Probably one of the best books written last year that seemed to really fly under the radar was Rodney Reeves' little book Spirituality According to Paul: Imitating the Apostle of Christ. I don't say this lightly because there were a lot of really good theological works written in 2011. However, in terms of sheer practicality, I think Reeves' book is up there.
Let me explain a bit. Spirituality According to Paul is organized around Paul's three major ideas: you were crucified with Christ, buried with Christ and raised with Christ. Reeves' devotes four chapters to exploring each of these themes. The catch to all of this is that he explores in a way that reminds of the mystics--except with jam up exegesis. What I mean is that each chapter is packed with these powerful, practical ideas and insights into Paul's theology. However, the book isn't linear like many theological works and it definitely doesn't spend a significant time on any one given topic. Think a less poetic, more exegetical Eugene Peterson and you are barking up the right tree with this book. Reeves' style is fluid and compelling and makes you want to read more.
For what it is worth, I thought the first four chapters alone would be worth the price of admission. In particular, his first two chapters absolutely floored me. I actually had to put the book down on numerous occasions and just worship God. However, what is perhaps the greatest praise for a book that I can give is this: it made me want to go back and re-read the Bible. Reeves' book made me want to put his book down and pick up Philippians and read it again...and again...and again. Seriously. Reeves' book is that compelling.
I don't know really how to categorize this book. It isn't academic per se, but it would be misleading to say it isn't scholarly. It is. It is just so unbelievably practical that it makes you feel like you are reading a devotional. So go buy this book. You won't regret it.
*Thanks to IVP for providing me with a free review copy of this book in exchange for a fair review.*