Andrew Murray wrote a book titled With Christ in the School of Prayer. It is basically a training manual for intersession. There are many such training manuals for Christians. The Bible has been compared to a training manual. Holy Living and Dying by Jeremy Taylor is a reference book for living a holy life and preparing for the next life. What strikes me as strange is that there are few real training resources being produced by Christians in the modern era. Most come from 100 or more years ago. It is disheartening to me that great works of religious consequence are not currently being produced in any significant number–good Christian books are few and far between.
However as students prepare to go back to school, there are a host of other new text books on any number of subjects– new science books, history books, mathematics books, and literature books abound, while publishers compete for endorsements and large wholesale purchases. The cost of secular instructional books soar, but in the Christian market, the price of instructional books plummet, and many are free on Kindle and other e-book formats. Most can be purchased for pennies from Amazon.
Why? Probably because few people are interested in reading them. People are more interested in reading how to be a socially acceptable Christian, or how to become rich by receiving blessings from God. Many people prefer to read Christian books that make them feel warm and fuzzy, rather than books that suggest self denial and radical change.
As we focus this fall on returning to school, let’s focus on schooling of eternal value. Try to compete with secular institutions, and as they require the reading of textbooks, let’s try to match that with Bible reading. As they add supplemental reading for our kids, let’s supplement with good Christian classics that push us to become more holy and to worship God more fully and serve him more faithfully.
If you have difficulty finding books, or if you think that there are too many Christian books to sort out the truly great ones, schedule a time with me to sit down to discuss books, articles, and general journals that are beneficial to Christians seeking to deepen their walk. There is a song that says, “take time to be holy.” If we would take more time to be holy and emphasize standards of personal holiness in our own lives, we would be surprised at how close our walk with God can truly be and how real our experience with God should be.