Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Lewis on Reading Doctrinal Books Devotionally

Heath McPherson on his FB site provides a great C.S. Lewis quote of which I was unfamiliar:image

"For my own part I tend to find the doctrinal books often more helpful in devotion than the devotional books, and I rather suspect that the same experience may await many others. I believe that many who find that 'nothing happens' when they sit down, or kneel down, to a book of devotion, would find that the heart sings unbidden while they are working their way through a tough bit of theology with a pipe in their teeth and a pencil in their hand." —C.S. Lewis

One of the FB comments was, “What doctrinal books did Lewis read?”  I think you get out of doctrinal books whatever you put into them.  If I am reading them to get through them, or to debate with them, or to use them to debate with others, then they may not be so helpful. But if I read them asking, “What does this tell me about God?  About myself?  About our world?  Is this true to scripture and my experience?” then I think that doctrinal books can be extremely devotional. It depends, however, on the attitude that we bring to the books.

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