Book Review: A Mind For God
I consider myself a lifelong learner and that is what this book is about, as well has having a good working knowledge of some of the most meaningful works throughout history. One of the best parts of the book is where James Emory White talks about getting into the habit of reading. Keep books in the car, on the nightstand, by the easy chair and anywhere that you might have the opportunity to read.
“I’ve preached too much, and studied too little.” BILLY GRAHAM
“Far more often than not, our minds are not keeping up. It is a moment of both peril and promise; the peril is that when the public square is uniquely open to spirituality and hungry for visionary ideas, the mind of the Christian is often found empty, passive, and more reflective of the world at hand than the world to come. But the promise is that Christians can stride forward and engage the world at the point of its great need.”
“Christians would rather die than think; in fact they do.” BERTRAND RUSSELL
“A monk in Normandy wrote in 1170: “A monastery without a library [sine armario] is like a castle without an armory [sine armamentario]. Our library is our armory”
“But what should we read? It is one thing to be widely read, but something altogether different to be well read. The difference is important. When it comes to the actual books we open, it is very essential to be selective. As Arthur Schopenhauer once suggested, “If a man wants to read good books, he must make a point of avoiding bad ones; for life is short, and time and energy limited.” Richard Weaver observes that it may be doubted whether one person in three draws what may be correctly termed “knowledge” from his freely chosen reading matter. This is not a matter of avoiding what is often termed “beach reads”-those books that are light, frivolous page-turners. Just as exercise can and should involve play, sport, and recreation, so reading should involve fun and fantasy, escape and entertainment. But if this is all that reading holds for us, our minds will quickly become the equivalent of a body that eats only fast food. In the 2004 documentary film Super Size Me, a mere thirty days of such diet resulted in weight gain of twenty-five pounds, chest pains, liver problems and trouble breathing. Imagine what month after month and year after year of feeding our minds such a diet would produce. So what are the “good” books? Where is “knowledge” gained? Robert Maynard Hutchins observes, “Until lately the West has regarded it as self-evident that the road to education lay through the great books.” And what are the great books? “There never was very much doubt in anybody’s mind about which the masterpieces were,” writes Hutchins. “They were the books that had endured and that the common voice of mankind called the finest creations, in writing, of the Western mind.” The great books are those writings that have most shaped history and culture, civilization and science, politics and economics. They prompt us to think about the great issues of life. C. S. Lewis simply called them the “old” books. Actual collections of such writings have been attempted. Along with Mortimer Adler, Hutchins compiled a set of “Great Books” that spanned Homer to Freud, covering more than twenty-five centuries, including the works of Plato and Aristotle, Virgil and Augustine, Shakespeare and Pascal, Locke and Rousseau, Kant and Hegel, Darwin and Dostoevsky Charles W Eliot, who served as president of Harvard for forty years, dreamed of a five-foot shelf of books that would provide an education to anyone who would spend even fifteen minutes a day reading them. His vision took form when he became the editor of the fifty-volume Harvard Classics (1909).”
I decided today that I will make an attempt to read this fifty-volume set of Harvard Classics and I ordered the first volume today, 99 cents on the Kindle.
This book is full of wisdom and knowledge that could benefit every Christian.
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