Deeper Still – Linda Allcock

Deeper Still Linda Allcock
Deeper Still by Linda Allock
Published by The Good Book Company on September 2020
Genres: Non-Fiction, Christian Life
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
three-stars

We live in a fast-paced world, and our minds are working in overdrive. Mindfulness promises a method of tuning out the voices for a few minutes to live in the moment. Biblical meditation offers something better: an opportunity to be transformed by God's voice of truth.
Psalm 1 says that the person who delights in God’s word and meditates on it day and night is like a “tree planted by streams of water”. Linda Allcock gives us a framework to help us slow down and dwell deeply on God’s word so that it clears our minds and fills our hearts, making a real difference to the way we live.
This book will help Christians who feel overwhelmed by their thought life, as well as those who want to go deeper in their devotional life.
Full of down-to-earth anecdotes and practical advice, this warm and accessible book is designed to help make biblical meditation part of your everyday life.

We live in a busy world. Even as technology has made our lives more productive, we’ve continued to push ourselves past normal limits in a way completely derogatory to our mental health. To push back against that, the Eastern concept of meditation began to take hold in the Western secular sphere. Christians have rightfully been cautious about these practices, but what’s often overlooked is the rich history the Church has with biblical meditation. Deeper Still by Linda Allcock taps into that tradition, giving a general overview and introduction to the practice.

My main criticism of this book would be that it never really acknowledges the liturgical tradition of biblical meditation. There’s a rich history in the Eastern church to explore and Allcock instead promotes a version of meditation that’s really more Bible study and contemplation than what one generally thinks about meditation.

She breaks the book into five parts: Lord, Look, Turn, Learn, and Live. Each section takes that title word as its focus and dives into Scripture and Allcock’s personal experiences to help orient readers to a more-peaceful, less-stressed walk with God.

The result is just…ok. Nothing is really wrong with the book but nothing really captured my attention, either. It’s serviceably written, but our fundamental differences in the understanding of biblical meditation made this a disappointing experience because the book doesn’t talk about what I thought it would. Is that Allcock’s fault or mine? Perhaps a bit of both. Allcock is clear that her subset of meditation is biblical meditation, meaning meditation on Scripture, whereas I was hoping for a more robust and fuller discussion of meditation as liturgy, prayer, etc. Allcock is more practical where I was hoping for mystical.

As such, what she has to say is fine. It’s not wrong. But Deeper Still reads like just another generic how-to-contemplate-Scripture book. It’s missing the mysticism that “meditation” (to me) implies and would have made it stand out. As such, it’s not bad, but there are other titles I’d recommend that follow the same lines from How to Read the Bible for All That It’s Worth by Gordon Fee to Multiply by Francis Chan.

three-stars