This post (and series) is by my friend at Christ Church of Lake Forest, Syler Thomas.
I was talking with a friend recently about my new book Game Plan: Practical Wisdom for the College Experience (co-written by Nic Gibson, foreword by Scot McKnight) and he shared a story about the book he received to prepare him for life in college. He had just come to faith through an experience at a Young Life camp the summer after he graduated from high school, and his faithful leader handed him a book intended to help him with his new-found faith and the struggles he would surely encounter in college. It was Bonhoeffer’s Cost of Discipleship.
If you had one Christian classic to give to a friend who was a newer believer, what would it be and why? You can even answer with Bonhoeffer.
Now there’s no question that the book is a classic. Bonhoeffer should be read, and has plenty to offer in many situations. And given Scot’s deep love for and physical resemblance to the great German theologian, I’m on thin ice even bringing this up. The issue is that Bonhoeffer didn’t live long enough to comment on the challenges of living a faithful Christian life on the college campuses of the 21st century.
This is why Nic and I wrote this book: to provide practical wisdom for the unique challenges and opportunities that students face on today’s college campuses. It was born out of a desire to share with our graduating high school seniors all the stuff we felt like they needed to know, that we couldn’t possibly tell them in one conversation.
Our chapters are on topics ranging from surviving a secular school, a Christian school, looking at the dating scene, dealing with temptation, integrating your faith and your major, and a whole lot more. Plus one of my favorite parts of the book is a “My Story” section after every other chapter: seven first-person testimonies from recent college grads about their own experiences, that serve to reinforce the messages we’re sharing.
Over the next few posts, I’ll invite you to think back to your college days for your perspective, and those of you currently in college or high school—we’d love to get your perspective, from those who are experiencing it right now.