One of my favorite biographies is about Oswald Chambers who is most famous for his devotional readings titled "My Utmost for His Highest". Chambers was an army chaplain during World War I and died while in Egypt. His wife eventually put together the devotional from all of the sermons he had preached that she had written down. Anyway, one thing that he did that really struck me was he would read books constantly. But he had a method - he would alternate a christian writer or topic with a book that dealt with science, philosophy, politics, etc. His reasoning was that to be taken seriously as a man (or woman) of faith, it was just as important to develop our intellectual capacity as it was to develop our spiritual one. This dual education could prove useful in interpreting the scripture in a modern world as well as engaging non-believers in conversation and earning their respect through our intellect first and then have the ability to share our faith. I think its also important to read works that you may disagree with to better understand the arguments that you may hear. Nothing like informed disagreement:) I love the idea of dual preparation and know that my pastor seems to feel the same way. You can check out his reading lists on his blog at www.evotional.com. I thought I would list just a couple of the books currently in my reading lineup. I would love to know what you are reading to develop yourself both spiritually and intellectually.
The Inner Experience: Notes on Contemplation by Thomas Merton
Angels & Demons by Dan Brown
Famine, Conflict, and Response by Frederick Cuny
Ice Bound: A Doctor's Incredible Battle for Survival at the South Pole by Dr. Jerri Nielsen
RX for Survival: Why we must rise to the global health challenge by Philip Hilts
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond