Book Review: Soulprint

Title:  Soulprint

Author: Mark Batterson

Publisher’s Synopsis: There never has been and never will be anyone like you. But that isn’t a testament to you. It’s a testament to the God who created you. The problem? Few people discover the God-given identity that makes them unlike anyone else. Mark Batterson calls this divine distinction our soulprint.

God would like to introduce you to yourself.

In Soulprint, Mark pours the contagious energy he’s known for into helping you experience the joy of discovering who you are and the freedom of discovering who you’re not. The wonderful fact is that your uniqueness is God’s gift to you—and it’s also your gift to God.

A “self-help” book that puts God at the center rather than self, Soulprint encourages you to recognize and explore the moments of your life that determine your future. Along the way, you’ll find that you’re not just turning the pages of a book. You’re turning the pages of your remarkable, God-shaped, world-changing life.

I have serious issues with things that smack of “self-esteem” or spending too much time navel gazing.  Almost everything I read along those veins seems like it’s encouraging a new kind of worship– of self.  So, when I read the synopsis of Soulprint, I wasn’t sure what I’d think.  I read and reviewed Mark Batterson’s Primal, and it really made a huge impact on my life.  I really wanted to read this book, but I was nervous.  I didn’t need to be.  This book, aside from a few little caveats, is something I truly enjoyed.  It challenged me, inspired me, and sent me back to the Lord repeatedly.

Illustrations abound in this book.  Every word seems to paint a picture that makes you want more.  The illustration of Jesus setting us free of the “marble” that keeps us from shining as we are supposed to be seen, is inspiring.  I love that Mr. Batterson works hard to keep at the forefront of his book that it all boils down to Jesus.  This is ABOUT JESUS.  This is about becoming conformed to the image of Christ and fulfilling His will for us IN us.  That’s a beautiful picture.  I’ve read other books that say once, “It’s not all about you” but then later, chapter after chapter, it does seem to be about you.  This book somehow is different.  I don’t know how to explain it, but when I read about who I am, this book makes me automatically add in my mind, “in Christ.”

I would say that my favorite line in the book is, “All of us start out as one-of-a-kind originals, but too many of us become carbon copies of someone else.”  In that vein, Batterson also points out how often what we see as our weaknesses develops a strength in new areas that direct our lives in exciting new ways.  And of course, he also says one thing that I’ve made almost my life’s motto, “One of the biggest mistakes is that we focus all of our energies on the next season of life instead of truly enjoying the one we’re already in.

I keep wanting to share so many specifics of things in this book that resonated with me– things like, how most of our emotional problems emerge from one deep root in our lives  “lack of trust in a sovereign God.”  There is a section where he talks about when David could have killed Saul in the cave and didn’t.  What he says after that scenario is brilliant.  “An opportunity isn’t an opportunity if you have to compromise your integrity.”  WOW.  Amazing.  Brilliant.  Actually, that fits well with something I noticed in the review I have started for next week.   He makes a strong stand for integrity in the third section, and I love what he has to say.

One thing I took issue with, as minor as it may seem, was where Mr. Batterson says that David looked into the stream when he was looking for those five smooth stones and saw who he was really supposed to be– a giant killer.  Um, I know it’s petty, but scripture doesn’t say that.  I get the point the author is trying to make, and it’s actually a valid point, but we’re talking about SCRIPTURE here.  We can’t just make it imply, infer, or say what we want it to say… or even what may have happened.  I don’t know, maybe I’ve been working on my children’s novel too much where the children are drilled with the concept of never adding or taking away from what scripture specifically says, but it seems to me that it’s treading on dangerous territory.  On the other hand, the way he wrote the scene where David puts on the armor of Saul and then rejects it was brilliant.  It was a beautiful illustration of being true to who God wants YOU to be… not a cheap imitation of someone else.

There were other things… things that he said “would” happen that you can’t know God will or won’t do, but the principles behind those, aside from the assertion that “God will ask…”  are solid ideas.  Why do we spend so much of our lives trying to live someone else’s life?  I can’t say I agree with all of his theology.  Some of it, no matter how much I’d LIKE to agree with it, I just don’t.  However, aside from a few small things that are related to our theological differences, I still think the principle behind them is scriptural.

Section five started out making me nervous, but Mark Batterson knows how to use modern psychology to show different things without letting psychology interpret scripture– rather, the other way around.  He uses scripture to interpret what psychologists have observed.  That is, unfortunately, a rare thing in Christian books these days.

Do I recommend it?  Without a doubt.  This is probably the first book I’ve ever read that is about “self-examination” that I read with an eye to glorifying God.  Usually, they make me focus on me and become obsessed with… well… me!  This doesn’t.  Again, I can’t recommend it as something I have no objections to at all, but what book can you?  Even the books I’ve written I find things in later that I think, “Well…”  I’ll be rereading this one several times.  Definitely.

I was given this book by Multnomah for the purpose of review, and once several of us are done reading it, I’ll be drawing for someone to win it.  It won’t be “new” anymore, but it’ll still be worth a read.  So, tell me, what about the book intrigues you?  If you can’t wait, it goes on sale tomorrow!

If you have time, I’d love to have you stop by Waterbrook and rank my review.  It helps determine which books are offered to me– I think.


4 thoughts on “Book Review: Soulprint

  1. I appreciate this review, Chautona. Being a twin, I grew up constantly being compared and even expected to act just like my twin sister. We are a LOT alike, and we enjoy that, but we also are two completely different people. This book looks like it would be a good read.

  2. You’re right that most of the self-help books, even the Christian ones, tend to be “all about me” versus being how to be the woman/man God designed me to be through His Son. Sounds like this book re-focuses the reader to the solution (Jesus) versus the problem (me/sin).

  3. You’ve really whet my appetite to read this book. Putting it on my wish list (in case I don’t win it! :)) Having a degree in Psych (but almost no use for modern psychology), I’m particularly interested to read section 5. Thanks for a really informative review.

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