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on January 18, 2011
Soulprint is the newest book to be released by Pastor and Author Mark Batterson. Once again he has crafted another excellent book. Batterson is a refreshing voice which continues to resonate with believers. His books have helped push believers to be more than who they are. Personally I have benefited greatly from his work. He writes in a clear easy to read manner that keeps you engaged.

In Soulprint we find Batterson using King David as our point of connection. He uses key events throughout David's life to connect to you and me, the readers, to the truth within the pages.

Batterson relates the idea of the soulprint to a fingerprint. He explains how just as there are no two fingerprints alike there are no two soulprints alike. God has created each one of us as UNIQUE individuals. The author establishes David as the example for our individual uniqueness. Sharing about David facing Goliath and how King Saul put his own armor on David; yet David couldn't wear it he had to be true to himself. Just as we need to be ourselves...no one else.

David may have been a shepherd boy... but God saw more.

David may have been a soldier on the run from his king... but God saw more.

David may have been a king you killed a man to have his wife... but God saw more.

God saw David's soulprint. David pursued God through the high-times and the low. However, he always hung onto God.
Batterson wants the readers to walk away knowing that it's never too late to be who you might have been.

It's never too late to discover your divine destiny.

Bottom line: Excellent Book, well worth the price.

A complimentary copy of Soulprint by Mark Batterson was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.
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on January 18, 2011
I received Soul Print by Mark Batterson from Blogging for Books/WaterBrookMultnomah Press.

I reviewed Mark Batterson's previous book last year. Primal was one of my top books of 2010. I actually did many posts and deeper study about Primal at [..]

Soul Print is a book that I know will rank at the top of my 2011 books.

This book is simple, profound, deep, written well, convicting and a must read for all Christians who want to grow in their personal relationship with God.

From the outside, the book looks to have a "self-help" feel but in Mark Batterson's words, "Make no mistake, this is no self-help book. Self-help is nothing more than idolatry dressed up in a rented tuxedo. So let me be blunt: you aren't good enough or gifted enough to get where God wants you to go. Not without His help. But here's the good news: there is nothing God cannot do in you and through you if you simply yeild your life to Him. All of it. All of you."

I learned so much and felt encouraged as Mark Batterson shares his personal story through the pages of his book.

The book also has a study guide in the back of the book which is very helpful. Be sure to have a journal and a pen handy when you finish each chapter!

Mark Batterson writes a wonderful book that will help you discover your divine destiny and give you the tools to put God at the center instead of self.

I highly recommend this book for personal growth or group study!
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on January 26, 2011
In Soul Print, Mark explores the life of David - King David - of Old Testament fame and looks at how David discovered who he was created to be and how we can do the same. Mark opens the book saying, "there has never been and never will be anyone else like you. But that isn't a testament to you. It's a testament to God who created you... You owe it to yourself to be yourself. But more important, you owe it to the One who designed you and destined you." He goes on to say that we worship God when we live our life in the way God created us to live it!

Here are a couple key quotes from the book... "what we think of as the goal isn't really the goal. The goal is not accomplishing the dream God has given you. The dream is a secondary issue. The primary issue is who you become in the process. 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." "Ultimately, all identity problems are really worship problems. Identity issues are the result of worshipping the wrong thing."

Mark uses personal stories as well as examples from the life of David to help us understand how we can discover who God created us to be.

I was given this book to preview, in exchange for writing a review. But even without being given the book, it is one I would have bought and would recommend that others buy. By far Mark's best book to date!
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on January 18, 2011
"There has never been and never will be anyone else like you," writes Pastor Mark Batterson in the opening of his new book, Soulprint: Discovering Your Divine Destiny. "But that isn't a testament to you. it's a testament to the God who created you."

In Soulprint, Batterson wants to help readers better understand who God has uniquely made them to be. He does this by examining a few key moments in the life of David, Israel's greatest human king. And for the most part, he says a lot of helpful things to aid this goal. For example, he writes, "The only way to discover who you are is to discover who God is because you're made in His image." (p. 10) This is exactly correct and something that isn't focused on enough in teaching on identity.

