The Preacher and His Books

Engaging culture requires a lot of work on our part. We are bombarded by beliefs and private worldviews that are hard to address in our postmodern setting. An understanding of what is true and right must be relentlessly pursued in order to be effective in our culture. Everyone then should to a certain degree pursue scholarship. This doesn’t mean collecting degrees and having an answer to every question. But, as a Christian, you should be able to engage in topical conversations with dignity and honesty. This model should be taken from Jesus and the Apostles who did not shy from reasoning with people in order to explain the gospel which they boldly preached. Discussing current events should provide a bridge for the gospel, but in order to bring something to the conversation, you must have a clearly formed opinion shaped by scripture and scholarship.

Paul provides the an example of this need in his letter to Timothy when he asks for his cloak and books to be brought to him…

“He is inspired, and yet he wants books! He has seen the Lord, and yet he wants books! He has had wider experience than most men, and yet he wants books! He had been caught up in the third heaven, and had heard things unlawful for a man to utter, yet he wants books! He has written a major part of the New Testament, and yet he wants books! The apostle says to Timothy and so he says to every Christian, “Give thyself to reading.” The man who never reads will never be read; he who never quotes will never be quoted. He who will not use the thoughts of other men’s brains proves he has no brains of his own.” Charles Spurgeon, “Paul — His Cloak and His Books”

Scholarship is not to be feared. It should be pursued diligently. By filling our minds with truths gleaned from scholars past, we are able to weather the storms of today’s world.

“A man who has lived in many places is not likely to be deceived by the local errors of his native village: The scholar has lived in many times and is therefore in some degree immune from the great cataract of nonsense that pours from the press and the microphone of his own age.” – CS Lewis, The Weight of Glory


From Steve Weaver’s post on the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Blog

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