August 9, 2007

"Nah, I'm just not much of a reader."

I hear this too often. "I'm into video games, or movies ... not books" or "I don't like to read." Josh Sowin, over at Desiring God Ministries, wrote a commentary a short time ago that I'd like to direct your attention to. Here's how it starts; click on the link to read the entire article. And then, go make sure you're in a good book!
"Christians are people of the book: God purposely chose the medium of typography to deliver his revelation to us. In that book, we are commanded to love God with our hearts and our minds (Matthew 22:34-40). This gives Christians a clear command to use their intellects — to be, in other words, a kind of intellectual.
Reading is one of the best ways to develop our minds. It can help us to know God and ourselves, gain vicarious experience, increase our perception and imagination, train our minds to think critically and logically, and teach us self-discipline. (For more on this, see Neil Postman's excellent Amusing Ourselves to Death.)But we have a problem: our culture is becoming alliterate. We have the ability to read but not the desire. Or maybe some of us have the desire but not the time. We make time to watch television and surf the Internet for the latest triviality, but we can't seem to make the time to sit down and read for an hour.
Christians should be readers. We should read and meditate on the Bible, of course, but we should also read theology. Good theology systematizes and explains the Bible in ways we would be pressed to come up with on our own. Few of us are a Jonathan Edwards, John Owen, J. I. Packer or John Piper, and we would be wise to learn from them."
I would really like to work with individual churches, and entire denominations, to promote reading among God's people, helping churches establish book tables to bring solid books to the people within the church, etc. Want to help?
To read the entire post, click HERE


Sean M. Kelly said...

Let's start a "reader's group" in our own congregation!

As I shared with you before, I used to get together with 10-16 other guys at 6:30am weekly and we would just read together (taking turns, out loud) some of the greats. (Religious Affections, Life of God in the Soul of Man, sections from the Institutes, etc.) It was a rich time, that we would often punctuate by a brief word of reflection or question of interpretation as we read, but we would always go right on reading!

Many of the guys involved had never read much before and this was a wonderful new experience for them.

So, when do you want to start? ;-)

If anyone reading this, would like to email me any questions or comments, I can be reached at

Steve Burlew said...

Let's talk!

The Haven said...

Excellent idea about a Reading Group. I may start this with a group of young men which have been identified by an Elder in our church as "The Sons of Issachar". We meet every other week to pray early in the morning. I will set a spark and see if it flames amongst these men.

Steve Burlew said...

"The Sons of Issachar" ... I like that. I also like the thought that perhaps the idea of a reading group might "take off" in a few churches among several groups of people. That would be great. If you're looking to read a Banner book as part of a group, let me know (, and I'll see what I can't do to make the books as affordable as I can for group members.