"Don't Be Stupid" by Joshua Beck. A Review.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
"It's about clearing away the stupid in the Christian image so our world can see Christ" (151). That's how Joshua Beck ends his little 163 page paperback "Don't Be Stupid: A Call for Christians to Believe and Live an Intelligent Faith". Beck is a teacher of Apologetics and Ethics at a local Christian High School in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, as well as a writer and podcaster. The book is written in a straightforwardly conversational style that is laid back and comfortable. Almost like sitting down and chatting with the author at a coffee shop.
Primarily, the book is not a defense of the Christian faith, but more how to smartly defend what we believe. Yet that description doesn't quite get to the point. It's not about putting on airs, getting all uppity and egg-heady; "The idea...is not simply to be smart. It's intelligence, fueled by love" (109). Or, to put it another way, it's more about being real with people and really being with people. To listen, and ask questions. Own up to our own doubts (which are not necessarily sinful), and dig into them to find the answers. Pull together our actions and words so that they dance together, since "God cares more about loving you, not using you. The Gospel is not about accomplishing more than those around us. It's about a relationship with God. But, the Gospel does push us to do more, because of our relationship with God" (87). Beck's approach is quite friendly and thoughtful. I appreciated with way he handles doubt, maps out the Gospel, and encourages Christians to smartly give a defense of the hope that we have.
"Don't Be Stupid" is an easy-to-read volume well suited for teens, but also adult believers. Christian Schools would find it useful. It would be ideal for discipleship groups as well as a Christian book klatch. Also parents could work through it with their older children, and benefit from it together. I highly recommend the book.
My thanks to the author who sent me the book, twice, at my request. I hope whoever ended up with the first-sent copy read it and learned much. The copy I did receive was used for this review. The author made no demands on me, nor did he try to bribe me. Therefore this review is freely made and freely give.
You can order the book here: Don't Be Stupid
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