Brown and Strawn have written some worthwhile details while hanging them on what seems like a fractured frame. The premise begins with the idea that the human person is not primarily located in the mind while having a body as a sort of transport mechanism, but rather the mind is an emergent property of the physical nature of the body. We are not body and soul. We are our bodies, and our minds arise out of the complex dynamics of those bodies. Brown has defended this perspective elsewhere in significant measure and so only uses this as a foundation for a larger focus here. They go on to argue that this physical foundation for the human person has implications for how we ought to live our lives. They argue that being physical beings, we are driven not by that which happens in the soul, but by what happens to the body, particularly in social environments. We are shaped by relationships and social dynamics and also by our capacity for attention and self-reflection.
I really appreciate their treatment of the social and relational dynamics and their explanations of how they affect the human person to bring about both stability and growth. I appreciate their attempts to consider those dynamics not only interpersonally, but also how they play out in churches and small groups. I think they put forth some really valid and significant material on the socially-embedded nature of humanity and growth.
However, I don't think they at all were successful in connecting that social embeddedness to a monistic perspective on human nature. They defended monism fairly well, but it didn't seem to me like there was any reason to do so. It doesn't seem to me that a dualistic perspective on human nature would preclude one from having the exact same social nature.
The last two-thirds of the book has some good material about growth in relationships, but it just seems divorced from the first third. Strawn in particular is focused on the practical implications of monism, but I don't find his train of logic solid. His conclusions are wonderful; I'm just not sure the way he got there was necessary.