Posted by: Brian Musser | March 8, 2013

Soul Print by Mark Batterson (A Book Review)

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Soul Print by Mark Batterson

I wrote this review awhile ago for WaterBrook Multnomah’s Blogging for Books Program.  I could not find it on my site so I’m either posting it or re-posting it today.

I judge a book by the thoughts it causes me to think. I did not get off the first page of Soul Print and my mind was reeling. As a campus minister on a major university in the North East, identity formation is a common topic of discussion with my peers and colleagues in Student Life. I have often seen the becoming who God designed you to be through the redeeming work of Christ and the transforming action of the Holy Spirit as being the example of identity formation par excellence. It is the benchmark to which everyone is striving. Mark’s opening chapter lined up with what I was already thinking. He was able to coherently express what I have wanted to for awhile. One major disappointment with this book is that I did not get to write it first. Soul Print directly connected with what I’m actively pursuing as I help develop college students. It also connected ideas from three other books I had read in the recent past.

BloggingForBooks-120x600The first is the End of Memory: Remembering Rightly in a Violent World by Miroslav Volf. Volf is much more academic in his treatment of the concept of memory but he comes to the same basic conclusions. We need to properly steward our memories. Soul Print, in my mind, became the application of Volf’s esoteric text.

The second book connects with Soul Print at an entirely different point. Erwin Raphael McManus’ Soul Cravings is the book that gets you to pick up Soul Print. Soul Cravings is the discussion about what does your soul need. What is it looking for? Intimacy, destiny, purpose are McManus’ answers. Batterson gives a good blueprint in Soul Print for finding those answers. Soul Cravings produces the questions. Soul Print is the workbook for finding the answers.

The final book is from Donald Miller. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years is exactly what it would look like if someone went on the journey Batterson encourages us to take in Soul Print. Donald allows us to watch him as he sorts through the destiny questions in a very Soul Print kind of way. Donald would be a fellow traveler for anyone who goes on the journey.

Soul Cravings creates the question that needs to be answered. The End of Memory provides the theological and philosophical ground work for answering that question. Soul Print is the applied workbook for developing that answer that is specifically tailored to your life in the eyes of God. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years is a firsthand testimony of someone on the journey. With that said, evaluating how these books fit together, Soul Print is the lynch pin  It was the book that connected them in my mind. It is also the one that I would recommend to read if you could only read one of them.

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