An Answer to a Common Objection

One of the books through which I’ve been reading (and working) recently is Susan Bauer’s The Well-Educated Mind. It’s a practical and encouraging guide to a classical self-education through reading the great books of literature. Near the beginning, in a chapter on “The Act of Reading,” she responds to a common objection that often serves as a rationale (however unjustifiable) for not even attempting to read serious books. [Read more…]

A Look at “god is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything” by Christopher Hitchens

I recently listened to portions of a radio debate hosted on the Hugh Hewitt radio program between Christopher Hitchens, author of the recently published book “god is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything,” and Mark Roberts, author of the soon to be released published book “Can We Trust the Gospels?.” Roberts is in the middle of a series of blogs discussing the debate and reviewing Hitchens’ book that you can find via the link on his name above. [Read more…]

If possible …

“Let every man, if possible, gather some good books
under his roof, and obtain access for himself and
family to some social library. Almost any luxury
should be sacrificed to this.”

— William Ellery Channing

A Passion for Books

“The moment a book is lent,” writes Anatole Broyard, “I begin to miss it. According to T. S. Eliot, each new book that is written alters every previous one. In the same way, each absent book alters those that remain on my shelves. The complexion of my library, the delicate gestalt, is spoiled. My mind goes to the gap as one’s tongue goes to a cavity. My security is breached, my balance tipped, my affections confused, my barricades against chaos diminished. Until the book is returned, I feel like a parent waiting up in the small hours for a teenage son or daughter to come home from the dubious party….”

“The most dangerous part of lending books,” he goes on to say, “lies in the returning. At such times, friendships hang by a thread. I look for agony or ecstasy, for tears, transfiguration, trembling hands, a broken voice — but what the borrower usually says is, ‘I enjoyed it.'”

I enjoyed it — as if that were what books were for.”

Why Read?

The of the primary purposes of this site is to encourage reading. This begs a very basic question…Why? For Christians, who are after all the the target audience for this site, one of the most important answers is that God has chosen to reveal himself to us through written text, the Bible. If we desire to grow and mature our relationship with him, reading that text is not optional. [Read more…]

Reading for the New Year

“Some Christians do not realize,” wrote Gene Veith, “that they are heirs to a great literary tradition. From the beginnings of the church to the present day, Christian writers have explored their faith in books, and in doing so have nourished their fellow believers. Some of the best writers who have ever lived have been Christians, working explicitly out of the Christian worldview. To their loss, many contemporary Christians are unaware of Christian writers ….”

To begin, then, to overcome this disastrous deficit in our lives and our life together, let me suggest a rather simple reading list for the new year, and ask that you truly commit yourself before God to reading it through. I guarantee you that it will transform your Christian life. [Read more…]