01 May 2014

Book Review: The Solomon Seduction

I have long been intrigued by King Solomon. David's second son with Bathsheba really had it all going for him.  He was the son of the archetypal king of Israel, a king committed to seeing his son succeed. He was rich beyond measure. God granted him the wisdom that he asked for and, after Jesus, was the wisest man that ever lived.  But his life turned out to be a mess. 

In The Solomon seduction: What you can learn from the wisest fool in the Bible (2014), Mark Atteberry explores these themes in depth.  By examining Solomon's life, the author issues 10 wake up calls men in the church should heed carefully: 1) sin seems like a good idea, 2) God's commands seem out of touch, 3) your glory is more important than God's glory, 4) you're more influenced by enticements than warnings, 5) sin management seems like a better choice than repentance, 6) your faithful friends are troubled by your behavior, 7) your drinking glasses cost more than some people's houses, 8) there are a thousand women lined up outside your bathroom, 9) the throne of your heart goes from being a chair to a sofa to a sectional, and 10) God draws a bull's-eye on your chest. Atteberry is gifted at identifying themes in the life of Solomon and repackaging them into practical wisdom taking into account current culture, the brokenness of our flesh, and the reality of Satan's continued work. 

Under the heading of the first wake up call, he discusses Satan's strategy of making sin seem like a good idea.  As 21st century people, we tend to gloss over, or even glorify, certain things such as privacy or moderation. Indeed, maybe they are good, but it often leads to a slippery slope. Once he identified the potential landmines, he also offers solutions on how to address them with particular attention to the word of God.  He, I believe rightly, surmises that men in the church lack biblical literacy and therefore lack the ability to fight against Satan's best, most seductive work.  In fact, under wake up call #2, he wrote, "all of Satan's various attempts at seducing believers must include an attempt to undermine Scripture" (page 18).  Yes and amen.

I was also particularly drawn to wake up call #5, which discusses the notion of sin management.  Our churches are filled with many men who think they can manage their sins.  They do this by compartmentalizing, misrepresenting or rationalizing sin.  This is a dangerous, and all too common thing.  On the heels of this, he issues a stern call to repent and turn back to our gracious God. 

Overall, this is a good book.  Atteberry offers practical advice in an accessible style. Men who are put off by theology won't be put off by this book.  He writes in such a way that he speaks effectively to wear people are at.  This book seem most directed to men, though I suspect women would benefit from it as well.  There were a few places where he came across as legalistic, though the overall message of the book is well worth considering.

I received this book free from the publisher through the Book Look Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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