DON’T BE STUPID!!
John Byron posts about this and I agree with him when he writes:
I remember hearing a saying about pastors many years ago. It went something like this: “You can tell when someone graduated from seminary by looking at when the most recent book on their shelf was published.” In other words, too many pastors stop reading when they finish seminary. Perhaps some sold all of their books. I wonder where they will go when they need to look up a question. Do they look up anything? Do they have any questions? …… I would ask them to think before they sell all of their books. They just might need them again someday.
note too, he is not talking about college textbooks, he is talking about SEMINARY text books, the books pastors and teachers will need in ministry… now, maybe because things are moving into the digital age ther may be a reason to get rid of SOME of your books, but whatever you do, unless you have an exact digital copy, don’t get rid of them. You will need them!
Allen Bevere pitches in on this and has good advice for pastoral search committees:
If I were a parishioner interviewing a pastor as a potential candidate to shepherd my congregation, one of the questions I would ask is “What books have you read in the last year?” I dare say the answer more often than not would be quite disappointing.
Imagine that? You are being interviewed for a pastorate and one of the interview questions is “what books have you read in the last year?” If you don’t read (and sadly too many pastors don’t) what will you tell them if you gave them all away?
Bevere goes on:
Yes, there are certainly pastors who continue the life of study throughout their years in the parish. But I fear that there are all too many whose pursuit of the truth stopped once they received that seminary diploma at graduation. Yes, they may read a few things here or there, but they are more interested in spending the evenings watching reality TV than continuing to grapple with the great theological truths of our faith. Some may think that indictment is too harsh, but my experience tells me that it is on target.
I think we in the dominant nations do not realize what a gift it is to have such information readily available. There are pastors in the dependent countries who would jump at such an opportunity at seminary education and the resources it affords.
.When I have traveled to Cuba to teach pastors there, they are itching to learn and grow. I remember on one occasion, I was teaching theology to a group of about forty Methodist pastors. I would stop occasionally at certain points in my lecture to see if there were any questions. After about the third time that I paused, one pastor responded, “We have no questions. We have never heard any of this before. Please continue.”
Allen also brings up a great point here. IF and only IF you have to get rid of them. Why not “give” them to needy Bible colleges.schools around the world that desperately need good resources, especially study resources like dictionaries and commentaries and such?
Anyways, like Allen says, I think those who readily part with their books have no idea what they are doing or why? Well, most of them anyways….
I had to throw my books away… because of a toxic mold problem that we encountered in our home at the Grand Canyon. I did it to protect my family, but it was the hardest thing I have EVER done and it hurt. It still does. Many of them will never be replaced or repurchased. It was indeed a sad sad day. what I wouldn’t give to have them back or have the ones in the photos in the linked posts….