we need to read

I love reading. It is a passion that my mother helped foster in me as a child and it is something that I will forever be grateful for. Sadly my passion for books is a dying passion among the greater culture as people's addiction to television, movie watching, sports viewing, video gaming playing, and other mindless activities takes over.

People just don't put a premium on reading anymore. This is even true in the church as pastors are designating more and more time to developing marketing strategies and thinking up catchy sermon titles. I have spoken with pastors who tell me, "I just don't have time to read." I think this is a tragedy. And apparently so does the great preacher Charles Spurgeon.

Justin Taylor posted this except from a sermon preached by Spurgeon in 1863 on 2 Tim. 4:13 ("The cloak that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchment"):

How rebuked are they by the apostle! He is inspired, and yet he wants books! He has been preaching at least for thirty years, and yet he wants books! He had seen the Lord, and yet he wants books! He had had a wider experience than most men, and yet he wants books! He had been caught up into the third heaven, and had heard things which it was unlawful for a men to utter, yet he wants books! He had written the major part of the New Testament, and yet he wants books!

The apostle says to Timothy and so he says to every preacher, "Give thyself unto reading." The man who never reads will never be read; he who never quotes will never be quoted. He who will not use the thoughts of other men's brains, proves that he has no brains of his own. Brethren, what is true of ministers is true of all our people.

You need to read. Renounce as much as you will all light literature, but study as much as possible sound theological works, especially the Puritanic writers, and expositions of the Bible.

We are quite persuaded that the very best way for you to be spending your leisure, is to be either reading or praying. You may get much instruction from books which afterwards you may use as a true weapon in your Lord and Master's service. Paul cries, "Bring the books"—join in the cry.