Monday, October 6, 2008

Review of Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris

Author: Alex and Brett Harris

Pages: 242 pages

Publisher: Multnomah

Price: 11.55

Genre: Youth/Christian Living

Quick Summary:

Do Hard Things is a book written by teens to teens. The foundational impetus for this book is that teenagers are being sold short and are selling themselves short. As a response Alex and Brett Harris have founded The Rebelution; a teenage rebellion against low expectations. This book is their “revolutionary message in its purest and most compelling form”.

The first four chapters of the book are an attempt to cause many to rethink the way the teen years a viewed. Each chapter is laying the foundation and challenging teenagers to “do hard things”. But what exactly does it mean to do hard things? The second section of the book (Chapter’s 5-9) provides a picture of “doing hard things”. The Harris brothers list five types of hard and give practical examples throughout of doing hard things in these areas. In the last section, we are given real life examples of teenagers that are part of The Rebelution. It would also be negligent to not mention the appendix: Do Hard Things, The Gospel, and You.

What I Liked:

There is much in this book to like. The writing style is very fluid and catchy. It is a very easy read but also one that has the ability to stir up your heart. The first part of the book, at least in my opinion, shines the brightest. The second and third section are necessary to help us see what The Rebelution looks like but I was sold on the first part. The Myth of Adolescence and A Better Way are two really great chapters. These teens know their culture and are impacting it in a profound way.

As a youth pastor I made an effort to get this book in the hands of every one of our teenagers. We went through this book in our Sunday School meetings and most of the students liked it, and some were excited about joining The Rebelution. This book, or at least all of the principles behind it, needs to catch on in our churches and within our youth culture.

What I Disliked:

This book will not solve all of the problems within teen culture nor is it meant to. However, there does seem to be something that is missing with this book. It pains me to say it because I expected the exact opposite, but the thing that seemed to missing was a Christ-centered, gospel-centered, appeal to rebel against low expectations. By no means is the gospel left out. The Harris brothers are always quick to point to God and many of their stories include the living out of the gospel. But there is a sense in which the gospel seems to take a back seat to social change. Would they consider someone a Rebelutionary that started a grass roots political campaign but never came to know and share in the glory of Christ? It is clear that their intent is to “do hard things for the glory of God” but does that really happen when unbelievers are merely creating social change?

Should You Buy It?

If you are an old codger that disdains and is bothered by the plight of youth culture then you need to read this book to see why teens are the way they are and what you can do about it. If you are a blissfully ignorant teenager then you need to read this book. If you work with teenagers and are beating your head against the wall this might be a good book for you. Simply put, if you have ever seen a teenager then this might be a good read for you. In my opinion this book is a seed of something really great. Be a part of it, buy the book.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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