Book Review: Welcome To College

Welcome To College:  A Christ-Follower’s Guide To The Journey, by Jonathan Morrow

[Note:  This book was provided free of charge by Kregel Book Tours.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.]

As someone who has spent a lot of time in the educational system with two graduate degrees and a hefty load of student debt, and someone who reads a fair amount about life in college [1], I was looking forward to this book.  And, it should be mentioned, for the most part I enjoyed this book.  I have to note, at the outset, that there are a few aspects of this book that I did not enjoy as well.  One of the problematic aspects of reading so many books is that one sees that an author has to pay lip service to affirming the Trinity in any book that presumes to be Christian whatsoever, and that definitely had a way of providing a damper on the beginning of this book for me.  Fortunately, the material in the book is generally excellent and so the ritual statements the book makes are not overly bothersome.  Still, they must be noted, not least because a substantial part of the audience that cares about the books I read would be even more bothered by such things than I am.  At any rate, this is a book that takes a while go get into its subjects, and many readers will likely be as puzzled about its pace and structure as I was.

In terms of its contents, this book is fairly long at nearly 400 pages including very extensive endnotes and some worthy books to read (some of them from a pretty heavily Catholic perspective) concerning faith and science and philosophy that I will be attempting to work my way through.  The roughly 350 pages of core material include more than 40 chapters that, as might be expected deal with a dazzling array of subjects in very small bite-size chunks and with a consistent format that includes quotes, big ideas, and suggestions for further reading with every chapter.  These chapters begin questions of truth and identity and the problem of evil, spend a fair amount of time wrestling with the philosophy of science, and include questions of sexuality, masculinity and femininity, the power of words, death, debt, dating, social justice, and many other topics.  While it took a while for me to see where the author was going, eventually I was pleased by the way that the book combines apologetics and more practical life tips.  It is quite possible that many readers will skip to those chapters that they are most interested in, as the second half of the book is back-loaded with the sort of obvious material that a Christian college student would likely want to read.

Given that this book pretty obviously would be of interest to college-age audiences, and comes with a great deal of self-effacing humor as well as serious discussion from the author, is this book of worth for anyone else?  If anything, this book may be more useful to those who are in a position to counsel or advice young people than it is to young people themselves, unless those young people happen to love reading and enjoy discussions of apologetics and philosophy.  To be sure, these are subjects I have always enjoyed and had the book been available to me when I was half my age and embarking on my university education, I would have loved this book then.  So, this book, in its second edition, has a fairly wide target audience and gives advice that is probably less conservative than I would have given but in general fair-minded and designed to encourage young people to wrestle with their own belief system and practices and to be just and compassionate but also godly people.  There is little fault to find with the advice this book gives, one only wishes the author had been a bit more clear in his opening.

[1] See, for example:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2016/07/07/book-review-college-rules/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2016/03/30/book-review-inspired-pragmatism-an-illustrated-history-of-linfield-college/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2015/07/21/book-review-how-to-stay-christian-in-college/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2013/04/27/book-review-is-college-worth-it/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2017/01/19/book-review-philosophers-holiday/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2016/05/13/book-review-live-smart/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2016/05/07/book-review-the-last-amateurs/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2016/03/26/book-review-missoula/

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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 Bible, Book Reviews, Christianity and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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