Anyone who has been around this blog for long enough will know that I love to read. But from March 2020 up until now, I have deliberately taken a few steps back from reading “Christian” books. (Don’t get me wrong, I’ve read a few!) But, relatively speaking, I cut back a significant chunk.
Why? Well, part of the reason, was that I needed some space to process the several years worth of book consumption in my own head and in prayer. I needed some space to think about how I was going to approach my faith without the influence of Christian writers (as amazing as they are!). I also, wanted to focus my energies on the Bible. It’s so easy as a Christian living in the western world, in and amongst educated evangelicals – to rely on books as much as the Bible. I did not want to fall into this trap.
The Bible is sufficient, in it are all the words we need for living a godly, worthy and fulfilling life. It can teach, rebuke, correct and train us in righteousness. It can guide our steps in day to day life, etc etc.
My point is, I wanted to check my heart, and make sure I wasn’t idolising the wisdom of man and the reputation of having read so many books, I wanted to pursue God’s heart in the pages of Scripture.
And yet, the title of this post is, ‘Mentored by Authors’? Because, I am tentatively moving back into the world of reading “Christian” books again. But this time, slightly differently. This time I’m intending to take a single author at a time, and read through all their works.
This is because I want to be mentored by authors. I want to get to “know” them as much as I can through a book. Almost, becoming saturated in their story and teaching, that I might garner the most from reading their books. I know this all sounds very weird! But for me, I know that this is how I like to approach other aspects of my life. Not just my reading, but also my work – batching together similar tasks – so that I can do them to the best of my ability.
Yes, I will still read the odd book from different authors along the way, and I will always have my ‘night-time’ fiction running parallel to all of this. It will be another ‘experiment’ when it comes to reading, maybe it will work? Maybe it won’t.
My first author? Robert Mullholland, I have read one of his books before, and it was easily in my top 10! (He also only has three books out, so if the experiment doesn’t work- I won’t be stuck through the 100 odd books John Piper has written!). Other authors I’m interested in: Gordon Macdonald, John Piper, CS Lewis, Dallas Willard, Pete Greig, Matt Redman, Gordon T Smith, Watchman Nee and Tim Keller.
Thanks for reading, if there are any other authors you’d recommend, I’d be up for hearing about it particularly if they have helped you pursue God’s heart with more fervour!