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Recreational Reading

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah
The Truth Network Radio
November 29, 2022 9:00 am

Recreational Reading

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah

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November 29, 2022 9:00 am

In this show, Dr. Shah discusses the benefits of reading and some of the things he likes to read in his spare time! 

If you like this content and want to support the show you can visit us at Don't forget to rate and review our show! To learn more about us, visit us at If you have any questions or would like to contact us, email us at or text us at 252-582-5028. See you tomorrow on Clearview Today!

30 Days to a New Beginning:


Welcome back, everyone. Today is Tuesday, November the 29th. I'm Ryan Hill.

I broke my mind. I'm John Galantis. And you're listening to Clear View Today with Dr. Abbadon Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can find us online at Or if you have a question for Dr. Shah or a suggestion for a future episode, you can send us a text at 252-582-5028.

You can also email us at contact at And if you guys... I'm sorry, I broke my microphone. And if you guys want to help us keep the conversation alive, keep it in the airwaves, you can do so by supporting this podcast, sharing it online, leaving us a good review on iTunes, and just keeping the discussion alive. Send John some encouragement for his broken microphone. I'm also frazzled.

I drank soap, dude. Let's read the verse of the day first and then I'll tell them. Yeah, one thing at a time. All right, so the verse of the day today comes from Matthew 11, verse 28. Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Beautiful.

Beautiful. Especially in keeping with what we talked about, at Christmas time, people are hectic, they're frantic, they're just so stressed out. We're celebrating the birth of Jesus, the one who says, come to me and I will give you rest.

Right. We thrive on stress. I don't know if it's just in the West or if it's just in America or what, but we love to be stressed out. We love to be overwhelmed. We love to just thrive on that negative tension. It's almost become a badge of honor. Look how stressed I am. Ergo, I'm successful. Yeah, because if I can stick it through this, I'm stronger than you, I guess.

But even then, I never feel strong when I'm stressed. Yeah. Tell us about this.

You hit this topic and then we quickly get off of it. I'm angry. Talk to us a little bit about this whole drinking soap endeavor, because I know what happened, but our listeners are very confused right now. I'm basically poisoned.

I'm a toxic man, and I don't mean that my attitude is superior. The level of toxicity in your body has actually risen. I drank soap. So we got a latte machine at Clearview, which has been a major hit. People love it.

People are raving about it. There's a compartment, a little fridge that opens up, and you put the gallon of milk in there, you put the hose in there, and then when you hit your latte of choice or whatever, it draws out of the milk. Okay. No problem. So here's where, unbeknownst to me, I didn't know this part, there's a cleaning process. And so what happens is they have this little glass, and they put soap and cleaner in the glass. Hold on.

Go for it. It's a jar. It's a jar. That's right.

Just want to get the picture in everybody's minds. Right. It's a glass jar. So they put the soap in there. They take the milk out. They put that in there with the soap and the water and stuff. They put the hose in it. Then they run the cleaning process.

It sucks up all the soap and it cleans the machine. Okay. So here's where I come in. I'm going to make a latte. And I'm like, oh, I see the glass in there. It's an empty glass with the hose in it. So I'm going, oh, they obviously want to cut down on how much milk is being used.

They don't want to put the whole gallon in there. They're just putting, they put the milk in the glass. So I put the milk inside the soapy glass, put the glass in the latte machine, and hit latte. And so I drank mostly milk, but definitely some soap, tore my stomach to pieces. I mean, it was hurting. Like someone stabbed me. It was like twisting it around. I was like, yo, what in the world is going on? And then people were like, I was talking to Dr. Shy and everybody, they were like, you might be lactose intolerant.

I don't know. Ryan was like, oh, I don't know. But basically we all started shutting down the facility. And then Ryan was like, hey, do you want to help me clean this? And I was like, yeah. So he showed me the cleaning process. I saw him put soap in the glass and I was like, I drank soap.

