Of Books & Blogs

My friends tease me continually regarding my Google Reader feed, where I share all the different blog posts I find interesting. Usually this takes the form of interrupting whatever I’m doing with “Viezbicke, don’t you have to read a hundred blogs and share them all?” or something similar. And the question is apt: I do read a lot of blogs.

Something I haven’t learned to do is read blogs slowly. I digest so much information throughout the day that all I really do is share what I find immediately intriguing, and I flag 5-10 blog posts each day to go back and chew on more fully. Not that I actually get around to it, but that’s how I roll.

Now, having done this for a few years, I’ve come to realize that the usefulness of my Google Reader is limited compared to the value of slowly combing through a book with a pen, or even taking a fewer blogs to critically examine and profit from. I remember the first time I picked up a book and determined to just take the time to deeply and critically examine it, and The Mortification of Sin became one of the most shaping influences in my Christian walk. I went on to read it several more times, adding more notes, making corrections and observations about earlier notes, etc.

Future Grace was similar. The presentation of God’s grace was so radically different and far more epic than anything I had considered beforehand that I needed to read it several times in order to digest it. The backward glance and the forward glance, the way that trusting in God’s future grace slays sin, all of it is such a part of my life now that I think about grace in a whole new way.

That’s the strength of books… thorough treatment of a subject. Blogs are good for quick digestion of a wide variety of subjects. Which is more valuable? In our day, it seems that we need to be slowing down to thoroughly chew on propositions, rather than feeding the tendency to want more and more information.

D.A. Carson said it well in the “Pastor as Scholar, Scholar as Pastor” event after last years Gospel Coalition. He responds to a question that begins around the 10:40 mark. I’ve been struck by this ever since… read less on the internet. Read more books.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

I plan on reading more books after Nat and I return from T4G and in the months preceding our move to Minneapolis. Oh, and I’ll be downsizing my blog subscriptions.

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