…of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh. (Ecc 12:12)
Have you ever noticed the love many Christians have for new books. Some academically-minded Christians are more excited about a new book release than about seeing the birth of a new believer or of growth in grace. I’ve noticed that in Calvinistic circles, in particular, there is an unhealthy love of books. Some Churches I’m familiar with seem more like book reading clubs than living vibrant assemblies of redeemed saints. Why is this?
In a recent (4/27) episode of the Iron Sharpens Iron radio program, Pastor Jim Elliff addressed this unhealthy infatuation with books and the affect it can have on Bible study. You can download the episode by clicking the image below:
During the interview, brother Elliff made reference to a fictional story he posted on his website called, Book Tribalism. It is the story of a primitive tribal church that soon leaves ‘sola scriptura’ behind in favor of scouring every latest book on every latest issue and hyper-dividing the church in the process. Click the title below to read the story:
I’m not against reading great books and neither is Pastor Elliff. But many of us need a timely corrective once in a great while to correct an otherwise edifying passion that may be out of balance.
I once heard an anecdote from a man (I can’t remember who), that was using a copier in a church office. The beloved S. Lewis Johnson, who was impatiently waiting for the man to finish, and suddenly interjected, “You know, if I had to do it all over again, I would have read the Bible more and read books less”, and then he walked away.
Let us heed these wise words!
In the video below, linked from Elliff’s website, you can see a primitive tribe receiving God’s Word for the first time in their language.