Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Jesus, Career Counselor – Laurie Beth Jones

©2010 Howard Books, New York

Periodically I receive contact from someone wanting me to review a book for this blog. I must admit that I do not accept all of these requests—after all, I do have a real job. So, unless I already know that the author or book is one that will be beneficial to my ministry or a great diversion, I usually pass. Once in a great while, I’ll read the description of the offered book and say, “sure that sounds like something that would be a good read.” That’s what happened a few months ago with this little book by Laurie Beth Jones. Having not read Jones’ previous book Jesus, CEO, I found myself a little behind in the direction she was going with the book. Even so, the author does not rely heavily on the earlier writing excepting a few passing references.

Readers will find several nuggets of good advice about how to find (and keep) one’s ideal work. One bit of advice is to discover where you are gifted, and find work in that arena. The author’s suggestion that faith can be a major part of this is also a healthy view for job seekers to take.

As a pastor, two things disturb me about the book itself. First is the reliance heavily on mystic religious ideas to approach personality types and then marry those ideas to Scripture. The outline for the book is based on a four-point personality scale (no problem here). Like many authors who explain personality in laymen’s terms, Jones assigns each personality type an easy to remember category. Unfortunately reaching into the world of mysticism, she labels them Fire, Water, Earth, and Wind. Each type is then discussed with three characteristics displayed by that type.

Jones also uses scriptural examples to support the discussion. Herein lies my second concern. While the scripture sometimes provides a good background for the points, the verses, passages and stories are often superimposed on situations to which they do not relate.

Can someone find helpful hints for job searching skills? Yes. Are those tips necessarily tied to Jesus? I had difficulty dragging that from the text. Should you buy/read this book? I can’t say that I would recommend it. But I wouldn’t go so far as to say the book is a waste of time. I can only award it two reading glasses.

Benjamin Potter, July 28, 2010

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