2001-12-14 - Christian Literature
The Christian's Toolbox, Part 4
It's true that that in order to be saved, the only book we ever need to read is The Bible. But The Bible wasn't meant to be a playbook that contains every move we should make in our Christian lives. God gifts Christian writers, who have had experiences we have not had - or have wisdom we have not yet acquired - who can share with us and guide us along the way.
In addition, sometimes reading good Christian literature - whether a biography or fiction - can replenish us spiritually. There is nothing wrong with secular literature, per se. God can use the gifts of secular writers to teach us, make us think, open our eyes - as long as the insights don't conflict with the Bible. In fact, some secular writers weave faith issues into their writing. However, we do need to be careful about what we read, because it can become a part of us.
Philippians 4:7 (NIV) Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.
This is a non-exhaustive list of some of my suggestions if you are searching for some enriching Christian literature:
Sermons: John Calvin, Cotton Mather, Charles Spurgeon
Biographies: Books about Jim Eliot, Billy Graham, Corrie Ten Boom, John Wycliffe
Classics: Books by St. Thomas Aquinas, Augustine, C.S.Lewis, Blaise Pascal
For something on a simple level but still inspirational: Books by Max Lucado, Chuck Swindoll, Philip Yancey (very down-to-earth and authentic)
And if you want a book about suggested reading choices in all areas of literature - books both secular and Christian, which speak to faith issues, I recommend Take and Read, by Eugene Peterson. Some of you will recognize him as the author of The Message, a down-to-earth paraphrase of the Bible, which is in the American vernacular. He's also a professor at Regent College.