He also reminds readers to not underestimate the strangest of skills or situations that cause you to develop compensatory ones (see p. 25-26). What might seem like a bizarre skill might be an effective tool for worshipping God in a specific situation. This is a very good reminder there is no aspect of who we are or what we can do that is not intended for God's glory.

Thirdly, he reminds readers that if they really want to serve people and care about them, we'll need to stop caring so much about what they think (p. 58). This is the key to serving with integrity.

Fourthly, he writes that "just because something looks like or feels like a God thing doesn't necessarily mean it's a God thing... An opportunity isn't an opportunity if you have to compromise your integrity" (p. 60). If there's one thing to take away from the entire book, it would be this statement. Too often we view things through an open door theology; we assume that just because an opportunity presents itself, it must be from God.

That job you've always wanted is available and you've been asked to interview for it... but you've got to lie to your current employer to go. You've just bought your dream house... but the sale of your current house isn't going so well, so you might have to put some pressure on an interested party to close a deal.

"There are moments when every person's integrity is tested, and these are the most important tests you'll ever take. You'll be tempted to take the shortcut... Don't go there. Forfeit what looks like an opportunity for the sake of your integrity." (p. 61)

A final thing I appreciated was the inclusion of discussion questions for each chapter. This is a great way to help readers actively engage with this short book, and maybe open up some opportunities for legitimate self-examination.

While there were a number of helpful things in Soulprint, I found it to be incredibly uneven.

Although he eschews the idea of self-help, rightly calling it "nothing more than idolatry dressed up in a rented tuxedo" (p. 1), Soulprint is shockingly self-helpy at times. There seems to be this idea that at the end of the day, things are eventually going to work out in your favor (see pages 24-25); that God wants us to be happy (p. 95). The truth is, based on Scripture (see esp. Hebrews 11:32-40), we shouldn't expect that things are eventually going to work out for us. Our day might not come. But our hope, according to Hebrews, is not to reside in things working out in this world, but in the confident expectation of what's to come.

Secondly, Batterson writes that "maybe it's time to quit proving yourself to people and start proving yourself to God" (p. 72). This runs contradictory to what Batterson writes prior to this about how pride is a byproduct of insecurity (p. 71). You don't motivate people by telling them to prove themselves to God--because they can't. And trying to prove oneself to God isn't going to do anything but lead to pride or despair.

He also writes that, when we stand before the Lord, he won't be asking us why we weren't more like Billy Graham or Mother Theresa, or more like David; instead "God will ask, `Why weren't you more like you?'" (p. 13) I know what he's getting at in the latter (that we shouldn't try to be who we're not), but from what I've seen in Scripture, it doesn't appear that, when we stand before God, He's going to be asking too many questions.

To sum up, I found Soulprint to be a mixed bag. Much of what Batterson writes is good, biblical and thoughtful, but there's an equal amount that is either poorly worded, confusing or the result of bad thinking. While some readers will find this book helpful, It's not one that I would recommend.

----

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes by the publisher
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on March 26, 2011
I read through this short book and came to the conclusion that it was just okay. Then I took a look at other reviews and finding myself in the minority thought I better take a second look. I wish I could say my opinion changed after doing so... it didn't... but I think I did come to understand why. Just as Rick Warren's The Purpose Driven Life struck a nerve in the lives of people who were searching to fill the void in their life, so Soul Print has the potential to do the same. The style varies greatly from The Purpose Driven Life but the goal is most likely the same: - to demonstrate our intrinsic value both to God and to others as we discover our identity.

Soul Print is filled with personal stories which make it an interesting journey but if you are already acquainted with the author's other books then you will no doubt find these stories very familiar. I guess my biggest critique is simply that the book doesn't go far enough on the subject. Does it stir up questions? Yes. Does it get the ball moving? Yes. Does it provide solid, thorough, and helpful direction for those who seeking to discover their divine destiny? Mmm... probably not. But maybe I'm expecting too much from a short 183 page paperback - 30 pages of which are Discussion Guide Questions and a chapter from Primal.

~ This book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.
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on January 31, 2011
There never has been and never will be anyone like you. But that isn't a testament to you. It's a testament to the God who created you. The problem? Few people discover the God-given identity that makes them unlike anyone else.

