In my last post about Larry Crabb’s book Soul Talk: The Language God Longs for Us to Speak, I was probably a little bit too critical. I have continued to read in the book and this morning I was convinced that what Crabb is trying to do at a basic level is very, very important. I hope my comments in my last post don’t overshadow that. At the risk of missing the point myself, here is what I think Crabb is trying to do:
So often when we talk to one another about life, we are not actually talking about what is really going on with us at the deepest level. Sometimes that is because we ourselves are not aware of what is really going on, other times it is because we are afraid to let others in, and sometimes we are testing the water – giving a little bit of information to see how the listener will respond. And so often in life our priorities get mixed up. We put good things (family, friends, jobs, etc.) ahead of the most important thing – loving God. The idea is that we are often obsessed with ourselves when we should be obsessed with God.
I think the main point of this book is that Crabb is trying to push the reader to a realization of how deeply each and every one of us needs God. How desperately we need God. And how quickly and deceptively we can convince ourselves that we don’t. Every day there are literally thousands of things that lure us away from depending on God. Crabb does a wonderful job of illustrating this through several different stories.
So, one of the most powerful things I am getting out of this book is that it is urging us to get to the point. And that first means that we have to realize what is the point (knowing and loving God first) and what is not the point (everything else, if it is coming before knowing and loving God). Crabb believes, and I strongly agree with him, that Soul Talk or Christian conferencing is one of the primary and most powerful vehicles that God uses to help people get to the point.
While the book may not be perfect, I think it is a very important contribution to the church. I would guess that most if not all of us have room to grow in the area of talking to one another in a way that fans the flames of our desire for God.