August 2014
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Now Reading

Planned books:

Current books:

  • Path to True Godliness

    Path to True Godliness by Willem Teellinck

  • 2 Samuel: Out of Every Adversity (Focus on the Bible Commentaries)

    2 Samuel: Out of Every Adversity (Focus on the Bible Commentaries) by Dale Ralph Davis

  • 1-2-3 Magic for Christian Parents: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12

    1-2-3 Magic for Christian Parents: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12 by Thomas W. Phelan PhD, Chris Webb MS MA

  • Mark (The NIV Application Commentary)

    Mark (The NIV Application Commentary) by David E Garland

  • According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible

    According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible by Graeme Goldsworthy

Recent books:

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The Christian and Books

Perhaps I just love this because it provides me some justification for my love of books.  But then again maybe — just maybe — there is something to this.  John Piper writes in the Introductory chapter to the book “Thinking. Loving. Doing.: A Call to Glorify God with Heart and Mind“:

Healthy Christianity clearly appreciates the life of the mind. Love God “with all your mind,” says Jesus (Matt. 22:37). “Think over what I say,” Paul tells Timothy, and us with him (2 Tim. 2:7). When Proverbs instructs us to “seek it like silver,” the referent is insight, understanding, and the knowledge of God (Prov. 2:3–5).  It is a tragedy that in many Christian circles, the life of the mind is not prized, and it is even diminished. Anti-intellectualism in the church (of all places!) is a calamity given that Christians this side of heaven are people of a Book, and thus irreducibly thinkers in some sense.

Jewish author and talk-show host Dennis Prager observes:

One thing I noticed about evangelicals is that they do not read. They do not read the Bible, they do not read the great Christian thinkers, they have never heard of Aquinas. If they are Presbyterian, they’ve never read the founders of Presbyterianism. I do not understand that. As a Jew, that’s confusing to me. The commandment of study is so deep in Judaism that we immerse ourselves in study. God gave us a brain; aren’t we to use it in His service? When I walk into an Evangelical Christian’s home and see a total of 30 books, most of them best sellers, I do not understand. I have bookcases of Christian books, and I am a Jew. Why do I have more Christian books than 98 percent of the Christians in America? That is so bizarre to me.

This hits close to home. Honestly, such an evangelical allergy to books, and its accompanying subtle form of anti-intellectualism, characterized what I would have called “my Christian walk” in high school. I hated reading. Today at my parents’ home in Spartanburg, South Carolina, in my old room (now the guestroom) lies a thick stack of CliffsNotes that reminds me how I cut corners to make it through high school reading assignments. At the time, I would not have verbalized any formal anti-intellectual opinions, but my disdain for reading was eroding the foundation of my present and future thinking. Though many tremendous gospel seeds were sewn in those years, it now seems that it was my freshman year in college when God really turned on the lights of new birth, and with it came a voracious appetite for reading—and in its wake, a more engaged life of the mind.

To read the entire chapter online, click HERE.

You can also order the audio book from ChristianAudio for less than $5 through the rest of the month.  While you are at it, pick up John Piper’s “Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God” for FREE!

3 comments to The Christian and Books

  • Yep. I love to read, always have. Now I have to work, though, to ensure that the Scripture doesn’t sit neglected while I read a bunch of books about the Scripture…..Perhaps you can relate.

  • simplemann

    Oof. Guilty. Ouch.

  • John Child

    My becoming a Christian gave me an almost insatiable desire to read, first the Bible, then Christian books. This coincided with my first year at university & no doubt that was a significant factor as I was exposed to the world of learning. It was also the time (1970) when Francis Schaeffer’s first 3 books (Escape from reason, The God who is there, Death in the City) hit the scene & opened vistas for us we knew nothing of. The whole world opened up for me on becoming a Christian. It was an exciting time to be alive. Till that time I read little; I played golf in my spare time & vacs. After becoming a Christian I’ve played golf twice! The past has gone, all things became new.
    I now have far too many books I can even read. I’ve given or sold hundreds to our College library & still I have no space. My wife won’t even come into my largish office at work whose walls are covered with books; she feels claustrophobic! I sometimes do too!
    Laurie mentioned her husband read fast & I told her I was a slow reader. I then wondered if the Lord would give me a double eternity so I can catch up on all my reading!
    Thanks for the great quote from Dennis Prager.

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