How Should We Read?

Years ago I visited what seemed to be a good church.  Knowing there were cultural differences I was very intent on finding out if there were differences in belief as well.  I listened keenly to the prayer, the teaching, and conversation.  I could have listened with casual acceptance or with self-righteous skepticism, but by comparing what I heard to what the Bible says, I learned faster, was challenged to grow more deeply, and was drawn closer into relationship with God.  That’s also the way we should read.

“There is a great deal of difference between an eager man who wants to read a book and the tired man who wants a book to read.” — Gilbert K. Chesterton

More recommended books from the Distributed Library:  (with titles the Puritans would approve of)

Seeing Through Cynicism: A Reconsideration of the Power of Suspicion by Dick Keyes – The author realized that our age is profoundly cynical and that he was unprepared to respond to that cynicism.  He then worked through understanding the slippery, smug nature of the cynicism that pervades our culture and the loving Biblical responses to it.

Gospel Powered Parenting:  How the Gospel Shapes and Transforms Parenting by William Farley – We can postpone dealing with a difficult issue (letting it worsen) or invest time and attention to deal with it.  Christian books can offers techniques then try to connect them with the Bible or they start with the Gospel and works out its implications wisely.  This book succeeds on both counts.

A Call to Spiritual Reformation:  Priorities from Paul and His Prayers by D.A. Carson – Carson guides us to focus on God’s glory and relationship, and to even teach in public prayer.

Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands: People in Need of Change Helping People in Need of Change by Paul Tripp  – This is a humble, hope filled book.  By walking through actual, difficult situations Tripp helps us gain skill in analyzing the problem Biblically and bringing godly counsel to bear for others.  By making the issue God’s call to relationship, instead of our skill, he steers us away from the pride we’re tempted to when someone else’s life is in turmoil.