Saturday, September 30, 2017

Book Review: Gordon MacDonald's Ordering Your Private World

How do you review a book that says nothing? It's like the author keeps repeatedly trying to say whatever the reader wants to hear, jumping from point to point. The book starts with discussing how being "driven" can be dangerous to focusing on your inner world only to end up to get a lesson on how to prepare to pray. Never does the "private world" ever make sense. Is it our conciousness? Is it time with God? It is kept vague.

Provided Summary: One of the great battlegrounds of the new century is within the private world of the individual.The values of our Western culture incline us to believe that the busy, publicly active person in ministry  is also the most spiritual.
Tempted to give imbalanced attention to the public world at the expense of the private, we become involved in more programs, more meetings. Our massive responsibilities at home, work, and church have resulted in a lot of good people on the verge of collapse.
In this timely update of his classic Ordering Your Private World, Gordon MacDonald equips a new generation to live life from the inside out, cultivating the inner victory necessary for public effectiveness

A book on meditation would be much more suggested than this. By the end of the book MacDonald focuses on topics like keeping a journal or focusing on the time of the day to pray, but till then whatever the private world is, doesn't make much sense. Instead, the book talks about the downfalls of being a driven person, whatever that means, at the beginning. Essentially, it is saying don't be a narcissist, but he never puts it in those terms. Warning people away from being driven is much more dangerous when you never clarify what is the opposite of being driven is.

Prayer and journaling seem obvious conclusions by the end of the book too. It isn't the first time a book like that has given step by step instructions on how to incorporate those into your life. This is just another book to pick to put into your crop of books already providing a way to put those into your life. I typically provide quotes from books, but I found this one to be so repetitive on the subject matter I didn't find them conducive to any points to make about the book. 

The book is under 200 pages, but it's the longest 200 pages I've had to manage. The most popular biblical characters you always hear about dot the book from Paul to David, and if I hadn't already the points made about them before then it might have been insightful. People already use those guys to make the same points over and over despite the long list of other people in the Bible. Jesus gets a quick mention though as he always does, but no one really knows how to talk about Jesus since his message rarely matches the point they want to make about these books anyways. As telling as that is it never seems to resonate. 

This book was provided by Herald Press in exchange for a review. 

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