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“Seven in 10 Protestants ages 18 to 30—both evangelical and mainline—who went to church regularly in high school said they quit attending by age 23, according to the survey by LifeWay Research.” (USA Today)
Don’t Check Your Brains at the Door gives teens answers that make sense, even for the toughest of questions. Internationally known defender of the faith Josh McDowell and co-author Bob Hostetler offer clarity laced with humor to expose common myths about God, the Bible, ...
“Seven in 10 Protestants ages 18 to 30—both evangelical and mainline—who went to church regularly in high school said they quit attending by age 23, according to the survey by LifeWay Research.” (USA Today)
Don’t Check Your Brains at the Door gives teens answers that make sense, even for the toughest of questions. Internationally known defender of the faith Josh McDowell and co-author Bob Hostetler offer clarity laced with humor to expose common myths about God, the Bible, religion, and life to show how Christianity stands up to the test of fact and reason. Teens will be better equipped to stick with their faith as they begin to understand why they believe and why it’s important to make a lifetime commitment to Christ and the church.
Examines common myths about God, religion, and life that contradict God's Word.
The Killjoy Myth
Many people imagine God as a cosmic cop standing in the center of the galaxies like a policeman directing traffic.
"Hey, you! Yeah, you. You look like you're having fun over there. Well, cut it out!
"And you, with the movie. What's it rated? R? PG-13? Hand it over, slow and easy-like!
"And who's that couple lip-locked in that dark corner? That you, Cindy? And David—I shoulda known. We'll have no more of that. Not while I'm patrolling this beat."
God. The Cosmic Killjoy. All we want to do is have a little fun. God just wants to spoil it for us.
Conversely, we imagine the devil as a fun-loving imp. Comedian Flip Wilson popularized the phrase, "The devil made me do it," as if the devil is a "good ol' boy" who only wants to help us enjoy ourselves.
That's a lie.
The devil doesn't care if you have fun. He hates your guts. He will eat you up. Peter says that the devil is always "seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8 KJV).
A group of tourists in the Holy Land were told by their guide, "You're probably used to seeing shepherds in your country driving sheep through fields and roads. But in Palestine things are different; the shepherd always leads the way, going before the flock."
Much to the amusement of the tourists, the first flock of sheep they saw was being driven, not led. Embarrassed, the guide asked the man, "How is it that you are driving these sheep? I've always understood that shepherds here lead the sheep."
"Oh," replied the man. "That's true. The shepherd does lead his sheep. But I'm not the shepherd. I'm the butcher."
Satan is a butcher. He is not interested in giving you pleasure or happiness. He is interested only in driving you to destruction.
Jesus put things in perspective and exploded this myth when He said, "The thief [Satan] comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that [you might] have life, and have it to the full" (John 10:10).
The devil doesn't care if you have fun. He only wants to steal and kill and destroy you.
God does not want to spoil your fun. He wants you to enjoy life and enjoy it to the full. He wants you to experience the sort of happiness that people long for, the "eternal pleasures" the psalmist talked about:
You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalm 16:11
* Read 1 Peter 5:8. How does this verse portray Satan? Why?
* Read Job 2:1–8. What does the devil want to happen to Job? Why?
* Read Zechariah 3:1. What is Satan doing to Joshua in this verse?
* Read Revelation 12:10. This verse speaks of Satan. What does it say he does "day and night"? From what you read in Job and Zechariah, can you determine to whom "our brothers" refers? Does it include you?
The Impersonal Force Myth
Luke Skywalker, having just escaped from the Sand People, stands in the spartan dwelling of Obi-Wan Kenobi on the planet of Tatooine. Luke has just learned that Obi-Wan was a Jedi Knight who had fought in the Clone Wars with Luke's father. ObiWan gives him a lightsaber that once belonged to Luke's father and, in the course of the conversation, mentions "the Force."
"The Force?" Luke says.
Obi-Wan responds, "Well, the Force is what gives the Jedi his power. It's an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together."
That concept of the Force, which occurs throughout the immensely popular Star Wars movies, has a familiar ring to it. That is because "the Force" is what many people imagine God to be. They picture God as a faceless, formless "energy," an impersonal "force," that mysteriously surrounds and guides the universe.
But that's a myth.
Oh, God does surround and guide the universe. He is present everywhere. He is Spirit. But He is not some mysterious "force," not some elusive "energy" that's just "out there somewhere." He is not a "thing," an "it." The astounding thing about God is that He is a personal God.
