Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Book Review: Mind Your Faith by David A. Horner

The college years can be an intimidating stage of life for anyone, but I imagine this is doubly true for the Christian teen attending a secular institution. Mind Your Faith by David A. Horner is meant to address just such students and the near-inevitable crisis of faith that can confront them. As Horner points out, these crises typically assault three areas of the student's life: the mind, the faith, and the character. Undoubtedly, these three areas overlap and influence each other, but Horner neatly handles them in that order (which incidentally forms the outline of the book).

Horner ably navigates (and creatively names) such chapters as "Thinking Contextually: Find Common Ground", "Thinking Worldviewishly: Connect the Dots" and "The Credibility of Faith: Worldviewish Apologetics". The depth and wisdom of Horner's writing is balanced well by personal accounts of his own university experience.

Throughout the book, Horner is intelligent and in-depth. The greatest strength of this book, however, is also it's greatest weakness. As a college professor at Biola University, Horner is uniquely positioned to coach prospective college students in these challenges. But it seems his biggest difficulty was remembering that his target audience for the book is not his college students, but high school students. I readily admit that both the size (272 pages) and depth of the book would have scared me off as a high schooler.

This is not to say the book is a waste of time. I would simply recommend it for a different demographic. This book is perfectly suited for those students already in undergrad or graduate classes or student ministry leaders who are working with high school students.

If my thoughts here ever made their way back to Horner or the publisher, my suggestion would be simple: Mind Your Faith For Dummies (I know, I think it would sell too!).

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Recommended for: Teen ministry leaders, parents, college students

This book was a free review copy provided by InterVarsity Press.

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