Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Lost Art of Reading Aloud

Reading books aloud has fallen out of favor these days, unless it's parents reading to their children. But for Christians, reading publicly is a command for all the churches (1 Tim. 4:13).

The New York Times' Verlyn Klinkenborg had a good editorial recently on the lost art of reading aloud. Read the whole thing, but here's the conclusion:
You can easily make the argument that reading silently is an economic artifact, a sign of a new prosperity beginning in the early 19th century and a new cheapness in books. The same argument applies to listening to books on your iPhone. But what I would suggest is that our idea of reading is incomplete, impoverished, unless we are also taking the time to read aloud.
Readers should ponder Klinkenborg's following suggestion with regard to the reading of Scripture:
one of the most basic tests of comprehension is to ask someone to read aloud from a book. It reveals far more than whether they understand the words. It reveals how far into the words--and the pattern of the words--the reader really sees.
This Fall Zondervan will publish Unleashing the Word: Rediscovering the Public Reading of Scripture by Max McLean and Warren Bird. The book includes a DVD, as well as a foreword by Ravi Zacharias.

Though other contemporary books may be available (if so, leave a comment), the only other one I know of is
Thomas Edward McComiskey's out of print (though still available used) book,
Reading Scripture in Public: A Guide for Preachers and Lay Readers.

HT: Scott Polender of Simeon Trust