"I love those who love me," He says, "and those who seek me find me" (Proverbs 8:17). Notice the personal pronouns God uses to refer to Himself: "I ... me ... me ... me." Does that sound like some "cosmic energy?"
Far from being an impersonal force, God is often referred to in the Bible as "the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob." He spoke His name to Moses. He revealed Himself to the boy Samuel. He spoke to Isaiah in the temple. He told Jeremiah, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you" (Jeremiah 1:5). Throughout his writings the apostle Paul called Him "my God." King David called Him "a father to the fatherless, a defender of widows" (Psalm 68:5). And all Christians have received the "Spirit of sonship," so that we may call Him "Abba, Father" (Romans 8:15).
God, the true God, is personally interested in you. He knows your name. "See," He says to His people, "I have engraved you on the palms of my hands" (Isaiah 49:16). "He cares for you," the apostle Peter says (1 Peter 5:7). Jesus says that "even the very hairs of your head are all numbered" (Matthew 10:30). And God promises, "Call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart" (Jeremiah 29:12–13). That's a promise you may take personally.
* Read Jeremiah 29:12–13 in the last paragraph of this chapter. Circle each personal pronoun ("I," "me," "you," and "your") in those verses.
* Locate the portion of Jeremiah 1:5 quoted in the second-to-last paragraph. Circle the personal pronouns in that brief reference.
* Read Moses' encounter with God in Exodus 3:1–15. How does God identify Himself to Moses in verse 6? By what name does He call Himself in verse 14? How many times does God use the pronoun "I" in these verses? (Count them and write the answer here: _________.)
The Father Christmas Myth
OK, God, I'm gonna give You a chance to prove Yourself."
Bob knelt beside his bed. He was seven years old and wanted fiercely to believe in God. So he bent his unruly red head over folded hands and continued.
"I really want to believe in You, God. So when I wake up in the morning, if there's a million dollars under my bed, I'll know You're real. And I'll never doubt You again."
He didn't get the million dollars.
Maybe it was because he wanted the money more than he desired God. Maybe, too, the money wasn't there in the morning because a million dollars (he expected it in one-dollar bills) wouldn't fit under the bed with the Monopoly game (which, if you're wondering, in those days only included about fifteen thousand dollars in fake cash), G.I. Joe action figures, comic books, dirty clothes, and dust bunnies occupying so much space.
Probably, though, the reason he didn't get the money had more to do with a mistaken idea about God. Bob imagined God to be like a vending machine: you deposit a prayer, push the right button, and your wish is fulfilled. He imagined God to be a Father Christmas figure who waited in the uncharted expanse of space to fulfill his wish list. If he prayed hard enough and believed hard enough, God would plop down everything a seven-year-old heart desired.
That's understandable for a child. Un fortunately, many people carry their perceptions of God as a Divine Vending Machine into adulthood. They never advance beyond the Father Christmas Myth in their understanding of God.
God loves to answer prayer. He says, "Call to me and I will answer you" (Jeremiah 33:3). He even promises, "Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear" (Isaiah 65:24).
But prayer is not a coin to be inserted in a vending machine, and faith is not a button you push. God does not submit to our whims and wishes. No matter how hard seven-year-old Bob prayed for that million dollars, no matter how fervently he believed, he would not have found it under the bed the next morning. Not because God doesn't love him. Not because God doesn't answer prayer. Not even because there was no room under the bed. The million bucks never came because Bob was not really praying; he was wishing.
Contrary to the Father Christmas Myth, God is not some heavenly vending machine for the dispensing of gifts and favors. He transcends our petty wishes. He is Almighty God, Love Incarnate. He longs for His children to return the love He has lavished upon them. He wants us to love Him, not things. He wants us to seek Him, not answers to greedy prayers. He wants us to obey Him, not because it might get us a million dollars, but because we love Him and want to please Him.
And, ironically, when we advance in knowledge beyond the image of the Vending Machine God, His Word promises that we can "have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him" (1 John 3:21–22). The question is, when you live your life in communion with God, who gave His only Son to die for our sins and loves you beyond anything you can imagine, what will you ask for?
Each of the following verses indicates a condition for answered prayer that can be expressed in four words or less. Write those words on the lines below.
2 Chronicles 7:14 ______________________________________
Jeremiah 29:13 _______________________________________
Mark 11:24 ____________________________________________
James 5:16 ___________________________________________
1 John 5:14 ___________________________________________
The Good Teacher Myth
Devils and Underdevils, come to order!"