There it is. That's what it was. I drank poison. But you're okay now. I'm fine now. Everyone's worried.

You're okay. Yeah. And we have educated you now in the cleaning process. That's right. Speaking of education.

That's right. We got a great, got a great topic for you all today. You're killing it with these segues, man. I love the segues, man.

Well done. Thanks for the segue. Well, today, you know, as you can probably tell, especially Dr. Shah, we prioritize reading. We do a lot of reading. We love to read, love to learn more through reading. I mean, it's a critical process and growing your knowledge in any field. So we're going to talk about reading today. Reading for fun, reading for enrichment, reading for spiritual growth. But if you have any questions or suggestions for new topics, you can send us a text at 252-582-5028 or you can visit us online at

That's right. We're going to grab Dr. Shah and we'll be right back. Hey there, listeners. My name is Kelsey. And I'm John. And we want to pause the show for just a second to talk to you guys about Clearview Church's original EP, Together Forward. Yeah, these are five songs, five original songs that we wrote right here at Clearview Church. Myself, Dr. Shah, David Williamson, our engineer on the Clearview Today show, some of the other guys on the worship team. But sometime during all the shutdowns of 2020, we noticed this really horrible isolationism setting in all over the world.

It was like nothing we've ever seen before. That's right. And one of the things that we've always been about here at Clearview is forward motion and community. Those are both very important. So the whole heart behind the EP was, hey, let's just take these two things and let's put them together because we truly feel like that's the antidote to what's happening in the world today. We're right in the middle of writing a whole bunch of new material as a church. But while all of those projects are still in the works, we want to help point you guys towards these songs that God has given us.

You can listen to all of them right now on Spotify. Just look up Clearview Worship. Or if you want to support what we're doing here at Clearview Church, you can buy it on iTunes right now. And always remember you can support us directly at the Clearview Today Show by visiting us online at

That's right. Thanks for listening. We hope these songs are as much a blessing to you as they were for us.

Amen. Let's get back to the show. Welcome back to Clearview Today with Dr. Abbadan Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at Or if you have any questions or suggestions for future episodes, make sure you send us a text at 252-582-5028.

Dr. Shah, welcome to the studio today. You got your coffee ready to go? I am. I'm really excited about this. It's the week after Thanksgiving.

Amen. We're getting closer and closer to Christmas. Quite excited. That's exciting for me.

Absolutely. Christmas. You're counting down the days till December.

I shudder to think what the December 1st episode is going to look like. I may be dressed as Buddy the Elf. Do you think that's appropriate for work and or life? Work, probably not. Life, absolutely. But you will come into work to do this show. Do you stay as Buddy the Elf the rest of the day?

Absolutely. You know what? I don't even want to know about it. If you guys are joining us for the first time, if you're as sickened by the Christmas over-exaggeration as I am, or you've just never seen the show before, you're not familiar with Dr. Shah's work. Dr. Abadan Shah is a PhD in New Testament textual criticism, professor at Carolina University, author, full-time pastor, and he's the host of today's show.

You can follow him on his website at That's right. On today's episode, our topic today was actually suggested by a listener of the show, Nancy. You're from right here in North Carolina. We know Nancy very well. She's the cheesecake lady. We've come to know her. Nancy G. Nancy G. The cheesecake for me. Okay.

That's not what I thought. It's called subliminal messaging. Basically, what I'm trying to do is when Nancy hears the show, something happens inside where she's like, I should really make these guys a cheesecake. Well, Nancy wanted to know what are some of the books that you utilize, Dr. Shah, in either your preparation and studying and growing your faith or just for fun? What role does reading play in your day-to-day? Well, I'll just say Nancy G. is one of the smartest ladies I know. She's very perceptive and very humble about it. It's a good combination. But talking about what books I like to read for fun first, oh my goodness, I love history books.

