Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Review of Anatomy of the Soul by Curt Thompson

Author: Curt Thompson

Pages: 286pgs

Publisher: Salt River/Tyndale

Price: 10.19

Genre: Psychology/Science, Faith

Quick Summary:

I received this complimentary book from Tyndale House to review…

This book is a suggestion for promoting personal change and improving your relationships. And the author believes this will happen through a greater understanding of neuroscience and attachment. By blending these findings with Christianity Curt Thompson believes that significant change will happen.

Each chapter in this book serves to teach the reader how to rewire the brain in such a way that it alters your brain patterns and in turn will provide the redemption and change that you seek. This is not distanced from the Christian faith. Thompson freely acknowledges that Christ is the only Redeemer and these are simply tools that God uses to bring about our full redemption. The book is filled with stories and practical exercises to help the reader implant the suggestions in this book into their everyday life.

What I Liked:

I am no expert in psychiatry and neuroscience. I want to say that I learned quite a bit, and I am sure I did, but I want to be cautious in saying that because I have little other references to compare this to. This was an enjoyable read and it did open my eyes to a few things to consider. I think there are insights in this book that given the proper foundation could be quite helpful.

This really was a fun read.  Very interesting book.

What I Disliked:

Sometimes this book was so bogged down with technical terms that I felt I needed to take an anatomy and physiology class to get anywhere. I am not sure that most people will be willing to sift through that difficulty. But this may just be my own ignorance showing. But that is not my major concern with this book.

My major concern with this book is the theology and use of Scripture that undergirds it. This is often the problem with full integrationist in psychology. There are a few times that it seems the author tips his hand—Christ and the Scriptures are not fully sufficient for life and godliness. I may be reading this the wrong way but on page 10 I think there may be a clue to the author’s denial of the full sufficiency of Christ:

This book, then, won’t prove anything. But if you hunger and thirst for God, and if you somehow sense that in Jesus you will be closer to having your hunger satisfied and your thirst quenched…” (Italics mine).

It seems that throughout this book the findings of neuroscience is the grid for determining truth and Scripture is just used as a backup. There are more than a few times that Scripture is used out of context and words of neuroscience are interjecting into the passage.

Should You Buy It?

Despite my qualms I actually hesitate to dismiss this book outright. I think there are some really good insights in this book. I think if someone has a decent understanding of psychology and a firm grounding in the Scriptures there may be some helpful things in this book. But for the most part I would not recommend this book. Not because it is outright wrong or evil, but because I think you can spend your time reading better books on soul-care. (Consider those by CCEF, Paul Tripp, Ed Welch, etc.)

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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