Relevant magazine recently published an article with an argument why Christians should read more fiction. I have to say that I agree with the opinions in this article. Far too often I hear from Christians that exclusively read Christian literature or even Christian fiction such as Lord of the Rings or the Narnia series.
We definitely benefit from Christian thinkers and books that sharpen our theology but you also benefit, in different ways, from just reading a made up story. “In The Art of Fiction, John Gardner says fiction ‘helps us to know what we believe, reinforces those qualities that are noblest to us, leads us to feel uneasy about our faults and limitations'”.
For me, I try to balance it out by alternating every other book that I read between fiction and something theological. This way I get a good balance of both and I don’t get burnt out on constantly reading theological things or get bored of constantly reading stories.
The last four books I read in order were:
– Jesus Is ____ by Judah Smith
– The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
– The Politics of God & The Politics of Man by Jacques Ellul
– 1984 by George Orwell
The next two books I plan on reading:
– Meditations by Marcus Aurelious
– East of Eden by John Steinbeck
I challenge you to do the same. If you are someone who only reads theological discussions and think you can’t get anything out of a fictional story then go pick one up and give it a try. If you’ve never read anything theological that could challenge your thought process or make you rethink things then go to the book store today and try it out.