Monday, April 19, 2010

Book Review: Crash Course Faith Foundation for Life

book cover

Crash Course:
Forming a Faith Foundation for Life
by Daniel Darling

Trade Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: New Hope Publisher
First Released: 2010

Author Website

Source: Review copy from the publisher.

Book Description (from author's website, slightly modified):
Life contains more surprises and twists than most teens could ever imagine. These unforeseen, often difficult, events routinely lead to doubt, worry, and anxiety. Crash Course, a 100-day devotional for teens, encourages teens to form a solid foundation of faith in God’s Word that will support them when life’s obstacles come harder and faster. This unique 100-day devotional is a crash course on life for young people ready to face life on their own.

It will help them develop a faith they can confidently defend, make their faith one they can call their own, build a faith that endures through difficulties, champion a faith that conquers compromise, and grow in a faith that depends on Christ and not themselves.

Crash Course is divided up into 5 key areas:

* Doctrine – Know what you believe and why
* Decisions – How to make good choices
* Devotion – How to stay connected to God.
* Direction – Finding God’s purpose for your life.
* Delight – Discovering joy in a hard world.

Crash Course is a 100 day devotional aimed at teenagers, but it's written simply enough that ages 8-18 would all get something out of it. It's written in a conversational tone and was easy to understand.

The author gave one or two Bible verses, then a very brief illustrative story and an explanation of the day's concept based on those verses. He then suggested other resources for in-depth study (like other Bible verses to look up or another book or website or YouTube video on the subject).

Though each day's lesson was brief, his explanation was clear, concise, and covered the most important points. The lessons usually built on each other, were Bible-based, and were Christ-focused.

Section One covered subjects like God, Christ, Holy Spirit, the Trinity, the Bible, Creation, Sin, Satan, Heaven, Hell, Baptism, Communion. His explanations were consistent with what most Protestant denominations teach. If there is some conflict in teachings (like the when of Rapture), he mentioned that before he explained what he believes.

Section Two covered subjects like God knows everything about you, cares for you, intends good toward you, wants you to show love toward others, and how to determine God's will for your life.

Section Three covered making decisions--by seeking God, who do you ask for advice, who influences your decisions, deciding on friends, dating, your future job, how to spend your money, etc.

Section Four covered making your faith your own, how to overcome temptation and sin, and how to grow and help others grow in their faith.

Section Five covered handling changes and sorrow, forgiveness, the source of happiness, getting you focus right, etc.

Overall, I'd highly recommend this devotional to youth, especially to those who might not have a firm foundational understanding in these areas.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt (pages 14-15)

Why is one truth better than any other truth?

A few years ago, Angela and I were visiting South Bend, Indiana. As a football fan, I wanted to see the Notre Dame Hall of Fame, where the legend of Knute Rockne lives. We parked at the university's information office and grabbed a campus map. It's not a very big campus, but big enough for us to lose our way. Instead of ending up at the football stadium, we arrived at the performing arts center.

The problem wasn't the map. The problem was the person holding the map. There was only one way to the football stadium, and we didn't take it.

The Bible is the map for life. It says that Jesus is the only way to reach God. But people often want to say, "That's your version of truth, I've got mine."

Well, you might have your beliefs and I might have mine, but there can only be one right way.

Imagine if I took that Notre Dame campus map and tossed it aside in favor of a map more to my liking. I might discover a lot of cool buildings, but probably wouldn't see the inside of the stadium.

That's what happens to those who reject the truth. They're headed for a life of confusion and may never end up where they were intended to be: safe in the arms of God.

Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6

Truth is a matter of life and death. If Jesus Christ is the only way, then all other ways to God are false in their basis--and are paths to destruction.

For a good comparison of world religions, check out They Can't All Be Right: Do All Spiritual Paths Lead to God? by Steve Russo.

POWER PRAYER: Dear God, I don't want to live a life of confusion. Help me to discover the truth as only You can reveal it.

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