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Read Any Good Books Lately?
by Alan Allegra
8/21/2015 / Christian Apologetics
Ever have anyone ask you, "Read any good books lately?" In this day and age, it may be more appropriate to ask, "Kindled any good e-books lately (Not referring to book-burning)?" or "Downloaded any good podcasts lately?"
The world is awash with more information than we can access, no less absorb. Almost 3,000 years ago, Solomon said, "Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body" (Ecclesiastes 12:12). Two thousand years ago, the apostle John said, "Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written" (John 21:25). Even today, there is not enough ROM in the world to store everything about Jesus.
I love to read theological books -- the deeper the better; no matter that I sometimes have to read the same sentence over three or four times to grasp the meaning. This is like chewing your food so you can savor and absorb the nutrients.
Some of the authors quote other books, some of which quote yet other books. When I look to the endnotes for help, I'm confronted by titles that are more incomprehensible than the text, such as, "P. Altman, Erwhlungstheologie und Universalismus im Alten Testament (Berlin, 1964)." Run to the library and check that one out!
The bible is the most unusual book that ever was and ever will be. Its author is unusual: God. Its main character is unusual: God. Its interpreter is unusual: God.
It is alive yet never grows; ancient yet relevant into the future; the product of about 40 authors covering several countries in three languages, written over about 1400 years, yet perfectly true, intact, and harmonious.
True, the apostle Peter admitted about Paul, "His letters contain some things that are hard to understand" (2 Peter 3:16), yet a child can grasp the gospel message.
Most of the bible was written for the Jewish people yet is comprehensively cross-cultural, "written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come" (1 Corinthians 10:11). It recognizes our differences yet addresses the common needs of every single individual.
You can read the bible every day for 80 years and never tire of it or plumb its depths.
From the quill pen to papyrus to the printing press to paperless publishing, the proliferation of pages has become overwhelming. Words fill our minds like alphabet soup on a winter day. Sad to say, so much of the stuff available, even in Christian bookstores, is not worth reading. Certainly, little of it has value past the grave. Many books water down the message of the bible or hide it completely. When the Word of God is diluted, the people are deluded.
Prophetically speaking, "'The days are coming,' declares the Sovereign LORD, 'when I will send a famine through the land -- not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD'" (Amos 8:11). Although still the best-selling book of all time, belief in the bible as God's Word and its relevance to today's culture is waning. The consequences are dire: "Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom's instruction" (Proverbs 29:18). We can see that lack of restraint by simply reading a newspaper.
The relevant question is, "Have you read THE GOOD BOOK lately?"
Alan is Content Coordinator for Lifestyles Over 50 (Thrive Media) and contributor to the Allentown, PA, Morning Call. He is also an adult Sunday school teacher and Bible study leader. Passionate about reviving theology and church methodology, and being a senior citizen!
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