The Minister and the Importance of Reading

Charles Spurgeon, in his sermons “Paul–His Cloak and Books,” wrote, “The man who never reads will never be read; he who never quotes will never be quoted. He who will not use the thoughts of other men’s brains, proves that he had no brains of his own.” I remember reading this quote when I was a very young Christian, and being deeply impressed with the need to be entrenched in the writings of the great men God has given as gifts to the church. Having read more than I ever could have imagined reading as a young Christian, I am continually convinced of the truth of this quote more now than ever. There is something wonderful about reading the works of men who are uniquely gifted in communicating divine truth. I am still amazed at the precision with which St. Augustine, John Calvin, John Bunyan, Thomas Watson, John Owen, John Duncan, Jonathan Edwards, Charles Spurgeon, Thomas Chalmers,  John Murray, Sinclair Ferguson, William Still and Eric Alexander (to name a few) express the deep truths of Scriptures in  such a profound way. While studying the Scriptures personally, and wrestling with the original languages, is the most essential element in a fruitful ministry, there is something that can be gained only by reading the writings of the great theologians throughout church history.

1 Response

  1. Excellent post and I love this quote from Spurgeon as well. I’m currently reading a Bio on Machen and one of his key habits was to carry a book in his jacket sleeve wherever he went. I think this is vital for every Christian if he expects to grow in grace. Doubtless the reading of the scriptures always take precedence, but the the men you mentioned are expounders of the Word as to drive it further into our souls. Keep up the great work, brother.

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