Reading Holy Books

This entry is part 306 of 331 in the series Inquiring Minds
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Aside from the Bible, what are some really good holy books to read?

By holy books, I am not sure if you mean other sacred texts from other religions or if you mean books that enhance our understanding of the Bible and the Christian God. If you are referring to books written by other Christian saints, there are many to choose from.

There are the classics from the time of the early church fathers and many in history. They describe the Christian life sometimes in an uncanny way. They have much wisdom for us because they have walked the path of Christ before us.

Each of them comes from a different background and adds to our understanding and the flavor of Christianity. I recommend any books by the saints of old. Although I will say some of the writing is hard to read, both because we are not used to the language of their day and because the concepts may be hard for us to grasp. But it is well worth the effort.

Then there are books by Christians of our day. They discuss all manner of Christian doctrine and practice from all walks of Christian life. Christians from other nations, experiences, ethnic groups, and other backgrounds also add to the flavor of Christianity.

These books do everything from biographies that tell us about Christians in the past and present to how to understand the Bible better to how to live the Christian life better. By “better” I do not mean that they have a superior outlook, but that they help us grow close to God as we live for him.

Some of these books you may enjoy more than others, just like the classics. In our day and age, with information explosion, we have access to so much information about the Bible, Jesus, and how to live for him. Sometimes too much information can be a bad thing as well.

We must also be careful that what we read is accurate to the Bible. Because of the way books are organized and displayed in our bookstores, whether online or brick-and-mortar, some books that do not belong to Christian circles can be included.

The person who reads these kinds of books must be strong in their faith and know what they believe. Such books will try to sway you one way or the other, usually against Christianity or Orthodox Christian doctrine.

They can be dangerous to your soul if you do not see the pitfalls of such books. I include in the same vein as these types of books those that are not remotely Christian at all. I remember when I was in Bible College, I was reading the Koran so that I could see the difference between Islam and Christianity. One of the people on campus saw the book and asked me if I was going to convert to Islam.

Be strong in your faith before you approach books from other religions and from cults. You must know what the Bible says and what you believe before you check these books out. Otherwise, you will be open to all types of persuasion from all corners of the religious world.

If you want a specific list, the tastes of every reader are individual to that reader. If I recommended certain titles, you might read them and think that they weren’t worth reading. It’s up to each of us to give holy books a chance and see if they can add to our walk with God.

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