Every age has its own outlook. It is specially good at seeing certain truths and specially liable to make certain mistakes. We all, therefore, need the books that will correct the characteristic mistakes of our own period. And that means the old books.
— C. S. Lewis, quoted on The Constructive Curmudgeon, Douglas Groothuis’ blog
Much is lost when reading is discarded—much more than the knowledge that might have been gained through the act of reading itself. Reading a book requires a degree of engagement, of active attention, that enlivens and expands the mind. Electronic media makes far fewer demands; it breeds passive participation, fosters shorter attention spans and creates the demands for immediate gratification. The report went on to note that the diminishing print culture brings a diminished capacity for focused attention and contemplation that makes complex communications and insights possible. In the end, it can lead us to forgo the practice of active learning altogether. As a result, reading is the foundation for intellectual development.
— James Emery White, from A Mind for God, kindle location 246
The purpose of reading non-fiction is not merely to learn facts, but also to learn how to think.
— Paul Buller, from Arguing With Friends, kindle location 673
From reading alone could I gain a sense of the currents shaping the world; from reading alone could I understand the prevailing worldviews assailing Christianity; from reading alone could I place myself in the vanguard of taking the Word of God to the word of the world. Reading would fill my mind with virtually limitless knowledge, instruction and insight, and it would exercise my mind and force it to break through barriers of stagnancy.
— James Emery White, from A Mind for God, kindle location 235
Can you spare one hour a day? … Let me have seven hours a week, and I will make a scholar and a philosopher out of you; in four years you shall be as well educated as any new-fledged Doctor of Philosophy in the land.
— Will Durant, quoted in A Mind for God by James Emery White, kindle location 611
I place challenges before myself morally (for example, I want everybody who comes in contact with me to be able to trust my word implicitly), but how about intellectually? Where do I want to be in ten years? Who am I going to be in ten years? A lot of people have financial goals. A lot of people want to be living at a certain level of affluence after ten years. But we’re (Christians) people of the book, and the reason why we have a heritage of reading is because we are made in the image of God. And by the way, you’re going to take this knowledge with you into the next world. That adds a whole new dynamic to it—if we’re going to do that.
— Kenneth Richard Samples, from The Pursuit of Wisdom at 8:09
One of the principle reasons for being literate is to be able to distinguish truth from falsehood. But if that distinction is regarded as less and less important in our lives, in politics, in art, in relationships, in religion, than why bother learning to read?
— Kenneth Myers, from All God’s Children and Blue Suede Shoes, p. 168
People whose sensibilities and worldviews are adjusted through serious reading tend to live by what they have read. They live in conversation with great minds, even when they are not reading. As William Ellery Channing noted, “It is chiefly through books that we enjoy intercourse with superior minds.”
— Douglas Groothuis, from Truth Decay, p. 287
A good book can teach you about the world and about yourself. You learn more than how to read better; you also learn more about life. You become wiser. Not just more knowledgeable— books that provide nothing but information can produce that result. But wiser, in the sense that you are more deeply aware of the great and enduring truths of human life.
— Mortimer Adler, from How to Read a Book, p. 340
We will look at [Paul’s] books. We do not know what the books were about, and we can only form some guess as to what the parchments were. Paul had a few books which were left, perhaps wrapped up in the cloak, and Timothy was to be careful to bring them. Even an apostle must read. Continue reading