John Alan Turner

Writer, Theologian, Consultant, Speaker, Teacher

You Can't Get That From A Stack of Books

I read a lot. In fact, my wife has me sorting through several boxes of books right now -- putting them into three piles:

  1. Books that I need for stuff I'm currently working on.
  2. Books that I want to have readily accessible but don't really care where they are.
  3. Books that can go into the garage until we have bookshelves installed.

I'm like a kid on Christmas morning right now, surrounded by the works of great thinkers like Dallas Willard, A.W. Tozer and C.S. Lewis.

I probably finish a book a week. In fact, if you check the links on the side of this page you'll notice that the book recommendations change monthly.

But there are things I cannot find in these stacks of books. Things that are and will remain mysterious.

How to get a baby to fall asleep on your chest. And how to describe that feeling. The sadness in the eyes of a childless couple when they watch my girls getting ready for bed. The mixture of fear and excitement you can hear from a friend who has just stepped off the edge and is trusting God to catch his family. The joy a creative person expresses when he is allowed to do his thing to the glory of God. The sound of rain falling gently against the window. The smell of coffee. The warmth of bread. The goodness of home.

Oh, these feelings, these senses, they must be the eternity that God has placed in my heart. It grabs hold of me when I listen to Vaughn Williams, look outside at the wet pavement and see the first touch of yellow and red in the trees. It reminds me that there are things I cannot understand and could never put into words if I did understand. Things higher. Things nobler. Things other.

Smart as I am -- smart as I'll ever get -- there will always be a part of me that's still "not yet."