Review of Reggie: You Can’t Change Your Past, but You Can Change Your Future by Reggie Dabbs with John Driver


Genre: Autobiography/Inspirational

Not Recommended.

This is the story of a man who was conceived when his mother prostituted herself for $20 in order to keep her children and herself alive. He was adopted into a loving Christian family and shares his struggle to find his identity. Now a nationally acclaimed motivational speaker, Reggie loves to encourage people (especially young people) with his story.

Reggie Dabbs is a man whose life was changed when he discovered the grace of God, and I enjoyed reading his story; I think most readers will find it inspirational. He’s not a theologian however, and I felt that his attempts to fit pieces of the Bible into his story distracted from his message instead of adding to it. In a couple places, his accounts of Bible stories were embellished past the point of accuracy. I had been expecting more pure story-telling and less commentary, so was disappointed that this is more of a teaching and preaching book than an inspirational autobiography. There are even questions for reflection after every chapter, which could be nice for some readers.

This was a fine book, but not one I enjoyed well enough to recommend. I’m also not sure I agree with the motivational speaking strategy he describes using when he meets with crowds in person: calling out specific destinies for specific students (without a prophetic anointing) and verbally adopting kids as his sons and daughters (when only God can truly do that). It sounds like Reggie influences and encourages many of our youth; I pray that he also is leading them to know the Lord.

I received a complimentary copy of this book as a part of the Thomas Nelson Book Review Blogging Program through