One of the first Christian books I read as a new believer was GK Chesterton’s Orthodoxy. I’m still not entirely certain what motivated me to pick this book up—I could have chosen any number of other titles—but this was the one. I devoured it, leaving nary a page unmarked. My mind was on fire as I read each sentence. I didn’t understand most of what I read (Chesterton tends to not make it easy for his readers), but I didn’t care. Whatever else you could say about what he wrote, he was excited. Passionate. He believed what he wrote, and I wanted more.
A friend told me I needed to read this book, that it would change my life. Knowing God by J.I. Packer. It took me months to read, each page a rich meal. The words of a man who knew much about God and also knew God intimately. Who wanted his readers to know that “the width of our knowledge about [God] is no gauge of the depth of our knowledge of Him.”
Mere Christianity was in my hands, a book I didn’t know existed. CS Lewis, in my mind, was the author of a wonderful children’s book I read as an eight year old. But this was no fairytale. It was the work of a man whose delight was found in working his way “through a tough bit of theology.” A man captivated by big questions and even bigger ideas and a God simply too glorious for him to fully comprehend.
Chesterton, Packer, and Lewis. These men didn’t teach me what to think, necessarily. They didn’t teach me what I was supposed to believe. Instead, these are the men who are to blame for creating in me a hunger for something I never knew I wanted. A wonderful gift that has sustained me throughout some of the most difficult times of my adult life. A deep love of theology. One I am forever grateful for.