Last Wednesday, at the men’s meeting, one of our pastors (John Lenfesty) spoke to the men about being Bereans–testing everything we read and hear with God’s word. He stated that we need to be careful about the authors we read, and that we need to find out about their lives and character before we spend a lot of time reading what they have to say. Are they faithful men or women of God? Do they practice what they write? Did they run the race and finish well?
Have you ever gone into a Christian bookstore and come out discouraged by the lack of truly Christian literature within that so-named bookstore? I have. I am reading “An introduction to Christian Writing” by Ethel Herr. On page 23 she says, “Many people who are not Christians write for Christian magazines and publishers; they address what they consider to be Christian topics.” I shouldn’t have been surprised by that statement, but I confess I was. It made John’s admonition that much more pertinent. We really do need to be careful who we read.
I think that it is appropriate to warn our brothers and sisters in Christ of any false teacher we discover in the clothing of a Christian author (not in a spirit of gossip however, but in concern for their souls). It is also a good idea to share about books which meet biblical criteria, and authors who have proven Christian character. My friend Brandi, who is the wife of our pastor John, recently wrote a review of the book “Shopping For Time” by Carolyn Mahaney and her daughters Nicole, Kristen and Janelle. Her review broke my resolve to not add any more books to my already too long list, and Rob blessed me by buying the book for me yesterday. He and I have both read the first couple chapters, and were both encouraged by them. Rob said that the book is applicable to both men and women–just change the shopping theme to something more masculine for the men.