Why Read Old?

Do you like reading books or texts that were written a long time ago? At the moment I’m reading a little book that has mini-biographies of some heroes of the faith in, William Wilberforce and Charles Simeon for example. The rich ideas and different way of phrasing things really does make you think. Trying to read works that were written long ago (over 100 years) can be a real challenge though!

The writing style, sentence structure, vocabulary, and overall length is in sharp contrast to how our contemporary culture consumes content (how long is a tweet?).

What can become a difficulty can either make the text something to savour, or something to stumble over. This is purely down to the personal opinion of any given reader; maybe you love reading old, maybe you really don’t!

Why, then, is it important to occasionally pause and look back? Well, we see that the faith we are contending for now in 2020 is the same faith, with the same Saviour, with the same wonderful, sure, steadfast foundation as the faith of those who lived in a time gone by. It points to the eternality of Christ, the endurance of the faith, the generation-spanning character of our great and awesome God. Our 2020 faith, squashed and squeezed by temporary COVID restrictions is the same faith that fought slavery (Wilberforce), endured hostility, and allowed men to serve in one place for half a century (Simeon), and more.

So, reading something that was written in the 1800s might not be for everybody every day, but it is certainly useful for us all once in a while!

The grass withers,

the flower fades, 

but the word of our God will stand 

forever.

Isaiah 40.8

Today then, try and read something written before you were born. If you’re not sure where to find something, try here;

Charles Spurgeon – https://www.blueletterbible.org/commentaries/spurgeon_charles/

John Calvin – https://www.blueletterbible.org/commentaries/calvin_john/

Anathanasius of Alexandria – https://www.blueletterbible.org/commentaries/athanasius/

D.Martin Lloyd-Jones – https://www.monergism.com/search?f%5B0%5D=author:34450

Charles Simeon – https://www.monergism.com/search?keywords=simeon&format=All&f%5B0%5D=author%3A36498

William Wilberforce – https://www.gutenberg.org/files/25709/25709-h/25709-h.htm

Published by James Travis

Pastor of Saar Fellowship in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Married to Robyn and Dad to our two boys.

One thought on “Why Read Old?

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