Today I started … and then finished the book, “How to Read a Christian Book.” The author began by challenging Christians to be readers- of all genres and ideas. But, since the scope is just christian books, he gave us some good pointers on how to really read (choosing which books to spend time reading, reading different genres, spend time reading from different viewpoints, and really discern what the author is saying.
I am now aware of some “rules of etiquette” for reading:
1. Don’t criticize a book until you can fully understand the author’s argument. (criticize in the good way).
This point is important, in my opinion, because so often we go into books with an assumption that we won’t let go, especially if it’s an author we typically disagree with, or an idea that we have pre-calculated conclusions on. He talks about figuring out the definitions that the author is using for commonly used words so we don’t misunderstand what they are talking about. Examples that he uses in the book are: sin and holiness. I can add the two that I have experienced recently- justice and grace.
2. Don’t disagree contensiously. (yes, i had to look it up, and it means quarrelsomely)
3. Demonstrate the difference between understanding and personal opinion by presenting good reasons for any critical judgment you make.
I’ve realized that I need to think through why I don’t agree with something before I just start talking. haha, we all do really.
I think I’m going to try and start practicing!
The highlight of the book was “planning your personal library”. I took inventory and realized that, in regards to the christian books I have, we are lacking in only a couple categories.
So, what books would you highly recommend me (or someone else) reading? Give me top 5.