The 5 Secrets To Social Success With Biblical Principles, by Dr. Lina Liken and Cali Blalock
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by BookLook/Westbow Press in exchange for an honest review.]
There are some books where it is not obvious at all why they were self-published. This book, which is a practical guide to social skills marketed towards homeschooled high school students, is the sort of work that is sufficiently polished and sufficiently excellent that it merits wider distribution, and could probably form part of a larger homeschool effort towards biblical socialization. Needless to say, the book is useful for an audience far beyond high school students and indeed was instructive to me on some areas, as I could probably stand to be a better socialized person in some areas of my own life. As the book is direct, biblical, and practical, it has a wide degree of worth and deserves the additional reach that would be provided by expanded distribution services. Certainly, this book rises considerably above the general level of self-published books in terms of its polish, organization, and content.
In terms of its organization, the book as a whole is divided into five main categories, along with some supplementary material like testimonials, author bios, and some additional self-evaluation quizzes. The five secrets of social success are: communication, civility, humility, relationships, and wisdom. Each of the sections is divided into smaller areas, with definitions, counsel, biblical verses and passages (and memory verses) to demonstrate the biblical viewpoint on the subject, and questions for evaluation and reflection. The advice reaches the level of telling people that while it is generally acceptable to touch someone from the elbows to the shoulders in conversation if you are an affectionate person (as I am) that it is never acceptable to touch the legs while sitting, advice that if read and heeded would have mitigated at least one of my own most painful social disasters in my life.
Where this book particularly excels is in its approach. It starts with basic and fundamental social skills (like being able to talk to other people and express one’s thoughts and feelings) and then builds on them with more difficult aspects like persuasion and expressing disagreement without being disagreeable. These are essential skills in life, and ones based on firm biblical grounding. Even more to be praised is the way that this book does not club others over the head with the biblical nature of its principles, but rather seeks to build skills through reflection and self-examination. This is a book focused on building the social skills of its readers with a foundation on enduring biblical principles rather than the evanescent fads of pop psychology. It is a wise approach, and one that will likely pay dividend for the book’s readers, of which there will hopefully be many, especially among Christian schools and homeschooled families where biblical advice is still welcome.