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Why We Should Read Outside Of The Bible

John Piper writes a fantastic post about reading books other than the Bible. In light of the fact that I just came home from BoB and T4G with 33 books, I felt it prudent to say a word about the reading of all these books I’ve got in my library (the total now over 350 if not closer to 400). Too often I’ve been given the excuse: “Why do I need to read the works of men? I have the Bible! All I need is the Bible!” I find such an excuse to be arrogant and condescending, and quite unloving of one’s brothers and sisters in Christ.

Pastor John makes a rather practical, convicting, and convincing case for reading good books along with your Bible in this post, titled “How God Readies Us to Read In Tune.” He states:

If in your morning devotions you open God’s word to the book of Judges and find that the strings of your inner instrument are not in tune, it is not blasphemy to excuse yourself for a few moments from the King’s library and turn to a paragraph from one of his unflinchingly faithful, broken-hearted, happy servants. Should we find it surprising that the King should appoint some of his closest friends to be especially good at tuning the strings of our soul so that we may play His music when he puts the bow of his Word on our soul?

As always, don’t rely on just this paragraph, Go and read the whole thing. More T4G reflections will be forthcoming.

UPDATE: I’d said previously I came home with 32 books and that the T4G giveaway was 14 books. I forgot to add Albert Mohler’s Culture Shift to that list; it was sitting on top of my printer unnoticed amid the stack of books on my desk! This post and the previous book post have been amended to reflect that. The overall total is now 33 books; T4G count is 15. Them’s still a lotta books!

  1. April 19, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    Okay, now what? I have all of these great books which I must read! Yes I am praying about where to begin.

    Any suggestions as to how to begin tackling our new library from T$G and BOB? These are not light reading, and may take much time to really digest. Piper’s response to N.T. Wright alone will take much effort on my part to comprehend and process. Anyway, yes, let us read God’s Word, and let us read the words of men, godly men, who can help us.

  2. April 20, 2008 at 12:44 am


    I honestly don’t know, myself! I’ve just been overwhelmed at the stacks sitting on and around my desk, as well as knowing I still have the Puritan Challenge and a whole library lined up!

    About the only real suggestion I could offer would be to just start with the books that most interest you and work your way through it, perhaps one book per month outside of your regular reading and devotions. Some you will finish quickly; others you can digest over 30 days.

    Or maybe even just work on your own pace regardless of time until you finish the stack.

    Or do a reading version of the Dave Ramsey “debt snowball” — start with the smaller books and work your way up to the bigger ones. The smaller ones will build your momentum to get through the bigger ones. But still do it at your own pace.

    Me, I’ll just be happy to have them all read before April 2010! 🙂

  3. Steve Dye
    April 20, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    i think i will start with the smallest one and work my way to the thickest one. Or should I start with the thickest to the smallest? Hmm or should i start with the pink one and then finish on the blue one… wow..so many choices.. you shouldnt have gotten me so many books, stephen. sigh…whatever will I do now…

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