Author: Mark Atteberry
Publisher: W Publishing Group
Reading Level: Low
The Solomon Seduction: What You Can Learn from the Wisest Fool in the Bible is a character study by Mark Atteberry. Written primarily for men, the book addresses the folly of Solomon in light of the Bible account that he was a man of great wisdom. The Solomon Seduction seeks to deconstruct the life of Solomon for the edification of the church.
The Solomon Seduction is written with a good tenor. There is never a point where the purpose and intent is lost or confused. Mark Atteberry’s vocabulary is modern and his style is easy to consume. A wealth of stories and practical examples bracket most of the chapters in the book and provide a real-life backdrop for most of the application that is made throughout the book.
Consistent with this theme, the primary Bible translation used is the New Living Translation. Certainly easier for reading, the renditions of Biblical passages accommodate themselves to the principal points that Atteberry makes. This translation does not suit itself for serious Biblical study but the overall tone does best match that of The Solomon Seduction.
The theological paradigm from which Mark Atteberry writes is explicit in application and at the same time confusing. Given the subject matter of temptation and deceit, an clear exposition of Original Sin is plainly missing. The early credit given to Satan rather than man’s depravity (xii) further reinforces that The Solomon Seduction is not written upon the strong theological basis of Augustine and the Protestant Reformation. The content of the book flows out of this premise with “practical suggestions” (xii) that often are less Spirit focused than would be expected from genuine Biblical counsel. This leads to a general tone of self-help legalism.
Analyzing the life of Solomon, The Solomon Seduction is presented in chapters referred to as “wake-up calls.” These chapters focus on specific elements or events of Solomon’s life and derive from them practical application for the life of the believer. For the most part, these elements of application are Biblical and sound. Though Solomon is rarely given the benefit of the doubt in any of his behaviors (106-107) Atteberry does a sound job of backing up the practical points evidenced from Solomon’s missteps with other Scriptures.
The Solomon Seduction is a sound looking mirror for the reader. It is good at pointing out sinful behavior and un-Godly occupations with the world. But for the most part, these points of benefit are not supported by a return to the resurrection power of Jesus Christ or the Holy Spirit. Far from being a modern recapitulation of Romans 6, Atteberry’s advice comes of like a match-a-verse-ethics. References to powerful and relevant verses such as James 4:7 without mentioning James 4:8 (13) are the tip of the iceberg. The content of The Solomon Seduction is Biblical just not comprehensive and focused on the power of Christ’s resurrection.
That said, many of Atteberry’s chapters are riddled with valuable, practical points. Chapter 2’s focus on God’s commands and chapter 3’s evaluation of the modern ego provide multiple opportunities for believers to measure themselves against the word of God. The stories of counseling sessions in chapter 5 (on sin management) and chapter 8 (on women) would be comical if they were not so serious. The real life examples provide a strong dose of reality: Christians need the power of the Holy Spirit. Once again, the content of The Solomon Seduction starts, and means, well but fails to point back to the resurrected life for believers in Jesus Christ.
The Solomon Seduction is a convicting book. The life and events for Solomon are littered with case studies for proper Christian living. However, that is not all that the life of Solomon is meant to be. Placed within the history of Israel, Solomon and his life should always point forward to Jesus Christ and His success as the greater Solomon. The great points risk being squandered by new age Pharisaicalism attempting to implement these Biblical truths without the power of the Spirit.
Thoroughly thought provoking, The Solomon Seduction does not present the “whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). Though beneficial to the mindful believer, the general tone risks being implemented in a legalistic fashion by young and immature believers.
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