Crossway, Leland Ryken & Glenda Faye Mathes, 2021
Few books have kindled my love of reading as much as this one. From logical arguments to careful theological reasoning, the authors take care to lead the reader by the hand to the conclusion that reading is one more way (and a necessity) of living out our Christianity. Reading is not just a skill, nor just a habit. Reading is an art in which the reader participates actively and in doing so finds tremendous benefits.
The book itself is organized in a great way. It consists of three parts. First, the authors explain the problem. What happened? At what point did humanity stop reading good books? How has the internet and technology contributed to this problem? Where did we get lost? Second, the authors convincingly argue for a definition of literature that emphasizes the good, true, and beautiful, which is compatible with the Bible. Finally, the authors provide the reader with practical tools to recover this endangered art.
Thus, no end is loose, and the questions that the reader may be asking while he reads, most likely will all be answered at the end.
Among the most positive things about the book is that it applies all the proposed concepts and ideas to Scripture, and takes these ideas from Scripture. So, in the end, it shows that the art (and not just the skill) of reading is something that while everyone can enjoy as God’s image bearers, Christians will especially rejoice in. It is our own Christianity and its presuppositions that provide added value to reading.
Perhaps the only negative element of the book is its length. Of course, this won’t be a problem for an avid reader (who I recommend reading this book as a goal before the year is out), but it will be hard for someone who picks up the book slowly hoping to read more and more. While it is true that the art of reading is perfected with practice, this practice still should begin from a lower to a higher intensity, and 260 (+) pages may not be the best place to start. In any case, my recommendation is that this book be in the library of every good reader, every teacher, every seminary student, and everyone who wants to teach the Bible.
I want to thank Crossway for providing me with a copy of this book.