Quotes by David McKenna
While quality writing is important when judging a book, Christian books should meet an even higher standard. Because the canon of Scripture is the final authority for the revelation of God’s truth, all other Christian writing is commentary. This means that all Christian writing should be judged against the standard of the Word of God.
Immature readers of Christian books will take one book and view it as the summation of whole truth. More mature readers, however, will hold one book in abeyance until they have a chance to read other sources on the same subject. Then, always looking through the lens of the God-breathed Word, they put different viewpoints into the perspective of the whole, relate the viewpoints one to another, and draw them together into a composite conclusion without sacrificing the truth.
An adventure awaits us in reading Christian books. Once we see the connection between the Word of God and the books we read, we will embark on a search and discovery mission in the expanding field of human knowledge, where all truth is God’s truth and Jesus Christ is the center that holds all things together. A nonreading Christian is a contradiction in terms. With the Bible as our primary source, we read other books that serve as teaching tools for the Holy Spirit in order that we may become men and women of God, “thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Christians need no other reason to be avid readers of the Word of God. Realizing that Scripture is “God-breathed” is motivation enough. Immediately, we see a connection between the living Word and the written Word. Just as Jesus Christ the living Word is an ever present and dynamic reality, the written Word is equally alive and active through the mind of the Holy Spirit. Every time we open the Scriptures, we should expect a personal encounter with the God-breathed Spirit of the living Word. This is reading at its very best. When the mind and spirit of a biblical author interact in vibrant dialogue with the mind and spirit of a reader, the highest purpose of the inspired Word is fulfilled. We should soar every time we read the Word of God.
By definition, the living Word is dynamic, not static. Just as John described Jesus as a living…human organism whom people could touch and feel, the Word of life continues to be fully alive among us through the presence of the Holy Spirit. If we believe anything less, we make Jesus Christ an artifact of history and his Word a static truth of limited contemporary value. Neither is true. For those who believe, the living presence of Jesus Christ and the relevance of his Word is as real today as when he walked and talked on earth. Eternal, final, alive, and relevant – these adjectives describe the living Word.
Unless we read the Word of God, we cannot be instructed by the Spirit, and unless we are instructed by the Spirit, we cannot become godly and effective servants. To put it another way, loving the Word, learning from the Word, and living out the Word are interlocked in God’s plan for our spiritual growth.
If we slight the reading of the God-breathed Word, the Holy Spirit is handicapped with dull tools for teaching, reproof, correction, and instruction in right doing. Why then should we be surprised that we fall short of godly character, feel spiritually incompetent in Christian witness, and fail at good works? The loop of learning takes us back to the basics. If we want the qualities associated with spiritual maturity, we must be avid readers of the God-breathed Word and serious students of Scripture.
Interior decorators tell us that the items on a coffee table reveal the personality of the family. With this thought in mind, in our home my wife and I have open Bibles on our coffee tables in the living and family rooms so that all visitors will know that the Word of God shapes the personality of our home. Remembering that children become readers by picking up books around the house and seeing their parents reading, we also keep Christian books we are reading next to the Bible on the coffee table.