I love to sit down. I've read this book years ago by 1776 by David McCulloch, one of my favorite authors. I can read anything by him. And of course, Team of Rivals, Doris Goodwin, Kearns, great book as well on Abraham Lincoln.

1776 is kind of based on George Washington being in New York, waiting for that final assault of the British and knowing that this is it, this is done. And it's his faith that helps him stay in the fight because soldiers were leaving the battlefield, walking away and all that. But anyways, great, great book on how he hung in there. In fact, he wrote a lot of letters to his wife, which actually were destroyed. He destroyed them because he didn't want the nation to sit there and look at that and go, wow, we came that close to giving up.

So very interesting. And of course, Team of Rivals is how Abraham Lincoln, we think of him as this great president who gave his life for the union. But at the same time, he was a very, very sharp, keen, astute politician. And he would get with his team. Most of them didn't like him, didn't get along with him. And he made sure that he worked with them in a way that would bring about unity, growth, focus. And if you've seen the movie, it's amazing how he would sometimes let into them and tell them, hey, I need this done now.

Make it happen. You don't see Abraham Lincoln like that. You don't see him as the meek and mild sort of friendly guy with the beard. Long lanky legs. I know you're not talking about David McCullough specifically there, but going back to 1776, one of the things I like about him specifically is how well he knew those people.

Like, they're characters that are completely fleshed out. You're talking about David McCullough? David McCullough in 1776. It was so impressive to see how well he knew his stuff. And it comes through in the writing in a very organic way. Yeah, I mean, he uses primary sources. He's going through the letters between Washington and some of the other founding fathers, Washington and the Congress, or the convention.

And he goes to the original sources. Also, when it comes to reading, I'm trying to think of so many books I read. Sitting on my nightstand is James Boswell, Life of Johnson. It's a thick book.

It's been there for four years. I work through it time to time. It is the top biography in history.

That's what I can say. Samuel Johnson was this literary critic, this English, British literature critic from back in the 1700s, right? Just a brilliant guy. Brilliant guy.

And I like him because his values are very similar to the values I have. A believer, a Christian. He is responsible for the dictionary that we know today, right? Yeah, Johnson's dictionary. That was the dictionary. That was a standard before the OED came out, the Oxford English Dictionary. Yeah, Samuel Johnson's dictionary. Brilliant guy.

Some of the ways he would say things, it just blows you away. I don't have time to research that, but one day maybe we could have a show on Samuel Johnson. Absolutely. I would love to.

But anyways, James Boswell was a young man, and he kind of became his apprentice and spent time with Samuel Johnson for years and wrote his biography. Amazing. What a great job he did. Wow. Amazing. So anyways, I read that sometimes. So those are some of the things.

While we're at a dictionary, can I mention one more? Yeah, go for it, please. This one came out several years ago. It's called The Professor and the Madman.

Okay. I remember us talking about this. Yeah, The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester.

I feel like I remember it too. Yeah, I have the hard copy, but I also listen to it on Audible. And I don't want to mess it up for people, but it's a great book.

If you love words, if you love the idea of the dictionary, and you're like a little nerd, kind of geeky there, it's a great book to have. That sounds like something right on my alleyway. Let's just put it this way.

One of the major contributors to the Oxford English Dictionary was in prison for murder. Really? Wow. Should I go further? Yeah, go for it.

He was a doctor in the Confederate Army in America. Go figure that out. I'm sure the book sales would go up now. It's interesting, then, because even when you're reading for fun, there's still nonfiction. It's still stuff that you're learning and you're using, and you're building your repertoire of knowledge to help in your ministry and stuff. Is there ever stuff that you read that, even if it's related to your field, that you don't enjoy, where it's like, oh man, this is dull, but I have to get through it? Or do you always see the value of, I'm reading this, and even if I don't agree with this or if it's not a compelling read, it's still contributing to my growth and my understanding of the word? Yeah, there are books like that. I'm working through an introduction to the New Testament manuscripts and their text by D.C. Parker, David Parker. It is a very, very textual criticism of the New Testament book. So if you don't know that work, it's not going to be fun for you.

