4 out of 4 stars
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Personality and Personhood: A Scriptural Guide to Understanding Both is a self-help book that offers a model of personhood that looks at why people act the way they do. The book helps us understand ourselves more so that we may know how to be better people through God’s grace. Based on her studies of beliefs of non-Christian and Christian faiths and her experiences as a life coach, Donna Silveira wrote a book that also provides self-exercises to aid the reader in his/her reflections.
The book starts with the idea that trying to understand people, especially through appearances, is difficult since it would usually lead us to impose our guesses at their intention. This is why the book provides five core beliefs in viewing people, which allows us to know why people act the way they do instead of misunderstanding them. Then, the book gives insights into how perception affects our self-image, self-esteem, and self-worth. The book also introduces the reasons for our negative perceptions of the world. The book culminates in the “star model of personhood,” which describes the human psyche based on motivations and their causes. The book contains exercises that help the reader journal his/her thoughts.
The book is written from a Christian perspective, so the author’s points are supported by a lot of quotations from Scripture. The verses fit well with the messages in the book, and the author provides clear and examples to illustrate her points. The presented model of personhood is not only helpful in assessing one’s inclination towards a vice or a virtue, but also the model itself is creative in its inception. By looking at the star model, one can easily appreciate its simplicity and how it easily connects to Christian symbolism. The exercises are a good addition to the book since it may force the reader to reflect on the messages of the book, as well as the reader’s journey in understanding his/her self.
Since the book heavily relies on Scripture, the book may not be easily appreciated by readers who aren’t well-versed in the Christian faith. The book contains connections with psychology, but the book is dominantly spiritual in its approach. This means that the advice in the book is dependent on the strength of one’s faith, particularly in Christianity.
The Christian overtone of this book is of no surprise since the author, raised in a Catholic family, immersed herself in Catholic theology after studying various faiths and beliefs. Nevertheless, as a self-help book for Christians, Personality and Personhood: A Scriptural Guide to Understanding Both provides a good opportunity for those who want to be a better person. I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. I can recommend this book to Christian readers, especially those who felt hurt in their lives.
Personality and Personhood
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