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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great read, if read correctly...
I loved this book. It made the obvious more clear, and it brought out things that, for whatever reason, weren't clear or obvious to me before I read it.
However, I must respond to a comment made earlier by another reader. John Eldredge does not say "whatever your heart desires is good". Instead, he says that at its core, "the heart is good"...
Published on Nov. 30 2005 by s-club-7

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2.0 out of 5 stars provocative, engaging but highly problematic in places
I had some real concerns with Eldredge's last book "Wild at Heart" which deals with being real men before God. (see the various reviews of that work along with the review at pcanews.com). His current work is geared for both genders and is centered around the notion of the heart and its importance as we live as ones "fully alive" "from the...
Published on Oct. 24 2003 by Doug


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great read, if read correctly..., Nov. 30 2005
I loved this book. It made the obvious more clear, and it brought out things that, for whatever reason, weren't clear or obvious to me before I read it.
However, I must respond to a comment made earlier by another reader. John Eldredge does not say "whatever your heart desires is good". Instead, he says that at its core, "the heart is good". He never tells us to go do whatever our heart desires, but he's saying that anything that your heart wants that is wrong is not inherently part of the heart.
Beyond the fact that he makes things almost too spiritual (as in everything must immediately be blamed on spiritual forces, which i do not necessarily agree with), this book does rely a lot on secular media. However, the things he talks about (like "The Chronicles of Narnia") are known to have deep Christian overtones, so I don't find it to be a (huge) problem. I also do realise that the audience he's writing to will not necessarily be anti-secular media, and will probably find his analogies to be easily understandable.
I did like this bok a lot. It wasn't perfect, but it was perfect for my life at the time, and I think God used John's words mightily for me, if that makes sense. I mean, we do need to fight. We can't complacent. We can't let the enemy win. Unfortunately, that's where too many Christians are now.
Fortunately, this book is for them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Book You Will Ever Read Next to The Bible~A+A+, April 14 2004
By 
I am not sure where to start. This book spoke to me on so many levels; I am having trouble focusing it into paragraph form. This is my attempt, however.
Anyone who thinks the heart is inherently wicked and evil has not read the Bible. I must admit that I had never thought of it this way, but it makes perfect sense. What happens when you are saved, washed in the blood of Christ? Behold, you are a new creation, the old passes away and all things become new, and Christ comes to live in your heart and fill you with the Holy Spirit. Now...IF this is true (which I believe it is, because the Bible says it is) then why, OH WHY, do we think the heart is evil? Why would Jesus come to live in an evil environment? It would contradict scripture to assume that Christ would live in an evil heart. If he was willing to do that, then forgiveness of sin would be a moot point and Jesus suffered and died for nothing.
This book sheds light on subjects that I had not explored in depth before. I grew up a Baptist, and I currently attend a very vibrant Baptist church that is in-tune with the will of God, but spiritual warfare is seldom mentioned. Hey, churches aren't perfect in this world. Eldredge excels in speaking to the fact that we are at war.... a spiritual war against principalities and rulers of this present darkness of evil forces in heavenly realms. We must put on the full armor of God and guard our hearts, for they are the wellspring of our lives.
I could write a full-sized newspaper ad about this book. It has spoken to me in a way that few others have. The author encourages us to pray certain little prayers and probes us to ask questions to God throughout the book. And I did that. And God answered.... multiple times. He is still answering. Maybe I am crazy. That's fine, I can live with that, because if I am, it is for the sake of Christ.
Do you want to walk with God, see his face, and draw closer to his heart? Read this book. Study the scripture that goes along with it...and there are plenty scriptural quotes in here to keep you busy for a short while.
Above all else, Read This Book. Did I mention that? Let me say it again.... go buy this book and read it. And ask God to open your eyes.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Our Heart & the World at War, April 14 2004
By 
I decided to write a review after reading the others on here who didn't like this book. This book will be somewhat polarizing - you'll probably either love it or hate it!
A few of us brothers have been meeting for fellowship & prayer one night a week, and having dinner, for some time now. A couple weeks back several of them recommended I read this book. While at first the mythological stories the author relates, didn't quite take with me, I began to realize something.
In church meetings, and in various gatherings, I have often gotten the deep sense that we are a band of noble warriors. Meeting with the brothers, I often got the sense of something like the Knights of the Round Table - with our King, Jesus. I've expressed this a few times, but others didn't always connect with what I was saying. This book connects with that sense deep within me - that we have been given a good & amazingly noble heart.
