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In today’s world, as fast as everything is moving, it is tempting to be so focused on the present and the future that we neglect the past. The past, sadly, is often seen as underdeveloped and unworthy of examination. It is common to look at the past, in church history or otherwise, simply as a collection of mistakes from which to learn, not as holding some of the true treasures of Christian thought.
I must admit, I don’t read as many dead Christian writers as I should. My hope is, as I get further away from my formal theological education, I will make the time to go back and read classics from G.K. Chesterton, John Bunyan, and others, but I don’t do it a whole lot right now.
Honestly, once I’ve taken a break from deep theological study for a few months, my first foray into reading some of the most historic Christian thinkers might be by purchasing this new beautiful set of books from B&H.
Look, I know I work at LifeWay (which is also B&H), so you might think I’m biased, and that would be fair. But LifeWay/B&H comes out with awesome products all the time and I don’t talk about them on this blog.
But I think this set of classic Christian works is worth showing you.
Here’s the description from the website:
The Legacy of Faith Library guards the good deposit handed down by champions of the faith whose messages are as applicable today as the time in which they were written. This contemporary collection of the classic texts preserves the author’s words while presenting them in custom bound, leather editions with gilded edges, ribbon markers, and a careful typesetting to guide and enhance your reading experience. The eight-volume set includes a total of nineteen books and is presented in a hand crafted, mahogany cradle designed to display this one-of-a-kind collector’s edition.
Here’s a bit of a preview of what you’ll get:
When my friend Trevin Wax wrote about this beautiful set of books, he concluded his blog post with a quote from C.S. Lewis on the benefit of reading old books. I love the quote, so I wanted to share it here:
Every age has its own outlook. It is specially good at seeing certain truths and specially liable to make certain mistakes. We all, therefore, need the books that will correct the characteristic mistakes of our own period. And that means the old books. … Nothing strikes me more when I read the controversies of past ages than the fact that both sides were usually assuming without question a good deal which we should now absolutely deny. They thought that they were as completely opposed as two sides could be, but in fact they were all the time secretly united— united with each other and against earlier and later ages— by a great mass of common assumptions. We may be sure that the characteristic blindness of the twentieth century— the blindness about which posterity will ask, ‘But how could they have thought that?’ … None of us can fully escape this blindness, but we shall certainly increase it, and weaken our guard against it, if we read only modern books. Where they are true they will give us truths which we half knew already. Where they are false they will aggravate the error with which we are already dangerously ill. The only palliative is to keep the clean sea breeze of the centuries blowing through our minds, and this can be done only by reading old books.
You really should check out this set of books. I’m pretty sure I’ll be purchasing my own set once I crank through some other books on my reading list this summer. Take some time to read these classic writers. I am sure you will be blessed by their words.