Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Lit! by Tony Reinke

Lit! Is a book for nonreaders. Are you one? You know you should read (like you know you should take your vitamins). But you don't.
This book will give you hope that reading can make a difference in your life. This book is for anyone who wants to read books and read them well.
Reinke promises if you commit your life to reading books, your life will be enlightened. But books will also complicate your life.
The purpose of the book is to study reading from a Christian perspective. In chapters 1-6 he develops some biblical and theological convictions about books and reading. He divides books into two categories: the Bible, everything else. We must remember to read the perfect in light of the imperfect. Because of sin, God must enlighten our spiritual eyes. He shares his concern over the trend to images over print. He speaks of developing a biblical worldview. He reviews the benefits of reading non-Christian books.
In chapters 7-15 he writes about how to pick the right books and how to read them. American publishers add 200,000 books each year. For every one we read, we must ignore some 10,000 others. He shares his own priorities in reading and we are encouraged to develop our own. He gives six ways to find time to read books. He shares how he marks up his books and takes notes. He reviews recent books he has read.

I enjoyed this book. But then, I'm an avid reader. This book is for nonreaders. I am not sure nonreaders will wade through all the philosophy of Christian reading, the history and philosophy of images as carriers of meaning, retelling of biblical stories, describing how a worldview is developed, the seven critical truths of Scripture... You get my point. I wish Reinke would have grabbed the nonreader right at the beginning with the excitement of reading and some penetrating truths one can obtain only by reading. I think a nonreader would need to be grabbed in the first twenty five pages or so. That just did not happen in this book.
So who will read this book? Christians like me who love to read all kinds of books and have been longing for a theology of reading that encourages us to do that. Reinke does give us that. There is much to learn from reading non-Christian books – as long as we keep Scripture our priority.

Crossway Books, 190 pages.

I received an egalley of this book for the purpose of this review.

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