Rethinking Reading

Another helpful thought from Piper and the men he quotes.  Many people hesitate to start reading a solid book because they don’t have the blocks of time they believe it requires.

Piper’s advice? Get into the habit of reading for 20 minutes a day.  By his calculations an averagely slow reader can get through 15 good Christian books a year that way, or a good handful of weighty classics!  In fact, Piper goes on to suggest three blocks of twenty minutes a day.  (Peter’s advice? Don’t try to read for 20 minutes at a busy desk, it doesn’t work.  If you are not a hyper-clean desk person, go sit across the room or elsewhere!)

Having said that, there is always the danger of superficial skimming that results in a “keeping up with Pastor Jones” approach to reading.

Piper’s advice? Don’t superficially skim, instead bore down deep.  “Your people will know if you are walking with the giants (as Warren Wiersbe says) or watching television.”  (Peter’s advice? Get out of the habit of trying to read every word in a book.  Figure out what you want from a book and then dig deep there, but feel no guilt about leaving sections, chapters, etc., unread.)

And then there is the related tendency to only read modern books.  While there is much of value today, there is also a widespread lack of spiritually reviving, heart stirring, soul warming quality as you might find in someone like Richard Sibbes.

Piper’s advice? Don’t content yourself with excessively light, shallow, a-theological books that don’t carry a sense of the greatness of God.  (Peter’s advice? Ok, nothing to add here.  I suppose we would all do well to rethink our reading strategies.)

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