Soul Keeping

One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was the year before I entered ministry training, when someone asked me what I was reading. I listed a few books with enthusiasm--and pride, I'm sure. He asked if he could offer some advice, and I agreed. "Don't read books," he said. "Read authors."

I can't say I've followed his advice to a T since then, but when I find a good or great book, I seek out other books by that author.

John Ortberg is one such author. I love his writing style and the way he handles biblical texts and teachings. So I was anxious to read his book, Soul Keeping: Caring for the Most Important Part of You. He says that many souls in this day and age are starved and unhealthy, unsatisfied by false promises of status and wealth, and the way to depth and fulfillment is to give attention to the soul, and to care for it well.

I loved that the book was crafted around Ortberg's relationship with another of my favorite authors, the late Dallas Willard. In fact, I found my interest piqued every time Willard entered the scene. Overall, however, I didn't find Soul Keeping as helpful and engrossing as the other Ortberg books I've read. Maybe that's because I read it at the wrong time, or at the wrong pace, or something like that.

But I can recommend it nonetheless, because it's solid teaching and helpful insights on an important subject, with some flashes of brilliance sprinkled throughout. And who doesn't need that?

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