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Books, books, books and more books!

When was the last time you read a Christian book (apart from the Bible)? I was once told that there are over 20 000 Christian books published each year so there is little chance that we will read in our entire lifetime even a fraction of what is published each year.

To make that task of reading harder, if our reading is only of modern writing then we will never have a chance of reading some of the Christian classics.

The ability to think, research, imagine, write and read whether for study or refreshment comes from our being made in the Creators image. God is remarkably creative, so are we. We love stories about relationships, that is because God, who has always existed as the great three in one, made us to enjoy community.

There is so much to discover in the universe because God has put it there, keeps it running and endowed us with inquisitive minds. Many books record these discoveries so that we can enjoy and benefit from these shared insights into His creation.

Books are good. But they can be bad if they leave us with the impression that we can do without the Creator. God’s gifts are so good that we do tend to enjoy them without acknowledging Him or use them without reference to His will. This is the essence of idolatry. Even worse we think that because we can understand, describe or even imagine things God has made that means there is no God.

One way to ensure that we reap the full benefit from human endeavours is to make sure we read His Book. To be humble enough to both believe and to daily experience the truth of the children’s chorus:

The best book to read is the Bible;
The best book to read is the Bible
If you read it every day,
It will help you on your way,
Oh, the best book to read is the Bible

Augustine of Hippo commented that “the Holy Scriptures are our letters from home”. Someone else put it “they are God’s love letter to humankind.”

There is no book, so available, so practical yet so insightful into our human condition and need. It is like a mirror to the soul. The Bible shows us up and like a window into God’s character shows us the way of pardon, peace and purpose in this very uncertain and unpredictable world.

“The Bible is not only a book which I can understand; it is a book which understands me.” How true this has proven to be in my own experience.

Other books can inform, entertain and help us escape our fears and worries. But the Bible will transform us, fill us with wonder and awe and bring us peace as we live within God’s world. It will keep us from living by the whim of the moment as it takes us to God’s Son who, being God, makes God known to us.