An unholy convocation of fallen angels commenced in the cavernous meeting room of Underearth.
"This session has been ordered by the Evil One himself to discuss and decide a strategy that will prevent humans from turning to the Enemy. A suggestion has been offered by Toescum."
A hideous, wart-faced devil rose from the front row and turned to face the devilish assembly.
"My despised colleagues," Toescum began, "I propose that our darkstars assigned to the world's cults and 'isms' and organized religions put forth the idea that the Enemy's Son was a 'good teacher.'"
"Curse you, Toescum!" spewed an objector who had risen to his horny feet on Toescum's right. "You should be cannibalized by the Assembly for suggesting friendly treatment of the Enemy's Son!" Several demons around Toescum licked their crusted lips in anticipation.
"You imbecile," Toescum retorted. "This is no friendly treatment I propose." He straightened proudly. "My suggestion is truly diabolical."
Another devil stood.
"How can you call such a simpleminded idea 'diabolical'?"
"Because," he replied, "to label Him a 'good teacher' will effectively class Him with Moses, Zoroaster, Mohammed ... it is to damn Him with faint praise."
A silence of realization descended on the crowd.
"Don't you see, you half-wits? If humans believe He is only a 'good teacher,' they can dismiss His Lordship, His divinity."
"No," responded a devil called Spewbile. "They'll never fall for that! He Himself made it very clear He is the Son of God."
"Spewbile's right," said another. "Humans have the Book. They know that He said Himself, 'Before Abraham was born, I am!' (John 8:58). They've read His words about the glory He shared with the Father before the world began."
"Yes, you fool," Spewbile added. "They know He claimed the power to read men's minds and hearts and to forgive sins. They have His words, 'I have come down from heaven' (John 6:38). They know that He claimed the power to raise Himself from the dead and that witnesses confirmed His resurrection. They're not so foolish as to think a mere man, a 'good teacher' could do those things!
"And," asserted Spewbile with finality, "they will recognize that if those things He claimed about Himself were not true, then He was not a 'good teacher.' ... He was a liar or a lunatic!"
A murmur arose in the room. Some demons around Toescum again licked their lips and looked at him with hungry eyes, but he appeared confident.
"I must remind my contemptible comrades of the human tendency that allows us such frequent success. Mortals will often choose a lie even when they know the truth. As the Enemy's Son Himself said in one of His stories in the book of Luke, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead'" (16:31).
Toescum's lips parted in a sneer as he sat down. The hungry demons surrounding him exchanged disappointed glances.
"Toescum's proposal," bellowed the chairman, "meets with the approval of the Demonic Council. The propagation of the 'Good Teacher Myth' is now an official strategy of Hell."
Match the verse references on the next page with Jesus' claims about Himself.
Matthew 5:17 I have the authority to lay down my life and the authority to take it up again.
Matthew 12:8 I have told you everything ahead of time.
Matthew 24:30 If anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.
Mark 2:10 The Son of Man will come on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.
Mark 13:23 The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.
Luke 12:9 I am the Messiah.
Luke 22:70 The Son gives life.
John 4:25–26 He who disowns me before men will be disowned before God.
John 5:21 I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live.
John 8:51 The Son of Man has the authority to forgive sins.
John 10:18 I have come to fulfill the Law.
John 11:25 You are right in saying that I am the Son of God.
From these verses, do you think Jesus left any doubt that He was the Son of God?
The Superstar Myth
Andrew Lloyd Webber's rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar opened in the early 1970s to mixed reviews of "blasphemy!" and "inspirational!" In the play, Mary Magdalene sings a song about Jesus called "I Don't Know How to Love Him" that became a radio hit.
In addition to portraying Mary Magdalene's romantic infatuation with Jesus (which has no basis in Scripture), the song contains a lyric that reinforces a popular myth about Christ. Mary sings, "He's a man / He's just a man."
That's a myth.
Jesus is a man. He was born as a human in a stable among cattle; the stench of dung and urine was among the first smells to greet His newly exposed senses.
But contrary to the Superstar Myth, that's not all He is. The Bible describes clearly the dual nature of Christ: "Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness" (Philippians 2:6–7).
For centuries men have wrestled to comprehend that duality of Jesus' nature. Sometimes Christians (and non-Christians, like the talented Andrew Lloyd Webber) have emphasized Jesus' humanity to the point that they have obscured His divinity. Others have made the opposite mistake. As a result, many people's understanding of Jesus Christ is partial. But the teaching of God's Word is clear. He is "God with us" (Matthew 1:23); yet He is also, in every respect, "the man Christ Jesus" (1 Timothy 2:5).
