Wednesday, November 6, 2013

How To Choose Inspirational Books - Part 2



If so called Christian Book Stores, "Christian" Radio Programs, "Christian" TV programs, and friends are not reliable places to chose good reading material, where do you go? Permit me please to share with you at least seven great places to use in order to select good reading material.

Seven Sources to Select Suitable Books

Pastor and/or Elders

If you are already attending a good, solid, and biblically based fellowship, you have a built-in resource for recommendation. Your Teaching Elder and the other Elders are great sources. Once deciding upon a topic, subject, or area of interest ask your pastors for their recommendation. Ask them what are they reading for their spiritual growth and development. Hopefully your Elders have the discernment to steer you away from the junk being peddled in the Holy Hardware Stores and over the airwaves.

Foot Notes or End Notes

As you read a good spiritual or inspirational book take note of the footnotes and end notes by the author. Over the last several years I have purchased books that where quoted in the book I was reading at the time. Of course be careful of what is being quoted and why it is being quoted. Often times an author will quote a bad book by a false teacher in order to make a point. I have found a lot of good books just by checking the foot or end notes.

Reading Lists

Always been on the look-out for recommended reading lists. Very sources produce suggested reading lists for the maturing and development of believers. I have on file several good reading lists from various sources that I refer to and purchase in accordance with their recommendation. Monergism.com; Desiring God; and A Puritan's Mind are just a couple of places on-line that produce reading lists. You might have to "root" around their web-site for a bit but you can find reading lists. I have one I really like called 100 Books To Read. R. C. Sproul and Al Mohler have a reading list. You can find those on their web-sites. Remember if you choose to use a reading list be careful, be discerning, and choose well.

Subjects That Interest You

This is an excellent area to utilize in the selection of reading material. Choose some areas that you are interested in and buy some books. For example, if you want to know more about prayer, or the Trinity, or God, or Sin, or Marriage & Family, or Evangelism, then buy books on those subjects and read them along with your bible. Set goals in various areas of your Christian Growth and then purchase books that will help you to grow in those areas.

Areas in Which You Are Struggling

This may seem to be related to the last heading. However, it is somewhat different and therefore useful. As you grow in Christ-likeness you will struggle. Most of us who are growing describe as, "One step forward, two steps back." If you struggle in discernment, with particular sins, lack of love, direction, motivation, evangelism, or any other area, purchase some good books that deal with that subject and devour them. 

Let me say to be very careful. Much of the books in the so called Christian Book Stores deal with "symptoms" and not the root problem. Most discount sin and run the gauntlet of psychology to incorrect teaching of demonology. 

Friends

Yes, I know this was on the previous post as a source that may not be so helpful. However, if you have friends that are mature in the Christian faith then they will be able to discern the good from the bad and make recommendations for you.

My Recommendation

Having exercised and practiced spiritual discernment, I feel confident in offering my services any time they are needed in order to recommend or comment on a particular book that you might be interested in. Shoot me an email, I will be glad to tell you if you are looking at a good book or a bad one. 

Let me state I am not a replacement for your pastor or elders. If you are in a good fellowship always talk to your Elders first.

Hope these seven sources help you find some good books to add to your list of goals for 2014. I have already chosen twenty four books that I want to read in 2014. 

Happy Hunting! Happy Reading!

4 comments:

Persis said...

I definitely agree about with pastor's recommendations and foot notes and end notes. Now if there was only enough time for all the books I want to read...

Scott said...

I think asking your pastor is good, but I'll be honest, I'm always intimidated by that. I love sharing my opinion, obviously, and I love recommending books. But sometimes, people come with a specific need for themselves or a friend, and I'm always thinking "I hope I make the right recommendation." Sometimes, what's meaningful for one person fails miserably for someone else.

I guess I'm saying that asking your pastor is a great place to start, but also, remember he's just a man and won't always give you the "perfect" book.

Gregg Metcalf said...

Persis - I agree there is never enough time to read the good books, including the Bible it seems. We just do the best that we can.

Scott - I know, it is tough sometimes to recommend a book for a "need." But if someone says that they are buying such and such book, is it ok or not, that is simpler for me. Thanks for you input as a pastor.

James Worthe said...

The reader has to reflect on their lives and look at it from a different perspective. One that will more times than not make them want to create positive change. The quotes and content of a good book made to inspire, will always be valuable as it can be used to motivate anyone no matter how far they are in life.

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