Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Book Review: The Principle of the Path by Andy Stanley

The Principle of the Path is a unique self-help book. While one would expect the usual self-help list of ways to get your life on track and as the subtitle says “to get from where you are to where you want to be.” It isn’t. There are no steps and no real process. Instead, Stanley lays out a Biblical principle to help any person regardless of whether their life in on track or not to determine if they are on the right path.

The principle is simple.... “Attention determines direction. Direction determines destination.” Stanley uses lots of scripture to show how God illustrates this principle throughout the Bible.

After reading this book, I can see this principle throughout my own life and the lives of others. Stanley compares the Principle of the Path to the Principle of the Harvest as well as scientific principles that we all know to be true. He argues that whether we agree with the principle or not it rules our life, wherever we focus our attention that will determine our direction and thus the destination. He uses a lot of illustrations about driving which make a lot of sense but also make it difficult to explain to someone who hasn’t read the entire two or three page story.

Stanley uses lots of personal stories to illustrate his point. At times the stories seem to have very little to do with his point and one has to wade through a page or two before seeing the point of the story. His stories can also be a bit wordy.

While the points and philosophy of the book make lots of sense, it takes Stanly two chapters to get to the actual principle of the path. One has to be willing to hang in there before actually learning anything. I would prefer that he get to the point and explain the principle up front in the first chapter then launch into why we need to heed the principle.

I give this book 4-stars for the principle and the use of scripture, but I give it 3-stars for writing and staying on task. Reading this book is like listening to a genius with ADD. He has brilliant points but it is hard to follow the seemingly random chain of thoughts.

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