How to Choose Good Christian Books

Continuing from the previous post, here I want to give a few suggestions on how to choose good books. Before I give suggestions, I would like to define what I mean by “good” books. A “good” christian book is not necessarily one with which you will agree on everything.  A “good” christian book, according to me, is one which follows sound theology (2 Tim 1:13), at least for the most part, and presents clear and cogent arguments for its claims and conclusions . This applies even to Christian fiction and poetry (for they too convey some theology). A book may be well written, but that does not make it good automatically. Take for example Purpose Driven Life. Its a book which is well-organized. You can follow Warren’s arguments very easily. However, many of my respected teachers (and I am persuaded) deem it not good since it does not have sound theology and does not follow sound patterns of interpretation.

Now having said all this, my definition begs the questions – What is “sound theology”? Well, I believe Calvinism and Reformed Theology is sound. Not everyone will agree with me. That’s fine. Nevertheless, this does highlight the fact that you should first get convinced of what sound theology is . If you make up your mind on that you will be in a much better position to choose good books. If you haven’t, you may choose books which shed light on the questions you are grappling with. See, already we are getting into a rational process of choosing good books! So, with that said, let me move on to my suggestions. Continue reading How to Choose Good Christian Books

Of Book Sales and Grocery Stores

Come November/December and the Christian village in Bangalore goes on a book buying spree. Reason – mega Christmas book sales. The biggest book sale of them all is the Bangalore International Christian Book Fair conducted by OM Books. Thousands and thousands of books are strewn all over the Campus Crusade Hall for people to buy. Its a sale for which people make a beeline even before the sale begins and certainly during the whole week.

However, many a times when I observed the way people buy books(me included; at least some years ago), I found a strange similarity between it and the way people buy vegetables in a grocery store! Just glance at all the books, take some of them, look at the front and the back, if you like it, put them into the basket (even the baskets in these sales look a lot like the ones in grocery store) and head to the billing counter. This is a hyperbole of course. People do take into account whether the books fall somewhere in their sphere of interest and then decide to buy it. However, many a times the reason to buy a particular book stops there. One more reason may be that its a book which is being sold in OM Book Sale; alas! it has to be good since it is found a Christian book fair, right? Continue reading Of Book Sales and Grocery Stores