Why I Don’t Like Christian Books and Yet Do

Not long ago I mentioned that I read a lot of books, many of which are “Christian.” I was asked by a faithful reader to mention some of the good books.

The problem with this is that many of the books really aren’t good. Rather, many are average (usually containing some good insights with a degree of odd theology), some are really bad and there are a few that I think are excellent.

If you’ve hung about this blog, you know I like everything written by A. W. Tozer. I really like Oswald Chambers, Harry Ironside, and I’ve now read everything by C. S. Lewis (Mere Christianity and The Four Loves are the tops, everything else is downhill from there).

I have gained a lot from John Piper and John MacArthur, but those of you who read this blog also know a huge area where I disagree with them! I have enjoyed Philip Yancey and Ravi Zacharias but they often get too philosophical for my liking.

Most Christian books miss the deal, in my mind. Many delve into the author’s experience and a desire to turn everyone into the author. That if you don’t have the author’s experience you don’t have Jesus.

Nothing could be further from the truth. I mean seriously, nothing. Not even atheism. Atheism is better than personal cults. Atheism is at least honest in its denial; personal cults are tricking you into thinking you are following Christ when you are really following a person.

I recently read a book about a woman who traveled to the Holy Land to “find Jesus.” She already knew Him in her head, now she wanted to know Him “with her heart.”

Oh gag.

The point of her 160 page ramble was to say that just as the Holy Land sights are all debated due to reliance upon tradition rather than facts, so to is theology. Theology puts God in a box; she wants to follow the Spirit. The Bible exists to argue against, to rankle under its strictness and for giving you pithy statements from Jesus to make deep sounding pronouncements about mundane observations.

I quite honestly wanted to poke my eyes out and shave the top 6 layers of skin off my fingers so I would be prevented from being able to read another book.

This idea that theology limits God and is somehow opposed to being led by the Spirit is one of those things that will send me into orbit. The notion that the journey is the destination, that uncertainty means you’ve arrived, that the Bible can be debated away so you can have “mystery,” has to be the essence of Devilish deception.

“Hath God really said?”

So, I looked this book up on Amazon to see if others had the same problems with it I did.

Nope. Not a one. One of the highest rated books I’ve seen for quite some time.

Oh Lord, help us all.

So, that keeps me from talking about books because I get irritated with it all. What passes for sound theology these days, what passes for godliness and “Christian” is appalling.

And then, just when you think you could never read another book by a Christian again, along comes a beauty of a book that restores hope and brings you closer to Christ. That is what I read for. The diamond in the rough. If diamonds were common, they wouldn’t be valued!

One thought on “Why I Don’t Like Christian Books and Yet Do”

  1. There are some really bad “Christian” books out there. It is really scary that they are accepted, even on places like Moody radio. There have been a handful in recent years that are plainly false, and I have gotten into arguments with other believers when trying to point this out. So if you could publish a list of “bad” ones, then I could show my friends I’m clearly right!

    However, as you say, the great ones that are such an encouragement! Along with some you listed, Corrie Ten Boom is a favorite for me.

    The need for discernment is yet one more reason why solid Biblical teaching is so important. And your blog did prompt me to start reading again so thank you for that as well.

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