As I've become more and more involved with the Christian book scene I ran across an opportunity to read a book by author and pastor Mark Batterson. I'm not going to lie. Before the opportunity to read "Soulprint" came along I'd never heard of Mark Batterson. However, as is often the case once I became aware of him I got very excited about this book. I checked the mail for it each day. It finally arrived and I put away everything else I was reading and dove in. As I completed the book I came away disappointed.

Batterson's primise and ideas are all valid, wonderful things that everyone needs to be aware of. However, he never seems to dig in and provide the ideas on how to discover your Soulprint. What he has done is define what a Soulprint is and why we need to understand it's existence in our life. By using 5 different well known moments in the life of David Batterson has given me a vocabulary to express the idea of God-given uniqueness to my students... which is worth reading the book. However, I was hoping for something that worked on another level to help me discover more about myself and this book didn't provide that.

I would recommend this book for anyone searching for purpose or anyone who is new in Christ. But, if you know and believe the basic premise that you are an individual masterpiece created by God for his special purpose then you might be able to skip this one.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
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on February 26, 2011
Lately, I have been doing some thinking about my job and whether it is where I am supposed to be, what I was made to be doing. Honestly, I think the answer is yes and no. I think that this is where I am supposed to be now, but I don't think it's permanent.
With these thoughts and questions going through my head, I picked out the book Soul Print by Mark Batterson.
The subtitle to this book is "discovering your divine destiny." It is meant to make you look into your own life, your meaningful experiences, your abilities, etc. and figure out who God made you to be.
I will discuss the ideas of the book, but first there are a couple things I don't like about the way it's written. First of all, it seems to me that it could have been organized better and written more succinctly. Since it is a small book, anyway, I am led to hypothesize that maybe Mark wanted to write a whole book out of little information. This seems to have led to him saying the same thing repeatedly, over and over again, redundantly. At least, that's how it seems to me.
I would say there should be more focus on God, but I think the author made a good effort to keep the focus on God. Instead, the problem isn't a lack of focus on God, it is just too much fluffy writing (which goes back to the writing style problem).
Overall, I might have found some of his ideas useful and intriguing, but I don't think this is a book I would widely recommend.
Honestly, I didn't have high expectations for the book before reading it, and I was neither pleasantly surprised nor disappointed after reading it.
On a positive note (also a sort of disclaimer) this book was provided free for review by Waterbrook Multnomah. Also, I read the paperback version, not the kindle version.
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on January 21, 2015
I came into this book by Mark Batterson with apprehension. Prior to this book I read the Circle Maker in which Batterson draws from story found outside the Bible to give Christians a road map to prayer. I read Soulprint expecting the same shallow and non-theological exposition. I found that there was some good and some not so good exposition of Biblical theology in this book.
On page 3 Batterson discusses what he calls “Second Persona.” He starts the book out with going to what man has done to find out who he is and why he is here. Great concept but he fails to go directly to the Bible. His covering of David’s life is haphazard at best and it is not until page 10 that he hints to our being made in the image of God.
The book reads more like a secular self-help book that is meant to help one with finding ones identity in the world with a sprinkling of biblical overtones. As I read each chapter, I found that he always started with secular humanism. He starts with what man has found out about himself. In the chapter entitled life symbols you see finding from Dr. Wilder Penfield and then talks about what God’s ultimate plan is.
On page 152 a statement is made by Batterson that is troubling. “I’ve come to realize that my destiny is inextricably linked to my parents’ and grandparents’…” The Bible tells us that we are each made in the image of God. It tells us that we are unique in Christ. This statement seems to go against what we have been taught.
Some positives that I saw were that he did state on page 62 that: “The ultimate objective of every circumstance is to cultivate the character of Christ in us. “ It was an easy read and did not take long to finish. I feel that the book would be much better if Batterson kept to scripture and what God has taught us in his Word about this subject. There is too much filler information about him and secular findings.
Overall the book is an easy and short read. If you’re looking for a deep theological study on what is being presented your will not find it. Batterson is another pastor that leads the “Seeker Sensitive Movement” in America. Unfortunately his books are written with that in mind and have very little benefit for the serious student of the Bible.
Disclaimer: To comply with regulations by the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR Part 255, I am disclosing that Water Brook Press® provided me a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.
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on April 8, 2011
This book is a super easy read. Mark's writing is very personable and feels like sitting down to converse with an old friend. The subtitle of the book is "Discovering your divine destiny," and while this book isn't going to give you a do-this-and-you'll-have-life-all-figured-out check list, he offers many thought-provoking moments and a Discussion Questions section to help point us in the direction of seeing ourselves as our Creator does.

