Amos Tarfa has a mission, and that mission is to teach people what it means to live a life of excellence. He writes that while most Christians feel that their Christian life and their regular life are two separate things, God should be a part of every aspect of one’s life – and we should be giving everything in life our all, in order to give God the glory for all of our accomplishments.
I chose to accept this book for review because I agree with the premise: as Christians we should put our best foot forward in every aspect of our lives, we should be trying to achieve excellence, and we should recognize the fact that God is the reason for it all. But all too often, I don’t act according to those beliefs. So I was hoping for a kick in the pants from Tarfa to remind me of these things and inspire me to act on them.
Generally speaking, I found that Tarfa accomplished this in the book. The book is organized very well – beginning with some of the basics of what being a Christ-follower is all about, and why certain things (such as prayer, a personal relationship with God, reading the Bible, etc.) should be prioritized in our lives. He then builds upon that base to get to his central premise, and ends with a call to inspire the reader to go forth and aim for excellence in everything. He also gives several tips on how to better manage one’s time in order to prioritize the important things and spend less time on less important tasks.
While I found Christianity 201 helpful, it was clear that I am not the target audience for the book. Tarfa focuses very heavily on students, teaching young Christians how to balance school, work, family, and God. As I haven’t been in school for years, that part of the book doesn’t much apply to me. Of course I can always do better with balancing the different aspects of my own life, but as much of the advice in the book is targeted specifically toward students, I felt a bit like it didn’t apply to me. In addition, I wasn’t a huge fan of the tone of the book – Tarfa comes across as very authoritative, almost preaching to the reader about what he/she should or should not do. While I understand that the point of the book is to teach something, it got to be a little much at certain points.
Christianity 201: The Pursuit of Excellence is a book with an important message. I think it’s best suited for young Christians, preferably students, as the information presented deals heavily with that demographic. As I do not fall into that category myself, it wasn’t a perfect read for me, but I did gain some insight from it and can absolutely see the value in the book. Amos Tarfa is an extremely intelligent and passionate person and I am glad I had the opportunity to read his work.