Thursday, April 23, 2009

Spurgeon on Reading

Today at the Gospel Coalition Conference I heard Ligon Duncan, Pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Jackson, Mississippi preach from 2 Timothy 4:6-22. In the opening of his message he shared this quote from Charles Spurgeon regarding Paul's request to Timothy in the final weeks of his life (4:13) to bring his books to him so he can read.
As the apostle says to Timothy, so also he says to every-one, 'Give yourself to reading.' ... He who will not use the thoughts of other men's brains proves that he has no brains of his own... You need to read. Renounce as much as you will all light literature, but study as much as possible sound theological works, especially the Puritanic writers, and expositions of the Bible... the best way for you to spend your leisure is to be either reading or praying."
The fact that the apostle Paul, who knew he was in his final days, was still concerned about reading and writing, gives us a great insight into his life-practices that advanced His influence for the advance of the Gospel and building of the Kingdom of God. May his example influence us to do the same.


Christopher Lake said...


I certainly agree about the need for Christians to read, but what about Christians who just aren't "into" reading? I know a Christian who spends hours each day watching television, but this person just doesn't like to read-- even good Christian books. How should I think about and approach such a situation? Prayer is obviously called for, but where do I go from there? Should I simply pray and wait for God to possibly change this person's thinking?

Scott Sterner said...

Christopher. I've been thinking about your question because I feel like, years ago, I was the person you are referring to. For me the journey started by going through books with friends. This provided accountability to keep reading and helped me to dig more deeply into the text. Over time my hunger for reading snowballed as I realized how much it was helping me to know and love God more deeply. All this to say, perhaps encouraging your friend to join you in working through a book would be a good place to start.

Christopher Lake said...

Thanks for your good counsel, Scott. God may have just answered my prayer! When I talked with this person last night, without any suggestion from me, he/she (being vague about identity here, so as not to approach gossip) said that a new believer at work was asking questions about J.I. Packer's Knowing God. As a result, they have agreed to read through it together! I am praying that this experience will be a good, and maybe even life-changing, one for both of them. Praise God! Thanks again!