28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on February 20, 2007
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Love is probably the most misunderstood word in the English today. And this is truly tragic. For those in search of the true meaning of love, Soul Cravings is a must read book. Erwin's meditations are filled with beautiful insights that will make you smile and bring you to tears. Like a river that ulimately finds it way to the sea, Soul Cravings takes the reader on a journey that connects God with love, and then shows us how love can cure so many ills of the world today. As St. Paul told the people of Corinth, without love, we are nothing. Erwin's book is a timely reminder of this fundamental and universal truth.This is a book that everybody should read at some point in their life. I plan on giving out copies of this book to as many people as I can. I can't think of a better gift to my loved ones and my enemies. God bless you, Erwin!
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2007
Some of the greatest frustrations of life on earth stem from our deep desire for those things that this life can never provide, which Erwin McManus identifies as the cravings of our soul. McManus, pastor of the Mosaic community in Los Angeles and author of Gold Medallion finalist AN UNSTOPPABLE FORCE, sees our universal cravings as a search for identity, destiny and meaning, and he arranges SOUL CRAVINGS accordingly.
Each chapter in those three sections is labeled an "entry," an accurate description for writing that at times has the feel of a journal entry. Only with McManus, the writing is a cut above the way most of us would record our musings. He startles you every now and then with a sentence that you know you'll remember forever. One example, from Entry #13, Being Loved to Death, in reference to Jesus' encounter with the Pharisees and the woman caught in adultery (the "Let him who is without sin throw the first stone" passage): "If Jesus' encounter with this unnamed adulterous woman tells us anything," he writes, "it reveals the unexpected truth that the safest place for a sinful person to go is to God." We may already know that, we may in fact have known that for years, but we may never have thought to express it in that way --- describing God as the safest place for a sinner to go.
McManus's way with words may be the book's greatest strength. He's so good with words that it takes a while before you realize that you have no better idea of what to do with your unfulfilled soul cravings than you had before you read the book. It's like the way you feel after a profound and caffeine-laced philosophical discussion with a friend about the deeper issues of life. Neither one of you is any closer to understanding those deeper issues, but you feel better just knowing there's someone you can talk to on that level. The meaning of life, the nature of faith, the resiliency of the human spirit, the problem of evil, the value of doubting --- McManus thinks out loud about all this and more, providing us with a whole lot to think about on our own.
If there is an answer to be found in SOUL CRAVINGS, it is this: our cravings begin and end with God. Throughout, McManus reminds us that, ultimately, whatever it is that we crave most --- for instance, love --- is already available to us in our relationship with God. And trying to fill those cravings with anything other than God is not only futile but can also be destructive. He writes: "No matter what we become, it is never enough. Our souls always crave more. It's not because they're insatiable, but because we know there's more to be had." That "more" is a life of intimacy, destiny and meaning --- all of which can only be found in a life with God.
--- Reviewed by Marcia Ford
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on April 18, 2007
Soul Cravings touches on something that can speak to all peoples, regardless of beliefs.Whether you believe in no god,one god or more than one god this book can speak into your life and make you look at your soul cravings differently. It helps you discover meaning and purpose and an understanding of what you are created for. You won't need a dictionary when reading it, it's pretty straight forward.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on February 16, 2007
Erwin did it again. This powerful book is broken into about 75 entries. Some of the entry titles include: "When Love Cuts Like a Knife," "Love is Not a Four Letter Word," and "Bloody Sunday Leads to Cheap Monday."
This book is almost impossible to read in one sitting. Each section is much too rich for a quick read. Ewrin's words will stretch your understanding of God's love, life, meaning, cravings, and destiny.
Erwin, thanks for the awesome and inspiring book!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 8, 2007
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Erwin McManus' book is an honest exploration of the human heart. Using examples from his own life(some funny, some sad, all introspective), McManus gently nudges us into a place where we can think and question. Like Scorates, McManus asks more questions than he does answer them or offer up advice. Soul Cravings is a portal to self-examination. I invite you to try it out.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2007
Mcmanus turns out another compelling argument for real Christianity. He's raw and offensive to some but compellingly realistic. How wonderfully similar to everyman's questions and experiences!
Many of us make our way to the pews each Sunday with a sense of belonging but continued longing for the fulfillment of the Christian life. What in the world am I hear for? This was the question Rick Warren worked to answer in The Purpose Driven Life. Now, McManus brings that question to Baby Busters to Gen-Y and many of us, regardless of age, struggling with similar caffeine issues. Soul Cravings will resonate with anyone that admits they're alive and dreaming, somewhere deep inside.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
One of the embarrassing things about Christian books is that there aren't very many of them that I feel comfortable giving to friends who aren't "members of the club". Nearly all Christian books assume that the reader holds particular moral positions and beliefs, and understands Christian jargon. Books that don't have this failing often seem to assume that the reader has the intelligence and vocabulary of an 8-year-old, or that the reader finds reading polemic to be a helpful way of reaching an informed decision.
One book which avoids any of these failings, and which I am not embarrassed to give to my friends, is Soul Cravings, by Erwin McManus. In a series of "entries", the book explores and interprets our cravings for intimacy, meaning and destiny, and shows how they point to the existence of God and our need for him.
Topics covered include "The elusive nature of love", "Do you know who you are?", "Destiny calling", "Believing in the future takes faith", "Making sense of this mess", and "Just follow the signs". Erwin says, "I don't know how to prove God to you. I can only hope to guide you to a place where you and God might meet."
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 20, 2007
I love Erwin McManus, especially hearing him speak, but his writing is excellent as well. He has a great way of relating to all types of people, and that is what this book is about. We all have cravings within our souls that are basically what we are looking for in life: intimacy, purpose, and meaning. It really helps you look inside your heart and figure out why you are doing things and how you might want to change that to get to a good place in the future. He really makes you think, and his stories and examples from current culture are excellent.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2009
Erwin is so able to capture what is tugging at all of our hearts. He isn't afraid to confront the tough issues and question God openly about the things that we all (well, speaking for myself) wonder about and need an answer for. Give this to your non-believing friends and have some profound conversations. Highly recommended.
McManus has a dynamic focus on life, and an exciting multi-ethnic background. He was born in El Salvador, emigrated to the US, majored in philosophy, and now serves a Pastor of the creative Mosaic church in Los Angeles, and a national consultant on change, culture, leadership and creativity.
His foundations as a philosophy major inform his theological reflections on life and faith, and he has plunged into the mystery and excitement of actually exploring the Gospels and the meaning of Faith outside the confines of organized religion.
McManus experiences the liberation of Faith in Christ, and is able to approach others who have not had the same experience, or who understand it differently, in a non-judgemental manner but with a warm and sympathetic evangelical concern for others. Following the example of Jesus in the Gospels, he meets people where they are and tries to make meaningful communication.
His refreshing insights and challenges here will be encouraging to people at all stages of faith and non-faith. His thoughtful reflections sound like Jesus cutting through the cultural fluff of tradition to perceive where God is working and what the priorities of the Rule of God are.
McManus expresses the joy and wonder of grace that he experiences daily in his life in the Spirit and tries to convey to all who are also seeking God's grace in integrity.