Build up your faith with good books

contend working final front big

Without taking anything away from the primacy of Scripture, we would be foolish to ignore good books written by faithful believers. In these books we see how other saints have wrestled with the deep things of God. We see their struggles and their joys as they engage the truths of Scripture, and we thus gain a larger vision of the Christian faith than our personal experience could provide on its own.

Many excellent books from Christians of past generations have withstood the test of time and are available today in various formats. This is in addition to solid contemporary authors whose language and writing style may be more accessible. Modern authors can also help us better understand the unique aspects of present-day challenges to the Christian life. Having a group of theologically solid “literary mentors,” whether contemporary or already with the Lord, can be a chief means by which God shapes you into a disciple of Christ.

Again, books and commentaries should never replace the Word of God as your primary focus. Moreover, it is neither wise nor helpful to your soul to get in the habit of running to someone else’s understanding of Scripture until you have first grappled on your own with a particular topic or section of the Bible. Through Christian books, however, believers can genuinely help “build up one another in the faith,” whether across the miles or across the centuries.


—from Contend: Defending the Faith in a Fallen World. Available now at Amazon, Westminster Books and Cruciform Press.

  • http://textsincontext.wordpress.com/ Michael Snow

    And we all would do well to follow C.S. Lewis’ rule for reading: never allow yourself another new book until you have read an old one. And if you have not the time to read both, read the old.