Okay, I have a confession to make. Here it goes: I have not read Rick Warren’s book “A Purpose Driven Life.” There, I said it. Now the whole world knows the truth about me. I’m sure it is a fine book, a book that challenges its readers to examine their spiritual growth and to commit themselves to endeavors that our Lord would find pleasing. No doubt about it, this book is selling like mad, inspiring people, and the talk of the congregations.
Now I am not one to downplay a good book. I happened to have found the “Left Behind” books by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins to be an excellent fiction series. I have read almost all of them and enjoyed them immensely. I have even recommended them to many others as an excellent series of books. But never, never ever, did I ever give a disapproving look to a person if they told me that they just didn’t have time to read the series. I have received such a look from people when I have confessed not having read Rick Warren’s best-selling book. Some have even just turned and walked away, treating my admission as a declaration of rejecting a true understanding of my own faith.
I truly intend to read “A Purpose Driven Life” as soon as I can find the time. I currently have two fulltime jobs and a family that expects me to be there as needed. There is just not enough time in the day to do everything I would like to do. I’m sure many of you reading this column right now can relate to my situation.
Not too long ago there was a book that came out that caused a similar uproar. “The Prayer of Jabez” by author Bruce Wilkinson was all the rage when it hit the market. And much like my suggestions to others to check out the “Left Behind” book series, I was bombarded by people requesting I purchase and read Wilkinson’s novel. I did read it. I never quite understood what all the fuss was about. And many people that I recommended the “Left Behind” series to did not find it as moving as I did.
There are simply thousands of good Christian authors writing thousands of good Christian books. And there are millions of Christians who have churches to support, families to grow old with, and jobs that pay the bills. We should never look down on a brother or sister in Christ because he or she has not had the chance to read the latest best-seller. The Holy Bible has provided the inspiration, authentication, and education for all of these works by the faithful, and as long as His sheep find the time to examine the most Holy Reference Book ever penned, I think all is well with their souls. Can I get an AMEN?
I will give you an Amen, even thoough I intend to continue reading good books. The Bible is never to be put on the list of books to be read when one has time. I read a lot, and yet there are books in my library I have not found time to read. It is impossible to read all. I did get a great blessing from Rick Warren's book, and I do recommend it. As far as the looks people give you, I would say don't dwell on them and let them rob you of your joy. I get strange looks when I give God thanks for my food in restaurants, but I enjoy my food in spite of them. Keep on reading that precious Bible. I commend you for your love and time for the Bible. Amen, again. Thomas
Dan, I would like to follow up on my comment on your fine article. I want to again endorse your reverence for the Bible, a book that should be read, whether we have time for other books or not. I want to take the opportunity, also, to follow up on these thoughts to say to all whose writings I have not read or commented on, my failure to read or comment on them does not mean they are not worthy of reading and comments. I, like Dan, only have so much time to devote to reading. I try to read as many of the articles all of you write as I can. God knows what you have written, and He knew it before it ever entered your mind. If it honors and pleases Him, then it is great, regardless of the opinions of man. If it does not please Him, then no praise will suffice. To all of you, keep on writing to the glory of God. Thomas