There is a great difference in excellency, usefulness, and comfort between people of clear, digested knowledge, and confused, undigested apprehensions. -Richard Baxter

C.S. Lewis on why we read:

Those of us who have been true readers all our life seldom fully realise the enormous extension of our being which we owe to authors. We realise it best when we talk with an unliterary friend. He may be full of goodness and good sense but he inhabits a tiny world. In it, we should be suffocated. The man who is contented to be only himself, and therefore less a self, is in prison. My own eyes are not enough for me, I will see through those of others. Reality, even seen through the eyes of many, is not enough. I will see what others have invented…. [I]n reading great literature I become a thousand men and yet remain myself. Like the night sky in the Greek poem, I see with a myriad eyes, but it is still I who see. Here, as in worship, in love, in moral action, and in knowing, I transcend myself; and am never more myself than when I do.

If you’d like to see the essay in which C.S. Lewis is cited here, an essay on the mandate for Christians to be reading, click here

and, if you need to be cajoled into reading, may I do so with this witty video, the Medieval Help Desk


  krüll wrote @

Lewis encouraged reading more than just theology on multiple occaisions…another quote that comes to mind is: “A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. There are traps everywhere. God is, if I may say it, very unscrupulous.” – C. S. Lewis

On a similar note, I’d recommend reading
Suspicion and Faith: The Religious Uses of Modern Atheism (by Merold Westphal). He spends each Lent reading works by Freud, Nietzsche, and Marx.

  why art is important « 20pluscommunitydigestion wrote @

[…] art is important Posted by pclafferty under Faith and Life , culture  as a follow-up to the post from a few days ago on why we read, here’s a transcript of a commencement address at Stanford University this […]

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