Reading and the Christian Writer

Meeting 3 A–March 14, 2020  was cancelled due to bad weather. This lesson was constructed for that meeting but actually used for meeting 3 B on March 28, 2020.  This presentation was put online for members’ access as meeting 3 B was cancelled due to the world wide spread of the corona virus.

A Christian writer’s reading goal:  Read as much as possible after taking time for God and family. Also make time for friends, experiencing life, and writing.

1.  How can you get the most benefit from reading? Below are four suggested steps to help you:

a.  Read a piece through and write a synopsis of the theme you discover.

b.  Reread the piece with pencil in hand. Use a composition book or notebook to record the Title, Author, Publisher, Publishing Date, page(s) read, and ISBN Number. This will give you the information needed if you want to return to that written piece later and use it in your composition. It will also save you a great deal of work should you need to cite the source and create a bibliography of the references you used in your written piece.

c.  Record (in your notebook or composition book) any ideas, new words and word meanings, notes about what you read, situations, style notations, ways you can learn from the writer to improve your writing, things you learn to avoid in your own writing, word choices that you like, and any other thoughts you might want to record.

d.  Look for the underlying belief system and/or worldview presented in the written piece. Take note of the following things to look for that can help you determine the author’s beliefs:

1.  Do they convey an idea of God, false gods or ultimate reality?

2.  Do the present an idea of essential nature of the external world? Is it ordered or chaotic? Is it material or spiritual?

3.  Does it present an idea of who man is or what the human nature is?

4.  Does it convey an understanding of ethics?

5.  Does it present an idea of the meaning and/or purpose of history?

6.  Does the underlying author’s belief system agree with God’s word or is it in direct opposition to the Bible?

Study how the writer communicates these underlying concepts, uses details to support them, and appeals to the reader to act in accordance with the thesis. If you can identify the author’s beliefs and/or worldview, you can check the Bible to find out whether or not it’s truth.

Note:  If what the author is presenting is not truth, the Holy Spirit will let you know by giving you a ‘check’ in your spirit. Even if you don’t understand what is wrong with the material, you can be sure something is amiss if the Holy Spirit alerts you that something’s wrong. If that happens, do try to figure out what’s wrong; just heed the Holy Spirit’s warning, which is given to protect you, and leave that material behind and go forward to the next item. You don’t want to give the enemy an open door to come into your mind and create confusion.

e.  Write an evaluation of what you read. Was it well written? Helpful? Positive? Significant? Thought-provoking? Did the author have the valid authority to write on the subject? Was he/she accurate? Was he/she careful to fulfill all the expectations offered? Would you recommend the article or book to others? Why or why not?