Several years ago I read, How to Read a Book by Mortimier Adler, a classic in its own right. Lit: A Christian Guide to Reading Books by Tony Reinke picks up where Adler left off. The biggest difference – Reinke writes from a uniquely Christian angle.
In part one, the author articulates a theology of books. Chapter five proves to be particularly helpful, as Reinke lists several benefits of reading non-Christian books:
1. Non-Christian literature can describe the world, how it functions, and how to subdue it
2. Non-Christian books highlight common life experiences
3. Non-Christian books can expose the human heart
4. Non-Christian books can teach us wisdom and valuable moral lessons
5. Non-Christian books can capture beauty
6. Non-Christian literature begs questions that can only be resolved in Christ
7. Non-Christian books can echo spiritual truth and edify the soul.
Of course, all truth is God’s truth. Therefore readers should not shy away from benefitting from good writing that comes from the pen of one who has been endowed with common grace.
Part two surfaces practical advice on book reading. While part one worked hard to set forth the author’s philosophical foundations for reading, part two provides help for efficient and skillful reading habits. Readers would do well to dig into Reinke’s book and surface these helpful principles.