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Soul Talk: The Language God Longs for Us to Speak Paperback – October 2, 2005
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About the Author
Dr. Larry Crabb is a well-known psychologist, conference and seminary speaker, Bible teacher, popular author, and founder/director of NewWay Ministries. He is currently Scholar in Residence at Colorado Christian University in Denver and Visiting Professor of Spiritual Formation for Richmont Graduate University in Atlanta. Dr. Crabb and his wife of forty-six years, Rachael, live in the Denver, Colorado area. For additional information please visit www.newwayministries.org
- Item Weight : 11.2 ounces
- Paperback : 266 pages
- ISBN-13 : 978-1591453475
- ISBN-10 : 159145347X
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.75 x 9 inches
- Publisher : Integrity Publishers (October 2, 2005)
- Language: : English
- Customer Reviews:
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Crabb believes we are missing the boat entirely. He is not against finding solutions as such, but he is clear that we miss the mark more often than not in that we simply do not know how to talk with each other out of the depths of what God is doing in each of us. We like to talk across the surface of things. It is just easier to do that. We feel the urge to jump into a conversation and offer some soothing piece of comfort, offer accountability, or the magic pill that will offer the solution to a deeply complicated problem.
So instead of talking out of our own wit, wisdom, or fear, Crabb offers a new way of looking at relationships and life - SoulTalk. SoulTalk is his way of leading us into a conversation where God is at the center of every life and every relationship in every situation. He argues that we do not really know how to talk this way and his book offers a series of steps that help us break bad, religious habits and enter into God's way of working in people's lives.
I found Crabb's formulation of SoulTalk to be deeply freeing and rightly prioritized. In my role as a pastor I am often with people who find themselves in over their heads, or who have finally decided to talk about God when life falls apart, and the unspoken expectation is that a conversation or two might just do the trick. His advice is to stop talking and start learning how to listen to what the Spirit is doing and wants to do in an individual's life. The primary goal in each SoulTalk conversation is not empathy or solution-finding, but Spirit-finding.
Along the way he has a lot of things to say about the place of God in the Christian's life that simply need to be heard in a Christian culture where we have exchanged Christ's life for an expectation of blessing and prosperity. What would happen if intimacy with God for Christ's sake were more important to us than the cure to our cancer or the `fixing' of a deeply hurting situation? According to Crabb, when we put these kinds of things first, we find the greatest thing possible, and God begins to do the work in our souls that is needed.
I highly recommend this book for any believer interested in deepening their discipleship, understanding how to relate with others in Christ, and how to learn to listen to the Spirit in all things.
A common theme that wends its way through Crabb's books is that too often, we replace first things with second things in our affections. Indeed, much of modern Christianity is built upon the pursuit of material blessings rather than the pursuit of God. Specific to this book, Crabb contrasted "self-talk" with "Soul talk." Although we speak to one another, our speech is too often filled with solutions or religious platitudes rather than words that come from the center of our soul. Crabb wrote, "We almost never speak words that are formed in the center of our soul and pour out from our very being with power and a sense of life. And we almost never hear words that stir life within us, that pour hope into those empty spaces deep inside filled only with fear and fury and frustration." Crabb has high hopes that we might begin to engage in conversations where the Spirit can dance.
He recommends a number of "steps", though perhaps steps is the wrong word. He is clear that he is not recommending something akin to "6 steps to a happy marriage." However, he does suggest a process for engaging with others. When people share with us something going on in their lives, we need to "think beneath" resisting the temptation to speak too quickly or provide band-aid answers. We then must "think vision"--not in terms of the immediate situation, but in terms of what could happen if the person focused on God first. I particularly appreciated his notion of "thinking passion" because we are encouraged to think about what is going on in our own hearts. Next we "think story", where we listen to hear the hidden story shaping the events of their lives. Finally, we "think movement" toward brokenness, repentance, trust, and release of the true self.
On the whole, this was a good book. I have appreciated Crabb's understanding of walking in brokenness with others. I did not get as much out of this book as I did out of Inside Out or The Pressure's Off, but this is a foundational book in his thinking. I would recommend it.
[2015 edit] I re-read this book in October 2015 and I was much more deeply taken with this book than I was initially. I am not sure if this response was due to an increased familiarity with the concept of SoulTalk or something else. Regardless, this book remains foundational, but it is not just good, it is excellent.