Outside of the Bible there are many Christian books that we can read. These books can entertain us, encourage us, or help us. Our current culture is full of busy people. People who only have time for a social media update. Words like meditation, thought, conversation, and contemplation are unfamiliar to us. Who has the time? I just want to blast out excerpts about me, and read excerpts about you. I will grab a quick inspirational picture on Face book as my theological coffee for the day.
I am an avid and biased reader. I strive to read books prior to the 20th Century? Why?
Today’s books lack substance. Author’s want to sell books and to do that they write to their audience. They write easy to read books that are often around 200 pages. Even this challenges most people today because they never read more words than are contained in an average social media update.
Is it no wonder that our theology is weak, and our doctrinal substance nonexistent? When was the last time you read a book even discussing those terms?
Books by John Bunyan, Jonathan Edwards, and Wilbur Wilberforce can provide us with a tool for developing our language, and introduce us to a world where Christians contemplated Scripture, meditated on God’s Word, and spent more than 5 minutes praying.
A world where God is king, every aspect of life comes under His gaze, and where He is guiding and molding our lives.
Great books should challenge us spiritually, and help us grow. As a result of what we have read our understanding of theology and doctrine should grow. We should notice that our language is richer, and that because of the deep substance of what we read we are more grounded and growing in our understanding of Christ.
A great book will have words we don’t understand. It will have themes we have never heard of. It will make us want to get our dictionary out and Bible to better understand what the author is speaking about.
A great book won’t tickle us, it will challenge us.
It won’t always lift us up, but instruct.
It will make us rethink our life, and question our priorities.
It will leave us in awe of the way Christians lived hundreds of years ago.
It will encourage us to sit in silence and contemplate the goodness of God.
The Bible should always be our first book. It is the guide for our life. Modern books can provide entertainment, instruction and practical encouragement. If we throw in the mix a book prior to the 20th century we will expose ourselves to Christians who knew an authentic Christianity, who spent their time thinking about and conversing about Scripture. We will see our foundation grow, and be better equipped to handle the storms of life.
Social media cannot provide the substance we need to weather the storms of life. Reading a verse that is plastered on a picture is not the same as meditating on the Bible. Telling someone you are going to pray for them on Face book does not equal the experience we have when we sit in silence, contemplate God’s goodness, and get lost in His presence. God’s people are to be a growing people, and are to be a rock. Let’s surround ourselves with the resources to become what He made us to be.