
8. Dominion - This was the major novel I read over the summer. C. J. Samson is the author of a gripping story that explores what might happened if Churchill had not become Prime Minister in 1940 and Great Britain had made peace with Hitler.
8. Contesting Catholicity - Curtis Freeman gives a tour de force in arguing to both Baptist and non-Baptists of the treasures in Baptist theology that sit them within the wider catholic tradition, at the same time, offering something of what it is to be church that cannot be ignored.
9. The State of Africa - I read this account of the continent of Africa since the 1960s by Martin Meredith during Advent. It left me clinging to the two advent prayers of 'how long?' and 'your kingdom come' as I read about the horrific actions of various colonial and cold war powers as well as a terrible collection of African despots.
10. Walking Backwards From Christmas - a fresh engagement with the overly familiar characters of nativity story from Stephen Cottrell, Bishop of Chelmsford