IVP - Andy Unedited - Never Apologize for Your Reading Tastes

January 14, 2008

Never Apologize for Your Reading Tastes

"Never apologize for your reading tastes." My local library uses that quote from Betsy Rosenberg as a motto. There's a lot of wisdom there.

I believe in reading. I think it nurtures the soul, enlightens the mind, entertains the spirit and gives rest to the body. From comic books to mysteries to biography to science to poetry to humor to how-to to history to novels of all sorts, just about any kind of reading is of value.

When my kids were growing up, I always told them I would buy them any book they wanted. So when they wanted the latest Calvin and Hobbes reader or Far Side collection, I got it for them. I thought anything that would encourage and nurture the habit of reading was a good thing. As they have moved into adulthood, I think that's proven true.

If you saw the list of what I read in 2007, you might have discerned some of my tastes in reading. You saw

* books of history (one on George Washington, one on the American Revolution, two on the Civil War, one on discerning God's hand in history and one on current evangelical-Catholic dialog)

* fantasy (Harry Potter VII, The Golden Compass trilogy and The Giver)

* professional reading (two books on leadership, one on punctuation, one on religious dialog and--crossing categories--the history of a publishing house)

* books of spiritual nurture (two on the nature of ministry, one on giving and forgiving, and several by N. T. Wright)

* books of theology (on the problem of evil and postmodernism)

* books to round things out (a work of literary fiction, a bestselling "trends" book and an older sociological work on Catholics)

That's pretty representative of what I read in the course of a year, sometimes a bit more of this and a bit less of that. It's not as weighty or as light, as much or as little, as varied or as focused as what many of my friends and colleagues read. But I don't apologize for that.

Posted by Andy Le Peau at January 14, 2008 8:55 AM Bookmark and Share


What did you think of God's Judgments? I've been thinking about picking it up for several months now.

Comment by: Mike at January 14, 2008 10:24 AM


I think Keillor makes an excellent case against worldview thinking (even though I trend this way myself) and a strong case for historical thinking about the Christian faith (which I find increasingly compelling). That alone is worth the price of the book.

Just raising the question of whether or not we can discern God's hand in history (and if so, how) is of course at the heart of the book and very important. This is a much bigger challenge, however, and likely to not be convincing to all. But it is virtually a first-ever attempt and thus an important conversation starter.

In his interview with Ken Myers on the latest Mars Hill Audio (Issue 87) he helpfully comments that historians from all kinds of points of view give their perspectives on what is going on in history and why. So why should Christians be excluded from such an exercise?

Comment by: Andy at January 14, 2008 11:38 AM

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book cover"Some publishers tell you what to believe. Other publishers tell you what you already believe. But InterVarsity Press helps you believe," says J. I. Packer. Andy Le Peau and Linda Doll describe how this came to be a hallmark of InterVarsity Press in Heart. Soul. Mind. Strength, an anecdotal history spanning the sixty years from the founding of IVP in 1947 to the present day.