What pastors need to be reading by Leslie Newbiggin

Bishop Leslie Newbiggin writes this as a suggestion for what pastors should be reading…

The second difficulty is to decide what to read. There are thousands of books published every month. Even if we can find the money to buy a few, how shall we decide what to read? On this I give these four suggestions which I think are sound.

(a) Always try to have one big book on which you are working. It may have to be read a few pages at a time over many months. You may have to read each page several times. But’ just as the physical needs of the body cannot be met by a continuous series of snacks, so your mental and spiritual needs cannot be met by a continual series of little devotional books, sermons and booklets.

(b) Try to read original works rather than summaries and digests. Read the people who were really struggling to say something fresh, even if you finally disagree. You will learn far more by doing so than by reading the second-hand opinions of those who came after.

(c) Always keep some Bible work going. Try to take one book of the Bible and work through it with commentaries slowly and thoroughly.

(d) Keep on always reading something which is not theo-logy. Salt needs to be in the food, and theology needs to be in contact with the secular. Have some secular interests of your own which you keep up and develop. Your theology will be kept fresh if you do so.

The aim of it all is that we and our people may grow in wisdom, understanding, discernment, that we may be no longer children tossed to and fro and carried about by every wind of doctrine, but may grow up into mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.