Wideness

“There is a vitiated literary taste, arising not so much from reading what is bad, as from exclusive study of one class of books, and these perhaps the more exciting.  There is also a vitiated spiritual taste, not necessarily growing out of error or the study of unsound books, but arising from favoritism in the reading of Scripture, which shows itself both in the preference of certain parts to others, and in the propensity to search these others only for their references to certain favorite truths.  Let the whole soul be fed by the whole Bible … ”

-Horatius Bonar, God’s Way of Holiness

This is a quote I came across that relates to Ken’s post on Dr. Mohler’s refreshingly unpretentious suggestions for reading.  He mentions that he is reading in six different subjects at any given time.  The point is that he reads widely.  Just as we cannot (or should not) read only particular portions of Scripture ( … two chapters in Leviticus is enough, right?) and leave the rest out, so also we should not limit our selections of other books to one or two subjects.  We won’t take to every subject, and some we shouldn’t take to, but we should make an effort with unfamiliar subjects.  We might be surprised by what we find. 

I came across another quote in my reading that fits in here on another level.  Not only should we read widely, we should live widely.  What I mean is that we should interact outside of our comfort zone.  We should not limit our selections of people to one or two “types.”  We won’t take to every type, and some we shouldn’t take to, but we should make an effort with unfamiliar types.  We might be surprised by who we find.

 “The truly wide taste in humanity will … find something to appreciate in the cross-section of humanity whom one has to meet everyday. … Made for us?  Thank God, no.  They are themselves, odder than you could have believed and worth far more than we guessed.”

-C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

2 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.