Joseph D. Schneller, author of Your Average Joe Unplugged, writes a devotional true to the title: an aid for all the everyday Christians out there. From theological struggles to unemployment, Schneller uses Scripture and personal experience as encouragement for the working-class believer. The author sets the theme of his book with James 1:2-3, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”
Spread throughout the book, small sections titled “But Seriously . . . “ break away from the scriptural and spiritual sides of devotionals and, instead, simply entertain readers with fun stories that “Average Joes” love to hear. Presented in a thirty-day format, normal chapters contain a practical lesson, a passage of Scripture, personal encouragement from the author, and a prayer. Schneller makes a connection with the average person by describing his struggles with unemployment and dissatisfaction with the entry-level, low paying jobs he was forced to take after America’s economical crisis in 2008.
As an ex-Marine captain, Schneller understands perseverance; his writing style displays an honest longing for audience members to know perseverance as well. On “Day 8,” the author becomes more real, personal, and meaningful than ever before. He writes, “I do not know by what means the Lord will provide. I range from hope, despair, freedom, shame, depression, faith, and anger. There has never been more at stake for me” (p. 23).
Schneller’s Your Average Joe Unplugged may be a little too “average” for a devotional. Most chapters vary between too personal with personal experiences or too impersonal with only Scripture references. Because of his narrow audience, I recommend this book to people who have struggled with unemployment or who are new Christians and want a book that is theologically friendly. – Nathan Shuherk, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
The Christian journey is no easy path. Yet many believers suffer from false assumptions that Christians are supposed to have it all together, that the walk of faith should be one of comfort and ease, and that difficulties come solely from mistakes or unfaithfulness.
In Your Average Joe Unplugged, Joseph Schneller voices inner struggles of faith that resonate broadly among Christians. He writes for those tired of the canned answers, for everyday believers desiring to live in faith amidst the joys and pains, the responsibilities and tragedies of life. Through 30 daily devotionals and a half-dozen humor articles, he presents honest, often humorous encouragement for your Christian pilgrimage through this fallen world.
And all throughout he shows how, by Christ s grace, our everyday lives can have eternal impact.