Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Advice for rookie pastors: On reading

Yeah, I know. You had to read lots of theology and that when in seminary. Some people will tell you that that ain't enough. Strange, huh? But before you get into any bad habits I'm going to give you some reasons why pastors don't need bother much with books. Ready, kiddo? Then let's begin:

1. Just because God gave us the Bible doesn't mean that reading is important. 

2. What's the point in trawling through long books in search of decorative sermons quotes, when you can just pinch some from a golden book of quotations? That'll make you seem learned without the hassle of really being so. 

3.You consult commentaries for your sermon prep, right? That'll do. I mean, what more do people want, exegetical accuracy and theological depth? C'mon. Anyone would think that preaching was meant to be 'theology on fire' or something.

4. By the way, there's no point in reading more than one commentary on a passage because they'll disagree and then you'll have to make your mind up which one's right. Save yourself some bothersome thinking time and always go with your fave bible commentator, without question.

5. There's no point in reading anything published before 2012 because what we need is the latest bang up-to-date 'how to books', not old stuff that people have been reading for centuries. Augustine, John Calvin, Jonathan Edwards, what did they know of being missional in a multimedia age? 

6. E-books are best because it's easier to skim read using a screen than a book. Why bother slowly digesting what you are reading, turning pages etc, when you can zip through a snappy 20-pager in a few minutes and then get on to the next one?

7. If you really feel that you must read some stuff outside what's absolutely needed for sermon prep, but can't be doing with books and that, simply follow some blogs.

That's enough. Don't want to strain your eyes now, do you? 

1 comment:

Ben said...

8. Instead of reading the latest books, it saves a lot of time just to read the reviews. But don't read them all: you just wouldn't believe just how negative some reviewers can be. Stick to the ones you agree with: simple.