Jeff's Reader Review of "𝐴 𝑆𝑜𝑢𝑙'𝑠 𝐻𝑜𝑢𝑠𝑒"

Jeff's Reader Review of "𝐴 𝑆𝑜𝑢𝑙'𝑠 𝐻𝑜𝑢𝑠𝑒"

Recently, I have been paying much closer attention to my personal spiritual formation than before. That’s not to say that my personal spiritual growth has not been a priority before. It has. It’s just that I have been more aware and more intentional about it than previously in my life.

Perhaps that is because I’m getting older. Or perhaps it has been sparked by some classes I have taken that focus on leadership from a self-awareness and spiritual formation perspective. Either way, I have been pursuing this more and more, and have spent much time in several good books that have helped.

One of those books is A Soul’s House, by J. K. Jones. Jones labels this book as “A Primer for Spiritual Formation,” and it is that, but even more, it is a “conversation” with another book on spiritual formation that has had a profound impact on Jones’ life. Evelyn Underhill wrote The House of the Soul, and this provides the basis for Jones’ discussion.

While I have not read Underhill’s book (it’s on my list), I found that Jones quotes her extensively and helps his readers gain some perspective into Underhill’s insights and his own responses and perspective. I find that very helpful.

 Both authors use the analogy of a house in describing the spiritual life, and the illustration is fitting. In his “conversation,” Jones digs into the reality of the soul’s need for attention, just as a house needs care and upkeep. Different parts of the house require different approaches. For example, a reading room in a house can be compared to the need to read in order to deepen both the mind and the soul, and it matters what is read.

In short, Jones highlights the importance of maintaining balance between the body and the soul. Too often, we focus on the body and neglect the soul, but attention must be given to both. The soul cannot function well if time and care are not taken to nourish it. As a primer, this short book provides a good start to that nourishment.

Filled with wisdom and insight, A Soul’s House also contains numerous stories and anecdotes from Jones’ personal life and spiritual walk, making this book easy to read and just as easy to relate to. Having sat in classes with J.K. Jones as the professor, I find his writing to sound just like he does in the classroom setting. And the wisdom and encouragement taken away from this book are helpful as I seek to care for my own soul’s house.

If you’d like to purchase A Soul’s House, you can find it on collegepress.com

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