Excerpted from DON'T CHECK YOUR BRAINS AT THE DOOR by Josh McDowell Bob Hostetler Copyright © 2011 by Josh McDowell and Bob Hostetler. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
|About the Author/Acknowledgements||iv|
|Important Message to the Group Leader||v|
|About the Material||vi|
|Session 1||Know Why You Believe||1|
|Session 2||Defending the Faith||17|
|Session 3||Uniqueness of the Bible||29|
|Session 4||The Reliability of Scripture||42|
|Group Leader Evaluation||56|
Posted July 31, 2011
This book present apologetics in a lively, easy-to-relate manner to these young people.
I like the way the chapters are presented - short and crisp! Each chapters contain only 2 - 3 pages, can be easily read in a few minutes. The best part is the 'Brain Food' section found at the end of each chapter - more serious stuffs for those to go further and more detailed on that topic.
In short, this is a highly recommended! Highly recommended apologetic book for young people....
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Posted July 27, 2011
I just got through reading "Don't Check Your Brains At The Door" by Josh McDowell and Bob Hostetler and I tried to think back to when I was a teenager in the youth group with questions about Christianity when I read this book and come to the realization this book could or would have helped me during this time in my life. This book is geared toward teens and older children who are at that stage in their lives when they start wondering what why they believe the things they do. This little guidebook is real easy to understand and puts thing on their level. Each reading is broken down with a little extra verse reading at the end to back up and make you think about what the authors are trying to convey to the reader. I would certainly recommend this to a youth who is questioning their faith.I just got through reading "Don't Check Your Brains At The Door" by Josh McDowell and Bob Hostetler and I tried to think back to when I was a teenager in the youth group with questions about Christianity. In this wonderful book from Josh McDowell and Bob Hostetler, they write about how you can know what you believe about your faith and also to know why it is true. It is written mainly for teens in today's society; however, I enjoyed this book in reminding myself why I believe certain things. The authors take an approach of exposing certain myths that teens may believe or hear about their faith. They back up how the myths are not true with Scriptures from God's Word. They use humor as well to relate to today's teens which is wonderful. I also love that at the end of the chapters it causes you to dig deeper by looking up Scriptures to look farther into the lesson they have taught. I mainly requested this book to review because we are the teen leaders at our church and I thought it would be a good resource to have. I am also going to keep it for when my children are older and have questions about their faith or when their peers may challenge their faith.
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Posted April 14, 2014
Posted October 14, 2012
Im enjoying this book a whole lot. Im in a Bible class at my
co-op and my teacher is really useing this book to its fullest.
Even though some people think its going to be a stupid book sence its got tittles like " The vending-mechine God " what ever happened to the don't judge a book by its cover saying the tittles my be a bit silly but im in jr. High and Im enjoying it. It really helps explain what Iv'e had questions about. I think you will enjoy the book alot better if you have a teacher teaching it to you but if you don't its still a good book to read even if your not a Christian.
Posted December 7, 2011
Don't Check Your Brains At The Door is a well laid out book about apologetics for students. It is broken into six different sections on different myths about the Christian faith. Within those sections are even more detailed chapters. The authors do a great job of covering a large amount of information in a fairly short amount of pages. I think this book is great! It would be perfect for a middle school to early high school small group Bible study or Sunday School. The layout is perfect for a group study or even on your own. While DCYBATD doesn't necessarily break any new ground in apologetics for teens, I think it is a great introduction into different myths about Christianity. I would definitely recommend this book to my students! I do, however, think it is better suited for guys or maybe a guys and girls group, but probably not just for girls. While the information is relevant to either, I think it appeals more to guys. It mixes stories, Scriptures, and facts together to create a great book for any teen looking to deepen their understanding of the different aspects of their faith. Get the book for your small group, Sunday School, or even just to go through with your own child! *I was provided with a free copy of this book to review by Book Sneeze*Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 8, 2011
Don't Check Your Brains at the Door
By: Josh McDowell & Bob Hostetler
I am so glad I decided to review this book! Don't Check Your Brains at the Door is written with teens and young adults in mind, but it is full of information that anyone would benefit from knowing. The book takes myths and holds them up to the light of God's Word, showing them for what they are - myths. It was written in easy to read and understand language. It is full of down to earth and Biblically based information. Plus, each of the forty-two chapters ends with a "you check out what the Bible says" section. One doesn't have to just take the word of the author, but is encouraged to check out the information on their own.
