15 June, 2010

Why We Should Read Outside of Our Comfort Zones

If I told you that John Updike as well as Lauren Winner have helped shaped my view of God would you call me a liberal?

If I told you that the phrase "Aslan is on the move" gives me chills when I read it, and also strengthens my postmillennialism, would you say that I am being un-Reformed?

I am afraid to admit that sometimes as Reformed believers we read too narrowly. We have our own Oprah's Book Club- but we only read that which has been released by Banner of Truth, Mentor, and Reformation Heritage. We look for the Keller, Beeke, or Ferguson blurb in place of Oprah's seal. Friends, we must read more deeply. We must read more broadly. We must read both to grow and to understand those outside of our own little camps.

John Piper, reflecting on what he has learned from reading everything save one book that CS Lewis wrote, said that Lewis has taught him to, "Think hard and write poetry. Argue for the resurrection and compose hymns to Christ. Smash an argument and then hug a friend. Demand a definition and use a metaphor."

Brothers and sisters, read far and wide. Read with discernment. Read with the humility to learn from those who may not be comfortable worshiping in your congregation.


Chris said...

This is a wise word to lots of people (i.e. me). Many thanks!

Irene said...

Amen! Thank you for that encouragement. I had a professor who said he knew he would sometimes be challenging what we believed and that if in the end we retained that belief, it was his hope and delight that we would hold it more confidently as a result. I am not meaning to say I want to go out and immerse myself in false teaching, but neither do I want to fear it. I pray it sends me back to search Scripture, helps me to understand where others are coming from and perhaps God even uses bits of truth in it at times to challenge my heart.