The Dave Test by Frederick W. Schmidt impressed me. Something that’s not very easy to do.
It’s an innovative and intriguing little book.
The subtitle is “A Raw Look at Real Faith in Hard Times.”
Back in May, I released my life’s work, God’s Favorite Place on Earth.
I wrote that book mainly to deal with the many struggles that Christians face in our generation. A great deal of the book is dedicated to how to navigate believers through pain, suffering at the hands of fellow Christians, how to avoid bitterness, and what to do when God doesn’t seem to meet our expectations.
When I read The Dave Test, I thought to myself that this is a great companion volume to God’s Favorite Place. The reason? Because The Dave Test navigates readers through how to deal with pain, suffering, and unfulfilled promises in the life of another person.
The author’s brother was tragically struck with a brain tumor. His name was Dave. Hence, the Dave test.
The Dave Test gives readers tools on what NOT to say and what TO say that helps — rather than hurts — those who are in major crisis.
If you go through my previous blog posts, you will discover that I’ve reviewed many books by the best-selling, pop, celebrity Christians of the day, most of whom are mega- or giga-church pastors (often using ghostwriters to craft their books).
The Dave Test blows the soot out of all of those books by far and away.
It’s deeper, it’s more sublime, the insights are far greater, and the writing style is much better.
I wish The Dave Test would hit the best-seller lists that those other books I mentioned regularly hit.
But sadly, it won’t.
Why? Because the author isn’t a celebrity.
Will Christianity Today run a review of this book and promote it to its readers?
Will CT even promote this blog post.
The chances are slim to none. And slim is planning on leaving town.
I don’t even think the CT peeps read this blog because I’m not a celeb-pastor or seminary prof. (this despite that my two blogs are regularly in the top 10 of all Christan blogs on the Web today).
Once in a great while a book of spiritual depth will fall into my hands and my reaction will simply be to sigh.
Why? Because fluff and pop is what sells today and gets into the hands of Christians by the scores.
Depth rarely sells like that . . . if at all.
Remember, the OT courtyard was large and many people entered it daily. The holy place was smaller and few entered. And the holy of holies was the smallest of all.
There’s a lesson there.
The closer you get to God’s heart, the smaller the crowds will be.
This fact is a testament to the shallow state of contemporary Christianity.
One thing I didn’t particular like about the book is some of the language. “Raw” it’s called. But many readers won’t a problem with it. And it could have been much worse.
The book presents some penetrating questions to help all of us better help others who are living on the raw bleeding edge of despair. Whether it be a friend who has just gone through a horrific divorce, a woman who miscarried, a loved one diagnosed with an untreatable disease, a person who has lost a loved one, etc. The Dave Test is a work of searing insight that empowers you to be a blessing and not a curse.
Here are some of the chapter titles. But don’t be fooled . . . each chapter contains profound and helpful points.
Can I say life sucks?
Can I give up my broken gods?
Can I avoid using stained-glass language?
Can I admit that some things will never get better?
Can I stop blowing smoke?
Can I say something that helps?
Can I walk wounded?
Can I be a friend?
The book is a wake-up lesson on how NOT to be one of Job’s friends when you know someone who’s going through the northeast corner of hell.
And sadly, many Christians become just that, despite their intentions.
Get this book and learn how to be effective when the people to whom you seek to give Christ – friends, family, nonbelievers – are being roasted over a slow spit from the fires of life.
Wise, honest, and spiritually engaging, I highly recommend this book.
Now . . . if you are reading this, say something in the comments, eh?
I am wondering just how many readers I’ll have on this review compared to the reviews I have done by the celeb-authors, some of which have gained massive traffic.
Consequently, if this post gets at least 100 Facebook likes, I’ll give one of the people who comments one of my books for FREE. I doubt it will even clear 50 . . . because it’s not a pop-book review. But I’d be thrilled to be wrong.
This post is part of the sponsored Patheos Book Club.
Other Posts of Interest:
- What Was Paul’s Thorn in the Flesh, Really?
- Problems and Solutions in Discipleship: Part III
- Problems and Solutions in Discipleship: Part II
- Problems and Solutions in Discipleship: Part I
- 3 Shocking Quotes by Billy Graham
- Rethinking How We Present the Gospel
- THE WISH DREAM by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
- Does Christianity Have a Feminine Feel?
- In Praise of Dry Spells
- An Audience of One
- I Don’t Know
- Alice Cooper on Jesus
- 3 Lessons Every Writer, Speaker, Blogger, and Musician Can Learn from Led Zeppelin
- A Farewell to Self-Righteousness
- Mixing It Up With N.T. Wright
- Rethinking Christian Unity – My Response to Rachel Held Evans
- A Unique and Amazing Look at Jesus Christ
- 14 Tests for Your Church
- Advice to New Christians
- The Race Card of the Early Christians – What They Can Teach Us Today
- A Tale of Two Mentors – Which Will You Become?
- Lessons from RUSH
- John Lennon on Jesus: The Untold Story
- Don’t Believe Everything You Hear or Read
- Rethinking the Second Coming of Christ
- Bono on Jesus
- The Bible is Not a Jigsaw Puzzle
- 5 Reasons to Defriend Someone on Facebook
- Introducing My Toolbox
- The Finger or the Hand?
- Anointed for Burial
- The Unbroken Christian
- How to Properly Receive Jesus Christ – It May Surprise You
- Why Mary of Bethany is My Hero
- Rejected in All Quarters But One
- The Agony Over God’s Will
- Rick Warren’s Horrific Tragedy & The Sickening Response of Some “Christians”
- The Top Christian Blogs
- Living by the Indwelling Life of Christ – Online Course
- Three Kinds of Critics & How to Respond to Them
- Sin Metrics: The Sins that Christians Condemn & Excuse
- Who Are You? Accepting Your True Identity
- How to Start a Blog in Less Than 10 Minutes
- Rethinking Discipleship, Mission, and Church
- Refuse to Do Nothing: Finding Your Power to Abolish Modern-Day Slavery
- The Sinner’s Prayer – Where Did It Come From?
- Water Baptism – A Deeper Look
- Mysticism – What Is It and Is it Good or Bad?
- The Top 100 Christian Books Ever Written
- The Swearing Christian: My 13 Cents
- Epic Jesus: An Interview with Asbury Seminary – Part II
- Epic Jesus: An Interview with Asbury Seminary – Part I
- Theology Doesn’t Have to be a Bloodsport
- Wise Words from President Obama
- So You Think You Disagree? 4 Reasons Why You May Not
- Things Aren’t Always What They Seem
- Blessed Are the Undesirable
- The Gospel – It Isn’t What I Thought
- Forgotten Words of Jesus
- Hearing One Side of a Story
- The Most Ignored Sin
- Moving Beyond Legalism and Libertinism
- What Makes Jesus Angry?
- Mixing It Up With George Barna
- The Sinking Ship of Evangelical Christianity
- Jesus Christ Remixed
- 7 Things You May Not Know About Jesus
- Don’t Waste Your Time Being a Christian
- Why I Am a Christian
- There is No Proof of God’s Existence
- What Does God Really Think About Women?
- Calvinists & Ariminians Are More Alike Than You Might Think
- 20 Reasons Why the Christian Right & the Christian Left Won’t Adopt Me
- How (Not) to Correct Another Christian
- 9 Lies the Media Likes to Tell About Evangelical Christians
- Reading the Bible in 3D
- How to Lose Friends & Alienate People Online
- Jesus & the War on Women
- Warning: The World is Watching How We Christians Treat One Another
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