Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Those Kinds Of Books

At Sunday-after-church lunch, dressed in our Sunday best {well, I had on jeans because I'm trying to break out of the conformity}, a friend that I honestly don't know all that well asked me a couple of questions:

So what book are you reading right now?

{Obviously I've rattled on enough that she knows I like to read.} I answered that I'm reading a couple of books right now: a fiction novel; and a book that I pick up, read a while, then put down to absorb.

She asked about the book I pick up and put down: Is it fiction too?

No, it's a nonfiction about the church: Pagan Christianity by Frank Viola. I wanted to leave the topic alone at this point, but I was right when I guessed that the next question was coming.

What's it about? Christians who act like pagans?

No, it's about the pagan roots of the modern-day institutionalized church. I didn't want to explain any further because my heart was starting to beat a little faster. I know that most of the people I know don't really want to hear the details found in this book.

Her next question has stuck with me since then. Why do you read those kinds of books? I often mention in Sunday School class books I've read and how they've helped shape my view of God and the Christian life, so I assume she meant Christian non-fiction, not necessarily just that one book.

I didn't answer her with the first response that popped in my head...Doesn't every Christian? Instead I gave her some answer related specifically to that book, and my frustration with how the church functions within four walls, a time slot and scheduled program.

Since Sunday lunch I've wondered more than a few times why I read those kinds of books. Obviously, everybody doesn't. So why this passionate need to dig and discover? I can only trace it back to one thing.

Over the past six years, God has been revealing Himself to me in ways that are so far outside of the box in which I wanted to contain Him. And about a year ago, I asked Him some specific questions to which I knew I wouldn't find the answers in my circles. It's as if He's put book after book in my hands exactly when I needed them on this journey of seeking Him and His ways. They never fail to come alongside whatever I happen to be reading in the Bible, and answer questions I have. For instance, when I was so intent on reading and studying law and grace last year, and the Bible seemed to me to contradict itself, I "stumbled" upon Forbidden Grace...a book that radically answered so many questions.

I guess what it boils down to is that I read those kinds of books because I want Him to reveal to me the God I never knew. This song sums it up for me:


  1. Fantastic post, Rebekah! May we never stop allowing our loving Father to reveal Himself through "those books"!

    1. Thanks, Traylor! Would love to hear what books you'd recommend!

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