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talking books – why read?

Freshers' Edition 2019

From nucleus - Freshers' Edition 2019 - talking books – why read?

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John Greenall highlights the importance of our reading

In the summer of AD 386, a young man lay weeping under a fig tree in a Milanese garden. Tormented by his failure to overcome his sinfulness, he cried out to God: 'Will you be angry forever?' Suddenly he heard a child's voice, chanting. 'Take and read; take and read.' (1)

He'd brought to the garden Paul's letter to the Romans. He picked it up, opened it, and read the passage his eyes first fell on. 'Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.' (Romans 13:13-14)

Immediately he felt as though the darkness of his doubt had fled. This was the moment of his conversion; the beginning of a life for Christ that has perhaps had more impact than any other since. This young man was Augustine, perhaps the greatest of the early church fathers.

We're not Augustine. We're unlikely to have the influence he did. And I don't want to encourage randomly opening the Bible and reading whatever we see first. The point is to take and read God's Word. It's God's Word that will convict us and change us as we study and wrestle with it. Ask God to make it clear to you by his Spirit.

where do I start?

There are so many books and articles out there to help us do this. But where do you start? What are the key books to read that will give you a foundation?

'15-minute book club' is coming to CMF soon. The aim is to read three books a term covering a breadth of topics relevant to medics, nurses and midwives, from ethics to apologetics, mission to mental health.

Why not consider joining or even starting a book club? It's a way to help you carve out time to read, digest and understand the content as you discuss it with others. Reading 15 minutes a day means you will get through about twelve titles per year.


but I'm too busy!

However good the books and the bargains, many of you may still be reluctant to buy and read them. Perhaps you're too busy, or perhaps you've got too many books already?

The apostle Paul wasn't too busy to read. In fact, getting hold of his books and parchments was one of his priorities. (2) Busyness is about priorities: do we want to understand God's Word more and better apply it to our lives? Spending ten minutes a day reading on the bus or listening to an audiobook can make a huge difference, time you might otherwise spend on Facebook or watching a Netflix box set!

So, take books and read them. Ask that God will use them to help you understand his Word and his will, to help you grow in your love of him and his people and to equip you better to live out your discipleship as a student.

John Greenall is CMF National Field Director and a paediatrician in Bedfordshire


references

1. Augustine trans. Blaiklock EM. The confessions of Saint Augustine. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1983, VII.xii.29

2. 2 Timothy 4:13

This article was adapted from an article in Nucleus Spring 2014 by Giles Cattermole

Available from CMF bookstore:


Matters of Life & Death (fully revised)

John Wyatt

IVP/CMF, 2009

9781844743674

Price: £7.00


Every Good Endeavour

Timothy Keller

Hodder & Stoughton, 2012

9781444702606

Price: £8.00


Dying Well

John Wyatt

IVP, 2018

9781783594856

Price: £8.00


Hard Questions about Health and Healing

Andrew Fergusson

CMF, 2005

9780906747346

Price: £5.00


Foundations — a survival guide for junior doctors

CMF, 2018

9780906747438

Price: £15.00


The Human Journey

Peter Saunders

CMF, 2014

9780906747582

Price: £6.99


A Better Story

Glynn Harrison

IVP, 2016

9781845501891

Price: £8.00


Cure for Life

Bernard Palmer

CMF, 2017

9780906747711

Price: £6.00


Serving in Babylon: Daniel's Story

Peter Saunders

CMF, 2017

9780906747742

Price: £2.00


The Electives Handbook

Rachel Perry, Emma Pedlar & Vicky Lavy

CMF, 2014

9780906747506

Price: £3.00



Article written by John Greenall

More from nucleus: Freshers' Edition 2019

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  • God-man-God... a basic gospel outline
  • choosing a church
  • why CMF?
  • CMF is for nurses too!
  • local groups: what's all that about?
  • CMF in Ireland
  • Christian student resources
  • top ten tips for surviving medical school
  • managing time
  • working for Jesus
  • talking books – why read?
  • advice to my fresher self
  • going Deep:ER
  • on the front line
  • you're not the only one...
  • thriving in exile
  • what is 'whole person medicine'?
  • medical ethics for beginners
  • moral mazes
  • clinical conundrums
  • engaging in the public square
  • global medical mission
  • Christian Medical Fellowship:
    uniting & equipping Christian doctors & nurses
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