It would be a very fitting book for youth group, home school, or other Bible studies. It could also be easily adapted for new Christians and/or seekers. Too many people today are not grounded in the Word and thus fall for the myths that the world dishes out. This book exposes many of those myths in a way that teens can relate to. My teen doesn't know it yet, but this book is going to be part of her high school Bible curriculum.
Thank you Thomas Nelson publishing for supplying a copy of this book in exchange for a review.
Posted September 2, 2011
This is a great book geared more for the teen audience that gives answers to questions that teens may have and provides solid information on the "whys" of the beliefs of Christianity in an easy to understand format. The chapters grouped in sections such as, "Myths about God", "Myths about Jesus", "Myths about the Bible", and "Myths about Life and Happiness". Each mini-topic is only two to three pages long, and ends with a list of "Brain Food" for the reader to digest which includes scripture references and questions to tie in the topic addressed. I thought that the authors did a great job of including most of the topics that young adults and teenagers may have questions about regarding their faith, and each topic was presented in a interesting and fun to read format. I especially appreciated that they put scripture references at the end of each passage to confirm in the reader that they are indeed basing the information off of scripture. I would recommend this book to any parent of an 11-18 year old to read together or separate as a tool to strenghthen a child's beliefs and faith. It would also be a great book for a group bible study! I received this book from the publisher. 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."Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 31, 2011
DCYBatD (2011) is an updated version of a book that came out in 1992. Written by Christian apologist Josh McDowell and pastor/author/speaker Bob Hostetler, it answers many questions today's youth may have about God , religion and life issues. The format is short (generally 3-4 pages) chapters, each addressing a question and always ending with some Bible verses to look up for further study. This encourages the reader to see for himself what God says about the topic.
My oldest son was given a copy of the original book when he graduated high school. DCYBatD is not a great gift book for a kid. It's a great gift book for a youth pastor or a youth group leader or a Christian teacher or even a parent of teens. It's a tool to guide discussions about some tough issues.
For instance, with my own children, the single biggest issue for discussion has been hypocrisy in the church. Why do people preach one thing and practice another? My answer is that we are all sinners, but DCYBatD addresses this in a chapter called "Sin, Shame, and Shattered Fame." There the authors say,
"Regardless of what others may do, truth is truth. Salvation is still by grace through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. God still has the power "to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy" (Jude v.24)."
I liked the book. I confess I didn't read it cover-to-cover. It's more of a resource than a front-to-back book. Make sure your youth pastor has a copy.
I got this book free from Booksneeze, a bloggers book review program. I was not required to write a positive review.
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Posted August 15, 2011
Don't Check Your Brains at the Door. What kind of title is that? I thought as I was looking for my next book to review; then, I saw the subtitle, Know What You Believe and Why. Now I was interested. As a woman with a twenty year old son and a thirteen year old daughter, I've been getting some questions about God and Christianity that I haven't always known exactly how to answer. There are some things that I believe simply because the Holy Spirit has confirmed them in my heart even though I cannot put my finger exactly where I read them in the Bible. This book has helped with that.
You might think of it as an introduction to apologetics for young people. However, at 46, I found it to be quite well thought out and informative as well. The issues and questions are the same at any age. The target audience is definitely a younger generation though. The authors aim at teenagers; but, young adults would benefit as well. It examines and exposes myths about God, Jesus, the Bible, the Resurrection, Church, religion, and life with catchy titles like: The Cosmic Cop, The Vending Machine God, The Wimpy Jesus, The Prophet Jesus, One Among Many, The Swiss Cheese Bible, Playing Dead?, and When the Roll is Called Up Yonder Everybody Will Be There. I will warn you that #34 and #38 are not for young teens. They are a little too explicit for my children.
I think the book is well-written as well as well-researched. The authors use the Bible to back up their hypotheses and include study questions for the reader. I recommend it to parents of teens.
I received this book for free from Book Sneeze in exchange for an honest review
Posted August 10, 2011
Josh McDowell & Bob Hostetler in their new book, "Don't Check Your Brains At the Door" published by Kregel Publications endeavor to stem a troubling tide among Christian youth.
Recent polls illustrate what Christian parents have feared: kids are dropping out of church early and for good. Age 16 is the average age at which teens are dropping out, says one poll, and 70% of Protestants ages 18 to 30 quit church by age 23, says another. "We receive all kinds of messages, myths, and misconceptions in the course of our lives," says co-author Bob Hostetler. "One of those messages is the idea that following Jesus requires us to check our brains at the door-that reason and faith are incompatible. And that mistaken idea leads to others. That's why this book exists: to help a young man or woman weigh the evidence and lay a firm foundation for a strong faith in Christ."
