I remember a time when I was in my early teenage years that I was just walking through the motions in my Christian life. All of that changed my freshmen year in high school when I went with the youth group from church on a mission’s trip to Tijuana, Mexico. On that trip, ministering in the heat to kids who had nothing changed me. Whether it was the experience of being on a missions trip, being around good friends or hearing good solid biblical teaching, I don’t remember, but I do remember that God used all of that experience, for the sake of His glory in my own life to ignite a passion for Himself that has not quenched but grown deeper and wider to this day.
In large part because of the experience on that missions trip God ignited a passion in my heart to study His Word that has led me to spend the last fifteen years studying not only His Word on own but to pursue two Masters degrees in the Bible and ministry and commit my life to knowing and making known the glory of Jesus to the nations. This is why as I read Real: Owning Your Christian Faith I kept thinking back to my teenage years and what would have happened if the Lord didn’t lead me and my mom to a godly church that preached the Word of God.
Real: Owning Your Christian Faith by my friend Dan Darling is an honest and raw look at how to help second-generation believers develop an authentic faith. While I am not a second-generation believer (I come from a long line of Protestant Christians), there was still much in this book that ministered to me because I grew up in the church, reading my Bible and learned what it meant to be a “good Christian” but quickly become sick of “good enough” Christianity. This is why I think Real: Owning Your Christian Faith is so important, because it will help those who grew up in the Church to not just stay where they are but to grow deeper through their struggles in the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
One of the things I appreciated the most about this book was Dan’s honesty. Since I have gotten to know Dan these past many months through video Skype calls, phone calls, texting each other and emails, I’ve been impressed by his earnest desire to not only allow others to speak into his life but also to question why things are the way they are in the Church. As we’ve talked the attitude has never been like many I’ve known to question God or the Bible, but rather to submit to the Bible and to make known personally for himself and to others the great truths of Scripture. This is exactly why Real is such an important book and one reason why I think reading it will help you to think through and know what real biblical Christianity looks like. Along the way of reading this book you will also be exposed to interviews which Dan has conducted by some of the leading young Christian thinkers in our day, men and women, such as Jon Acuff, Trevin Wax, Andrea Lucado, Jonathan Merrit and Drew Dyck.
This is from my endorsement of Real Owning Your Christian Faith:
Rarely does a book come along that combines faithfulness to the Bible, the Gospel, and practical suggestions that is as raw and creative as Real Owning Your Christian Faith is. Real: Owning Your Christian Faith written by my friend Dan Darling, a Pastor and seasoned Christian will not only help second generation Christians but every Christian to understand what it means to not play religious games, but to be an authentic and honest disciple of Jesus Christ. Reading Real: Owning Your Christian Faith will be a wakeup call not only to those who are apathetic but will also help those who minister to second generation Christians.
Author: Daniel Darling
Publisher: New Hope Publishers (2012)