The Importance of Reading Good Books
The final words of Paul's written ministry are interesting. He writes Timothy with a request that his younger friend would bring him "my scrolls, especially the parchments" (2 Tim. 4:13). Facing death, he still believed there was value in reading. Throughout Scripture we are admonished to "grow in depth of insight and in knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." We are urged to advance from milk to meat, from the elementary truths of repentance and salvation to the profound truths. The way to grow in Christian maturity is to learn to distinguish between good and evil and to be able to tell the difference between good ideas and bad ideas. We are told to "be transformed by the renewing of your mind" (Romans 12:2). One way to do this is by reading the Bible. Another way is by reading good books that explain biblical concepts and truth.
Where do Christians begin and what books should they read? The following are some helpful ideas summarized from Sinclair Ferguson's booklet "Read Any Good Books?"
1. Read the great books. The great books of Christian literature were "written to show a great God and a great Christ of the people of God." Most of the great books are identified as classic books because they have stood the test of time.
2. Read according to a plan. If you plan and read regularly, you will be surprised how much you can get done; an hour each day, during your lunch break or while you are waiting on someone or a meeting.
3. Read selectively. Learn to read selectively and deeply rather than widely and superficially. Read to understand and to put into practice what you learn. Master a few excellent books, know then thoroughly.
4. Read a balanced variety of books from the following categories: Biblical and theological, Historical and biographical, Devotional.
"You are what you read," suggests Sinclair Ferguson. We need to read books which will explain Scripture, search our consciences and challenge us to spiritual growth and obedience.
"A Christian Reader" booklet is available at the church office or view by clicking on Recommended Books-Reading List
RESOURCES/STUDY GUIDES: Recommended list available by clicking on Recommended study guides.
Recommended Reading List Links:
Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman Reviewer: Maureen Bradley
Above All Earthly Pow'rs: Christ in a Post Modern World by David Wells Reviewer: Ron Gleason
Redemption: Accomplished and Applied by John Murray Reviewer: David Hegg