Most of us were taught to only read, learn, and think what was handed to us.
We were to digest and regurgitate what was fed to us.
We were only to expose ourselves to that which was recommended.
I clearly remember like it was yesterday when I was a country pastor of three small churches. I had two fortuitous meetings that week. I want to tell you about them.
Fortunately, a reputable university was about an hour away. So one day a week I would go to the library of this university and dive into the abstracts and books available to me there. I would also have lunch that day with one of the professors there, who was a believer. I told him I was reading a book on Buddhism. He was shocked. The look of concern and pity came over his face as he told me that Christianity had enough material to read to keep me in the know and that reading outside of that scope was not only useless but dangerous. For some reason, after that day he had difficulty finding time to squeeze me into his schedule for lunch.
The other meeting was with a neighboring Anglican priest. We would get together and talk theology. He was a very heady theologian and I enjoyed how he stretched my thinking. However, when I told him I was reading Krishnamurti, he literally shook his head and in a mildly scolding manner informed me that there was absolutely no need to read such people because Christianity offered its own version of philosophy and mysticism. I felt corrected. Strangely, we drifted apart too.
But I knew something about myself that they didn’t. In order for me to grow intellectually, theologically, philosophically, and spiritually… even just to grow as a person… I had to jump into the deep end, way over my head, and absorb as much as I could.
When we are immature in our spirituality, we only read apologetically. That is, we only read what confirms and affirms what we already believe. We only become more certain of what we already know.
The only way to grow is to overhaul the mind by renewing it. Actually, we need to change our minds. This is a radical, and, in Christian terms, the death and resurrection of spiritual transformation.
Like the Japanese author asserts, “If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”
Love you guys,