And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (Rom 5:3-6)

Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, O Lord GOD of hosts; let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me, O God of Israel. (Psalm 69:6)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

How Should We Read a "Christian" Book?

I am writing today in response to my ongoing dialog with several people about reading “Christian books”. Over and over I am asked to review books that others read. Rarely do I have time for all of this. So often I will check a reputable book review site. One of the best is done by Tim Challis at Because of these requests, I thought it best if we first start with parameters of what makes a worthy Christian book. But before I blog on that, I feel I must say a few words about the request I keep hearing, to be “Open minded"

We should not read “Open minded”, this is to let anything pass through or into the filters of the mind that should ward off sin. Eve became open minded to the serpent.

However, we should read with discernment, starting with truth and evaluating everything against it.

The question should not be “What is wrong with it”, but does it honor God.

The purpose of studying to show yourself approved in not just to argue apologetics. It is also to gain wisdom that you not be a reed swayed by the wind. Unfortunately, the local Christian bookstore is rife with books that are contrary to scripture. Unwitting folks go into the store, believe that the store has their best interest in mind, and then purchase that which is of man and not of God.

We should not just settle for what is good, but the best unto God.

For those of the “open minded school”, I ask that they, with open minds, read through J. Greshem Machen’s Christianity and Liberalism. This great book clearly makes the case in point that I wish to make, and with much more clarity.

It seems every year there are “Christian” books that come out that are quite popular. Many become mass sellers to the masses. In this mix there are good and bad. Some are more detectable in their categories than others. Dan’ Brown’s The Da Vinchi Code was such a book. Though not Christian, thousands bought it for the intrigue. Others may buy A Purpose Driven Life and never question its contents. We must take our clues from the Bible. Here are two.

The Berean Brethern

These people though ordinary, would not even allow the apostle Paul to continue preaching until they check his message against a careful study of scripture. Think of this, we know his teaching is sound, but these folks even though is sounded good so far to them, put Paul on hold. They checked his message, and then and only then gave approval.

Paul and the Galatians

Paul, always the tantamount teacher, often found praises for his letter recipients. Even the Corinthian church in all it’s sin found some praises for it. However, the “Foolish Galatians” find no line of praise. They had fallen into some “other gospel” that was instructed to be done away with. Whatever it was they were listening to was to be rejected even if they heard it from angels.

Folks, what this means is there is no compromise with scripture or the name of God. We must not ever entertain heresy. The Berean brethren had it right. Read with discernment, not an open mind.

As is implied above, today we still fight this battle. Yet it seems in this rush for Entertainment, the price is often heresy. And here I stand, never compromise the name of God for heretical entertainment. This is not simply about a book, it is always about God.

1 comment:

Eddie Eddings said...

I think sin must bring an insanity along with its death and destruction. Why else would Lucifer rebel against God? There are so many wacky, unbelievable heresies out there! A person can claim to be Jesus Christ and deny the Bible and still have a large following. It's madness.