It is easy for us to fall into a dual-trap. First, we only read books we agree with. Second, if we happen to read something we disagree with, we then don't recommend it to other people. In fact, we often tell them not to read it.
For example, it would be easy for me to only read books that are "Reformed." This would, I'm sure, make me feel very good about my beliefs in God's sovereignty over salvation. However, if I never read anything by anyone who isn't Reformed, then I'll never be challenged in what I believe. Am I so scared that I don't dare read anything that I might disagree with?
What this amounts to is a strange form of self-censorship. It's kind of like hiding in a cave and hoping no one finds us.
When we tell others not to read a certain book, we are trying to pull others into the cave with us.
I'm suggesting that it is healthy to both read books with which we disagree and to recommend these to others. For example, I just recently read and reviewed Why We Love the Church (read the reviews first here and then here). I found this book to be disappointing. I disagree with much of it. However, I'm glad I read it and encourage you to do the same.
I recently recommended a website for book reviews named Discerning Reader. Although I like the site, the one problem is that the contributors do not seem to recommend books they disagree with. Why? I don't know.
There are, of course, situations where we would all not recommend a book. If a book is full of obscenities, for example, then it would not be proper to read.
In this post, I'm mostly referring to theological works. We all tend to like to read what most interests us. This is understandable. The problem begins when we only read those things to the absolute exclusion of others. Even worse, we then try to keep others from reading those books.
My suggestion is that we all make more of an effort to read books (maybe one out of every ten?) we think we may disagree with (or at least part of). Let us also shy away from not recommending books just because they don't fit our particular theological likings. In fact, let's recommend them if they seem worthwhile. Remember, a book can be worthwhile even if we disagree with it.
We in the evangelical church suffer from too much theological myopia. We rarely look outside whatever our particular bubbles are. This is not healthy.
Let's read, read well, and read widely. Let us also recommend the same.