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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Literary Heroes

What I write here emerges from several muses.  My time in the Word in either Bible study or devotional, things that I am reading, and life experiences.  Sometimes all three.  There are probably subsets of those but those are the main sources.  I say that to say that in each of those arenas there is a lot going on.  So there are several directions from which to choose this evening.  I choose…
Why do you read books other than the Bible?  How do you read them?  Thoughts at DTTB.
Clockwise from top left: Gladwell, Piper, Carson, Grudem
I just got three books for my birthday.  David and Goliath, by Gladwell; The Gift of Prophecy, by Grudem; Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, by Piper and Grudem; and I recently obtained Divine Sovereignty and Human Responsibility, by Carson.  I have finished Gladwell’s book, highly recommend it along with all his other work.  I am working through the other three simultaneously.

I respect all of these men.  I have read all but one of Gladwell’s books (my son waved me off of What the Dog Saw).  I have read two others by Carson and am working on a third on my iPad.  I have not read Piper but have listened to his series Men of Whom the World was not Worthy several times.  I think I have read Grudem in journal articles but none of his books.  I have heard great things about Grudem though.

I like – check that love, books.  I especially like books that challenge my thinking.  I have scanned enough of Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanhood and The Gift of Prophecy, to know that I start those books in agreement with one and at odds with the other.  I am far enough into Divine Sovereignty to know that it is going to stretch me.

But you need to know that these books even though I love them are not the source of my positions on any of these topics.  I do not accept at face value what I read.  The Bible trumps these books.  It is my responsibility to come to each of these having already studied the topics.  I have.  My purpose in reading them is to essentially enter into a dialog with the author, to see what he brings to the topic that either I overlooked, misunderstood, or just missed.

These men are heroes of mine at some level.  But they are men.  They get things wrong, as do I.  So when I engage with them I have to do so on the same basis that the Berean believers did with Paul in Acts 17:11.  I have to check out what they say against what the Bible says about the topic.

That interaction will benefit me greatly.  But only if the Bible is the guide.

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