Books I read in 2021

Things got busy in 2021! So while I read around 100 books a year each of the last few previous years, in 2021 I managed to read only 27 books. What happened? Well, in July my wife gave birth to our second child (and first son, Birch). While Birch has been generally a smiley boy and fairly easygoing, we’ve found that the challenge of raising two kids is considerably harder than just one. In fact, almost all of the books on the list below are ones I read this year before Birch was born. Then, our mission to the Appalachian Trail hikers ( has grown. In previous years we welcomed about 70 hikers to our ministry. In 2021 it was precisely 200 hikers! Then, I believe, things have gotten a bit busier at church where I am the pastor. Our small church has, by the Lord’s grace, grown by a few members.

I still hope to read more books on epistemology in future years and sometime write on the subject. That is one of the great unfulfilled goals in my life. Years ago it seems there was more debate online on the subject. At least on the subject of Clark vs. Van Til. I still maintain that Van Til didn’t have an epistemology. And Plantinga et. al’s “Reformed Epistemology” is neither Reformed nor epistemology. So I believe there is great work to be done in a  Biblical epistemology along the lines of Gordon Clark. I don’t know that I’d ever be able to make advancements beyond his work, but may be able to explain it better or consolidate it to one place. Why is there less theological debate online? Well, one factor must be that most of the conversation in the last 2 years has been directed towards COVID and the response to the virus from governments and churches. But I seemed to have noticed a decline in theological conversation online even before COVID came around. I’m curious if others noticed this as well, and if they can think of any reasons for it.

Anyways, so embarrassed am I for having read only 27 books this year (not really that embarrassed) I just assumed not posting this year. But the worldwide pestilence has caught me and I’ve suddenly got a lot of time to sit around. So, without further ado, or any ado if I can help it, here is the list:

1. Sermons that Changed America, ed. William S. Barker and Samuel T. Logan, 5/10

2. A Goodly Heritage, The Secession of 1834, by Cornelis Pronk, 8/10

3. The Presbyterian Doctrine of Children in the Covenant, by Lewis Bevens Schenck, 8/10

4. Escape from Reason, by Francis Schaeffer, 7/10

5. A Watered Garden, A Brief History of the PRCA, by Gertrude Hoeksema, 10/10

6. Just Dad, Stories of Herman Hoeksema, by Lois E. Kregel, 8/10

7. We & Our Children, The Reformed Doctrine of Infant Baptism, by Herman Hanko, 9/10

8. In the Beginning, God, by Homer C. Hoeksema, 7/10

9. The Belgic Confession, A Commentary, Vol. 1, by David J. Engelsma, 9/10

10. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen, 10/10

11. The Mark of the Christian, by Francis Schaeffer, 7/10

12. I Remember Herman Hoeksema, by David Engelsma, 6/10

13. Protestant Reformed Theological Journal, Vol. 54, No. 1, Nov. 2020, 10/10

14. The Belgic Confession, A Commentary, Vol. 2, by David J. Engelsma, 9/10

15. Watchmen on the Walls of Zion [Van Velzen bio], by Joshua Engelsma, 6/10

16. The God Who Is There, by Francis Schaeffer, 8/10

17. The Mystery of Bethlehem, by Herman Hoeksema, 6/10

18. Inner Portraits, by Szukalski, 10/10

19. Fault Lines, by Voddie Baucham, 10/10

20. The Case for Covenantal Infant Baptism, by Gregg Strawbridge (read first half)

21. Six Days, by Ken Ham, 7/10

22. One Step to Paradise, by Howard W. Long, 7/10

23. The Quest for the Historical Adam, by William VanDoodewaard, 7/10

24. Loneliness, by Elizabeth Elliot, by 5/10

25. The Ten Commandments, by Jochem Douma, 9/10

26. Bible Numerics, by Oswald Thompson Allis, 9/10

27. The Problem of Original Sin in American Presbyterian Theology, 10/10

2 thoughts on “Books I read in 2021”

  1. Happy New Year, Doug and family.

    Congratulations on the birth of your second! I like the name.

    I too, recall the added challenge in going from one child to two (and from two to three and three to four). The days are long and the years are short, or so I’m told. : )

    Also glad to hear that you’re still able to host AT hikers. I’m sure they appreciate you.

    Interesting book list.

    Of the books I read in 2021, a few stand out to me as especially memorable and worth endorsing.

    The Coddling of the American Mind; Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt

    Jesus and John Wayne; Kristin Kobes Du Mez

    The Great Partnership: Science and Religion and the Search for Meaning; Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

    Best wishes to you and your family.

    1. Happy New Year to you as well, Joe. I didn’t know you had four kids. That should keep you busy for sure!

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