I find academic books to be the worst for this. It’s like, if there are important ideas on a page, apparently the writer doesn’t need to be bothered with trying to organize their thoughts in a way that is appealing. Who is lazy, really: me, for hating a boring book, or the writer who didn’t even try to make it engaging?
I’ve been reading lots this summer. For fun, for school, and for work. My favourite read for fun has been “I want to eat your pancreas”. Strange title, but it’s a really sweet love story (if you don’t mind manga). For school, I’ve enjoyed “Christ’s call to Discipleship”. It’s a book with little fluff and a layout that communicates clearly, it’ll make it a useful reference book in the future. For work, I’ve been on sabbatical and I’ve read a ton… but my favourite read has been “Gospel fluency”. It’s accessible and does what many Christian books don’t do- it presents an idea, and then actually fleshes it out with relevant examples and counterpoint. Imagine that!
It must be nice to be an authority on a subject. I was trying to think what I might be an authority on, and none of it is of any real consequence. I can tell you which sushi place in Chilliwack will fit your budget and desired quality level… I can tell you which tennis courts are most likely to be vacant on a beautiful summer’s day, around Sardis. I could tell you, at great lengths, how having a speed-restricted scooter really is the best way to get around town, financially speaking.
I suppose I could be the authority on how to be passive-aggressive through a comic strip. I want to be clear: I am not anti-intellectual, I think academia is great! I also think academics can be impatient towards the common man. Being a common man who, from time to time, puts up with the eccentricities of the educated, i guess it would just be nice if the favour was returned? So than, my hypocrisy is revealed! Educated people are humans too. What right do I have to demand of my educated peers that they have more patience than I? Absolutely none.
…Which is why I won’t be getting my Masters any time soon. I think I have a bit more growing and spiritual maturing to do before I get into it.
It’s easy to agree with people you agree with. It’s easy to read books you agree with, and build a library of people you agree with. It’s easy to be pushed further and further into a way of thinking if the argument sits right.
When I disagree with a person’s thesis, or argument, or their books, or their rhetoric, is it my duty to attack? Or would it be better to say “I disagree” and move on? Or, is it better to disagree, figure out why, and talk about it? Or to find some common ground? OR to figure out what doesn’t sit well, and why it doesn’t, and then make a call?
People will always disagree on everything worth agreeing about because for the most part, people can’t even agree on what’s worth agreeing on.
I don’t like how some people think an opinion is right JUST because someone wrote a book on it!
I think most authors write to try and get people to THINK about what they are writing about, not to have their books used as argumentative trump-cards. Good books don’t make people turn their brains off.