If you can read and can mentally comprehend, then you have the two abilities necessary to increase your knowledge and understanding. The question is, “Are you doing that?”
As Christians, we are called to be able to “give a reason for the hope” which is ours from our Christian faith. Can you do that? I’m not talking about having some vague mental notion, but actually being able to verbalize what it is you believe and why you believe it. It is not uncommon for Christians not to be able to clearly define their belief system. This is the very reason I wrote “Real Faith.”
In affirming our faith we have to give convincing evidence. There are two aspects we can offer for this; the Scriptures and our personal experience. The second one, however, can be rather subjective in the eyes of a skeptic and can easily be disregarded. Therefore we have to rely upon the authenticity and authority of Scripture. This is why the inspiration of Scripture is so important to us.
The only way we are going to equip ourselves to be able to give the “reason” is to read, study and learn what we believe and why we believe it. Although books will never supplant the Scriptures, we need to supplement the reading of Scripture with good books. We need to read books which challenge our thinking as well as encourage and build our faith. It is imperative that we read books which enable us to learn and grow in our understanding of our faith and give us the ability to express that faith with clarity.
Apparently from a survey taken in the United States the average person reads two books a year. I assume the figures would apply generally to North America. If some of us read 70 or 80 books a year, this means thousands of people read no books at all to bring the average down to two? I am also given to believe that men are more dilatory than women when it comes to reading. I find it sad that people have the ability to read yet choose not to? They live their life devoid of the blessings brought about by reading.
We owe it to ourselves, and to our Christian faith, to utilize our faculties and open the door to great thought through reading. Think about this anonymous quotation, “The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.”