It is high time something is done about Christian literature. Evidently nearly everyone is interested in writing a book, seeing it published, and entering a substantial royalty on his income tax returns. But this is not quite the same thing as providing our generation and those to follow with the stuff that builds men for God.
In an interesting address before the Christian Librarians’ Fellowship at Buffalo, Miss Ruby Dare, of Greenville College, Illinois, listed four qualities which, she contended, can be found in classic Christian writings of any age. They are: a well-trained mind, a devout spirit, the capacity to say something about God, and the ability to say it well.
Great Christian literature from the past keeps on blessing mankind century after century. Its powers of endurance have had an incalculable effect upon the human race. As Miss Dare points out, Paul’s Letter to the Romans influenced Augustine; Augustine’s Confessions affected Luther; Luther’s Preface to his Commentary on Romans moved Wesley and his Commentary on Galatians stirred John Bunyan. Wesley and Whitefield were both mightily swayed by William Law’s Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life. Wesley in turn wrote his Plain Account of Christian Perfection which has had an astonishing ministry down to our own day. Recently a Presbyterian church prayer group in Indiana began to read William Law’s volume, and a new edition of the book resulted.
When we move from this realm of exalted reading to the latest religious pot-boiler off our high-speed modern presses, we are apt to become discouraged. Where are the giants of our age? Surely the Bible bookstores are not so dusted with subjective piety that they will not open their doors to arresting and exciting (let alone ...1
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