Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Men -- Learn to Read and Love Good Books!

I love books. Sometimes I like books that I don't end up reading. But I like books. I like the smell of books. I like the look of a lot of books. I like to go to book stories and buy more books. I like to order books from Amazon.com and I get excited whenever I see the box in the mail. I like old books and new books. I like small books and big books. I like books.

So, I guess I have to admit that I am a bit biased when I read this article in defense of reading books (books that are founded on the Bible). Bias aside, this article makes sense and it should challenge men (and women) who are serious about growing as Christians (which true disciples will be) to read and to learn to enjoy reading (common sense: if you enjoy something you will do it more often). Here is a blurb of the section I read in Douglas Wilson's book -- Mother Kirk on "Men and Books." I linked the entire section below the quote:

These things cannot be accomplished by men who will not or cannot read. This is more than a practical point; it is a theological one. It is unfortunate, but there are many Christians who believe in the supremacy of Scripture, but who do not believe in the fruitfulness of Scripture. For example, if a pastor is reading a work of systematic theology, some well-meaning soul will gently admonish him to put aside the works of men, and devote himself to the study of Scripture alone. Such an admonition, although quite well-intentioned, is actually dishonoring to the Scrip­tures.

For suppose someone does devote himself to the study of Scripture alone. He pours over it, and he is saturated in its teaching. It can be said of him what Spurgeon said of John Bunyan—prick him anywhere and his blood would run bibline. Will such a brother learn anything? The answer is obvious—he will learn a tremendous amount. Look at Bunyan!

But having learned so much, is it permissible for him to share any­thing that he has learned with other Christians? May he teach? Or must we interrupt any such conversation to admonish listeners not to listen to the words of a mere man?

Whenever the Book has been honored and studied, the result has always been countless multitudes of books — the inevitable fruit of that study.

To read the entire section you can do so here.

1 comment:

Scott M said...

Dan, this made me laugh, as I can relate completely to the smell and feel of a new book--even opening up a "new-to-me" used book, but especially, the closing of any book! That is fulfilling.

Great article. I've had people tell me just as you and Wilson described--not to bother with the "books of men." Though well-intentioned, it seems to be incredibly crippling--refusing to be taught by some of the most God-entranced men in human history. Some of the truths that have most changed my thinking (and life) have come from men who reasoned soundly from Scripture what I had missed in my own reading and thinking. I am so thankful for those who have given themselves to a clear and full understanding of the Scriptures, and have serviced the entire Church of Christ by putting into print.