Spiritual Disciplines Series: Reading Books

When it comes to books, we usually hear about two kinds of people: those who hate reading with a passion and those who can’t talk about anything besides books. In reality, there is a nice middle ground in there where most of us live.

According to a recent study by Pew Research, 72% of American adults have read at least one book in the last year. Interestingly, adults in the 18-29 age range are more likely to read a book than anyone else. With the increasing availability and ease of use with audiobooks, reading is now becoming a more viable option for busy people. Services like Audible or Christian Audio offer a variety of audiobooks across several genres. In addition, most local libraries also include free subscriptions to Hoopla or Overdrive.

However, reading is more than just a hobby. For Christians, it is actually a spiritual discipline. We have a responsibility to love God with our minds (Luke 10:27), and one of the ways we do this is by engaging with the thoughts of others in good books. Authors can serve as quasi-mentors who help us to engage with thoughts and ideas new and unfamiliar. Even those with whom we disagree can help to sharpen our thinking.

Reading helps to broaden and refine our worldview by giving us new ways of thinking. It also forces us to slow down and work through an argument or story page-by-page instead of getting immediate gratification or acquiring shallow knowledge.

“Leaders are readers.” That’s what Summit Ministries’ founder, David Noebel, used to say. But forming good reading habits takes time and effort. To help you take that first step, check out this video from the Summit Alumni Network on how to read a book a month:

If you’re just getting started with reading or you’re looking for your next book, check out some of our favorite books here at Summit.

Apologetics/Worldview

  1. Tactics — Greg Koukl
  2. Mere Christianity — C. S. Lewis
  3. Total Truth — Nancy Pearcey
  4. The Reason for God — Tim Keller
  5. The Secret Battle of Ideas about God — Jeff Myers

Culture

  1. Restoring All Things — John Stonestreet & Warren Cole Smith
  2. Unquestioned Answers — Jeff Myers
  3. A Practical Guide to Culture — John Stonestreet
  4. Culture Making — Andy Crouch
  5. Amusing Ourselves to Death — Neil Postman

Christian Growth

  1. Knowledge of the Holy — A. W. Tozer
  2. The Weight of Glory — C. S. Lewis
  3. In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership — Henri J. M. Nouwen
  4. The Cost of Discipleship — Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  5. The Confessions of St. Augustine — St. Augustine

Fiction

  1. The Chronicles of Narnia — C. S. Lewis
  2. To Kill a Mockingbird — Harper Lee
  3. Pride and Prejudice — Jane Austen
  4. The Man Who Was Thursday — G. K. Chesterton
  5. Lord of the Rings Trilogy — J. R. R. Tolkien