Through July and this first part of August I've been working on reading Mere Christianity. Recently I came to the conclusion that there are far too many books to read, and I have far too little time to read. So I pulled up Scratchpad on my Chromebook and made a priority list of sorts. Almost all of the books that ended up on that list were ones that have impacted the church for years if not centuries. Those are the ones I most want to read.
On a side-note, I heavily recommend Mere Christianity to any person who wants to think seriously about God, ethics, morals, and life in general. The books begins by examining possible explanations to the moral law, eventually counts off atheism as too simple, and settles on Christianity for the best system of belief and practice for life. It is a mental work. One has to stay with the author and think critically. But the thoughts given are not too lofty for the common man, and there are a variety of illustrations to help.
Finally, I want to put in a word about reading. When I talk to my friends and tell them I'm "reading" a book, something totally different may come into their minds than is in mine. To me, reading is grueling discipline requiring heavy attention and mental effort. When I read, I have a conversation with the author. I ask him questions, put in objections, agree on points I find valid, summarize and reword what he has already stated, and I mark the pages that have the most important points.
That's what I mean by reading. And I would encourage you to do the same. It takes much time and effort. You won't get through a whole bookshelf in a year, but you will get much more out of your books and be able to refer back to them later. Unless you have a photographic memory, you're not going to get as much out of your books by simply letting your eyes roll over the text as you will by stopping, contemplating, and thinking your own thoughts about the book.
That's my 2 cents. It was Mortimer J. Adler who got me started on it, so if you have any further questions this essay will explain.
Picture of Daniel will come soon. =)