"Don't Check Your Brains at the Door" examines questions that today's youth face and explains how to give reasoned answers in a Christlike manner. Readers will find answers to common cultural myths and misconceptions: Myths About God, Myths About Jesus, Myths About The Bible, Myths About The Resurrection, Myths About Religion and Christianity and Myths About Life and Happiness. Josh McDowell & Bob Hostetler have added a great reading comprehension section after every chapter called "Brain Food." Readers, parents, and teachers alike will find this tool helpful in processing and retaining the facts presented in every chapter.
While "Don't Check Your Brains At the Door" is written primarily for our youth to give them the answers to the questions that they have and to provide them to others who are also questioning it is also a good resource for adults who have the same questions and have never had the answers provided to them before. The authors have done a great job in presenting the questions and giving the answers in a clear, concise format. This book will help change your thinking by providing you the truth you need. I highly recommend it.
If you would like to listen to interviews with other authors and professionals please go to Kingdom Highlights where they are available On Demand.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group 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."
Posted August 9, 2011
5 HIGHEST - 1 LOWEST STARS: 1 Stars
READ IT OR SKIP IT? SKIP IT
WHO MIGHT LIKE/HATE THIS BOOK?
Thinking Christians will not like this book. It is illogical and silly. Certainly too foolish for adults and too complex and confusing for children.
I hated this book - its brains certainly were checked at the door and left behind! It was very stupid right from the start. While trying to be clever and cute, it fails. Instead, a book written for children, it is stupid and out of place, with chapters like: "The Luke Skywalker God" and "The Vending Machine God" and "Lily-White Jesus" and "Plastic Jesus" and "The Bible and Swiss Cheese" and " Dr. Luke and the Case of the Disappearing Politarch" I mean, WHAT???
This book was downright painful and I can't imagine any child enjoying it. Much less learning much from it. They would need an adult to decypher the code. Example of terrible "teaching":
Luke Skywalker, having just escaped from the Sand People, stands in the spartan dwelling of Obi-Wan Kenobi on the planet of Tatooine. Luke has just learned that Obi-Wan was a Jedi Knight who had fought in the Clone Wars with Luke's father. Obi-Wan gives him a lightsaber that once belonged to Luke's father and, in the course of the conversation, mentions "the Force." "The Force?" Luke says. Obi-Wan responds, "Well, the Force is what gives the Jedi his power. It's an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together."1 That concept of the Force, which occurs throughout the immensely popular Star Wars movies, has a familiar ring to it. That is because "the Force" is what many people imagine God to be. They picture God as a faceless, formless "energy," an impersonal "force," that mysteriously surrounds and guides the universe. But that's a myth. Oh, God does surround and guide the universe. He is present everywhere. He is Spirit. But He is not some mysterious "force," not some elusive "energy" that's just "out there somewhere." He is not a "thing," an "it." The astounding thing about God is that He is a personal God. "I love those who love me," He says, "and those who seek me find me" (Proverbs 8:17). Notice the personal pronouns God uses to refer to Himself: "I . . . me . . . me . . . me." Does that sound like some "cosmic energy?"
Josh McDowell &. Don't Check Your Brains at the Door (Kindle Locations 246-261). Thomas Nelson.
The emphasis is on: "The astounding thing about God is that He is a personal God." The book goes no deeper than this. Very shallow.
Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher Thomas Nelson for this review. I am giving my honest review, as positive reviews are not required
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Posted August 5, 2011
*I would like to say that I am basing this review off of the new revised version.
Who is God really? Is he some unseen and unknown power? Or is he like Santa Claus, giving us what we want if we're good or we wish enough? Or maybe he is some sort of awful disciplinarian, wanting to take us away from all these we might enjoy? Is living off your parents faith really enough? Is the Bible really true? Or is it just a nice story? What is religion about? What is life about? These are all questions that are facing teens today, as a teenager myself I know that I have asked these of myself many times. All of these questions, and more, are answered in this book. Don't Check Your Brains at the Door explores many common myths surrounding God, Jesus, the Bible, the Resurrection, Christianity, and life in general.
