Sunday, January 18, 2015

Review of "Faith In the Fast Lane"

As part of my resolution to reduce the number of books on my pile to be read, I also resolved to read those books provided by authors or publisher faster after receiving them.  This was the first book read to fulfill that part of the resolution, as I picked up this weekend after receiving it this past week.  It was a quick read and a much better book than I first believed it would be. Here is my review of "Faith In the Fast Lane."

“Faith In the Fast Lane: How NASCAR Found Jesus” by Chad Bonham

Auto Racing, NASCAR, faith, Christianity

Publish date:
January 15, 2014

192 pages

5 of 5 stars (outstanding)

While many sports tend to not intertwine faith and Christianity into the games or events, NASCAR takes a completely different approach to Christianity and welcomes faith into its “family.”   How this came to be is documented in this well-written book by Chad Bonham. Along with some history of the sport itself and many stories of the various ways NASCAR drivers have shown their faith, Bonham takes the reader on a journey of many different aspects of the life of not only the drivers, but their families, crews and fans and how their Christian faith is part of their lives.

On the back cover of the book, one of the points made is that the book will make the reader “recognize, embrace and answer God’s call on your life.” Aside from the afterword by the President of Motor Racing Outreach (MRO), I didn’t find that to be the case while reading this book.  By that, I mean that the book concentrated on telling the history of the relationship between faith and NASCAR along with personal stories from many people, mostly drivers.  The book did not come across as preaching or pleading with the reader to explore his or her relationship with God.  Instead, by telling these stories, it is up to the reader to determine if these stories will inspire him or her.

That is the tone of the stories as well. From all time greats such as Richard Petty and Darrell Waltrip to young drivers like Trevor Bayne, their stories of faith and how that helps them on and off the race track are very interesting. However, drivers are not the only people featured in this book.  Bonham interviews people from all aspects of the racing experience – crew members, spouses of drivers, people who serve as ministers and workers who help spread the message are included as well. This produces a book that is not only diverse in how faith is a part of the NASCAR atmosphere, but also a book that readers of nearly all levels of faith and also any denomination can read and enjoy.

This is a book that I believe can be enjoyed by anyone who is a NASCAR fan, wants to learn about the sport’s history, or wants to learn more how the Christian faith can impact people’s lives. This book does that in a manner that does not preach nor condemn those who may not have the same level of faith as others, but still tells the way that Christianity can make a difference in one’s life. 

I wish to thank Judson Press for providing a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Pace of the book: 
Because the stories and interviews are compact and woven together well, this was a very quick read for me, finishing it in less than two hours.

Do I recommend? 
Fans of NASCAR will enjoy this book, especially with the stories and background information on the early days of the sport.  Readers who enjoy faith-based or Christian-based books will also enjoy this, no matter what level of belief or faith they may feel.

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