Monday, November 08, 2010

A much-neglected means of grace

The Radical Disciple has been well reviewed elsewhere so I am not going to do what others have already done save to say this is worth reading. What struck me most was I think the last section of the book when Stott talked so movingly about three things- death, tears and reading.

Some years ago now this blog was birthed in the Bodlein Library when I should have been writing an essay. I had no idea what a blog was and much less about what to write about. It continues to have pitifully few readers. However, over time it has become clearer to me that one of its functions has been to share my reading with others. One or two encouraging souls have happily found books here and shared the blessing reading them has been with me.

Now, at about the time I started blogging I happened upon a remarkable book called Indelible ink. It is fair to say that the opening essay by John Stott had a deeply profound impact on me that continues to this day and it simply says that to mature in Christ and in life you must read. All would do well to read this important essay. His advice to us was that we should read widely, read plentifully and read thoughtfully. John Piper adds to this conviction in his new book Think.

Here is some of Stott's remarkable sign-off:

"Our favourite books become very precious to us and we even develop with them an almost living and affectionate relationship. Is it an altogether fanciful fact that we handle, stroke and even smell them as tokens of our esteem and affection? I am not referring only to an author's feeling for what he has written, but to all readers and their library. I have made it a rule not to quote from a book until I have first handled it. So let me urge you to keep reading, and encourage your relatives and friends to do the same. For this is a much-neglected means of grace".........."That is why I have assigned the royalties to all my own books to the work of Langham Literature, to enable more believers and their pastors in poorer parts of the world to obtain good Christian books both in English and in their own language to be so strengthened in their faith and their preaching. I wonder if I might encourage you to consider this and the other ministries of the Langham Partnership, which are dear to my own heart, as worthy of your interest and support"

[The Radical Disciple, Page 140]

If John Stott has been a blessing to you in any way perhaps an act of thanks might be a gift in line with his wishes which you can do here.

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