Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Ignorance is Bliss - Never Read Anything You Don't Agree With

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 resting comfy.

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?

No comments: