Having read Jerry Bridges’ convicting works before, I jumped at the chance to read a modernized youth adaptation of arguably his most famous book, The Pursuit of Holiness (1978). Once again, the man did not let me down.
While the verbiage of The Chase certainly seeks to appeal to today’s younger Christian crowd, the most obvious and most effective changes come in the form of modernized illustrations and soul-targeted examples of what is and what is not holy. For instance, the Howvers have implemented discussions on many questionable acts which the younger generation now faces, discussions that were not even possible when the book was first written (most notably, they discuss the pirating of media off the internet). Concerning the writing style, the authors, while not necessarily talking down to the reader, do tend to write such things as, “this is tricky/deep stuff” and “if you didn’t catch that, read it over again.” Perhaps our children learn better now through such repetition, but through my old-school eyes, some elements of this writing style do seem a bit forced.
Another change that struck me was the editors’ decision to use The Message for the majority of the Scripture quotations throughout The Chase. Bridges generally offers a plethora of Scriptural passages to back up his teachings, and this book is no exception. I am not the biggest fan of The Message, however, for too often its “modern” language is nothing but trite expressions and cliches that sound more like baby-talk than the Word of God. But that’s just a personal opinion. Also, I would have truly been pleased to have seen all the nominative pronouns for deity capitalized. Once again, this is but a personal preference, but like so many other Christian books published these days, this book ignores this simple yet visible form of respect for God.
I loved this book, and I will definitely encourage the youth in my church to read it in order to study both the holiness of God and their own personal holiness. How these two forms of holiness meet and marry is truly a mystery, but Bridges has brought me closer to understanding this mystery than any other author to date. I am truly a fan.
[Note: I received this book free for review from the blog-for-books program from NavPress]