Now, the meat. We are challenged to realize there is no one else like us - and that is just as God intended. We shouldn't be comfortable fitting in with others when we have our own unique destiny to fulfill. This is our gift from God ... and our living out that destiny is our gift to God. I kept thinking, "I wonder what it's like for God to look at my life and see the gifts He's given me sitting here, unwrapped." That perspective has challenged me to reevaluate some of the ways I live my life. I think I've been content to be one of God's "good girls" and yet far too often I take God out of the equation of my life, being content to get by with yes, loving Him, but not fully surrendered and serving. Am I willing to be undignified, embarrassed even, for the sake of not giving in to being good and blending in with the crowd around me? Mark reminds us throughout the book of King David. We see him fall and flounder. And then we see him praising and passionate. He rode a major spiritual roller coaster, and how many of us do the same? I do! We are reminded that the thing which most held David together was that he did not live under the ideals of others. If he had, he would probably have spent his entire life out to pasture with his father's sheep. Instead, he lived his life being a God-chaser. Even when he fell, he knew where to go to get cleaned up and find new direction. He sits before the Lord, confesses his shortcomings and asks, "Who am I?" (2 Samuel 7:18)

One last note: I think my favorite part of the book was the Closing. Mr. Batterson reminds us of the moment coming with the beginning of Eternity. God will call my name. And it won't be what everyone else has been calling me. It will be a new name, one that's never been spoken before, but it'll be a name that will make everything in my life crystal clear. I will understand all my pain, joys, fears, hopes, confusion, dreams - every dimension of my life will make prefect sense and I will know who I truly am. While I may have to wait for Glory Day to know it fully, I can begin to see glimpses of it now if I'll sit still at the Throne of Grace and honestly ask God, "Who am I?"
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on April 6, 2011
My 13th book of 2011 was the 2nd one I've read from Mark Batterson, pastor of National Community Church in Washington, D.C., which was both good and bad. The good is that Batterson has a writing style that is very easy to read, and his message is full of inspiration and motivation. The bad is that portions of the content in Soulprint were very similar to his book, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day. That's to be expected to some degree, of course, since he wrote both books, but because I read them only a few weeks apart, it was very obvious to me. Still, this is a great read.

Batterson divides the book into 7 sections and draws parallels and insights from the life of David that can help each of us discover our "soulprint," which the author defines as the God-given identity that makes each one of us different from every one else who has ever lived. Just as David had a destiny that only he could fulfill, so you and I do, too. Finding it is, as Batterson says, a matter of taking a personal journey through your life much like an archaeologist would take time poring over a dig site. It is a slow, sometimes painful, often rewarding experience, and the end result is living out our destiny with confidence.

One of the great takeaways from this book is that God is often working behind the scenes through the very circumstances that seem be delaying what we desire. In fact, Batterson does a great job of tracing the path of David from a skinny, short, forgotten shepherd to the most historic and anointed king in Israel's history. Along the way, David learned to be true to who he was, to trust in God's plan, and to be a man of integrity.

Perhaps the best chapter for me was Scene 3: The Crags of the Wild Goats, in which the author retells the story of David cutting off a corner of Saul's robe when he could have - and his followers thought should have - killed the king and taken the throne. Batterson does a great job unpacking that one, somewhat odd, story in a way that makes the point of utmost relevance to the reader and leads to one of the better points of the book: an opportunity isn't an opportunity if you have to compromise your integrity.

The rest of the book is full of other short, thought-provoking comments just like that one, and so you will want to read this book with a highlighter handy. A short (only 154 pages), easy read, Soulprint needs to be one of the next books you pick up (in fact, you can read the first chapter for free right now). You won't be sorry, and maybe, just like David so many years ago, you will discover the destiny God has for you and will serve His purpose in your generation.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review as a part of their Blogging for Books program.
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