But it's tough to read through, but it's one that I love it. Right now, I have put it aside to just focus on the idea of paleography. Some reading articles that he has recommended on paleography, books that are the staple. These are like must read if you want to understand paleography. So I'm reading those books. I kind of set them aside for the past couple of months because of so much going on, but I'm going to go back to them. So those are, I would say, books like that.

I got you. Do you ever find that when you're reading, because something I think about a lot is, I'm reading this book and I see that I'm gaining from it. I'm understanding what this person is saying. But there's other things in there that I don't agree with. Am I able to pick and choose? I know as far as the Bible is concerned, the Bible is inerrant.

It's inspired. And yet there's so many different takes on it where I'm reading about this one small subject. And there's so many different people saying conflicting things.

Where do you know where to land? How do you know which authors do you trust? Which authors do I trust a little bit?

Who do I just stay away from entirely? I don't randomly read books. I don't just walk through Barnes and Nobles, pick up a book and start reading them. I feel like my time is limited.

I feel like anything can happen to anybody, anytime. So I'm going to spend my time, my resource, my time really, resourcefully. And so I make sure I research on that author. I make sure to know who is recommending him or her or whatever. And then I will make that purchase. So that's how I do it. So by the time you start reading the book, you already know whether you trust that author or not.

Right. And not as much like trust in the sense like we align. No, I will read books that I don't agree with. Like there's a book that I just heard on Audible sometime back and it's a great book. And I think if you are a conservative, if you are a believer, you need to maybe consider listening or reading this book. It's called Why Liberals Win the Culture Wars Even When They Lose Elections. Now I just want to go and tell you, the author is not conservative. He's not going along with biblical values, but he is saying something that we need to hear.

It's written by Stephen Prothero and it's a great eye opener because isn't that the truth? Like you win the election, but you still see the culture declining, moving away from biblical values? More often than not. Very much so. So what is happening?

Why is it that this is taking place? Of course right now we're sort of losing, hopefully not for long. So great time to regroup and ask that question. Why are we losing on culture?

Very true. On conservative values. Now as a whole, I believe Americans are conservative. I believe that not everybody is a Christian.

Of course not. But most more are conservative than they are not. But still, what's happening to our younger generation?

Why are we hearing them counter those biblical values that we raised them with? Why? So books like that, I don't agree with them, but I want to listen. I want to read. But you've got to be discerning. When you read books like that, you have to be discerning because you don't want to get sucked into that and say, yeah, let's be a liberal. So a word to the wise. Have you ever been reading a book and you found out maybe halfway through that you're wasting your time? Or is it, I guess you already kind of answered that. You say if I'm going to learn what I want to learn about it before I even buy it. Yeah. Usually I don't read books like that.

I'm very careful. Once in a while it'll happen where I'm reading a book and I already know the details. So now I'm going to start skipping because I feel like, OK, it was a great book. It's a good book. I agree with the book or I'm learning from the book, but not as much because I already know this information.

It's going to skip ahead a little bit. Yeah, because it's a more entry level book or something. If we're thinking about not necessarily reading for fun now, but growing spiritually, like spiritual edification, books to help me grow deeper in my faith, what are some resources that you found that have been helpful for you and resources that you'd recommend to other people? Wow.

That's a great question. To grow spiritually, I go to the classics. I read Knowing God by J.I.

Packer years ago, still one of my favorites to recommend to people. I've read books by C.S. Lewis. Again, great books to read. Of course, with C.S. Lewis, as with anybody, you have to be careful.

There's places you go, I don't know, not quite agree with him on that. But overall, spiritually, I would say a great help. I love Oswald Chambers. Would I agree with everything 100% that Oswald Chambers says? No, of course not.

