A Different College Experience – Book Review
by Jill Printzenhoff
Tuesday, February 26, 2019
Total freedom and the chance to experience whatever they want without repercussions are two of the many ideals students embrace as methods to gain the best out of college life. Unfortunately, those attitudes and behaviors, along with many others, lead to a dark path of regrets.
But what if there is a way to gain the best out of a college experience that is not overshadowed by darkness and regrets?
A Different College Experience encourages students to live a life grounded and rooted in Christ, and explains how a Christ-centered lifestyle is the basis for gaining the best out of college.
Ben Trueblood and Brian Mills have spent years immersed in student ministries, and are coauthors of this new B&H title. Ben invested thirteen years as a student pastor before taking on the role of Student Ministry Director for LifeWay Christian Resources. Brian’s ministry roles include that of college pastor at Cross Church in Fayetteville, Arkansas, as well as one of the chaplain’s for the University of Arkansas football team.
The sixteen chapters of this 181-page book are divided into six parts.
Part 1 dedicates two chapters to the gospel. One chapter explains the gospel message in simple and straightforward language, while the second chapter gives guidance on what life looks like while living out the gospel.
One of the many takeaways from this section is a contrasting point the author’s make about a life lived in sin verses a life lived following Jesus.
- “If sin takes us away from the abundant life Jesus means for us to have, then the opposite action must lead us toward the abundant life: following Jesus and living in obedience to Him” (16).
Part 2 focuses on identity and also encompasses two chapters. One chapter provides details on how we view God and how God views us. The second chapter highlights how we view ourselves.
One of the many takeaways from this section highlights the truths uncovered as we express our love of God through the study of Scripture and doctrine.
- Through our studies we begin to see how God views us, and we learn that our true identity is in Christ (35-37).
Part 3 introduces the church. One chapter explains what the church is and what it does, one chapter discusses what a believer’s role is in the church, and one chapter sheds light on discipleship.
One of the many takeaways from this section includes encouragement toward discipleship.
- It is important to regularly meet with other believers who help move you along the path towards a deeper relationship with God, and who assist in the iron sharpening iron relationship discussed in Proverbs 27:17 (78-79).
Part 4 contains three chapters on wisdom: What it is, how to gain it, and how to use it wisely.
One of the many takeaways from this section includes embracing the truth about who brings satisfaction.
- “It is Jesus alone who will forever truly fulfill and satisfy our deepest desires and longings” (85).
Part 5 tackles relationship issues. The three chapters in this section includes advice on dating, how to handle temptation, and preparing for marriage.
One of the many takeaways from this section includes sage advice on marriage preparation.
- Instead of striving to find “the one” focus on becoming “the one” by “allowing the Lord to develop you into the godly man or woman that He desires for you to become should He call you into marriage someday” (136).
Part 6 is three chapters that surround the success principles found in hard work, trial-and-error, and Christ.
One of the many takeaways from this section includes sound advice on the topic of failure.
- “Let your failures propel you forward to become more like Christ every day, and always remember that God is still God regardless of the trial-and-error experiences we walk through in our lives” (170).
Special features: Tucked within the pages are words of encouragement from students who are at various stages in their college career. These students share from their own experiences and offer guidance for remaining faithful to God, and hope even in the midst of trials and failures.
Readability: The authors use clear language and present the concepts in a straightforward manner that is easy to grasp.
Who would benefit from this book: High school seniors, college students, anyone who works with teens or young adults, and parents of high school or college students.
Why I chose this book: On a daily basis I have an opportunity to mentor numerous teenagers. Part of my mentorship is to help them prepare for life after high school. Some of those I mentor will go to college, while some will join the work force. I am always on the lookout for resources to help teens prepare for life after high school. Suggesting books that encourage young adults to stand strong in their faith regardless of where they are in their relationship with Christ is part of my mentorship. This book has definitely made my recommendation list.
Full Disclosure: The thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are mine alone. I always strive to provide an honest review, and properly quote material from the book. Any errors are unintentional and accidental. You should know that although I received a free copy of this book from B& H publishing company in exchange for my honest evaluation, I do not work for them.
As always, thanks for stopping by.