Previously, I wrote about the importance of determining what type of material a person is reading because what you read can determine how you read (to read that article first, click here). Such an analysis can determine the priority of what you are reading, how you read, and how quickly you read depending on whether you are reading fiction, history, Christian living, etc. We usually call divide materials into genres and use those genres to indicate more of what it is. However, there is a separate aspect of genre that is most important to be considered.
Often I refer to Tony Reinke’s book, Lit! because he does so well at defining reading from a Christian perspective. Within that short and thoughtful book he distinguishes an important characteristic: in reality, there only exists two genres. Those genres? The Bible and everything else.
Such a distinction is relevant and paramount because it defines two aspects of reading: the importance and the interpretation. When we recognize that there exists only two genres, in reality, it tells us that the Bible is of the most importance and must take priority over all other reading.
However, it goes further because such an indication also enlightens us to how we read all other books. If the Bible is the perfect and infallible word of God, we see it as authoritative over all else. This means that when we read other books we also interpret their propositions through the Lord’s premises.
One of the greatest aides to getting the most out of our reading and determining how much investment of effort a given book is worth is by taking note of the genre of a book. However, it is first important to make sure priorities are rightly placed by dividing books on the basis of the Bible first.