But overall, I think he does a great job. I have a copy of an Adrienne Rogers book that you gave me years ago, I think Whatever New Christian Ought to Know. Whatever Christian Ought to Know. I remember that just lays out the foundations of the faith. Even though I had been saved for a good while, it lays out those basic principles in a way that you still find new life in it. That was a book that touched me that I didn't expect it to.

Absolutely. It's a great book to read. Would I say then read that? No, because I've moved past that point. I agree with all those things, but I have learned so much more through my years of studies, my doctoral work. But it's one I definitely recommend to somebody who's saying, I'm not sure. Where do I stand? What do I believe?

Just tell me what it is. Okay, read that book. But the longer you grow spiritually, and I hope consistently growing spiritually, you will say, well, that's a great book, but I already agree with all those things.

So don't sit there and read that again. I think as far as devotionals go, let's say someone wanted to start over. They wanted to start a new beginning. And let's say they had a time limit. Maybe a month, like 30 or so days to do that. If they had only 30 days to a new beginning. And they were like, it needs to really happen within this 30 days.

And I know that's kind of specific, but do you have any books that you would recommend? Well, let me think. As a matter of fact.

As a matter of fact, 30 days to a new beginning? Now, who wrote that? My wife and I. Oh, my good gracious. Which is out now. It's out right now.

Available now. I wanted to get that right, and I hate to plug right in the middle of the episode, but where would I? If you weren't going to, I was going to take it there, so I'm glad that you did.

I didn't mean to step on you. No, no, that's perfect. They are available in, right now, two different formats. They're available as a paperback. You can order it off of Amazon. Or you can order it as an eBook through Kindle.

Either the app on your tablet or your phone, and just take it with you wherever you go. And there's an Audible version coming soon. And if you're really a fan of the show, you could get all three. You could. I don't know why you would, but I do that. Sometimes I will get the book hard copy, and then I'll get it on Audible, too, so that when it's time to cut the light out, you just keep still. One added benefit that the hard copy does have that other versions don't, is it has a journaling section at the end of every chapter. So every chapter is set up where it's the topic to get you through that day, topic to consider that day. Then there's some scriptures to think on, which I love the way that you and Nicole have done that, Dr. Shaw. You have these scriptures, Old Testament and New Testament, that kind of feed into this idea of what the day is talking about. And then in the paperback version, there's a journal section to where you can jot down your thoughts, maybe write down a prayer that you have related to that specific day. And one of the beautiful things about that is that you can go back and reread the things that you've written down and see how God has met those needs, see how God has answered those prayers, and see how He's brought you to that new beginning. I think it's fantastic.

Yeah, absolutely. I'm so grateful not only to my wife, Nicole, for helping me on this project, but also to the team here, the guys sitting around this table behind the scenes over there with David and Kelsey. I'm doing a great job in helping us get this book out. And I know it's going to be a blessing to a lot of people.

Books are very important. Can I tell a story? Yeah, please. Go for it.

Sure. So back in 2000, when Nicole and I went to visit my mom and dad, my sister, and it was just Rebecca and Abigail at the time. And so we went, and I remember right next door was the Mission Bungalow. At one time, Dr. Fred Shellander used to live there, and he's the one who helped update the translation in Marathi, the Marathi Bible.

Very cool. So anyways, I told my dad, I said, I remember there were a lot of books in there and all that. He said, oh, yeah, the books got donated to the library at the Bible College where my dad was a president. So I said, oh, great, isn't any books left anyway? It's like, well, there is a room, there might be some books left there. You're welcome to go in there and look through, just be careful. Might be some snakes and lizards and whatever crawling around.

I'm like, I'll take my chances. Yeah. So I crawled in and went, you know, got into this Mission Bungalow, went into this one room and there were books everywhere.

Really? Not all of them were, they were not his Dr. Shellander's book. There were some of them were really my dad's books. Some of them were like these boxes of the same kind of books, you know, like Billy Graham's book, you know, whatever, Being Born Again, like 50 copies of them.

