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Real: Owning Your Christian Faith Paperback – July 10, 2012
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Whenever we start question time during family devotions, our middle daughter, Hannah, immediately starts shouting these answers while wearing the biggest smile you've ever seen. She's just thrilled to offer up what must be the right answer (she's paid enough attention to know that if she answers with "Jesus" she's going to be right at least 30-50 percent of the time).
While it's super-cute and warms my heart, it also makes me a little nervous.
Emily and I are first generation Christians. We came to faith as adults and, as parents, we are raising our kids in a home where Jesus is worshipped and the Bible is read and taught. While we understand that we can't parent our kids into being Christians, we desperately want to see them "own" their faith (should they ever profess faith).
Daniel Darling's been there--not as a first generation Christian, but as the child of. As such, he understands an important truth: that faith isn't automatic--if the second generation is going to continue a legacy of faith, they can't be satisfied with second-hand experiences. And that's what I so appreciate about his new book, Real: Owning Your Christian Faith. In this book, Darling addresses the unique challenges the second generation faces and offers great encouragement and occasionally some necessary correction to those seeking to raise their kids in the faith.
Reading the book, right away a couple of common themes popped out.
First, it seems that there's an assumption that second generation kids don't struggle with sin--as though, because their parents were saved and are super passionate about their faith, they're somehow immune to original sin.Read more ›
A lot of second generation Christians know the truth but don't live it out either because they don't want to or because the Christian life has been poorly modeled. Darling, in his book "Real", teaches in easy to understand concepts and examples how Christians can own their own faith and have an intimate relationship with God.
Each chapter follows with a conversation with a pastors, ministry leader and/or their children that further enlighten the concepts he has presented in that chapter. It's not another do this and you will find intimacy book. It is a practical book which opens the door to God's joy if only you will look inside God's heart.
My favorite chapter was "Chucking Your Checklists". God isn't looking for another Pharisee trying to prove our worth to Him by obeying a set of rules. The Christian life is not about jumping the bar someone else has imposed. It's about embracing God's standards as a means of grace so we can experience intimacy with Christ. The conversation with Trevin Wax helped me understand that sometimes I see myself as following Christ when really I'm just another Pharisee seeking approval.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author to review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Author Daniel Darling is a second-generation Christian, raised in the church and working most of his adult life on staff at church where he grew up. Today, though, he is pastor at Gages Lake Bible Church in the Chicago area. He, like most modern church leaders, is concerned about the number of young people leaving the church once they're grown and on their own.
In REAL, Darling challenges those who grew up in the church to "step off the cliff" and claim the Christian faith for themselves. Know what you believe, why you believe it, and show what you believe by helping others and telling them about Jesus. But, don't think you're better than a brand-new Christian just because you've been around longer. In the twelve chapters, he addresses reasons Christians might leave the faith or have problems sticking with it. He offers solutions, but he does not preach. He interweaves his points with personal stories, Bible examples, and a gentle teaching style that makes you want to keep reading. Each chapter ends with an interview with a well-known Christian like Max Lucado's daughter.
In the introduction, Darling says the purpose of the book is to "awaken second-generation believers to a fresh intimacy with the risen Savior, Jesus Christ." I think he will accomplish his purpose. Read it, share it with friends, and/or use it as a group-study book.
See his website: [...]
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a review copy of this book free from the author.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I grew up in a Southern Baptist church and my dad became a pastor of a small church when I was a teen. Read morePublished on December 11, 2012 by Sherri Johnson
Daniel Darling, pastor and author of several books including Crash Course: Forming a Faith Foundation for Life, Teen People of the Bible: Celebrity Profiles of Real Faith and... Read morePublished on October 14, 2012 by Keiki Hendrix