Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Don't Check Your Brains at the Door: Know What You Believe and Why

Don't Check Your Brains at the Door: Know What You Believe and Why is a logical, witty resource written by Josh McDowell and Bob Hostetler, to help teens defend their faith. The book uses a mix of intelligent argumentation, and humorous, slightly sarcastic narrative to expose myths underlying common worldviews. This would be a perfect gift for high school or college students! In fact, you may even want to give multiple copies--one to keep and a couple to give away.

The book is arranged in sections such as "Myths about God," "Myths about Jesus," "Myths about the Resurrection," as well as "Myths about Religion and Christianity," and "Myths about Life and Happiness." Although the book is organized sequentially, readers could read chapters in any order, as the topics interest them.

In each chapter, McDowell and Hostetler explain the biblical response to a secular view. For example, "Wimpy Jesus: The Meek and Mild Myth," dispels the notion Jesus was "soft, sentimental and effeminate." Rather, McDowell uses biblical support to show Jesus exhibited "strength under control." The chapters also include a short Bible study, titled "Brain Food," which asks readers to dig deeper into the Bible.

The book lists many references in the "End Notes."

What I Like: I love McDowell's personal and humorous writing. While always respectful of the opposing viewpoint, he understands teen perspectives and taps into their humor. With frequent references to pop culture and concerns, such as Star Wars, advertising and postmodern thought, Don't Check Your Faith at the Door is relevant and engaging. McDowell never belittles readers who have doubts, since he became a Christian while trying to disprove Christianity.

McDowell isn't afraid to tackle tough subjects, either. He discusses issues such as the biblical view of sex, why bad things happen to good people, and why a loving God would "send" people to Hell. This is a great resource to strengthen teens' faith and to give to non-Christian friends.

I also appreciate the short, easy-to-read chapters, and the inclusion of Bible studies that will make teens think, but aren't overwhelming. Chapters are rarely longer than three pages, and the Bible study would usually take between ten and twenty minutes.

What I Dislike: Nothing!

Overall Rating: Excellent!

Age Appeal: 12-21

Publisher Info: Thomas Nelson, 2011; ISBN: 978-1-4003-1720-2; Paperback, 183 pages, $12.99

Buy it Now at Christianbook.com for $9.99.

OR Buy it at Amazon.com for $10.39.

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Donna Perugini said...

Your review came just in time. I'm teaching teen girls and have found they need much more now than ever! I'm clicking through to order.

cathartic writing said...

Teach them the way and they will follow.

Erin said...

Thanks, Donna and "Cathartic Writing." I hope you both enjoy the book. . . I found myself laughing, as well as reading bits to my husband and younger children. Reviewing these faith principles even helps when my own kids ask questions!

Thanks for reading CCBR! Erin