Summer Reading: Get Revived with a Good Book
- 2008 29 May
Many of us are starting to think about what we should pick up for our summer reading. Newspapers, magazines, and schools are all putting out recommended reading lists—and so is BreakPoint. With help from commenters at our blog, The Point, we have updated our summer reading list, which you can find at www.breakpoint.org. Our blogging team at The Point will also be offering more book recommendations and related activities throughout the summer, so keep checking back in with us.
In the age of the Internet, television, film, and all the other types of media that cause divisiveness and parental anxiety, the benefits of reading are one thing we all seem to agree on. Yet reading, as important and necessary as it is, can carry dangers of its own if we are not discerning about what we read.
Dr. Benjamin Wiker demonstrates this in his new book 10 Books That Screwed Up the World. Dr. Wiker explains, "Common sense and a little logic tell us that if ideas have consequences, then it follows that bad ideas have bad consequences. And even more obvious, if bad ideas are written down in books, they are far more durable, infecting generation after generation. ..." Dr. Wiker mentions books like Margaret Sanger's The Pivot of Civilization and Mein Kampf that carried literary "viruses" to readers around the world.
But today, we have a whole new crop of books full of damaging, devastating spiritual ideas—books like The Secret and A New Earth. These make false but very seductive claims, tempting human beings to re-create God in their own image, or even to set themselves up as God.
Dr. Wiker proposes that we inoculate ourselves against literary "viruses" by reading the books that carry them. Obviously, this is not advisable for everybody—you certainly do not want to hand someone susceptible to New Age claims a copy of A New Earth—but he is right: It is wise for us to be able to refute the false claims carried in these books.
Christians who have a biblical worldview can be invaluable in bringing a perspective to bear in dismantling these false ideas. Also, we can read good secondary sources to get better informed on what we are dealing with. For example, Richard Weikart has written an excellent book, From Darwin to Hitler, exposing the false ideas of Darwin and their dire consequences.
But most of all, we need to know the biblical worldview even better than we know the false and destructive ideas, and that is where reading good books comes in. Ideas don't disappear when we try to suppress them, but they can be discredited by better and worthier ideas. So start with reading The Good Book—the Bible—and knowing it well. But also familiarize yourself with the great Christian classics and the giants of literature-the books and ideas that have stood the test of time and raised up our minds and hearts, instead of corrupting them. If you need help knowing what some of those are, drop by our website and especially our blog to join in the conversation with fellow bookworms, to get ideas from them and to share your own. Or check out Dr. Ken Boa's excellent "Great Books Audio CD" series that I talk about so often on "BreakPoint."
Summer is a time for relaxing, refreshment, and revival. When I am fatigued, physically or spiritually, I find that it is The Good Book and other good books that revive me. So make sure you stop by and let us help you get revived this summer.
Copyright © 2008 Prison Fellowship
BreakPoint is a daily commentary on news and trends from a Christian perspective. Heard on more than 1000 radio outlets nationwide, BreakPoint transcripts are also available on the Internet. BreakPoint is a production of The Wilberforce Forum, a division of Prison Fellowship: 1856 Old Reston Avenue, Reston, VA 20190.