A Contrasts Review is where we contrast very different kinds of material
Veith, Gene Edward, Jr. Reading Between the Lines: A Christian Guide to Literature. Wheaton: Crossway, 1990. 254 Pages. Paper. $19.99. www.crossway.org (LHP)
Arthurs, Jeffrey D. Devote Yourself to the Public Reading of Scripture: The Transforming Power of the Well-Spoken Word. Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2012. 137 Pages. Paper with DVD video. $19.99. www.kregel.com (LP)
Gene Edward Veith Jr. (PhD, University of Kansas) is provost and professor of literature at Patrick Henry College and the director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary. He has been a columnist for World magazine and TableTalk, and is the author of a number of noted books on Christianity and culture, including God at Work.
Christian traditions differ on the propriety of lay readers during Christian worship. I do not believe reading God's Word publicly during Divine Service is given to everyone. Reading is interpretation. Pastors are (and should be) best suited for the task. I am more than uncomfortable to have female readers to avoid any confusion with the Office of the Holy Ministry (cf. 1 Corinthians 14). Even when my Elders assist with the Old Testament and Epistle readings on a Communion Sunday, I do (and should) have an expectation of some preparation and seriousness about the task of sharing God's Word with the congregation. We all occasional stumble when we speak or read aloud, but the reason should not be unpreparedness.
Whether we read God's Word or the literary treasures of this world, preparation and thought is required. A Christian worldview is essential. And we ought always have an answer in Christ for those who ask us about our hope and why we Christians are salt and light in a dark world.
The Rev. Paul J Cain is Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Sheridan, Wyoming, Headmaster of Martin Luther Grammar School, Yellowstone Circuit Visitor (LCMS Wyoming District), a permanent member of the Board of Directors of The Consortium for Classical and Lutheran Education, Wyoming District Worship Chairman, and Editor of QBR.