I think the first thing I thought when reading this was, "this makes sense!". The authors did an excellent job at getting their point across in a straight forward manner. They didn't get bogged down with little details but they didn't skip over important items for the sake of keeping it simple. The chapters are short and use interesting illustrations to reinforce their point, this went a long way in keeping my attention. Normally with books involving straight facts, doctrines, beliefs, etc. I get so bored and lost I give up and reach for the nearest romance novel, but not with this one. This book kept my attention long enough to go through several chapters in one sitting. I was glad to see that everything in this book is backed up by biblical reference as well as including a short, bible look-up activity at the end of each chapter.
I have always struggled with faith, I think I have always believed but God and Jesus have never truly felt real. But after reading the chapter Plastic Jesus: The Ivory Tower Myth at least for a moment Jesus suddenly became so real that I nearly cried. This startled me a lot since I am not normally easily touched. While not all of the book is quite like this I did really find that this book made God and especially Jesus much more real to me.
My one complaint is that the authors very much stuck to the "Myths and Legends" theme which I feel they could have branched off from. The effect of this was that rather than feeling like one complete book it felt more like a compilation of many short stories or papers. However this was not a major drawback and probably won't bother other people.
So overall, if you are looking for something deep and thoughtful this probably isn't what you are looking for. But for a daily, easy-read devotional I would say this is perfect.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Book Sneeze book review bloggers program. 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
Posted August 2, 2011
Don't Check Your Brains At the Door by Josh McDowell and Bob Hostetler is a must-read for a new generation of Christians. In a postmodern world where simple faith is just not simple and truth is seemingly relevant, this book offers a fresh answer to the not-so-new questions surrounding the authenticity of Christian faith.
Using language and illustrations geared towards young people, the book tackles major apologetic issues and subjects, calling them "myths" -- myths about God, myths about Jesus, myths about the Bible, myths about the Resurrection, myths about religion and Christianity, and myths about life and happiness. Each section hits on a worldly view of some element of the Christian faith, employing the use of stories, illustrations, and jokes to communicate the issue. Then, the writers use Scripture, history, and basic logic to illuminate the real truth and to point readers back to Christ. It is, in the simplest sense, an apologetics handbook for teens.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone -- young or old -- who wants to be better equipped to give an answer for the faith that they have.
Many thanks to Thomas Nelson Publishing for providing me with a free copy of this book to review. All opinions expressed are mine entirely.
Posted July 31, 2011
A lot of times we as humans just do things because that's what we were taught through our culture, family, etc. Sometimes we never fully understand why we do the things that we do. Over time it becomes a "that's just how its done" scenario. The goal of this book is encourage people to really understand their beliefs. Without this understanding,we're just going through the motions of religion and never building that connection that we need as christians.
I think that they did a really good job meeting their goal. The way the information is presented is both informative and exciting. It's not dry or preachy at all. The best part is that they constantly give scripture references and activities that encourage you to get in the bible and examine the scriptures for yourself. This makes it more than just a book packed full of information, its interactive. The authors also do an excellent job relating things from the bible to modern day situations and facts by using real life stories and pop culture that everyone can relate to.
You certainly don't have to be a teenager or new christian to learn from this book. Even if you've been a christian for 25 years, you can still be inspired by the simple truths that are found here book. This is a great book to not only enrich your christian walk, but to also use as a tool to tell others exactly what we believe.
I would recommend this to teenagers and new believers especially, but I believe all christians can enjoy this book.
Posted July 25, 2011
Don't Check Your Brains at the Door
Josh McDowell & Bob Hostetler
There are huge numbers of teens raised in Christian homes that don't really understand why their parents believe the things they do; until they start to question things on their own they tend to just believe what their parents believe without knowing why. This book aims to answer questions that may arise and help teens discover the understanding behind Christian world views and beliefs. McDowell and Hostetler want to encourage teens to really understand and develop a connection with their beliefs and really be able to make sense of it all. Without this understanding, it's all just going through the motions.
This book is full of great points for anyone who wants to better understand Christianity and their relationship with God. Each chapter tackles a key concept and is presented in a way that is easy to understand. At the end of each chapter is a section called Brain Food that challenges the reader to examine the Bible for themselves. Rather than just present a bunch of information, the book really helps the reader to interact with Bible and do some critical thinking about what is presented. I would recommend this book to anyone who has questions about Christianity and why Christians hold the beliefs they do.
Disclaimer: A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review by Thomas Nelson Publishers. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to post a positive review.
