Why read a Christian book?
They help you study the Bible.
Some books are written to help you get the most out of your Bible study time. They could be books such as Dig Deeper by Nigel Beynon and Andrew Sach that give you tools for studying the Bible on your own, or they could be commentaries, like J. C. Ryle’s commentary on Matthew, that will bring out the details that you might have otherwise missed. However, none of these would ever be able to replace reading the Bible itself.
They help you understand an issue that you—or someone you know—may be struggling with.
Ever been in a situation where you don’t know what to say? Or has something unexpected happened and you don’t know what to do? Or has something been going on for a while and you don’t know what the Bible has to say about it? There are books out there that can help you get to grips with the stuff that you are dealing with from God’s perspective. One of the best books that I have read is Depression: Looking Up from the Stubborn Darkness by Edward T. Welch. I don’t have depression but it helped me see things from the point of view of someone who does. It was definitely worth the while learning the Bible’s view on depression. Compared to Her by Sophie de Witt is another good book to read. It addresses the issue of Compulsive Comparison Syndrome and how to move beyond it to live a life of true, lasting contentment.
Benefit from other people’s wisdom . . . or in some cases the lack of.
We live in an age where there are more Christian books available than any other time in history. And it’s getting easier and cheaper to get them. So, one would be smart to gather insights from someone else and the work that they have done to understand the Bible.
However, with it being easier to get your book out into the market, there is also some stuff not worth reading, along with all the really good stuff. The problem comes when you have to pick out the good from the bad. You need to think about what you are reading, or get recommendations from people who read good books.
Editor’s Note: What are some good Christian books you’ve read or want to read? Share with us.
Read the review of Compared by Her by Sophie de Witt here.
Photo credit: ginnerobot / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Written By Ruth Lawrence for YMI
I think the problems arise when folks go to books first then to the Bible. Having the foundation in place one will be able to discern what the motivation is of an author. Most often it seems reading the Bible is seen as arduous task rather than a delightful, desirous journey to know God. Inch by inch.