Magazine article The Christian Century

Bookish. (from the Editor/publisher)

Magazine article The Christian Century

Bookish. (from the Editor/publisher)

Article excerpt

I GREW UP with books. My parents valued books and taught me to treat books with respect and affection. One of the unexpected pleasures of college was going to the bookstore to purchase the texts I needed and could afford, and carrying them back to my room--my own books. I still have some of them. And I still love the feel of a newly purchased book in my hands.

In divinity school I got the idea that part of the pastoral vocation is to read--to keep up with what the biblical scholars and theologians are saying, and to stay in touch with the culture by reading novels, biographies, histories, journals, magazines and newspapers. I recall an anecdote from one of Joseph Sittler's lectures, which he later included in a 1959 CENTURY essay, "The Maceration of the Minister." It was a poignant portrait of the overworked, hassled minister who had been determined to sustain a discipline of lifelong scholarship, but whose desk was cluttered not with open texts but with a set of blueprints for the new education wing and a sample of linoleum floor tile.

I've tried to keep faith with Sittler's hopes for us and I read as much as I can. …

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