Here are some principles and recommendations in how to “take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). If you missed the last list posted, catch up here.
- Develop your skills at speaking and teaching and conversation. American linguistic culture is ugly, sloppy, and lazy. Instead of blending with the inarticulate herd, broaden your vocabulary, work on articulation, and listen to the people with which you are speaking. On writing see the classic Elements of Style by Stunk and White. On public speaking see Stand Like Lincoln, Speak Like Churchill by James Humes. Consider joining a Toastmasters club to refine your speaking skills.
- Read thoughtful Christian books, both classic and contemporary. While we often emphasize popular books, we should not forget time-tested classics written by Augustine, Calvin, Pascal, and Jonathan Edwards. Twentieth century writers such as G.K. Chesterton, C.S. Lewis, John Stott, J.I. Packer, Francis Schaeffer, and Os Guinness make for hearty and rewarding reading as well.
- Certain periodicals are edifying as well. For keeping the pulse of contemporary evangelicalism, see Christianity Today. Political and cultural issues are carefully addressed in First Things, which now has a rather strong Catholic focus. To stay abreast of cults, religious movements, apologetics, and ethics read The Christian Research Journal.
4. Be aware of secular culture and non-Christian religious expressions through your reading of periodicals and books. I also read the Sunday New York Times and The New Yorker for sophisticated secular views—in, in the latter case, for their superb cartoons. Commentary is excellent for conservative Jewish views. Books and Culture reviews significant Christian and other books. This is a resource for discerning what non-Christian books you should read, as is The New York Times book review. I also check Harpers, The Atlantic, Rolling Stone, Time Magazine, and Wired to look for significant articles. I find browsing at bookstores especially helpful, if you can find a brick and mortar bookstore left. We should be grateful that the Denver area has three locations of The Tattered Cover.