Every now and then I have a friend or acquaintance that asks the question that I think a lot of my friends often wonder. Why the book? With all the tools and methods for propagating the truth of the gospel these days, why choose books? While I have to confess that my first response is often that I simply love books and have seen their power to transform lives, there are a few other salient reasons. These were captured well in a presentation that one of my colleagues made recently and I thought I would share them in this week’s blog post.
Here’s a great quote from Bill Bright, founder of CRU (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) to get things started:
“If God were to give me strength to go to every family on earth and preach about Jesus, or if He permitted me to take a printed message of salvation, there is no question I would choose the latter. Anointed literature has no bad day, it can stay for years, speaking over and over until the Holy Spirit penetrates the heart of the reader.”
A lesser known fact quoted by Patrick Johnstone author of Operation World,
“More than half of the born-again Christian in the world testify that literature played a part in their conversion.”
And one of the more startling statistics that I have ever read,
“Research shows that 80% of Christians outside the United States have no Bibles or Christian books of any kind.”
Edwin Hodges Ministries
Why is Christian literature so uniquely effective in missions?
- It travels cheaply and gains access to places no other missionary could go.
- It is ready whenever needed, never growing tired or discouraged.
- It patiently teaches people at their own speed, reviewing as often as needed.
- It leaps racial tensions and speaks without a foreign accent.
- It sticks to the point, never getting sidetracked into unprofitable arguments.
- It can be passed on to others and continues its work after the author dies.
And finally a great quote from Thomas à Kempis, Author of The Imitation of Christ,
“If he shall not lose his reward who gives a cup of cold water to his thirsty neighbor,what will not be the reward of those who by putting good books into the hands of those neighbors,open to them the fountains of eternal life?”
So when you pick up a book this week to read for fun, relaxation or your own spiritual growth, remember that this simple tool is helping to point the way to Jesus in remote places all over the earth. My question is Why Not a Book?