Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Book Review: Firsthand: Ditching Secondhand Religion for a Faith of Your Own by Ryan and Josh Shook

Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Company encouraged me to read and review the first chapter of Firsthand today. I haven’t received my printed copy yet and I wanted to be a part of the release day reviews.

Ryan and Josh Shook show in Firsthand: Ditching Secondhand Religion for a Faith of Your Own they were not alone when they were going through doubts in their Christian faith walk. They conducted a survey from about 300 different strangers about hardships/abandonment of their Christian faith and some of those responses are used in this book. There is a section called “Making it Real” at the end of each chapter, which is divided up into three parts: 1) “Other Voices” (other people’s stories), 2) “Think About It” (questions to reflect), and  3) “Might Try This” (action steps that can be taken to put into action what was learned).

The first chapter gave a wonderful introduction about the purpose of the book in both Ryan and Josh’s voice. Usually it’s hard for me to read a book when I cannot understand which author is speaking but I didn’t struggle with it in the first chapter. I sensed that there are two very experienced young adults behind this book who know what it’s like for people to question their faith, especially during the ages mentioned of sixteen to twenty-six. They take it a step further and get other people just like the readers involved to make the issues presented more real, they ask them questions that relate to the topics of each chapter. The reflection questions and the action steps bring the topic more to life for the reader also.

This book is great not only for young adults but for adults who have wavered from their faith and need to renew their relationship with Jesus again. The stories will bring the older readers back to times where they can remember letting go of their faith, or when they picked it back up.

I received the first chapter of “Firsthand” free from Waterbrook Multnomah for this review. I was not required to write a review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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