“You will be the same person in five years as you are today, except for the people you meet and [what] you read.” – attributed to Charles Jones
Though a bit simplistic, this quote holds a great deal of truth. The books, blogs, and articles we read have great influence in shaping our character and encouraging (or discouraging) our walk with Christ.
In his article On the Reading of Old Books, C.S. Lewis claims that our reading diet should contain at the very least “one old [book] to every three new ones.”
Why? Not because “there is any magic about the past,” but because “every age has its own outlook. It is specially good at seeing certain truths and specially liable to make certain mistakes.”
One of the amusing things about studying history is watching the errors of one generation be disdainfully rejected by the following, only to be replaced by new ones. The trouble is, while you’re living and immersed in an era, it is nearly impossible to fully see the flaws that will be so obvious to future generations.
Fifty years from now, I’m sure history students will laugh at the blatantly-wrong assumptions our generation has made. Reading books from previous generations helps correct (at least a little) for these blind spots.
Taking the principle a bit farther, this summer I also want to read books written by Christians from other cultures and other denominations. It is so easy to get stuck in the white, middle-class, Western mindset and forget that Christ has called us to be part of His universal church. Stepping out of my reading comfort-zone points me back to the basics of what Christianity is about.
Of course, all books must be proved by the Bible. If even Paul the Apostle told us to “test” what he wrote, how much more do we need to test the writing of other authors!
With that said, my first goal is to finish reading through the Bible. I planned to finish in December but got way behind.
Other summer reading (Compiled in part from wonderful suggestions you gave on my Facebook page!):
- The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer OR Confessionsby Augustine (I highly doubt I’ll get through two books of this size over the summer. Can’t decide which one to read though. Suggestions?)
- I Dared to Call Him Father by Bilquis Sheikh
- Phantastes by George McDonald
- Grow Your Home While Growing Your Blog by Jacinda Vdb (
I cannot wait for this ebook to be released!It’s out! Hurray. Click here to order a copy!)
- And Then I Had Kids By Susan Alexander Yates
- The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormi Omartin
- Finish reading A Little Princess by Frances Burnett
- Snow Treasure by Marie McSwigan
- Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder