Education is always a hot topic. Take the debate over whether children in 2021 need to learn cursive writing. For many people, this is an essential part of learning and expressing yourself. But in the 21st century, there are other ways to write things down. Kids today learn to type with a keyboard on a tablet or phone before they know the whole alphabet.  My personal inclination is that cursive writing may be extinct by the end of the century. Does it matter?

My bigger concern is that reading is on the decline. Studies show that the average daily reading time for pleasure is decreasing. I usually have several books on the go and am amazed at how many adults tell me they don’t read. (Meaning, they don’t read for enjoyment or personal development.) I guess that you are a reader since you have made it this far in my article. Most people like to get information or news in the form of videos or podcasts. Entertainment or personal education is now more focused on screens than books. It’s just my opinion but I feel this leaves us impoverished and vulnerable to misinformation.

So, all this month I am recommending books for Christian readers. These are books that I think help us develop as Christian disciples. They help us to think about bigger issues and give us tools for making application to our faith.

The Psalmist wrote: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105) But that doesn’t mean it is always easy to understand what we are reading in scripture. How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth (by Gordon Fee & Douglas Stuart), is a basic primer for learning to read the Bible according to the different genres found within. Understanding how to read the Bible is important when wanting to know how to apply the Bible in our life. The book of Proverbs isn’t the same kind of reading as Revelation. Should we follow the laws of the Old Testament or is it okay to eat shellfish today? This book looks at how we can approach our Bible reading and gain more insight. You don’t have to be a theologian to understand it.

I have some more recommendations coming for you this month. Maybe you could put one of the books on your Christmas list and start digging in a little deeper in the New Year.