Book Name: Lit!
Author: Tony Reinke
The title of this book was what first attracted me to this book. At first, I took the title to literally mean that someone or something is “lit up.” Thus my first thought was that the book must be something along the lines of how we should be on fire for Jesus. However, I quickly found that my guess was totally off the mark. This book is intended to be a useful handbook for us as products of today’s consumerist culture which seems to be somewhat opposed to careful, intentional reading of any kind. Reinke’s book serves to be a timely reminder of what reading means, why we should read, and how should we read.The book itself is split into 2 parts; the first titled “A Theology for Books and Reading” and other titled “Some Practical Advice on Book Reading.” In the first part, Reinke examines why readers should read and how Christian readers should approach the art of reading. He starts right at the beginning by introducing what language is and how words can shape one’s imagination, thinking, and life. What makes this part of the book very enjoyable is that Reinke establishes the reasons for reading within a solid theological framework that is focused entirely on God’s Word. This includes the fact that God reveals Himself to us through the written word and that God’s Word is the standard by which we view and discern everything in this world. The author explains the importance of God’s Word by highlighting several biblical narratives and develops a convincing argument towards the importance of reading. Also worth mentioning is that Reinke suggests that Christians should have a balanced diet of different genres including Christian and non-Christian books. Perhaps most of us today typically fall into the extremes of either reading only Christian books or non-Christian books exclusively. Reinke suggests that failing to read widely impairs us from appreciating the nuggets of God’s truth and wisdom that can be buried within both genres.
In the second part, the author provides useful advice on how one can read wisely and appropriately. The practical tips that Reinke gives are easy to follow and integrate into one’s daily routines. For example, he shares how he had always been afraid to write on the margins of books (something I also experience) and how he subsequently overcame that fear. Lastly, what I found especially relevant to me is the last section in which he encourages the reader to explore methods to encourage others to read.
I would definitely recommend this book to new believers and seasoned Christians alike as the art of reading has somewhat diminished both outside and inside the church. Reinke’s style is simple to read yet he embeds much wisdom in the advice that he gives in the book. His willingness to share his personal struggles and habits allow the reader to be carried along easily through the book. My hope is that Lit! will be a blessing to brothers and sisters looking to begin or rekindle their love for reading God’s Word and the words of others whom He has used to convey His Truth.
Book Reviewer: Philip Lau
(Image credit: WTS Bookstore)