One of the best innovations Amazon has come up with is perhaps the anti-Kindle, namely their used book service. When you couple the huge selection of used books with free shipping through Amazon Prime, you can get some pretty good deals on older books. Honestly, a lot of newer books that I am interested in are little more than rehashed material that is often inferior to the older works, more shallow and aimed at a “pop culture” reading level. Easy to breeze through for sure, but not terribly challenging.
I just bought a couple of used books the other day. The first one is Walter Klassen’s Anabaptism in Outline: Selected Primary Sources, a fairly old collection of primary source citations from the founders of Anabaptism. I really wanted to get this book not as a “start on page one and read to the end” book but as a reference resource for early Anabaptists writers. I often hear people speaking negatively about the Anabaptists, and often in a slanderous way, even though they clearly have never read anything actually written by an Anabaptist and base virtually everything they know about Anabaptism on what they hear other people say (i.e. The White Horse Inn). If you want to know what the early Anabapists wrote about government or the Lord’s Supper or a myriad of other topics, you will find a decent collection of their writings on the subject in Klassen’s book. This is one that I have had in my “to buy later” list for some time but I didn’t want to pay full price for it. Used though? Good stuff and a nice reference for a decent price ($10 versus $22 for a new copy).
Those two just arrived but I have been reading a different used book I have owned for a while, Paul Jewett’s Infant Baptism and the Covenant of Grace, which sounds like a pro-infant baptism book but is actually a pretty devastating critique of paedobaptism. I am about a quarter of the way through and it is meaty reading. Jewett takes the time to deal with the supposed evidence for paedobaptism from the church fathers and as he walks through it, it becomes apparent that it is even weaker than it appears at first blush.
So that is what I am reading for anyone who cares!