I'm usually not one to be interested in devotional or daily reading books. Ones that I've tried in the past have left me a little disappointed by the "feel-good" focus. Encouragement is nice, but I also want something to really think about or be challenged by. So I often don't look for these types of books.
I'm glad I signed up for this one, though. If I had followed my usual preference, I would have missed out.
In 40 Loaves: Breaking Bread with Our Father Every Day, C.D. Baker did not try to leave me feeling good with a pat on the head each day. Aiming to ask the questions and address the doubts that many Christians and non-Christians hold, he discusses things like
"Why don't I have more faith?"
"Why am I so bored with Jesus?"
"Why are Christians so hard to like?"
Baker is candid and honest, using his own experiences and struggles to get answers to these questions. He presents the case that these questions are welcome and necessary and that we should not be afraid to ask the hard questions.
I really enjoyed reading this book. It's not a devotional in the sense that there are not daily Bible passages to read or studies of Scripture. (And it shouldn't take the place of reading the Bible.) It's a book of daily readings. Each day he tackles a different question like the ones listed above. I think it could be interesting to read each day on your lunch break or in the morning over breakfast. I didn't get to read it that way, since I had a deadline for this tour, but I can see how you could just take one day's reading and ponder over it for a while. Maybe even more than a day.
I have to say that I was challenged more often than not. I did not put down the book thinking "Aw, how sweet" or "Yes, I am a great person and life is so beautiful." I put down the book thinking about how I related to the question and how I could move toward Jesus and a life of faith. I didn't agree with everything he said (not surprising if you know me well) but I appreciated the discussions he presented.
I recommend this book as a gift to someone you know who has questions. I recommend it for yourself, even if you think you don't have questions. =)
Click on the book title for ordering information.
This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group