Spiritual Intelligence: The Art Of Thinking Like God, by Kris Vallotton
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by Chosen Books in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]
There is one verse that the author of this book should have kept in mind while writing this book, and that is the reminder from Isaiah 55:8-9 that God’s thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways. And that is a reminder that this author could have used, not least because while it is obvious that the ways of the heathen are not God’s ways and their thoughts are not God’s thoughts, the fact that this is a broad statement about humanity as a whole, even those people who might consider themselves to be very godly is something that sometimes escapes writers. This is by no means a bad book, but it does suffer from the fact that the author does not understand or follow God as much as he thinks, which makes this book somewhat of an exercise of the conceit of the author. But as long as the reader understands that this is a book about what the author himself thinks about God’s thoughts and God’s ways and matters of spiritual intelligence and is not endorsed or seconded by God Himself, then there is little harm in appreciating it for what it is.
This book is a bit more than 200 pages and it consists of sixteen chapters as well as an appendix. The book begins with a foreword as well as acknowledgements. This is followed by the author’s urging of the reader to expand his or her awareness (1), renew one’s mind (2) and learn one’s powers (3). The author then moves from a discussion of personal stories (4) to a call for people to be led by the spirit (5), before returning again to human themes of pirates and hackers (6) and then turning again to a call to be living in heaven towards the earth (7). The author talks about the gift of discernment (8) and what he views as the loss of discernment in our age (9) as well as the “science” of Spiritual intelligence (10), the “law” of spiritual physics (11), creativity, innovation, and invention (12), and doing business with God (13). The author asks what time it is (14), seeks to find missing potential godly children (15), and then discusses spiritual airdrops (16) before an appendix provides an assessment of the reader’s spiritual intelligence (i).
There are a few ways in which this book demonstrates that it comes from the mind of the author and not the mind of God. For one, the author focuses on thinking tri-dimensionally when that is not nearly enough dimensions to account for what must be understood for God to work out His plans even through unwilling and uncooperative agents. The author’s focus on superpowers is something that comes from a familiarity with the way that superheroes work rather than the gifts of the Spirit that one would find from scripture, and demonstrate the author’s wish to impress an audience that is saturated with awareness of DC and Marvel superheroes (among others). Likewise, the author’s interest in creativity, invention, and innovation demonstrate a love of the novel that springs from the Enlightenment and not from biblical sources which tend to be ambivalent about novelty. Likewise, the author’s interest in assessments and categorization springs more from the fondness of the contemporary age for personality assessments than it does from biblical understanding. None of these are inherently bad things, but they are human things and not godly things, and the same could be said about this book, a good human thing.