“I still believe that sitting down and reading a book is the best way to really learn something. And I worry that we’re losing that.”
When the executive chairman of Google (Eric Schmidt) says this, it’s worth asking: what are we losing as Christians if we don’t read books any more?
Of course, many Christians are still reading. But a blog isn’t the same as a book. Let’s face it, generally a blog is a first draft of the first few pages of the first chapter of a book that would actually get your brain engaged on an issue. Matthias Media books flow out of years of biblical research and reflection by our authors. They then go through our careful assessment process and are read by half a dozen astute readers. Once accepted for publication, they go through theological editing, general editing, proofreading, and professional typographical design.
Now, you might think it a little self-serving for a book publisher to be promoting the cause of book reading. And you’d be right. But as Christians—seeking the renewal of our minds (Rom 12:2)—it’s vital that we continue to do the deeper thinking and reflection that books are so good at fostering.
So our ambition is to turn this July into Read-a-Christian-book month.
To help you read a book and help you encourage others to read a book in July…
(1) we’ve asked a bunch of Christian leaders which Matthias Media book they would recommend for any average Christian to read;
(2) we’ve made those books extremely cheap until 6 July;
(3) we’ve created a few downloadable posters you can put on your church noticeboard and/or Powerpoint slides you can show on a screen.
The recommended/discounted books are all quite short and easy-to-read, and cover a range of different topics and issues. But they have been chosen by our ‘recommenders’ because they are all suitable for any Christian.
So what can you do? Here are some suggestions:
• put the challenge to all your church members or Christian friends, point them to the web site mentioned above, and let them at it;
• put the challenge to your home group, and even take the initiative and buy enough books to dole out to all the members of your group;
• buy 10 books yourself (for less than $50), and offer them free to anyone who will commit to reading a book and sharing with you what they learn from it before the end of July (a great way to encourage the culture of reading);
• use your own imagination—this project has got to be worth a try, doesn’t it?
Thanks for anything you can do along these lines. Please pray with us that it will result in some real spiritual growth in your part of the world.