There are many benefits to study secular literature. One reason is to better learn about different cultures, and another to be able to present the gospel in a clear and understandable way. By reading secular literature one can learn how to communicate and relate in a given context. By reading African-American literature one might learn of struggles and needs of a community that may go unheeded, if it were not for reading something related to the African-American community. Perhaps, studying Jewish literature one can gain a glimpse into the Jewish Culture and be better informed of the Jewish world view. This in turn, leads one to be better equipped to develop relationships that can lead to conversations about Jesus.
Through the study of literature, one can gain skills in the study of scripture. One can better handle the books of poetry or the books of wisdom and narratives. The study of literature develops critical thinking skills that will lead to better exegesis of scripture causing better expositional writing, and improved apologetics/evangelism. Through the study of extra-biblical literature one can develop a better understanding of the bible and its cultural contexts. The study of literature is one of the best (and cheapest) ways to explore and better understand our world, the people in it, and the increasing need to share Jesus.