Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Review: Soul Detox

In the purest sense, Christianity is not intended to be one of the world's major religions, but rather it is supposed to be a relationship with the one, true, living God through his Son, Jesus. ~ Craig Groeschel in Soul Detox (2012)

There is so much of Soul Detox: Clean Living in a Contaminated World by Craig Groeschel that I liked, but I admit, in opposition to the cliché, I was drawn by its simple cover of yellow-gloved hands wringing out a blue sponge. If only cleansing the soul could be as easily done!

However, the cleansing of one's soul requires some work because we live in a sin-contaminated world. Just as exposure to harmful toxins can accumulate in the body causing disease, the toxins of sin accumulate in our souls a little at a time diseasing our relationship with God. The analogy was quite fitting, even the names of the chapters were as interesting as their content was insightful.

Toxic Behaviors
Deception Infection: Telling Ourselves the Truth
Septic Thoughts: Overcoming Our False Beliefs
Lethal Language: Experiencing the Power of Life-Giving Words
Hazardous Waste: Uncovering Our Hidden Sins

Toxic Emotions
Bitter Roots: Digging Up the Destructive Source of Resentment
Green with Envy: Scratching the Poison Ivy of Comparison
Rage Rash: Neutralizing The Acid of Anger
Scare Pollution: Unlocking the Chokehold of Fear

Toxic Influences
Mood Poisoning: Purging the False Promises of Materialism
Germ Warfare: Cleansing Our Lives of Cultural Toxins
Radioactive Relationships: Loving Unhealthy People without Getting Sick
Religion Gone Bad: Tossing Out Moldy Legalism, Spoiled Churches, and Sour Christians

While the author pulls no punches in identifying sinful practices, it is done in the least condemning way and with some confessions of his own. In fact, there is a sprinkling of humor that I found quite engaging with such a serious subject. I also appreciated his stance against legalism:

Some people disagree with me, but I refuse to take a legalistic stance and draw a hard line based on someone else's standards. For example, when it comes to movies, I've heard respected Christian leaders say, "Going to see an R-rates movie is always wrong."… The fact that we're called to discernment and not indoctrination is crucial to understand. The Passion of the Christ earned an R rating for its brutal violence, yet most Christians agree the movie has tremendous spiritual value. But at the same time, there needs to be a line somewhere. As you pray, I believe God will show you where to draw that line.

There probably is nothing new described in this book, but the principles described are well organized without being overwhelming and certainly can be put to use for cleansing one's soul, as suggested. I recommend Soul Detox highly for every Christian.

Disclosure: I received this book for free from Zondervan in exchange for my honest review.

3 comments:

  1. I want to read this book - it sounds great! By the way, how did you get to be a reviewer for Zondervan?

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    1. I begged on my hands and knees! LOL!

      Seriously, Paula, I was contacted by a third party promoter for the first Zondervan book I reviewed, which I loved! After that one I contacted Zondervan directly. http://fs20.formsite.com/BlogReviewers/form661811949/index.html

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  2. I was always taught that when I prayed to have a time of thankfulness & confession before I entered into a time of my "requests". I remember as a teenager thinking, "I can't think of anything to confess. I didn't do anything wrong today." The truth is that I had done lots of things wrong that day and every day. I feel that we always fight sins such as gossip, fear, anger, and especially envy. I think it really affects the witness we share when we have these sins in our lives. Unfortunately, our culture doesn't see some of them as sins. This sounds like a wonderful book & one that we need to add to our library at home.

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Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.