Posted July 23, 2011
"Seven in ten Protestants ages 18 to 30-both evangelical and mainline-who went to church regularly in high school said they quit attending by age 23, according to the survey by LifeWay Research." (USA Today)
Do you ever wonder why the statistics are so grim? How could Tom from youth group or Jane from your Bible study, abandon their faith? As Josh and Bob both show in this interesting book, the cause is that these seemingly devoted highschoolers were playing a Christian game, rather than having a real relationship with Jesus Christ. They knew the scriptures to recite, just not the significance of them. This handy book ( which also can be purchased as an e-book) shows 42 myths, and how we can disprove them using scriptural proof, archeological proof, and good ol' common sense.
I thought this book was a well organized, easy-to-understand book. Never had I realized how many of the facts I had not ever thought about, and how necessary they are to maintaining a relationship with Christ through the rest of my life. I looked at my youth group, and applying the statistic, I realized that seven of every ten could possibly leave their faith. This is a tragic story, that we as Christians will end. With the easy to access chapters and the "Brain Food" section at the end, I would highly recommend asking everyone in their early to late teens to read this. Overall, it was a highly researched book, full of vivid detail, and wonderful truths.
Posted July 20, 2011
Although this book is aimed at children, it seems like an excellent resource for all ages. It is essentially a simplified apologetics book that juxtaposes quick humor with deep insight. The chapters are tremendously short and to the point. This makes it easy for young readers to stay connected and for older readers for make time to read it. Various "myths" are dispelled about Jesus, the Bible, the resurrection, life, and more. Books written by two authors sometimes seem choppy, but this book flows very nicely with creative ideas. At the end of each chapter, there is an exercise section that involves questions, prompts, and puzzle-like activities that directly correlate to the Bible, oftentimes having the reader look up very specific verses. Bible verses are also quoted in the actual chapters, although those tend to be written out and not just cited. Overall, this book may not be a treatise on apologetics, but it will give Christians quick answers to those pesky questions both from the world and their doubting minds. The notes section includes great resources, including books on archaeology of the Bible that the authors cleverly yet succinctly summarize.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 19, 2011
This book can be used for personal growth, and the questions/references at the end of each chapter make it a useful tool for youth groups. This is a good reference book for those interested in offering truth to people who present you with questions about the Bible, God, Jesus, and other such areas of the Christian faith. This book approaches many of the doubts that Christians may have, as well as many of the questions that non-Christians may have. It is in an easy-to-read, amusing format. I am 13 and I love this book because it is so entertaining, and faith building at the same time. I recommend this book to all teens that struggle with myths about the Bible and their faith.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 19, 2011
A lot of what we are exposed to these days seems as if we either *have* or are *expected to* check our brains at the door. The evening "news" broadcasts are filled with un-newsworthy clips, tv shows and movies have been dumbed down, and live's moments (whether earth-shattering or mundane) have been trimmed to 140 characters or less.
Which is why it makes perfect sense to me that young adults have checked their brains when it comes to faith and religion. Many of them are not sure, or cannot defend, their religious beliefs when questioned by others, and stop attending church in early adulthood.
I would say this is true of many (if not most) of the people I spend my days with (at work, etc), though I am slightly older than the target audience of this book. The authors are aiming at an 18-30 crowd, though the book seems to be skewed towards the younger edge of that range.
For those who have drifted, this book provides a basic re-entry. I really didn't think the book was too in-depth (probably good for the target audience) but hopefully it would lead the reader into further study, or a discussion to explore some of these topics. The book's subtitle is "know what you believe and why"--the "what" seems to be sufficient in this book, but a few times I found myself asking for more "why".
Although non-traditional, I could see the merits of giving this book to a high school or college graduate who is "going off" into the world, and who may be tempted to check his/her brain at the door and move along with adult life.
Please note that I received this book at no charge from the publisher through Book Sneeze in exchange for an honest review.
Posted July 19, 2011
Don't Check Your Brains at the Door: Know What You Believe and Why by Josh McDowell and Bob Hostetler is a great book for teens with questions, doubts, and many misconceptions about Jesus. It helps you understand the faith you live and know what you believe and why.
I was a little disappointed by this book because I thought it would tackle questions about creationism and evolution. Instead, it was mainly focused on myths about God, the Bible, Jesus, Christianity, the resurrection, and life and happiness.
I think a new Christian would benefit from this book a lot. A kid who grew up in church like me might get some much from it because they've heard it all before. I liked the quick "Brain Food" sections at the end of each chapter. It gave you Bible verses to look up yourself which I think is great. Too many kids read what everyone else thinks about the Bible and what the Bible says without checking it out for themselves.
I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.