April 26, 2012

Lit! A Christian Guide to Reading Books

For the past few months I have really been trying to choose the books that I read and listen to more carefully because I have so many good books I already want to read that I don't want to waste time reading something that may not be so great.  That was before I read Lit! A Christian Guide to Reading Books.  Now I know that I will be more purposeful in my reading.

Lit!, written by Tony Reinke, offers much to consider for readers and non-readers alike.  If you love to read, Lit! is for you.  If you want to read, but don't have the time, it's for you.  If you have never been a reader, but wonder if you are missing out, this short book is also for you.

I learned a lot from Reinke, and honestly, am still thinking about what I learned, though it's been a couple of weeks.  Below I am only sharing a few things to consider.

Reinke distinguishes books in two genres: the Bible and all other books because Scripture is perfect.  It does not matter the book or the author; all other books are imperfect.

We know that books can be read for enjoyment, and it is with the discernment of being a Christian that we "test" all books.  We build our worldview from the many influences in our lives, including what we read.  But before we can be discerning with all those books out there we must first be informed by reading Scripture.
"Christians can read a broad array of books for our personal benefit, but only if we read with discernment.  And we will only read with discernment if the biblical convictions are firmly settled in our minds and hearts.  Once they are, we have a touchstone to determine what is pure gold and what is worthless."  ~p. 59
Many books, sometimes including those within the Christian publishing industry, abound in sin.  Many great pieces of literature show the realities (and fantasies) of life, including evil.
"This makes it impossible to reject books because they include bloody violence, illicit sexuality, scornful unbelief, or dark witchcraft.  The Bible includes all four." ~p. 62
We need to consider how the sin is portrayed.  Are there consequences?  Is the sin celebrated?  Is the evil left unresolved?  Authors must help the reader to understand the wretched sin in order to understand the wonder of God's grace, even if it is not their goal, as in secular books.  The process through which the author takes the characters can be a difficult one.  Still, deciding what to read is a matter of discernment and personal conscience.

Lit! A Christian Guide to Reading Books is a book about books.  As a person who regularly reads, it was a rather delightful book.  Lit! isn't just about picking up a good book.  Reinke bring great knowledge books and discusses about reading wisely.  He provides practical advice for reading, including how, what, and when to read after providing many, many good reasons why we should each read.

I thank Carrie's review of Lit! for first introducing me to this great book.  You should peak at her thoughts, too.  She is always worth reading!

Even if you don't need to be convinced to read, I still highly recommend Lit! and thank Crossway for sending a copy my way.  It just might change the way you think about books!

~ Annette {This Simple Mom}

4 comments:

  1. You read it! And you are right - this is a MUST READ (and it leaves the reader pondering for weeks on end.) I've definitely decided that this is a must read for me at the conclusion of every reading year. It's a good reminder.

    Loved reading your thoughts on it!

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  2. I'm so glad you got to read it! It's definitely one of those books that need to be re-read often(by me, anyway).

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