Summer reading is an American pastime whether you’re on the beach, on a “staycation,” or just taking advantage of a summer “lull.”
In one of his sermons, Victorian preacher Charles Spurgeon reflected on the reference to books in 2 Timothy 4:13 (Paul to Timothy: “When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments.”) Spurgeon said:
“We do not know what the books were about, and we can only form some guess as to what the parchments were. Paul had a few books which were left, perhaps wrapped up in the cloak, and Timothy was to be careful to bring them. Even an apostle must read . . .
[The apostle Paul] is inspired, and yet he wants books!
He has been preaching for at least thirty years, and yet he wants books!
He had seen the Lord, and yet he wants books!
He had had a wider experience than most men, and yet wants books!
He had been caught up into the Third Heaven and had heard things which it was unlawful for a man to utter, yet he wants books!
He had written the major part of the New Testament, and yet he wants books!
The apostle says to Timothy, and so he says to every preacher, “Give attendance to reading” (1 Tim. 4:13). The man who never reads will never be read. He who never quotes will never be quoted.
He who will not use the thoughts of other men’s brains proves that he has no brains of his own. Brethren, what is true of ministers is true of all our people. You need to read. Renounce as much as you will all light literature, but study as much as possible sound theological works, especially the Puritanic writers and expositions of the Bible.” (ht: Justin Taylor)
Looking for some good reading? Our small group leaders have an annual tradition called the “Summer Book Club.” This year they are reading Living into Community by Christine Pohl. You can buy a copy of that, or start with this annual list of Christianity Today’s book awards. You can find more reviews and recommendations here.