To The Barber's 8: Not Just John Bunyan

Some folk say that all we really need or ought to read is the bible itself. Others suggest that it may be supplemented by a judicious selection of sound Christian literature. And yet others may wish to cast their net wider in search of wisdom of one sort or another. 

Here is an interesting comment that I came across recently.

Spurgeon also read widely outside of Scripture, as many of our books reveal. His favorite book was Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress, which he quotes more often than any other in his sermons. He once said he read that allegory over one hundred times in his life. Spurgeon was also reading Puritan writers like Richard Baxter, John Owen, John Flavel, and Jonathan Edwards. His go-to commentaries were either John Gill or Matthew Henry, and the sermons of George Whitefield were never far from his reach. Outside the Christian world, he read Greek classics, Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, and all sorts of diverse works on medicine, bee-keeping, and American presidents, among hundreds others. Spurgeon once said, “He who will not use the thoughts of other men’s brains, proves that he has no brains of his own.” 

- C. George, Curator of the Spurgeon Library at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. (From THE PATHWAY, March 24, 2017.)


With that in mind, may I offer the following, from “The Analects Of Confucius”?

A man should practise what he preaches, but a man should also preach what he practises.

It’s interesting as an ethical principle, certainly; now, put it into a specifically Christian context, and think it through for a day or two. 

Oh, and don’t worry too much about applying it to other people: it’s what it tells you about yourself that matters most.