Thursday, August 4, 2011

How Do You Decide Who To Read?

How do you decide which theologians to listen to? There's about a million of them out there, writing books, claiming that this that or the other thing is right.

Personally, I try to only read authors, when I'm looking for theological insight, etc. who are Orthodox. And when I was Catholic, I stuck with authors who were Catholic. Which is not to say that I don't read other denominations' works, just that I don't look to them for theology to base or compare (and try to adapt) my beliefs to.

Does everyone do the same thing? Or do you just read and take the bits and pieces that make sense and adapt them into your personal theology?


  1. It's always tough to choose who and what to read in all kinds of readings. Do you go with those you have always read for and like their prospective or do you pick the new ones who claimed to have the right answer !!!
    very hard decisions, but i mostly go with my instincts and "shame" what the cover says :(

  2. I tend to pick up a book, read about what is in the book, and then look up the author. I never did that before I started reading religious books. I like to know who is telling me certain information. Where they went to school (if they went to school) and a little background (google and youtube them)so I can understand where they are coming from and see where they may be biased.
    I pay attention to things that are repeated a lot by other people, if something sounds fishy, I look it up. It takes longer to read things that way, but it teaches me a lot more.
    Who I listen to is influenced a lot by my husband, but sometimes I'll just look up topics and listen to whomever. Everyone has their own take on things and I enjoy hearing lots of views. If it seems to be crazy talk, then I don't really listen.
    Oh, and if someone is being judgmental or hateful, I tend to skip them altogether.
    I used to be Christian as well, and I was always cautioned to only read books from people who agreed with us. Now I wish I had strayed a little back then, because there is a wealth of knowledge out there and I was limiting myself. I have a brain and I should use it. That's how I feel now.

  3. Wafa',

    It really can be. There's such a variety and they all say different things! My problem is that I can pretty much see everyone's point of view, and once you can do that, there's little to say that one is better than the other unless there's hard scientific evidence. And for religion, there's really not.

  4. Ardent,

    Hi there!

    I tend to be more critical of the background of authors on religious books as well. It's just more important, really. Everything can be skewed one way or the other so very easily and people tend to be more biased about religion than many other things.

    Of course, if the author or speaker is just spewing vitriol, they get turned off or tossed. You can't trust anything that they say if they're that angry and clearly blinded by their own opinions.

    I think it's good to read opinions other than those that agree with your own, but you do have to have a firm grasp of what you believe before you do so. It's too easy to get caught up in something that touches an emotional cue or seems brilliant when you don't have a base to work from. And I'm talking from experience there!

  5. I can find a reason to disagree with anybody, and in most cases can find something to agree with in everybody. I also figure anyone I would choose to read because they seem to be "right" would probably be someone who already thinks like me, because that's probably why I think they're right. So I tend to read people who share a lot of ideas in common with me, but I try to stretch myself and read/listen to people completely different when I have time, to keep some sense of balance. Even in that, though, I'm sort of testing/confirming an idea I have that everyone is getting some truths in their experience, and there is no one true path. So every once in awhile, if I come across someone who I completely disagree with and am tempted to just ignore, I try to push myself to read them and find some truth in their work.

    (PS: SHARK! Love the layout.)

  6. sanil,

    Hi sanil! So glad to see you've decided to come visit those of use left behind! ;p

    I get that. Like I said, I can see pretty much everyone's point of view, so depending on my mood sometimes I can get behind someone or want to throw them across the room, no matter who they are.

    SHARK! She's so pretty...

  7. I'm not exactly sure how I pick religious books. Usually has to do with what I am interested in at the time. But I've got Angels Even Ask next to the Bhajva Ghita, next to a book on the book of Enoch. So even my book shelf doesn't know what I read lol.

  8. LK,

    *laughs* Since I organize my shelves alpha by author (within their sections), everything's mixed up together. Catholic, Orthodox, Muslim, Jewish, history, etc.


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