Friday, August 28, 2009

What I Talk About when I Talk About Liking

It makes me a little crazy when people think that Christians should only read "Christian" books, and only Christian books they agree with completely.  For me, books are like people in that they are often complex, sometimes they are stupid, and just because some parts of them don't make them your favorite people doesn't mean you shouldn't ever associate with them. 

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that people group others by the objectionable content of the books they read because the same people who judge you by the books you read usually also judge you by the company you keep, meaning you'd better not have any non-Christian friends.  I mean, hanging out with sinners means you're obviously not holy enough to hang out with them, right?  (Do you ever get that guilt-by-association feeling from others within the body?)

I really need to just be okay with that, I think, because I'd ditch people like that way before I'd ditch books or friends.

So, just to clarify some things about books I review.  I'm writing for mature adults, and when I say I like something . . .

I don't (necessarily) mean the following:
  • I loved every minute of it.
  • I agreed with every bit of it.
  • I approve of every characters' actions.
  • I agree with all the worldviews/opinions expressed.
  • I completely agree with the theology expressed.
  • There is no objectionable content.
  • You should read it, too.
  • You will love it.
  • It will not offend or challenge you.
I do mean some or all of the following:
  • I enjoyed reading it.
  • It made me think.
  • It made me cry.
  • I'm glad I read it.
  • It challenged me.
I believe that people should exercise discernment, which I think includes elements of knowing your limits and stretching your mind.  It's a dynamic equilibrium all thinking folks must juggle, but that's how we keep growing.

Any thoughts?

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