Reviewing "The New 42: God Terraforms All Things" Devotional

The New 42: God Terraforms All Things is a geeky devotional that combines faith and fandom.

I’ve talked quite a bit before about the lovely, geeky, Christian friends I’ve been able to meet over the internet. Nerd Chapel is one of those friends. They generously gave me a copy of their latest devotional book to read and review. This devotional, The New 42: God Terraforms All Things by Eric Anderson and Nathan Marchand, is the second devotional Nerd Chapel has come out with, following 42: Discovering Faith Through Fandom. I actually stumbled across their first book when I was searching for geeky devotionals online. Then, maybe a year or two later, this person randomly messaged The Hoot & Howl on Facebook, asking about our ministry, and a couple replies later, I was like, “hoooooold on a second. I have your book!”

So, when Eric asked if I wanted a chance to review their new devotional I jumped at the chance!

The Format

Alright, let’s start with the basics. The New 42 is made up of 42 days of devotionals. Why 42? Obviously because 42 is the answer to life, the universe and everything. What more perfect amount of days for a geek devotional could there be? Most days consist of a short devotional and your Quest of the Day - a Bible reading (usually a chapter, sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less), some questions to think about, and possibly an activity of some sort. The activities include things like building something creative, talking to a friend about what God has done in your life, and researching ministries that reach out to unlikely people (like us geeky ones).

Maybe you noticed I said “most days” and you’re wondering what the rest of the days are. The New 42 also includes four Prayer Days, where you are given a prompt related to what you’ve been learning in the devotional. The prompts encourage you to engage in prayer time about what God is speaking to you, for the people around you, and for your community.

I really appreciate the Quests of the Day and the Prayer Days. They are great invitations to slow down and reflect on how God is speaking to you throughout the devotional. Some prompts ask you to think about how God has worked in your life in the past. Remembering and looking to God’s goodness is an important part of worship and the Christian walk, especially during difficult times.

The Content

The New 42 includes lessons from many geeky areas of life – comics, movies, anime, video games, and board games – touching on some fan favourites like Marvel, DC, Disney, and Godzilla, as well as some lesser known fandoms. I loved when my favourites were in the daily devotional, but it was also fun to learn about some shows and games that I hadn’t even heard of before.

The Bible readings throughout the 42 days span the whole Bible, starting in Genesis and going right to Revelation, with a sampling from almost every book. I really appreciated that about this devotional, because it shows the important lessons that can be learned throughout the whole Bible, as well as revealing how God’s story is connected in all the books.

What It’s All About

The New 42 starts out talking about terraforming, which they define as “[changing] the entire ecosystem of a planet to be more hospitable for a particular species”. The next 41 days explore how God came into people’s lives in the past changing their names, their situations, and their lives, and how God can and does do the same for us. The Creator of the universe “wants to meet with you and terraform your heart.”

I’ve talked about change before – how it doesn’t always feel like a good thing and it’s definitely not always an easy thing. Sometimes we choose the change and sometimes we get blindsided. But change happens ALL. THE. TIME. Life is always changing. And now God wants to come in and start shaking things up too? That can seem scary. The daily devotional that spoke to me most was about the immutability of God – His absolutely unchanging nature. All the truths we know about God – His goodness, His faithfulness, His love – have always been true and will always remain true. In the midst of all the other change in our lives and in our hearts, God remains the same. God terraforms all things, and the reason that that change is comforting is because He never does.

I hope that gave you a good idea of what The New 42 is all about without too many spoilers! I think this devotional would be great for a geek in any stage of their Christian walk. It addresses a lot of the “basics” for those who are still new to the faith but contains truths that are important to be reminded of often. The New 42: God Terraforms All Things is a great way to combine your fandom with your faith and grow in God!

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