Ryan and Josh were like so many young people in church today. They looked like such nice young Christians, but underneath that outer appearance, they had a huge inner hunger gnawing at them. They decided to give up on church. That life was even worse.
Their experience is common for kids who grow up in church. Most young people between sixteen and twenty-six experience a faith crisis.
Ryan and Josh discovered that what they thought was their faith wasn't. It was their parents' faith, their youth pastor's. It was something they had inherited. It was secondhand faith.
What is described in this book is how to experience firsthand faith – faith that is centered deep in your mind and heart. Ryan and Josh lay out the truths that helped them as they pursued their firsthand faith. They tackle the problems people experience on their journey. They use their own experience as the basis for this book, but they also share the experiences of others.
Subjects they write about include God getting our attention, being honest, real change, forgetting the checklist, questioning and doubting, and getting into community. They end each chapter with a Think About It section of questions and then, Might Try This, one or more suggestions.
There is more to Christianity than living by someone else's faith. Ryan and Josh invite you along on their journey to a life of real and personal relationship with God. It will take time and effort but the fruit will be the kind of life you were created for. If you a cynical about the church, are new to Christianity, or just want to strengthen your faith, this book will be an encouragement.
Go to http://firsthandbook.com/ to watch a short video, read the first chapter, and join in the discussion.
A note on the size of the book. The print is large and the lines per page are few (just 26 while most books have 35 to 40). So the actual word content of the book is equivalent to 130 to 150 pages.
Ryan Shook is a filmmaker and blogger. A graduate of Baylor University, he and his wife live in Los Angeles, California.
Josh Shook is a musician, song writer and graduate of Belmont University. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee.
WaterBrook Press, 208 pages.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.