Sunday, January 23, 2011

Soulprint by Mark Batterson

Your soulprint is uniquely you, your gifts and passions. It is who you are and who God has destined you to be.
Batterson wants you to discover your soulprint. He says you owe it to yourself and moreover to God to be who God designed you to be. “The only way to discover who you are is to discover who God is, because you were made in His image.” (12)
We are shaped by a few defining experiences (including bad ones). “Part of discovering your soul print is seeing the purposes of God in your past experiences.” (61) God redeems the past. “You are not defined by what you have done wrong. You are redefined by what Christ has done right.” (154) This may require managing memories, “ imaging the past in light of God's providence.” (60)
God may use brokenness to reveal our soulprint. God may use a prophet to reveal our blind areas. We need to be in the process of self examination.
“If you want to discover your soulprint, you've got to begin and end with Scripture.” (135) “If you want to discover your destiny, you've got to spend time in the presence of God. … True self-discovery happens only in the presence of God.” (144)
“Discovering your soulprint means finding your identity and security in Christ alone. … Nothing else. Nothing less.” (100) (Is this ever possible?)
Batterson's book is an odd combination of telling his own stories, giving examples from David's life, inserting biblical instruction on character development, and topping it off with some psychology (he likes the Johari Window, a cognitive psychological tool).
He speaks of identity and security in Christ alone but also admonishes, “You control you.” (82) He tells us, “Be yourself. … Be authentic.” (100) To me, the message seems mixed.
For a seasoned believer, I am not sure there is anything new in this book. For a young believer, this may be an encouragement. This book would best be used in community, in a discipleship group. Discussion over this book is essential. It is not a sufficient work to be used by one person alone.
There are discussion questions in the back of the book and one of them is, “Most Christians would agree that it's important to 'find one's identity in Christ.' But how does one actually go about doing that?” (163) How indeed? Unfortunately, I don't think Batterson has provided the reader with a sufficient tool to definitively answer the question.

Publisher product information: 

This book was provided by review by The WaterBrookultnomah Publishing Group.

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