Monday, December 17, 2007

Richard Baxter's: Advice On Reading

"Make careful choice of the books which you read: let the holy scriptures ever have the pre-eminence, and, next to them, those solid, lively, heavenly treatises which best expound and apply the scriptures, and next, credible histories, especially of the Church . . . but take heed of false teachers who would corrupt your understandings."

Richard Baxter gave sound advice to Christian readers. You can read his article Advice on Reading at the Fire and Ice website. His advice not only applies to reading, but to any other aspect of a Christian's free-time. We must always keep in mind where our treasure is when we choose how to spend our time. I especially like his guide to the value of a book:

Baxter's Guide To The Value Of A Book

While reading ask oneself:

1. Could I spend this time no better?

2. Are there better books that would edify me more?

3. Are the lovers of such a book as this the greatest lovers of the Book of God and of a holy life?

4. Does this book increase my love to the Word of God, kill my sin, and prepare me for the life to come?

May Baxter's words edify us and encourage us to spend our free-time wisely.



The Reformed Pastor said...

I have that quote by Baxter on my Facebook profile. Good stuff!

Those are great questions to ask about books. I believe that if people started asking those questions, books written by dead people would sale like hotcakes. Where as most mondern day books would just collect dust on the store shelf.

RC said...

There are so many wonderful books that Christians do not read because they are reading contemporary books. A little gauge I like to use is the Half-Price Books gauge to determine the value of a book. I shop at Half-Price Books, a lot, probably too much. When shopping at Half-Price Books you can sometimes find jewels. For years I wanted a copy of Machen's "Christianity and Liberalism," but I could not find it at Half-Price Books. I finally found it. The thing was all those years I hunted for that book I could have had all the Osteen, Spong, and Joyce Meyer books I wanted. It seems that the books of great value to Christians do not get sold to Half Price Books, but the throw away rubbish that is being peddled to Christians today is being cast off. The books that meet Baxter's criteria do not get thrown away. Unfortunately they do not get purchased nearly enough either.