“It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out” (Proverbs 25:2, ESV).
After a month of Big Brother, Fangs of Dang, and a brood of Wingfeathers I’m hard-pressed to go back to the monotony of monochromatic nonfiction. Like I said, fiction is fun. Fiction is especially fun because it serves as a mental vacation. The extraordinary is just that, because it is not ordinary. Said differently: if every day was a holiday, holidays would be called days. With that, let’s put on our thinking caps and drown in some philosophy. I wanted to do write: “Let’s get philosophical...philosophical,” like that song. But felt it might be weird, so I didn’t.
This month’s theme is ‘read over your head.’ To know that certain philosophies are right or wrong is good. To know WHY said philosophies are right or wrong is better. As the puritan pastor Cotton Mather once said, "Ignorance is the mother not of devotion but of heresy." It is no coincidence that Evangelicalism is on the decline while anti-intellectualism in the church is on the rise. Loving the Lord with all of one’s mind is not a helpful suggestion but an essential part of the greatest commandment. The church, in which I include myself, has been retreating from the public square for far too long. On hearing the imperative to be prepared to give an answer, instead of obedience, we opt to take our ball and go home. We have confused the call for childlike faith with childish thinking. This month we will storm the keep of the ivory tower, and touch profundity with our own hands. Oftentimes before reading something I fear to be over my head, I read CSL’s introduction to Athanasius’ ‘On the Incarnation’ to pump myself up.
If you need more motivation, Kevin DeYoung recently shared five benefits of reading over your head.
- Reading over your head keeps you learning and learning keeps you fresh.
- Reading over your head keeps you humble.
- Reading over your head keeps you hungry.
- Reading over your head keeps you balanced.
- Reading over your head keeps you edified.
With that, let me introduce you to what I’ll be reading over the next month. I hope that you’ll join me!
- Calvin/Mcneill. Institutes 2 volumes (1822 pg.) – (http://goo.gl/nfKxu, $53) yearly reading plan – http://goo.gl/YmYMf
- Lane. Reader’s Guide to Institutes (176 pg.) – (http://amzn.to/TfJhGA, $15)
- Kant. Critique of Practical Reason (126 pg.) – (http://amzn.to/TiDDCc, Kindle $FREE)
- Hume. An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (142 pg.) – (http://amzn.to/TiDLBz, Kindle $FREE)
- Hume. An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals (122 pg.) – (http://amzn.to/TiDNtn, Kindle $FREE)
- Machen. Christianity and Liberalism (199 pg.) – (http://amzn.to/TiDw9V, Kindle $1)
- Baxter. A Call to the Unconverted (108 pg.) – (http://amzn.to/TiDrmo, Kindle $1)
HOW WE WILL DO IT:
By now, I realize that I am likely traveling alone on this read-venture. That’s fine, I don’t need you– I’m lying. I’m so lonely. Last month was hefty, I know, but this month we will be reading half of last month’s total.
Like we did last month, let’s rationalize this fear by crunching some numbers. Not counting Calvin’s tome and reader’s guide, there are approximately 697 pg. to read this month. Again, say we only wanted to read on weekdays: there are 21 weekdays in the month of March.
697 pg./21 wkd.= 33.2 pg./wkd.
If you follow my guide, you will have read another 5 BOOKS THIS MONTH! Listen, if I can do it, you can too!
Full disclosure: In January I snuck in Gospel-Centered Discipleship. In February I added Catcher in the Rye to the list. If you want to see my progress and ratings, click here. If you would like to see the master checklist, click here.
*I should mention that Calvin’s Institutes (as well as the Reader’s Guide) will be read over the course of the year. Ergo, you will see it on every month’s breakdown. I put the link for the reading schedule alongside the book.