Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Review of iFaith by Daniel Darling

You’ve certainly heard the old adage don’t judge a book by it’s cover.  That’s the case with this one.  Don’t get me wrong the cover is slick, cool, and I think somewhat innovative.  The book is about connecting with God in a 21st century world and so it’s marketed to a 21st century person.  So what you would expect inside are Twitter-esque sound bytes, not much depth, but a helpful little guide for a popular audience.  That’s really not the case. 

This book actually packs a punch.  There are some really profound and helpful chapters.  Not that I’m surprised, Darling is a good author.  But just looking at the cover you would not expect much discussion of suffering, struggling with God and faith, and prayer as venting to God. 

So I think this book is quite wonderful.  Darling, I believe, hopes to connect with the 21st century Christian and encourage us in our prayer life.  His writing is engaging, often humorous, and wonderfully biblical.  To this end he offers 10 chapters centered around the idea of connecting with God in our digital age. 

Each chapter looks at a different aspect of prayer and its relation to our hurried existence.  Darling discusses everything from what prayer looks like in the midst of having a meltdown to the effect of sin on our communication with God.  In the final chapter he offers six practical tips for growing closer to the Lord in our digital age. 

Whenever I read a book I am typically thinking of people that I want to read it.  As I read through this I think the perfect age group would be the hurried college student, the desperate single mom, the busy teacher, or the newly converted computer geek. 

Obviously Darling’s book doesn’t cover all there is to say about prayer.  No book can.  Nor does it really deal in depth with the effects of a digital age on our soul.  Darling’s approach seems to be, “we live in a hurried digital world, lets face it, now how do we relate to God in this environment”.  I think that approach is helpful and makes this book unique. 

I really only have one minor critique.  At the end of each chapter there are helpful question, resources, and places to look in Scripture.  That is helpful.  But what is not helpful is that there is minimal citing of sources.  There are some really good quotes but I would be left doing some pretty significant legwork to track them down.  Even a bibliography in the back would have been helpful. 

But that’s certainly not a major beef.  Those that read Christian books on a popular level (and not so much academic) will greatly benefit from reading this book.  Even those of us that are more “academic” would benefit from much of Darling’s advice in this book.  You can purchase it for 11 bucks at Amazon. 

Rating 4.5 out of 5 stars

You can check out more of Dan’s writing here.

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