the danger of reading

the danger of reading August 5, 2011

This is one of my personal favorite Sophia drawings called “Study“. I feel like her personality really shows through here. Her courage to study in the face of intellectual intimidation is commendable.

I remember once I shared with some friends that I was happily reading some Buddhist texts. The looks on their faces! One of them said to me, “Why would you read that? The bible has everything you need to know about your spiritual health!

Even though I’d always been told from my authorities what I should and should not read, I realized then that I should keep my reading between myself and my journals.

However, it inevitably leaks out in what one says. Does it not?

You can buy my Sophia originals and Limited Edition prints:

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  • I had a bookcase in my room in which I kept all those satanic writings. Had to keep them hidden.

  • Sylvia

    Yes. Imagine what happens when you confess to reading Bart Ehrman. My bookcase in my room is also top secret. =) Just today I have been considering what to put away in anticipation of a visit from my sister and her husband Monday. Nice to know I’m in good company! The drawing is perfect.

  • Heh! Yep, got those same kind of reactions. One person said, “Oh, are you reading those so you will know how they think?” Implication – so I could witness to them.

    Except for family, I really don’t even know anyone anymore who would react that way. Life and I have moved on….

  • Cassandra

    Man oh man. I’m the exact opposite. I live in a very conservative town in North Carolina and I’ve been known to bring my Qur’an (and other pointlessly “offensive” books) to work to read on my breaks… The looks on their faces. Honestly, it’s priceless. But then again, I’ve been an instigator since very early in my life. By the way… I’m falling in love with Sophia’s courage. I envy that.

  • Erika Baker

    I love the Sophia drawings, but they tell an ongoing story and I find it really hard to isolate a single one. Would you consider publishing them all in a book?

  • that is my hope erika. thanks!

  • yoU should have seen the faces when I publically read a book on green witchcraft…and that one WAS for ministry….

  • I love the picture, but I’m not sure if I’m looking at it right.

    The books seem to be a barrier between her and her environment. Instead of being part of what’s around her, she is taking shelter in the protection/isolation given by the books. Why not be vulnerable and take a chance on seeing the world as it is, being in the world as it is, rather than through a medium of another person’s ideas?

    Is there not also a ‘danger in reading’ from mistaking ideas for reality?

  • mitch

    “Even though I’d always been told from my authorities what I should and should not read…”

    This struck a chord with me. Having grown up in various Christian churches, I’ve been through a number of regimes each taking its own stance on the reading of materials that did not align with – or were contradictory to – Christian texts. In all cases, we were strongly discouraged, and sometimes even forbidden, from educating ourselves on alternative beliefs.

    At the time, it made sense. Why introduce confusion to the masses? But increasingly, I wonder why churches take such a stick-your-head-in-the-sand mentality on this. If the mission of the church is to evangelize, then shouldn’t its missionaries (the entire body) know the arguments or obstacles to belief in Christianity?

    It seems to me that spiritual leaders who truly believe in what they teach would be encouraging the membership to familiarize themselves with alternative beliefs in the interest of evangelism.