1 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
In Formulas for the Soul, Jeremy Brown seeks to enlighten his readers regarding his theory that any "concern" (sin, problem, subject of interest, or desired change) can be addressed through a Biblically-based, cyclic, 3-part plan or structure. These are the formulas after which the book is titled. He clearly writes from a Christian point of view for Christian readers, with the hope of helping his audience apply these formulas in order to cultivate a more God-centered, calm, and balanced life."From there, we must discover what God wants us to do, when to do it, and how best to do it. The objective, the plan, the implementation... Once implemented, the faith we have must be inseparable from our formula for the soul."
The somewhat wandering introduction, which accounts for nearly 16% of the book, left me bewildered and struggling to understand the author's "formula" premise. Thankfully, the main chapters are more approachable and follow a formula of their own: Each one introduces 3 formulas (for a total of 18) that, more or less, apply to the same area of life. There are "formulas for the heart," "formulas for increase," etc. Brown discusses the featured formula, explains its 3 parts and their interplay or relationship, then provides the scripture(s) on which that formula is based. Chapter 7, "Establishing Our Own Formula," instructs the reader on how to develop his or her own formulas for the soul, and it is followed by a section summarizing the entire book.
In my opinion, Brown's "formulas for the soul" are intriguing and not without use. For example, my favorite formula appears in chapter 5, "Formulas for Change," and is called "Resist, Replace, Refresh." Citing Acts 3:19 and Matthew 16:19, the author explains that, in order to bring about positive change in our lives, we must resist negative thoughts, words, and behaviors; replace these with God's truth and productive behavior (seeking support as needed); and we will find refreshment in our improved circumstances or mindset as a result. Then, having addressed and corrected the target sin, vice, or issue, we begin again by choosing another to "resist" and "replace." Notably, Brown encourages us to actively support others in their efforts to resist and replace issues which we have already overcome in our own lives.
Unfortunately, "Formulas for the Soul" has many issues of its own that nearly render the formulas inert. In my opinion, the book feels like a rough draft, with numerous editing problems, such as mid-sentence tense changes, misspelled words, missing and misused commas, quotation marks, colons, semicolons, capitalization, apostrophes, and hyphens. There are frequent instances of use of the wrong word, such as "pitcher" for "picture" and even "bearing" where "barren" was intended. I also found many redundancies, missing or incorrectly inserted words, double negatives, and awkward, incomplete, or simply incoherent sentences. For example:
Beyond these errors, Brown quotes (and misquotes) scripture without providing the version of the Bible from which he drew. In my efforts to check the accuracy of his quotes, I had to search many different versions and translations in order to figure out which he was quoting. I believe this would frustrate the readers who may want to refer to their own Bible while following along with this book. The combination of editing problems and inaccuracy is best shown in Brown's rendering of 2 Timothy 1:7:"As he continued to look, his continence begins to change what he saw had suddenly saddened him."
I appreciate Jeremy Brown's admirable intentions for his formulas. As a Christian, I value heartfelt works like this one, where one believer is attempting to give other believers a "leg up" in following God's will and exhibiting Christ's love. Intense proofreading, fact-checking, and editing will perhaps refine this book into the useful, dynamic tool it was meant to be. As it stands, I can't, in good conscience, recommend it to anyone, which means I also can't give Formulas for the Soul more than 1 out of 4 stars."For the Spirit, God gave us is not of fear, but gives us power, love, and a sound mind."
Formulas for the Soul
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon
Like SamSim's review? Post a comment saying so!