The title is misleading because these books were not released in 2012. They're books that I've enjoyed this past year. I hope you decide to read a few, learn from them, and become better equipped to give an answer for the hope that is in you - if your hope is in Christ. If it is not, then I challenge you to first read the Bible. Scripture stands on its own authority, but these books (at least some of them) may be helpful for Christians who wish to engage the culture in which they find themselves. So without further ado here is the list:
An epic poem that brilliantly paved the way for the coming of the Messiah to Nordic culture.
9. Christianity and Culture by T. S. Eliot
Eliot methodically examines what culture is, and how Christianity and modernity have shaped it.
8. Canon Revisited: Establishing the Origins and Authority of the New Testament Books by Michael J. Kruger
An accessible yet scholarly examination of Biblical Canon formation.
7. Handbook of Christian Apologetics by Peter Kreeft and Ronald K. Tacelli
An all encompassing apologetic of the Christian faith. It styles itself in the classical mode of apologetics, similar to Thomas Aquinas. I incline towards a Cornelius Van Tilian presuppositional approach, or what some have called covenantal apologetics, but, as in any argument, it's worth knowing the thought process of each side.
6. The Problem of Pain by C. S. Lewis
An excellent and easy to read theodic apologetic.
5. Why Revival Tarries by Leonard Ravenhill
A fiery call to holiness.
4. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
When hatred of God is captain of the ship, we end up shipwrecked.
3. The Weight of Glory by C. S. Lewis
Lewis is able to express with words homesickness for heaven that I have previously only known in my heart. These longings are still inexpressible, but Lewis does a pretty darn good job working within the confines of speech. There is a Calvin and Hobbes comic strip where Calvin declares, "Happiness isn't good enough for me. I demand euphoria!" This would have been a good cover for the book.
2. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
We need more men like the Bishop of Digne and Jean Valjean.
1. Angels in the Architecture: A Protestant Vision For Middle Earth by Douglas Wilson and Douglas Jones
Wilson and Jones collaborate to give us a vision of rich Christian culture which recognizes the Lordship of Christ over all things.