Friday, August 18, 2006
I recently reorganised our bookshelves. I have two shelves directly above the PC, and 4 more on the opposite wall behind me. The rest are then relegated upstairs. I have tried various systems for organising my books in the past, and none has particularly been helpful. This time, I decided to use one of my key shelves for biblical commentaries, and the second for my "favourite books", those books which have been of particular influence for one reason or another over the years, and to which I return from time to time.
That prompted me to consider what books (and other writings) have been influential in my thinking and life. What I propose to do in some forthcoming posts is list those books, and hopefully make some brief comments on how they have influenced me. As well as being an interesting exercise, the main purpose is rather to think through what I have learned from them, to test those lessons in the light of God's Word, and to strive to continue to apply in my life those lessons that are of true value.
I welcome comments. Perhaps I list books that have influenced you too. Perhaps you are surprised by some of the entries. Perhaps you notice gaps in my reading (I certainly do!) and can suggest areas I need to look at more carefully.
This exercise assumes the following:
(a) that the reading of books is healthy and important for Christians
(b) that while (a) is true, the reading of books must remain subordinate to the reading of the Bible
(c) that reading Christian books must not be an end in itself; it must be pursued for the sake of love not knowledge, for "knowledge puffs up but love builds up"
For some extremely helpful posts on reading, see the dozen or so posts on the Together 4 the Gospel blog, during January and February 2006.