Hero Worship

I wonder how many blogs are posted on the internet each day?  I wonder how many people read those blogs?  On the average there are over 700 books published each day in the United States.  I’ve read some reports indicating that the majority of those books will sell less than 100 copies.  I wonder why people follow and read some blogs and not others?  I wonder why people read some books and not others?

Even though I expect only a few will read this blog, I will still give my opinion for what it’s not worth.  Obviously a person has to discriminate when selecting books to read.  I’ve never counted the number of books I’ve read, but it has been a considerable number over a 30 year period.  Why did I select certain books to read?   The reasons are numerous.  Time restrictions have been the primary reason.  A person can only read so many books.  Then there are financial limitations.  The average person has to budget book buying.  There is another reason.  I call it “hero worship.”

I remember visiting Dr. Bryan Beyer’s office soon after I arrived at Columbia International University.  He was on the phone, so I admired his large collection of books.  He finished the phone conversation and proceeded to look at some papers on his desk.  I promptly asked him if he had read all those books.  Without looking up or hesitating he said, “Some of them twice.”  After a moment of being in awe, I was engaged with “hero worship.”  What a great man he was.  Then he suddenly broke his mirror by saying “but some, not once.”  He taught me a valuable lesson.

God graced me with the opportunity to study under the teaching of some godly, but erudite, scholarly academicians in the field of philosophy and theology.  Hero worship was a mighty temptation.  Although I’ve read books because they carried the name Jonathan Edwards, I’ve also read books written by little known authors like Glenn Gordy.

Hero worship is the reason many books are purchased and never read.  Many books are purchased based on the author’s name rather than the content of the book.

Whether I go to a bookstore or a thrift shop, I look not only for the name, but I look at the table of contents.  I look for summary statements on the back cover and endorsements if there are any.  I try to avoid “hero worship” in my book selection.

2 thoughts on “Hero Worship

  1. Some who may have book contracts with major publishers have failed dismally in their personal and ministry life. Somehow – it doesn’t seem to matter to some who purchase materials from such authors.It boggles the mind somewhat when considering how indiscriminate a purchaser of books can actually be!

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  2. Hero worship is definitely an issue. Mine ended due to polemical and apologetical reasons. I wanted to know the schema’s of those counter world views for insight and strategies to “…give an answer for the hope that is in me.” These definitely were not heroes but the heroes of others which truth of God’s Word contended.

    I, too, have my share of “giants” whose shoulders I stand upon, but honestly, Jesus stands the tallest. Therefore, I spend the lion’s share of my free time reading scripture.

    Thanks brother Martin for this insightful blog post.

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