As much as I would like to say that my life is characterized completely by concrete, definitive, no-fail answers (and yes, I always enjoyed math in school because it had absolute answers), I have to admit that my heart and my mind are often plagued instead by questions. Questions like…
- Why do I have such a complaining spirit?
- Why am I so dependent on order in my life?
- Why do I always feel exhausted?
- Why don’t I have more faith?
Those are honest questions I’ve asked myself. But they’re also questions from C.D. Baker’s new book, 40 Loaves.
In 40 Loaves, Baker tackles forty questions — questions that, if we’re honest, we’ve all wrestled with, at least occasionally. Yet they are questions that “we’re not supposed to ask when playing by the religious rules. It makes people uncomfortable.” I agree — it often seems that in Christian circles, we are expected to just not have these kinds of questions. We’re supposed to have it all together. And if we don’t, we should at least act like we have it all together. Right?
Maybe that’s why I found 40 Loaves to be so refreshing. There was no act, no facade. It’s just honest. And it addresses a number of questions that — while it may be embarrassing to admit — I struggle with.
In each chapter, the author introduces the key question for that chapter with an anecdote or personal experience. He explores how the question affects the way we live, and why & how we might struggle with it. And he reminds us of important truths that should impact our struggle: God’s grace, God’s word, what it means to be forgiven, what it means to follow Him. The chapters close with some “Food for thought” — questions to ask yourself if you want to explore the topic more deeply — and a short prayer.
You might want to check out 40 Loaves on Amazon.com — where you can read the first couple chapters to get a feel for its structure and approach, and read the reviews it’s been getting.
40 Loaves shouldn’t be used as a replacement for your personal Bible study. But I do think it makes a nice accompaniment to your study. Read one chapter/question per day, or one per week. Take in a few chapters on a day when uncertainty seems to abound. The nice thing about 40 Loaves is that it reminds you that it’s okay to have questions (we all do!) — and that there are answers available as we seek God.