In early preparation for a class I will be teaching in January on the Gospel of John I pulled a book off my shelf entitled Studies in the Fourth Gospel. Written by one of my favorite authors, it was published in 1969. Most of us would say: Wow, that’s an old book! And it is.
But I learned a long time ago that just because a book is old does not mean it doesn’t have something to say. In the preface of this book author Leon Morris writes, “I read books by [authors] of all sorts of opinions and profit not least from those with whom I disagree most fundamentally.”
I confess I do the same thing. I read books, articles, and posts of all kinds written by people with whom I do not agree. And I learn and grow from what I read.
That is not to say I don’t read material written by people with whom I agree. I read lots of things written by such authors. And I gain much from reading them.
I don’t think we should be afraid to read authors with whom we disagree. I think it can be good for us informing us and sometimes challenging us. I don’t think we need to read such material all the time, but I think we should include some in our reading diet. For example, the last several days I have read widely about the Supreme Court’s recent decision on gay marriage and how Christians should respond. I agree with some of what I read and I disagree with some of what I read. But I am now better acquainted with the thinking of others on the subject.
By the way, I think we should also include in our reading some old, older, and even ancient writings. (Hint: that includes the Bible.)
Do you agree?
Feel free to leave a comment below if you would like.
I agree! I usually read text first, several times, write my thoughts, then read sources for different slants and note the different take on the Word.
I agree with this a lot. It doesn’t matter the age of a particular writing if the information is relevant. Some writing, yes bringing old in the sense of when they were written can still hold very valuable information that can offer a different point of view on a subject or help provide a better understanding because if the way the writing itself is worded.
As far as the age of the book, that should not make any difference at all, considering how old the scriptures are that we put our faith in. One thing I learned long ago from Chuck Smith is that we should not except any teaching what so ever without doing any research on the topic ourselves no matter how much we respect the person teaching. There are always going to be different points of view, no matter what. I enjoy doing the research and coming to my own conclusions, no matter what the subject. How about the confederate flag. Lets talk
Scott I am refraining from saying too much about the flag as i don’t have a dog in that hunt so to speak.
Absolutely agree! How can we truly say we agree or disagree with something if we aren’t truly informed of the opinions we are commenting on! Also, as human beings, we could find we were wrong *gasp* about something (or at least misguided or ill-informed) and not even know it until we’ve read an opposing view. I have altered my views on some topics when someone has posed a convincing or enlightening argument for his/her cause.
As for the age of a writing, basic truths remain timeless, even as our world changes at lightning speeds. Sometimes, the poetic beauty of older writings are food for the soul, mind and heart all at once.
Good insight from my perspective young lady!
I agree you need to know the good the bad and the differnt
Very powerful reminder… Well said Bob
You hit the cover off the ball with this latest blog