Soul Custody by Stephen W Smith – My Review

David C. Cook (August 1, 2010)
Although this was a DNF’d book, I still feel that I can write a review since there were only 40 pages left when I put the book down. This book contained some interesting thoughts and ideas but as often happens for me with non-fiction the reading went rather slowly. Smith uses narrative examples but still writes rather dryly, more akin to textbook style phrasing and structure. This style along with repetitious content are likely the culprits for both the slow reading and the subsequent “giving-up” before I read the entirety. The narrative examples serve well as a device for drawing readers in to the material as well as clarifying points despite the repetition and dry factual presentation of the remaining content. My major quibble with this particular “study” however was the use of scripture quotes from a paraphrase version rather than a true translation of the Bible. This particular version, The Message, contains many phrasings that I personally like for the language flow as well as the pictures they paint in the imagination. On the other hand using it as a primary source for a study of meaning and intent without also citing other versions or making it clear this is not a translated version can become misdirected or confusing by those that might pick-up the volume without knowledge of the source material used as supportive points. Smith addresses a number of common topics among Christian non-fiction writing such as trust, allowing God to have full control as well as directional input, obedience, focused listening, and consulting Him for advice and instruction that is sometimes given via conversation and scripture. Those who enjoy non-fiction, study style material that informs and draws the reader into reflection on themselves and their belief/understanding of faith and truth. (ISBN#9781434764720, 224pp, $14.99)

Codicil:
Visit Stephen’s website. Click the cover for more info and to purchase a copy. See what other FIRST reviewers are saying. Read an excerpt. Thanks to TBB Media for a review copy.

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