Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth! Tonight, I’d like to write about a topic I got to think about some as I had to speak on it today to some Middle and High Schoolers at a Christian academy and that is the topic of becoming a thinking Christian. This will hopefully also become a regular series.
The first point I’d like to make for tonight is on books. We need to be people who read books. Saturday, I was sitting outside a local library and a little girl comes in ahead of her Mom saying “I just love books!” I’m beaming at that point. It was so relieving to hear of youth in this generation that like to read.
I refer to this generation specifically after reading Mark Bauerlein’s book “The Dumbest Generation.” Bauerlein says that the young generation should be the smartest that we have as they have more access to information than any other generation has ever had, and yet they’re the dumbest. (A full review of the book can be found hopefully one day on the Tekton Ticker.)
Books not being read is a major cause of the problem. This doesn’t just mean knowledge books such as philosophy, theology, and science. This also means fiction, as many of us can be blessed by reading works of fiction. I don’t just mean the Chronicles of Narnia either or Lord of the Rings, although these are fine works to read. I mean fiction that can introduce you to new ways of thinking be it mystery, fantasy, horror, or some other genre.
Read books that will challenge you. Don’t just read the writers that you agree with. Read the writers that you disagree with. If you’re like me and you like to debate online, it will be of great benefit to you to not only know your arguments well, but also the arguments of your opponents. You should know them so well that if need be, you could argue for them.
When reading material that is meant for academic purposes, read books by good authors. What are the credentials of the person writing the book? Don’t be fooled just because it says “PH.D.” on the cover. The person could have a PH.D. in a field completely unrelated to the topic that they are writing on.
If you shop online for books, such as at Amazon, check the other books that come up when you are picking the one you want to read. Who wrote them? What are they about? Feel free to check some reviews and see what other people are saying about the book.
Also, check such things as the date the book was written and the publisher. It could be the book is outdated. (Note: This does not apply to foundational writings like Plato, Aquinas, Tacitus, Newton, etc.) Check the publisher. Is it a reputable one? Don’t just look for the author’s worldview. Many times, I don’t even check it.
Become a friend of books and you are on the path to becoming a thinking Christian.