Great book for young adults who grew up going to church – “Firsthand” by Ryan and Josh Shook. For video promos go here: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/firsthandvideos/.
Batterson has become a popular writer in recent years with such books as “In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day”, “Wild Goose Chase”, and “Primal”. He is an innovative communicator, particularly appealing to the 20-something crowd that National Community Church attracts. I have to admit up front that when I started the book I wasn’t too excited. I’m not typically a fan of books that are designed to help me discover the inner me. But he began to win me over more with each chapter.
The book follows key events in the life of King David of the Old Testament, using these events to explore different aspects of our “soulprint”. What is this “soulprint”? According to Batterson, “Your fingerprint uniquely identifies you and differentiates you from everyone else who has ever lived, but your fingerprint is only skin deep. You possess a uniqueness that is soul deep. I call it your soulprint. It’s not just who you are, present tense. It’s who you are destined to become, future tense.”
I particularly resonated with his thoughts on integrity – from the chapter entitled “The Crags of the Wild Goats”. Batterson states, “We fixate on what and when and where. God’s primary concern is always who. And He won’t get you where He wants you to go until you become who He wants you to be.” He also advises, “And this is what happens when you compromise your integrity. You have to always look over your shoulder. Instead of being able to focus all your energy on looking ahead, you have to waste energy looking back. You can’t focus on where you’re going because you have to cover up where you’ve been.”
Authenticity is a popular theme in this book (as in so many books coming from young writers today). Batterson spends time explaining the Johari Window http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johari_window, as a good tool for maintaining authenticity. This classic tool describes four quadrants of life that exist for each of us based on what you know about ourselves, and what others know about us. He believes the Soulprint resides in that quadrant described as those things you don’t know about yourself and that others don’t know about you. Only God knows these things about you.
This small book, taken from a series of messages he delivered at his church, is full of personal stories and observations. It is clear that Batterson is striving for that authenticity about which he writes. It is a good read for anyone asking the “Who am I?” and “Why am I here?” questions.
Note: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. To download a free copy of the first chapter of this book (and a bunch of other books), go to http://www.scribd.com/waterbrook.