When you attend seminary, especially a seminary presided over by a genius who reads and remembers everything, a seminary where there is a generally high-level of academic emphasis and aspiration; when you attend a seminary like that, you get sucked into thinking that to be a good, intelligent Christian, you should read lots of books. And, if you have a blog, you should review them. And so on. Reading and/or reviewing a lot of books is great. The problem is that most people read too slowly to do this well. I am one of those people.
Recently, I heard both Mark Driscoll and John Piper reference the idea (probably coming from some comments by Piper), that how much you read is not as important as what and how well you read. (I think both references are from the Resurgence Text and Context conference. Go to theResurgence.com and you’ll find it.)
That’s like an earthquake, jail-breaking light bulb for me. It’s like liberty proclaimed to a captive, who thinks that he has to read every possible book on every possible subject for God to be pleased. Some people can do that, and do it well. Others, need to focus, churn, meditate, soak.
Reading is crucial. Reading the Bible is the most important. But other good, solid reading is huge as well.
Reading slowly, methodically, and carefully is allowed. You don’t have to read dozens and dozens and dozens of books every year to grow in true knowledge of God and all that that entails. You should read often and read consistently. But, as the saying goes, quality is better than quantity.