So whatever. But then I saw other books there. So I began to go through them and I'm like, wow, some of these books are pretty cool. So I stacked them up.

I was going to take them back to America with me. And I did. But I came across one book never expecting to be so impacted by that book. And that was E.M. Bounds, Power Through Prayer. And so I found that book in the Mission Bungalow, buried under dust and cobweb. And I began reading it. And I was blown away. This is back in 2000, blown away about prayer, the power of prayer, how the Holy Spirit works in our lives and how, you know, God is, you know.

And so long story short, I decided to do some research. Who is this guy, E.M. Bounds? Well, come to find out E.M. Bounds was a chaplain. Of course, he was a Methodist minister. But he was also back in the Methodist Episcopal Church when there was a merger. That's not today's United Methodist Church.

This is a different group altogether. But anyways, he was also a chaplain in the Confederate Army. He was there during the revivals that took place in the Confederate Army.

He was there. So anyways, I read his entire volumes on prayer. And then I even went to visit his home.

This is near Washington, Georgia. And went into the room where he would sit and pray sometimes all night. His prayer room. Yeah, his prayer room. And there are stories about people saying, you know, early in the morning you could see the light come on in his room and he would be up there praying.

He was a man of God. So, it's kind of amazing, all the way in this little town of Basawal, India, I find a book that ties all the way back to Georgia. Oh wow, that's wild. And it's made such a big impact. And I've suggested that book and I think David's read it.

It's crazy how God uses those seemingly insignificant books or those seemingly insignificant works to just transform someone's life. Yeah. That's really awesome. Wow, that's amazing. So, how much time do you have left?

We've got about four minutes left. So, for fun, this is Phantom. Oh, the Phantom. The Phantom. The Phantom comic book. I hadn't thought about the Phantom in years. I grew up reading the Phantom comic books.

Wow. And so, time to time at night before I go to sleep. You just got to, man.

I have to read some Phantom. You got to take a trip down memory lane. Man, you're sitting on a horse.

You're sitting on a horse with fire? Yes, that's right. Classic comic. This is Phantom. This is Phantom.

My dude is doing the most. I love it. I remember talking to you about the Phantom because I saw that movie years ago. And I was like, this is a strange movie. And I was captivated by it.

And every time I would try to tell somebody about it, they'd be like, what are you talking about? So, I mentioned it in passing. And Dr. Shaw was like, oh, yeah, the Phantom.

I think the Phantom had a radio show, too, way back in the day. Really? You know it?

I think so. My favorite superhero. Yeah, that was pretty cool.

Man has a horse and a dog, lives out in the jungle, has a wife. And, man, he's just amazing. That's awesome. That's really cool. That makes me happy. The comic book side of things, that makes me very, very happy. Well, if you guys enjoyed the discussion today, we'd love to hear from you what you read for fun, what books you're working through, things that you're working on.

You can send us a text at 252-582-5028, or you can e-mail us at contact at Don't forget, at that same website, you can support us financially. Every contribution that you make goes not only to supporting this show, but countless other ministries for building up the kingdom of God. That's right, and we're so grateful for all of those of you who have contributed, who have given. You are building up not only our radio ministry, but just like Ryan said, God's kingdom, and it's going out there to people who need to hear it. So we thank you for that very much. Absolutely.

John, do you have any last-minute advice for our listeners today? Yeah, I think just read. Read? Yeah. Just get into reading.

Get your hands literally on anything that you can, and anybody who ever wants to produce, anybody who wants to write or produce anything, if you don't read, you're not going to be able to do it. It's just like trying to drive your car with no gas. That's a great point. Of course, I would suggest read the Bible. Exactly.

Yes. Definitely, every day, read the Bible. Even if it's for five minutes, read the Bible. And then, I would say, focus on other things. Amen.

Absolutely. We love you guys. We'll see you today. Bye. Bye.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-29 10:11:01 / 2022-11-29 10:24:24 / 13

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