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Review: 10 Days Without by Daniel Day

10 days without

In 10 Days Without:  Daring Adventures in Discomfort that Will Change Your World and You, Daniel Day presents “A Rebellion against Apathy. A Strategy for Action.”

He is tired of his own apathy, ‘slacktivism’ he calls it, when he hears about things but does not do anything concrete about them.  Day wants to encourage everyone else to get up and do something too, and that’s why he started his 10 Days Without experiences.  Their purpose was two-fold, to get him thinking about the people who had to spend their whole life ‘without’, and to raise money and awareness for specific causes:

  • 10 Days Without Shoes to Address Disease
  • 10 Days Without a Coat to Address Homelessness
  • 10 Days Without Media to Address Distractions
  • 10 Days Without Furniture to Address Global Poverty
  • 10 Days Without Legs to Address our Response to Disabilities
  • 10 Days Without Waste to Address the Environment
  • 10 Days Without Speech to Address Modern-Day Slavery
  • 10 Days Without Human Touch to Address Orphans, Widows, Prisoners, and Other Untouchables

Day transparently shares his own story as well as those of others who participated in these challenges.  He also outlines practical steps his readers can take if they wish to address the issues he’s discussing.

I’m still not sure what to think of this book.  On the one hand it is gimmicky, but on the other hand it is enlightening and powerful in practical ways.  Has it changed me?  I have a few more things on my to do lists and more things that I want to pray about regularly.

In many ways, however, Day and his challenges rubbed me the wrong way.  This young guy means well, but really, how many Christians do all the things he does that he is now repenting of or stopping for 10 days?  He had 18 coats in his closet!  He is an avid consumer.  He had not read the Bible for a long time before he went on the 10-day media fast.   He asks, “Did you know that it is possible to eat breakfast sitting at a table with nothing else to do?”  And, according to him, if you don’t buy books, don’t eat at sit-down restaurants (or the other kind either), don’t go to movies, and don’t take very long deciding what to wear, you may be poor.  I think my problem with this book is that the culture Day writes from is so extreme that I can hardly take him seriously.

On the one hand, how many Christians raise as much money as he does for shoes, coats, and so on and generate as much awareness?  On the other hand, how many give sacrificially and help without fanfare (as Jesus told us to do), and therefore have a radically different lifestyle than Day does?

Day does raise a very important point.  Are we merely consumers of things Biblical:  a good sermon, a podcast, a book…or do we demonstrate our faith through our actions and our lifestyle?  In the Bible, James said much the same thing,   “Faith without works is dead.”  Of course, we’re not saved by what we do and how we live, but if we are saved, our life will show it.

As a reminder of that fact, this could be a helpful book.

This is yet another book in the in the 2014 52 Books in 52 Weeks Challenge, and is also linked to Saturday Reviews

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this ebook from Blogging for Books for the purpose of this review and have presented my honest opinion.

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