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Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You [Kindle Edition]

John Ortberg
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (270 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $22.99
Kindle Price: $11.99
You Save: $11.00 (48%)
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishing

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Book Description

The soul is NOT "a theological and abstract subject."

The soul is the coolest, eeriest, most mysterious, evocative, crucial, sacred, eternal, life-directing, fragile, indestructible, controversial, expensive dimension of your existence.

Jesus said it’s worth more than the world.

You'd be an idiot not to prize it above all else.

Shouldn't you get pretty clear on exactly what it is?

Shouldn't you know what it runs on?

Wouldn't it be worth knowing how to care for it?

Two things are for sure. One is: you have a soul. The other is: if you don't look after this one you won’t be issued a replacement.

Bestselling author John Ortberg writes another classic that will help readers discover their soul and take their relationship with God to the next level.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John Ortberg is the senior pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church (MPPC) in the San Francisco Bay Area. His bestselling books include Soul Keeping, Who Is This Man?, and If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get out of the Boat.  John teaches around the world at conferences and churches, writes articles for Christianity Today and Leadership Journal, and is on the board of the Dallas Willard Center and Fuller Seminary. He has preached sermons on Abraham Lincoln, The LEGO Movie, and The Gospel According to Les Miserables. John and his wife Nancy enjoy spending time with their three adult children, dog Baxter, and surfing the Pacific. You can follow John on twitter @johnortberg or check out the latest news/blogs on his website at

Product Details

  • File Size: 765 KB
  • Print Length: 200 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0310275962
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Zondervan; Har/Pap/Dv edition (April 22, 2014)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishing
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,479 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
68 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tribute to Dallas Willard, and a step forward April 22, 2014

I’ll be perfectly honest with you: my first thought when I finished John Ortberg‘s upcoming book Soul Keeping was, “Oh, I wish I’d written this book.” The second was, “but only Ortberg could have done it.” With his signature easygoing style and wry self-deprecating humor, John Ortberg has explained why our souls matter, what they actually are, and how we can help keep them–and ourselves–healthy and whole. If you care about the quality of your living and the kind of person you are turning out to be, this book is for you.

But what makes Soul Keeping truly special is Ortberg’s compelling portrait of his friend and mentor, Christian philosopher Dallas Willard, and his extraordinarily practical interpretation of one of Willard’s most challenging concepts: the nature and operation of the human person. If you are new to Willard’s ideas, or didn’t get a chance to know him, or just want to remember the grace and brilliance of the man through Ortberg’s tender and grateful reminiscences, this book is for you.

Following Willard, Ortberg explains the nature of the soul as the part of a person that coordinates and integrates the others–the body, mind, and will. When the soul is healthy and whole, the other parts work together, creating an integrity of the inner and outer lives. When the soul is whole, everything else runs smoothly: one experiences peace in the midst of chaos, ease during challenges, and hope in living. When the soul is damaged, the body, mind, and will are at odds, working against each other. When our souls are damaged, our minds believe an action is good, but our bodies do another: we eat the ice cream knowing the kale is better.
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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
I have been familiar with John Ortberg's work through talks he has given at the American Association for Christian Counselors and his book The Life You Always Wanted, which surprisingly is not a book of prosperity theology. Because I have been favorably impressed with his work in the past, I was eager to read Soul Keeping: Caring for the Most Important Part of You (2014).

Ortberg is a pastor at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in California, though he also trained as a clinical psychologist. Each of those facts are important background in this book about caring for the soul. Additionally, Ortberg was profoundly influenced by the work of Dallas Willard who in May last year. In many regards, this book is a festschrift to Willard. Not only are Willard's influences deeply felt, Ortberg went out of his way to weave many stories about the man, a welcome addition.

Essentially, this short book is a study in how we care for the most important part of us our souls. At the outset, Ortberg seeks to define the soul so that the reader is able to proceed from a place of common understanding. Once he establishes what the soul is, he moves on to reviewing what the soul needs and eventually how the soul is restored.

There were a few things that I particularly appreciated about this book. First, Ortberg does a commendable job of differentiating between the soul and the self. So often in modern thinking about mental health, we think only about the self, which Ortberg suggests is misguided. Rather, we should focus on the soul, which defines who we are in relation to God. In the world of Christian psychology where I do some reading and writing, this is an important distinction.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
Living in a time of increased secularization has numerous byproducts, and among them is neglect of the soul. The immaterial or spiritual dimension of the human person has become a mystery, and while soul-language endures, questions such as "How is it with your soul?" are often met with perplexity and mystification. Our thinking concerning the soul is quite limited, and for those suffering from deepest distress at our spiritual core, we lack wisdom concerning where to turn.

John Ortberg, in his latest book Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You ($5.99 on Kindle today), calls our attention to the soul, something he claims we acknowledge yet do not understand. We do live during a time when the soul is greatly neglected, even among Christian people. Therefore, when a pastor or leader steps forward and offers us wisdom, we should evaluate their words first, and then, where found to be true, put them in to practice.

I've read many John Ortberg books, and I think this is one of his best. It is personal and it is sophisticated. It is a readable work, one that I enjoyed. The book begins with a parable, with Ortberg telling us of a stream and its keeper. In the story there is a village, seated at the base of a mountain. High atop the trail, there is an elderly man who travels up and down the stream, keeping it free from debris or any substance that could pollute its waters. As long as the stream is well kept, the village prospers and enjoys the benefits. When the stream is neglected, all suffer. And Ortberg tells us the soul is like the stream, and we are like the keeper. We must do those things which lead to health, the first priority reconciliation and relationship with the one for whom our souls are made--God himself.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars No
It was not that interested= it did not change my life at all
Published 2 days ago by lou ellen dean
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love the book. The dvd with this series is excellent!
Published 4 days ago by Martha Stewart
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great book from John Ortberg
I've been a fan of John Ortberg for a long time but this is probably my favorite book of his. This is such a crucial topic and he handles it with his typical style-practical,... Read more
Published 4 days ago by Erik Butz
5.0 out of 5 stars I really loved this book and the gentle way John Ortberg points ...
I really loved this book and the gentle way John Ortberg points us back to what is really important in our lives, keeping our soul aligned with God.
Published 4 days ago by Patricia A. Webster
5.0 out of 5 stars This book will allow you sometime to consider the most ...
This book will allow you sometime to consider the most important part of you - your soul. When your soul is well you are well too even if life is challenging. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Randall J. Beal
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good book for small group discussion
Published 6 days ago by Thomas G. Devenish
5.0 out of 5 stars great thoughts!
Awesome, Inspiring book!!! Keep your souls, most important thing we can do. This book shows how important this lifestyle is.
Published 8 days ago by Staci Shiner
5.0 out of 5 stars Awestruck
I bought this book bc it was on of THE best purchases ever. I will be reading it again for it is life-changing. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Elizabeth Alavi
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
Life changing book. Would continue to share!!!
Published 8 days ago by Maureen McDirmit
5.0 out of 5 stars Texas Jan
How do I tend my stream (my soul). Oh so dramatically different since reading this book. Thank you John Ortberg & Dallas
Published 10 days ago by Jan
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More About the Author

John Ortberg is senior pastor at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in Menlo Park, California. He is the bestselling author of Who Is This Man?; The Me I Want to Be; Know Doubt; When the Game Is Over, It All Goes Back in the Box; God Is Closer Than You Think; The Life You've Always Wanted; Everybody's Normal Till You Get to Know Them; If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat; Love Beyond Reason; and (with Kevin Harney) the multimedia curriculum Old Testament Challenge. Now that their children are grown, he and his wife, Nancy enjoy surfing the Pacific to care for their souls.

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