For most people, most of the time, the books they read simply endorse what they all ready believe, and – they likely know this before they even start reading them.
I know this is an unquantifiable statement but
it has been true in my life. For years I read the same sorts of books by the
same sorts of authors about the same sorts of topics. I’d read the blurb, the
blurb would appeal to my ambitions, dreams or desires and I read the book. Then
I’d read any other books that author might have written or that might have been
compiled from that particular pastors sermon notes. This is all good but there
is not much adventure.
- Books have the potential to open you up to
whole new ways of seeing and understanding the world.
- Books have the potential to shift you out of
your own narrow perspectives and limited understanding into truth and insight
you’d never considered.
- Books have the potential to disturb you,
challenge you, confront you; to grab you by the scruff of the neck, hold you
against the wall, look deep into your eyes and force you to consider, ponder,
accept or reject things you’ve always taken for granted.
- Books can be troublesome as they introduce you
to issues you may never have considered, as they challenge you to pause, to
reconsider, to take stock, to refine your thinking.
If you find books boring then you’re reading
the wrong books.
Here are four books I’ve read that in
different ways challenge, confront, pull apart, disturb and disorientate. They’re
exciting books. You might not agree with everything in them but they get you
thinking. Books are conversations. Conversations that don’t get you thinking
are called “small talk” or as my sister-in-law puts it “shit-chat”; who has
time for that? These books will get you thinking and the four of them together
make a pretty good combo. They’ve got me wrestling uncomfortably rather than
Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger – Ronald J Sider
The Great Disruption – Paul Gilding
Surprised by Hope – N.T Wright
State of the World 2012 – World WatchInstitute
If you prefer your reading to be more comforting
rather than confronting stick to - The Prayer of Jabez, The Secret, Your Best
Life Now, and Rich Dad Poor Dad. These books will help you get to sleep at night. The others will keep you awake.... and you wouldn't want that would you?