Mark Dever’s Schedule for Reading Old Books

Mark Dever chronologically schedules old books into his reading. Genius. Insofar as this is a new year, I’m going to seek to follow his schedule, reading a book from each time period in its given month. Athanaisus’ On the Incarnation will be the book for January.

“Dever’s annual reading schedule is structured chronologically, and it looks something like this:

  • January: early church patristic writings (first through third centuries)
  • February: Augustine (354-430)
  • March: Martin Luther (1483-1546)
  • April: John Calvin (1509-1564)
  • May: Richard Sibbes (1577-1635)
  • June: John Owen (1616-1683) and John Bunyan (1628-1688)
  • July: Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)
  • August: C. H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)
  • September: B. B. Warfield (1851-1921)
  • October: Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981)
  • November: C. S. Lewis (1898-1963) and Carl F. H. Henry (1913-2003)
  • December: Contemporary authors”

– Tony Reinke, Lit!, 180-181.

Gandalf the Exegete

“‘Good morning!’ said Bilbo, and he meant it. The sun was shining, and the grass was very green. But Gandalf looked at him from under long bushy eyebrows that stuck out further than the brim of his shady hat.

“‘What do you mean?’ he said. ‘Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not; or that you feel good this morning, or that it is a morning to be good on?'”

– The Hobbit (New York: Ballantine Books, 1985), 17-18.

How to Read the Bible and Pray

“You read your Bible regularly, of course; but do try and understand it, and still more, to feel it. Read more parts than one at a time. For example, if you are reading Genesis, read a psalm also; or, if you are reading Matthew, read a small bit of an epistle also. Turn the Bible into prayer. Thus, if you were reading the 1st Psalm, spread the Bible on the chair before you, and kneel, and pray, ‘O Lord, give me the blessedness of the man,’ etc. ‘Let me not stand in the counsel of the ungodly,’ etc. This is the best way of knowing the meaning of the Bible, and of learning to pray.”

– Robert Murray M’Cheyne, The Biography of Robert Murray M’Cheyne, Kindle edition, location 792.

photo:  Flabber DeGasky