18 August 2005

...On the Discipline of Reading

A Christian friend of mine once said, “The world belongs to those who read.” In the light of history, where Christianity has gone literacy has always followed. That is particularly true after the Reformation when the Bible was made available to all who could read. Reading teaches us to think more logically and with more depth. It helps protect us from buying into the latest sound bites or images that are splashed in front of us. In the public rhetoric we often hear of the fight to rid illiteracy in the far corners of the world. Sadly, closer to home we suffer not so much from illiteracy, but from “aliteracy;” that is, having the ability to read but not the will.

We ought to be about the business of cultivating a habit of reading. Of course, God’s Word should be on the top of our priority list but we also should be reading other good literature, fiction and non-fiction. People frequently ask me for recommendations on what to read. Start with what interests you. Search beyond the latest best sellers. Try some of the classic literature we read in school. Read biographies. Among the most encouraging accounts are of the lives of early church leaders, as well as the founding fathers of our Country. Read about other places and cultures in the world. Read books which cultivate your profession. Read for recreation. Above all, take up and read!

(First published in April 2004 "DeiLight")