Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Review of Crash Course by Daniel Darling

Author: Daniel Darling

Pages: 224 pages

Publisher: New Hope Publishers

Price: 10.19

Genre: Youth/Christian Living/Teen Devotional

Quick Summary:

Crash Course is a self-described “fast-paced, 100 day journey to forming a solid foundation of faith for the rest of your life”. Each day features a one page devotional, a bottom line statement, a power prayer, a power passage, and an invitation to “own it”.

The devotionals are short and simple with catchy illustrations that provide solid nuggets of truth. The prayers are also simple yet pointed. The power passages are relevant to the devotional and not simply plucked out of nowhere. What may be unfamiliar to many devotional readers is Darling’s “own it” section. Here he encourages teens to dig deeper and really study the topic at hand.

What I Liked:

I love that Darling raises the bar for teenagers. He does not allow them to settle for a quick read and then done with your devotional time. His section encouraging students to “own it” is an excellent idea. This would make a pretty encouraging read for students during the summer months. The 100 days would be perfect for such an endeavor.

I also like that the author is very ecumenical in his beliefs. He is solid in the essentials and lenient in the non-essentials. As an example of this, on Day 18 Darling discusses Jesus’ second coming. He says this, “Christians disagree on the specifics of Jesus’ coming. Here is what I believe…” Then he discusses his belief in the Rapture, etc. As you are probably aware I disagree, but I thoroughly appreciate the way he worded this; he leaves room for disagreement.

This book is a simple way to whet the appetite of teenagers and fill them with solid orthodoxy without a ridiculous amount of struggle.

What I Disliked:

One of the things I dislike most about devotionals is their format. They are typically extra heavy on story, little exposition, and a nice little bible verse to tie it together. I do not fault the author as much as I do the system. I simply wish our devotions were more solidly geared on expositing texts rather than topics with Bible verses added on. But as far as teen devotions go this one is good, I just wish the whole genre were transformed.

Should You Buy It?

I am torn on this one. I think this book may be best suited for a junior high student that has recently been converted. If you are buying it for someone in that age range then this is an excellent resource.  But I could be wrong, it is quite possible that senior high students would like it to.  Just know your students.  If they are more established in the faith this may not be the book for them.  If, on the other hand, you have a decent group of new believers then this may be a great resource to put in front of them.

Rating 3.5 out of 5 Stars

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