I met Daniel Darling about a year ago at the International Christian Retailers Show in St. Louis. Daniel, a dynamic young pastor, is a husband and father of three. I even got to meet Daniel’s wife when they gave me a ride in their mini-van to a dinner hosted by our publisher. But I had not read any of his books until this week.
I must admit, I asked Daniel to send me iFaith to review several months ago, but it’s been sitting on my shelf. I finally picked it up two days ago. This morning I finished it. I read it in two days not because I felt obligated but because iFaith is truly engaging, readable, and very timely. Dan’s wit had me laughing out loud and his conversational style kept me moving through the pages.
In iFaith: Connecting with God in the 21st Century, Daniel tackles serious faith topics that Christians have grappled with throughout history – topics such as prayer, God’s “silence,” doubt, and discouragement – but he deals with them from a unique and very contemporary viewpoint. Since our digital age influences even the way we relate to God, Daniel approaches key components of our faith within the context of our digital attitudes.
For example, our “instant” culture has taught us to expect immediate responses and results. Since we rarely have to wait for anything, we don’t think we should have to wait on God either. Dan connects our prayer life to email.
“I’d like to send a read receipt to God. Wouldn’t you? A little note that says, “Did You hear my prayer? And if so, would You click this box? Thank You, Your humble servant, Dan.”
Daniel uses this exaggerated example to emphasize how hard it is for most of us to wait on God – and even more so in the 21st century. Yet Dan reminds us of the digital age that God grows our faith in the waiting room.
“Waiting is considered loathsome to a generation accustomed to having quick answers, fast results, and instant gratification. But we must surrender our hearts to the sovereignty of God who slows us down, because waiting is not wasted time at all. Waiting is the essence of a faith that pleases Him.”
Here are a few other ways Daniel connects the digital culture with our faith:
- Busyness: Our “full-throttle, no-rest” lifestyle leaves little time for God
- Progress: The more our society progresses, the less we feel we need God
- Technology: As useful for the Kingdom as technology is, unfortunately it has become an idol to some
iFaith is well worth your time. But be prepared. You will be encouraged, but you may also be challenged to adjust some attitudes and actions. Just the kind of book we need. Thanks Dan.
Daniel Darling is the Senior Pastor of Gages Lake Bible Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago and is the author of Teen People of the Bible, Crash Course, and iFaith.
Find out more about Daniel, his writing and ministry