Monday, October 30, 2006

The Art Of Reading

So I'm trying to learn the art of reading. What I mean by this is simple; how can I be a more effective reader? My schizophrenic type A personality tells me I need to read more. You know, if I read 2 books a week then I 'm a better leader; I will gleam more information, etc.

But I'm beginning to think that quality is more important than quantity. Now the important factor here starts with the book: it must be good, or else it's getting shelved rather quickly.

But if the book is good, I want the book to become a part of who I am, at least for a short season. For instance, as I read "In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day," I want to allow the text to infiltrate my Spirit, to challenge my thinking and I also want to find space for praxis. How can I apply this to my life now and in the future?

Of course all books are a bit different. For instance, I'm reading Systematic Theology by Grudem. Good book, but I do not agree with many parts of it. So the challenge I face is three-fold.

1. Why do I disagree? How can I challenge the text, and find my own way and understanding?
2. Maybe I have to unlearn what I thought I already knew. Life is a process of learning and unlearning right? So maybe the things I disagree with, means I'm wrong, and God is expanding my thinking, and maybe causing me to come to a new conclusion, or should I say revelation.
3. The things I agree with, how can they benefit me, my family, my life, my city, etc? How can I let the principles sink deep within my Spirit so long-term change can take place?
Sometimes I get tired of all the information that I can access. It seems crazy how many "experts" and "pundits" there are out there trying to teach us more stuff. I love information, I love to learn, but I have to use caution. Too much information is bad, it can cause a lack of action or to much change to quickly.

Change is a double-edged sword and if your not careful, it can kill you. Too much change, too quickly can cause an unstable culture. Not enough change, over a long period of time, can cause death or a create a backwards momentum.

Plus, how many times do we seek a "pundit" over the ultimate Rabbi? Sure I want to learn from leaders, peers, and the so called pundits. But at the same time, I do not want to replace my ability to learn from God with my ability to learn from another human.

So read, read well, read diverse, but read smart.

BTW-I really have no clue why I posted this. Hope is makes sense.

Peace & Love from Austin

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