Non-Fiction Christian Book Reviews

Bible-Times Teens the Focus in New Devotional

  • 2007 11 Dec
Bible-Times Teens the Focus in New Devotional

Author:  Daniel Darling
Title:  Teen People of the Bible
Publisher:  New Hope Publishers

Now that’s an interesting approach, I thought, as I began to read Daniel Darling’s new book.  Examining the Scriptures as a teen would.  But why not, after all?  Especially when so many of the biblical heroes (and a few villains) were teenagers when God put them to the test?  Great idea.

With that goal in mind, Darling, who works fulltime as the managing editor of the monthly devotional, Victory in Grace, has created 100 short but pertinent devotionals for teens.  Speaking to those who are already Christians (with a salvation explanation and prayer at the end, just in case), Darling challenges them to read Scriptures, alongside these devotionals, for 100 days in a row.

Cain and Abel.  Isaac and Jacob.  Leah and Rebecca.  All teens when their stories began—and just a few of the many young people from the Bible who have something to say to today’s teens.  Tacking a wide variety of issues that range from “Can I afford to ignore ‘small’ sins?” to “How can I hear God’s voice,” Darling covers many of the challenges teens face at school and at home.  In each devotional, he provides a biblical example followed by one drawn from real life, some practical application and a few questions in workbook-style format.

Many teens are bound to appreciate this devotional—and take up the challenge, which is a worthy one.  It provides an excellent overview of the Bible as well as interesting biographical sketches that are bound to connect with teens.  Unfortunately, however, those who do not come from middle-class, Christian homes may feel left out in the cold.

He hits a couple of tough issues—such as broken homes, sexual sin, parental sin and even unwed mothers—but shuns the deeper and increasingly pervasive problems that plague children.  What about the 13 million kids in this country who are hungry?  What about the ones facing abuse?  Or those struggling with homosexuality, or contemplating abortion—or worse?  Even more disappointing is that when Darling does tackle a delicate topic, he tends to ignore the emotional wounds created by painful situations.  It’s almost as if he’s fearful of addressing their broken hearts, and instead says, “There are others just like you in the Bible.  You can cope.”  It’s a biblical Band-aid applied to the spiritual and emotional hemorrhages that so many Christian teens face today.

Still, many teenagers—especially those who are younger and those who come from Darling’s target audience—will nevertheless be blessed by Teen People of the Bible.  It will encourage them to get into the Word and it will provide them with an interesting overview of all the teens who contributed to the greatest story ever told.  And that’s always worth the read.