Sunday, May 22, 2016

"The 9 Arts of Spiritual Conversations" is not so much about how to have a conversation as it is about how to 1) approach conversation and 2) create situations for conversation. Although the book includes helpful points on how to share and illustrate your faith, it comes across as more of a book on evangelization than on how to have a conversation.

Authors Mary Schaller and John Crilly summarize with the reminder to 1) notice people, 2) pray silently and publicly, 3) ask questions, and 4) listen. While I certainly appreciated what they had to say about prayer and notice, about a third of the way through the book turned boring and inapplicable for an introvert like myself. As one who has conversations, particularly on Facebook, with acquaintances about God, I expected to learn more about how to speak and what to speak. Also, I listen to debates and podcasts in defense of Christianity frequently and did not 100% agree with the authors that asking and not telling is the only and best way to share the Gospel.

Honestly, much of this book felt like it was one large promotional tool for the authors' organization "Q Place." I can't say the book is not an important read, but it did not register with me, and I felt there was much left unsaid. As a side note, for those who may care, one of the authors is Catholic (but doesn't talk like on at all), both authors use several translations of the Bible including the NLT and the Message, and they do may references to controversial authors like Rick Warren. These are important factors, but they don't really influence the quality of the book.

*Disclaimer: I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review.

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