17 November, 2008

Tom Lyon on How to Get the Most Out of Our Home Libraries

These 10 Directions appear in the December issue of The Banner of Truth. I have taken out the explanations and only given the 10 'directions'. To read the whole article... well, subscribe to BOT!

‘Give heed to reading’ (1 Tim. 4:13).

DIRECTION 1. Always reckon that the best book to be read, the first book to be read, and often the only book to be read, is God’s book.
DIRECTION 2. Give no credit to that opinion which holds bookishness in religion in suspicion or contempt.
DIRECTION 3. Do not be simply a collector of books. Retain them not for the number, beauty, antiquity, rarity, value, or mere possession of them.
DIRECTION 4. Mortify your library. That which you shelve may be construed the measure of that which you approve. That which you retain for reference may be read unwittingly for life (see Acts 19:19).
DIRECTION 5. Reckon that, contrary to popular expectation, those books lately written may be inferior to those of another day.
DIRECTION 6. Judge the importance of a book, not by the author’s exuberance or the publisher’s notices, but by the relative weight assigned that topic in God’s book. Weak books struggle through the press with ease nowadays, which strangely impresses the unwary.
DIRECTION 7. Do not give, lend, or recommend a book which you have not read. Do not trust an author just because he has written helpfully once or upon one subject.
DIRECTION 8. Care for your books. Esteem them as friends, for there may be times when they will be the only friends you have!
DIRECTION 9. And always a. Read widely. Avoid the accumulation of devotional material. Sermons are generally better heard than read. b. Read with discrimination. Be quick to part company with that book which fails to promote sound doctrine, solid thought, balanced inference, experimental godliness, and esteem for Christ.
DIRECTION 10. Never be found without a book nearby.

And to help with working towards these directions, here is a PDF of the new Reformation Heritage Books catalog.


Droll Flood said...

"DIRECTION 10. Never be found without a book nearby."

-Just make sure you're not showing up to parties with a book in your hand. It smacks of ostentation and is pretty much rude. Unless you're giving a book...
You want my company, come and take a seat. You want to read, stay home and do so.

Stephen said...

Great list! However, I did not understand Direction 4. Is he suggesting that poor books ought to be purged? I have a copy of Hal Lindsay's "Late Great Planet Earth" on my shelf as an example of dispy premil nonsense!

Steven Carr said...


Are you directing that at me?? :)

jené said...

I agree with C.S. Lewis who said
"You can't get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me."