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Tolle Lege: “Take up and Read”

Tolle lege, the Latin phrase made famous by St. Augustine’s conversion story, means “Take up and read!” Reading is an important part of growing as a Christian, and not simply reading our Bibles. Of course, the Bible is the central book in our lives, and as the “book of books” it deserves first place on our reading schedule. But the Word of God serves not just as light to look at for it’s own sake, but light that helps us to see everything else. This book enables us to read other books well, giving us a standard that helps us to weigh and measure the value of those books.
Tony Reinke is a Christian thinker who understands these ideas, and has written a helpful book called Lit! that I would commend to you as you seek to grow as a reader. He tackles many questions about reading like “Why read books in the first place?”, “Is it okay to read books written by non-Christian authors?”, “How should I think about reading fiction?”, and even “How can I find time to read?”
It may seem ironic that Reinke is using a book to try to convince people who don’t read much to read more books, but if you think about it, the only way to stop your habit of not reading is to read. Reading is a discipline as well as a pleasure, and finding that intersection in your own life can be a very helpful step towards growing as a reader. Don’t start with a multi-volume work on a boring topic; start with a short book on something you enjoy. Wade into reading from the shallow end, and gradually learn to swim in deeper waters.
Parents, use this book as a resource for encouraging a love of reading in your highschoolers. Grandparents, this book would be a great high-school graduation gift. If you don’t much care for reading, or if you want to read, but don’t have the time, or feel that you don’t know how to get very much out of your reading, check out Lit!, and be encouraged and challenged to stretch your mind and grow spiritually through reading good books.

Posted on Wednesday, August 01, 2012 by CJ Bowen