Author(s): Michael Catts & Amy Parker
Age: Tween through Teen
After having seen Fireproof at our church, I knew that books and films by Michael Catts were powerful messages about today’s faith. I agreed to review Courageous Teens because I had heard a lot of good things about his movie, Courageous, and thought it would spur me on to watch it. Alas, time and energy have not allowed for that to happen; however, I did get the opportunity to read an excellent book.Courageous Teens uses the teachings in the movie along with Biblical and modern history quotes and examples to help teens understand their value as God’s children and to spur them on to live up to that role. I appreciate very much the use of characters in scripture partnered with other everyday heroes to show the principles of moral fortitude necessary to strive for a Godly life, to share that life with others and to face peer pressure and critics. Why do I like this so much? One issue I hear from teens today is the relevance of the Bible. To see that people in the Bible underwent similar tests albeit under very different circumstances provides a level of relevance; however, when partnered with stories from recent history like Lincoln, Roosevelt, local church heroes, people who withstood tremendous trial and overcame through Christ – the relevance is solidified.
Should the movie be viewed first? It doesn’t have to be, but I think the use of quotes from the movie would really come into context if it were. The forward states this book would make a good group Bible study or a devotional for a teen. As a devotional, the chapters are a bit long. Bear in mind when I say this that most devotionals are just a page or two. The reader would need to be committed to the reading, and it is well worth the investment. As a group study, illuminating Biblical, historical and present day figures leads to not only a more grounded knowledge of faith application, but would encourage discussion. I could definitely see this as a good resource for teens. In fact, I’m going to pass it along to our high school youth leader.Catts and his co-author Amy Parker have a no-nonsense way of speaking to teens. They aren’t trying to sugar coat the life the teen should be living nor are they trying to denigrate the teen for poor choices. They are simply and clearly saying what it means to follow Christ and apply that in their daily walk.
I’m still going to see the movie! I am! Movies aren’t my thing, but reading about the applications for life taught in the movie through this teen devotional has put it on my to-do list.
*** Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge in exchange for my honest review.