Book Review: Soul Keeping by John Ortberg

Soul KeepingNow this review is special as I had the privilege of getting an advance copy of the book from Zondervan which is published today (22nd April)

Here is stolen blurb from anywhere that sells the book : 

Many people think that the “soul” is a theologically abstract subject. But Jesus said it’s worth more than the world! With Ortberg’s signature insight, inspiration, and wit, you’ll rediscover your soul and how to care for it. Making a challenging topic accessible, he’ll help you take your relationship with God to the next level.

In BEAUTIFUL OUTLAW, John Eldredge removes the religious varnish to help readers discover stunning new insights into the humanity of Jesus. He was accused of breaking the law, keeping bad company, heavy drinking. Of being the devil himself. He was so compelling and dangerous they had to kill him. But others loved him passionately. He had a sense of humor. His generosity was scandalous. His anger made enemies tremble. He’d say the most outrageous things. He was definitely not the Jesus of the stained glass.In the author’s winsome, narrative approach, he breaks Jesus out of the typical stereotypes, just as he set masculinity free in his book, Wild at Heart. By uncovering the real Jesus, readers are welcomed into the rich emotional life of Christ. All of the remarkable qualities of Jesus burst like fireworks with color and brilliance because of his humanity.Eldredge goes on to show readers how they can experience this Jesus in their lives every day. This book will quicken readers’ worship, and deepen their intimacy with Jesus. – See more at: http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/titles/john-eldredge/beautiful-outlaw/9780892960880/#desc
Reading the Gospels without knowing the personality of Jesus is like watching television with the sound turned off. The result is a dry, two dimensional person doing strange, undecipherable things.In BEAUTIFUL OUTLAW, John Eldredge removes the religious varnish to help readers discover stunning new insights into the humanity of Jesus. He was accused of breaking the law, keeping bad company, heavy drinking. Of being the devil himself. He was so compelling and dangerous they had to kill him. But others loved him passionately. He had a sense of humor. His generosity was scandalous. His anger made enemies tremble. He’d say the most outrageous things. He was definitely not the Jesus of the stained glass.In the author’s winsome, narrative approach, he breaks Jesus out of the typical stereotypes, just as he set masculinity free in his book, Wild at Heart. By uncovering the real Jesus, readers are welcomed into the rich emotional life of Christ. All of the remarkable qualities of Jesus burst like fireworks with color and brilliance because of his humanity.Eldredge goes on to show readers how they can experience this Jesus in their lives every day. This book will quicken readers’ worship, and deepen their intimacy with Jesus. – See more at: http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/titles/john-eldredge/beautiful-outlaw/9780892960880/#desc
Reading the Gospels without knowing the personality of Jesus is like watching television with the sound turned off. The result is a dry, two dimensional person doing strange, undecipherable things.In BEAUTIFUL OUTLAW, John Eldredge removes the religious varnish to help readers discover stunning new insights into the humanity of Jesus. He was accused of breaking the law, keeping bad company, heavy drinking. Of being the devil himself. He was so compelling and dangerous they had to kill him. But others loved him passionately. He had a sense of humor. His generosity was scandalous. His anger made enemies tremble. He’d say the most outrageous things. He was definitely not the Jesus of the stained glass.In the author’s winsome, narrative approach, he breaks Jesus out of the typical stereotypes, just as he set masculinity free in his book, Wild at Heart. By uncovering the real Jesus, readers are welcomed into the rich emotional life of Christ. All of the remarkable qualities of Jesus burst like fireworks with color and brilliance because of his humanity.Eldredge goes on to show readers how they can experience this Jesus in their lives every day. This book will quicken readers’ worship, and deepen their intimacy with Jesus. – See more at: http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/titles/john-eldredge/beautiful-outlaw/9780892960880/#desc
Reading the Gospels without knowing the personality of Jesus is like watching television with the sound turned off. The result is a dry, two dimensional person doing strange, undecipherable things.In BEAUTIFUL OUTLAW, John Eldredge removes the religious varnish to help readers discover stunning new insights into the humanity of Jesus. He was accused of breaking the law, keeping bad company, heavy drinking. Of being the devil himself. He was so compelling and dangerous they had to kill him. But others loved him passionately. He had a sense of humor. His generosity was scandalous. His anger made enemies tremble. He’d say the most outrageous things. He was definitely not the Jesus of the stained glass.In the author’s winsome, narrative approach, he breaks Jesus out of the typical stereotypes, just as he set masculinity free in his book, Wild at Heart. By uncovering the real Jesus, readers are welcomed into the rich emotional life of Christ. All of the remarkable qualities of Jesus burst like fireworks with color and brilliance because of his humanity.Eldredge goes on to show readers how they can experience this Jesus in their lives every day. This book will quicken readers’ worship, and deepen their intimacy with Jesus. – See more at: http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/titles/john-eldredge/beautiful-outlaw/9780892960880/#desc

My thoughts :

In this book, John describes what the soul is, what it needs, how it is made to operate and how we care for it, but in a really simple way using plain language and oftentimes, brutal honesty about his own struggles. It has got me seriously thinking about the condition of my own soul, my pace of life and my own honesty.

John charts his relationship with the late Dallas Willard, their first meeting and his many “Huh?” moments, the deep wisdom from Dallas and shows his own growing maturity through that relationship which culminates in a deep love and respect.  Through all of this, John learns the importance of the soul and why it is vital to care for it properly.  This book seems to me to be a re-telling of his own journey.

Packed with nuggets such as “The life of the village depends on the health of the stream. The stream is your soul. And you are the keeper.” and “Hurry is the great enemy of spiritual life in our day. You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.” even the sound bites are enough to keep you going!

This will possibly be one of those books that will influence me for a very long time; it is deep but not heavy, full of profound wisdom and sayings but accessible and is clearly a tribute in love to a dear friend who learned how to walk with God in his timing.

First sentence | Last sentence :

“There was once a town high in the Alps that straddled the banks of a beautiful stream” | “The stream is your soul. And you are the keeper”

In a nutshell :

Your soul is important, powerful, delicate and strong and you must care for it properly or risk it becoming shriveled and dry to your detriment.

Score :

5/5

MrTheKidd

Did you find this review helpful? Leave a comment and let me know!

To find out more you can follow John Ortberg on twitter @JohnOrtberg or through his website johnortberg.com

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: Soul Keeping by John Ortberg”

  1. Thanks for your review, Bill.

    For the sound bites alone, I’m encouraged to have a read. And I’d agree that hurry is the enemy of our spiritual lives today.

    Certainly mine, anyway!

    1. Thanks for the comment – I underlined sentences in around 50 pages, so many chunks of profound wisdom to be had! With hurry, we need to be careful to distinguish between that and being busy, which is entirely different and a good thing. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the book!

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