11 August 2009

C.S. Lewis on Books and Reading

Lewis warned that "every age has its own outlook. It is specially good at seeing certain truths and specially liable to make certain maistakes. We all, therefore, need books that will correct the characteristic mistakes ofour own period. And that means old books." ...Lewis more clearly than modersn observed, "the charateristic blindness of the twentieth century...None of us can fully escape this blindness, but we shall certainly increase it, and weaken our gaurd against it, if we read only modern books (as quoted in A Manual for Officer Training by David W. Hall & Mark A. Bruckner, pg. 206).

What an interesting and insifghtful observation. Might I also add that we can never fully escape our culture, either. Hence we need to be cautious what we read and read those books from ages past that have stood the test of time. Bunyan, Owen, Hugh Martin, Bannerman, Flavel, Vincent, Guthrie, Watson, Sibbes and William Perkins are just a few authors we should focus on. And, as Lewis notes elsewhere, for every modern book we read we should read an old one. What are you reading today?

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