Book Review: Young And Beardless

Young And Beardless:  The Search For God, Purpose, And A Meaningful Life, by John Luke Robertson

[Note:  This book was provided free of charge by BookLook/Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for an honest review.]

This book, for some, might seem easy to dismiss as a memoir from a young person whose fame and cultural importance comes from a quirky reality television show [1].  It might be easy to look at the memoir of a young man barely in his twenties as being callow and a cash grab, because of his background and the merchantile empire of the Duck Dynasty.  Such a view would be deeply mistaken, though, as this book is an enjoyable and fascinating memoir of a young man who has a lot to offer in his honesty and candor, in his love of reading and observing people, and in the fact that this book serves as a good example and inspiration for the teens and young adults whom this book is directed to.  As the author shares his Twitter and Instagram feeds with his readers, the world that the author lives in, where Ben Rector sings the wedding song, and where one is called to go to Uganda or San Francisco on a whim to help with various social causes, is one that the author wishes to share not to provoke envy but to encourage people to get involved as they can in their own lives with the problems around them.

This short memoir, of about 200 pages, consists of introductory material that discusses the author’s family and personality as told by his wife, and twelve chapters (and a conclusion) that are divided into three sections.  The first section deals with the identity of the author, which chapters on knowing oneself, dreaming big, writing his story, and connecting with friends.  The second chapter looks at our destination as believers, responding to the call, staying curious, and rebelling against the norms of a corrupt society.  The third part examines what the author is doing, in terms of risking everything, shining now in the lives of those we are around, failing and getting back up, going on a journey, loving everyone, and appreciating the vision of what God has planned.  This book, with its frequent references to the books that others have written, fits well within a socially responsible view of how Christians are to act with concern for the lives of others around us, especially those who are broken and exploited, and the author is candid about his own less successful moments and struggles and with the pressure that occurs when one grows up under the harsh spotlight of contemporary fame.

Despite the fact that the author is not necessarily well versed in biblical law, thinking, to give one example, that there is nothing biblically wrong with tattoos [2], this book is one that has a lot to offer.  The author shows a love for his own family and the people around him, shows himself not to be a child of privilege but one who is grateful and appreciative of the way in which he has been given a spotlight to shine and the chance to live God’s ways as he understands them and set a godly example for others, and to use his fame and well-being to help make the world around him a better place also.  The book is full of sincere honesty, a love of books (every chapter contains material for journaling and reflection on the part of the reader as well as excerpts from other books that are well worth reading), and nearly every page of the book shines with the author’s vibrant personality.  This is a book that makes you feel as if you would want to be the author’s friend, to buy a snow-cone from, and sit and talk to about God and about life.  Such a book, and such an author, are to be treasured and appreciated.

[1] See, for example:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2016/01/05/book-review-strong-and-kind/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2014/10/01/book-review-willies-redneck-time-machine/

Or, see other reality television books:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2016/04/14/book-review-i-said-yes/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2015/02/05/book-review-for-the-right-reasons/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2014/09/20/book-review-undressed/

[2] See, for example:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2011/07/14/leviticus-1928-nor-tattoo-any-marks-on-you/

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Christianity, Love & Marriage and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Book Review: Young And Beardless

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