This book really has been good for my soul. Reading it taught me more about myself and more about my God.
John Ortberg writes in a funny, accessible way sharing humorous self-deprecating examples frequently. For example:
Entering into a very busy season of ministry, I called Dallas (Willard) to ask him what I needed to do to stay spiritually healthy. There was a long pause — with Dallas there was nearly always a long pause — and then he said slowly, “You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.” I quickly wrote that down. Most people take notes with Dallas. I have even seen his wife take notes, which my wife rarely does with me (page 20).
And again here —
“The will is very central, but it’s also incredibly limited,” Dallas explained. “Do you ever find yourself doing something that goes against your better judgment or values?”
“Hardly ever,” I said as I finished my second piece of molten hot fudge cake and ice cream (page 41).
I finished Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You about a month ago, and I’m embarrassed to say that I thought I had already reviewed it. It’s definitely a book I’ve been excited to share, so I’m glad that I realized my mistake.
I’m going to flesh out my thoughts with the publisher’s description, because it’s a good one:
The health of your soul isn’t just a matter of saved or unsaved. It’s the hinge on which the rest of your life hangs. It’s the difference between deep, satisfied spirituality and a restless, dispassionate faith.
In an age of materialism and consumerism that tries to buy its way to happiness, many souls are starved and unhealthy, unsatisfied by false promises of status and wealth. We’ve neglected this eternal part of ourselves, focusing instead on the temporal concerns of the world—and not without consequence.
Bestselling author John Ortberg presents another classic that will help you discover your soul—the most important connection to God there is—and find your way out of the spiritual shallow-lands to true divine depth. With characteristic insight and an accessible story-filled approach, Ortberg brings practicality and relevance to one of Christianity’s most mysterious and neglected topics.
What this description doesn’t mention is the fact that this book also honors Dallas Willard. John Ortberg had a decades-long relationship with the theologian. That friendship and Willard’s teaching molded Ortberg as a pastor, a husband, and a keeper of his own soul. I think that because he is sharing his application of the teaching of his friend and mentor, the book is even more accessible and comes from a place of humility.
Highly, highly recommended.