Monday, April 15, 2013


by Ryan & Josh Shook

Reading the first line in this book, “Hi, we’re Ryan and Josh Shook, two brothers in our twenties”, my first thought was “oh great I guess I’ll just get through this book and move on”.  However, as I read on, this is turning out to be one of the favorite books I’ve read this year.  Ryan and Josh are open and honest and have an easy writing style.  If they knocked on my door today, I would welcome them in with, put the coffee on and we’d have great conversations (and hopefully my son and son-in-laws would be there too.)

The subtitle of this book is “Ditching Secondhand Religion for a Faith of Your Own”.   This book is written by two young men who know this generation to their generation at a time when it is urgent.  

I love the chapter names chosen for this book and also the subtitles; Soul Thirst, A Faith That Fills Emptiness, or Trashing the Checklists, A Faith Focused on Relationship, to name a couple.  Just the names could stir up great discussion and they reveal how so many this age are feeling.

I love the quotes by different people at the beginning of each chapter.  One of my favorites is “It is more important to live one word of Scripture than it is to memorize volumes” (Tim Hansel).  

The authors are not fake nor do they pretend know it all.  Their strong faith comes through only because they truly have a “firsthand” faith and have a passionate desire to share it with others.

This book is like a no nonsense discussion that really makes sense.  From the interviews where others answer hard questions to the easy ideas the brorthers offer and even the videos posted online that go along with book; this is a great book.  I would buy it for gifts and recommend it to parents who wish to communicate to their kids that you don’t want them to just adopt your faith but to experience a relationship with Christ “firsthand”.

I thought the reason I ordered this book was because I could get hard copy from Waterbrook Press in exchange for my review, which I did.  But God had a higher purpose in mind.  This book was sitting on my kitchen counter when my friend Sally dropped by.  Sally & her husband and 27 year old son have been going though a tragedy.  She had heard about this book and  was planning on buying it to leave it in her son’s house, and now here it is, sitting on my counter, ordered just for that purpose.

Thank you God!  And thanks Waterbrook Press.