My heart has been oppressed for a couple years, after I shared the gospel with some friends who didn't receive it (at least not yet). I see a little now how much the enemy hated that sharing of Christ, and has thrown everything at me to get me off focus. Saints, we are at war, like this book details.
The author talks a lot about epic movies like the Matrix. I don't know about you, but that movie astounded me, in how it is just like reality - people are asleep in a world that is designed to suck out their very life! So many stories & fables down throught he ages reflect how we are in a conflict with an subtile & vile enemy that must be overcome for us to live. This book reveals this often shrouded aspect of human living very well I think, and how Christ wants to fully restore our hearts.
I do have questions, which I am praying about & plan on discussing this week with my brothers group. The main questions center around these topics:
1. Do we really have a new & good heart already?
2. Resting in Christ vs. fighting the good fight.
3. Having our heart's desire vs. being crucified in Christ.
I'm already getting some answers to 2 & 3. I beleive John Eldredge's (the author) heart is in a very good place as he conveys the thoughts & experiences in this book to us. To me the acid test is if it brings me closer to Jesus and fellowship. The answer to that is yes! We all have the annointing which is true, so go & read the book with an open heart, praying the Lord will reveal what He has for you.
One last thing. If you are questioning getting the book, go to the 3 page prayer in the appendix on page 223 and read it. To me, it would be hard not to write a prayer like that outside of intimate fellowship with Christ. See what you think.
UPDATE: Yes we have a "new heart" in Christ! We are a new creation. Read the book, look at the references & pray for His clarity! 5+ stars & I will reread!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Blessing, March 23 2004
By 
Another great book from John Eldredge that captures what is missing in most Christians today. 'Waking the Dead' is exactly what needs to happen in our communities and churches! John clearly walks close to God and in turn God really speaks through him in his books!
As humans we look in every possible place, in substances and in other people to make us feel 'real', so that we might feel truly alive. We can BE truly alive, in the glory that was meant for us from the beginning. Take back the authority that has been restored to you through Christ, and truly live!
John's books are like no others! These are not the same 'Christian' books that you've passed up before because they speak of things that seem unreachable or not applying to your 'real' life. Very well written book. One that you won't want to put down, I know I sure didn't! It's a good realization about how things are supposed to be, and how we've gotten caught up in the world and have taken our focus off where it needs to be. Our desire is to be free and it's a reality that we can truly experience! Enjoy the book!
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4.0 out of 5 stars This book FINALLY tells the bottom line of Christianity, Dec 3 2003
By 
"bstroup1" (Fort Wayne, IN United States) - See all my reviews
I can't tell you how long I have worked and prayed and tried to express the exact thoughts Mr. Eldredge is able to put into actual words in this GREAT book, Waking the Dead. Mostly I have not toiled to show these things to non-believers, but to those who profess a personal relationship with Yahshua (Jesus) Christ. They have no eyes to see or ears to hear, because they are guarding their hearts against the unknown and unseen, and simply going through the motions until their death. If we could all apply what Mr. Eldredge is pointing out to us, we could make the most phenomenal changes in the human race!!
Pages 30-31 summarize it for us... "Christianity isn't a religion about going to Sunday school, potluck suppers, being nice, holding car washes, sending our secondhand clothes off to Mexico - as good as those things might be. This is a world at WAR! (emphasis mine) Something large and immensely dangerous is unfolding all around us, we are caught up in it, and above all we doubt we have been given a key role to play."
Read this book! Meditate on it. Check it out with the Scriptures and examine it's truth. Once you have accepted it's concepts, you will have a changed life.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening book that touches the heart, Nov. 13 2003
By 
C. Stephans - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
You must fight for your life, because whether or not you are aware of it, you exist in the midst of a war. This is one of the themes of Waking the Dead by John Eldredge. In it, Eldredge asserts that one of the major lessons of the Bible is that "things are not what they seem."
According to Eldredge, the obstacles and suffering we all face are the result of humanity's enemy battling for our hearts. You have not blown it and God has not let you down, but this enemy daily attempts to prevent you from living in the glorious fullness of your redeemed heart, writes Eldredge.
In Waking the Dead, Eldredge argues that God has redeemed our hearts, made them good according to his image. He also argues that most people fail to live up to their heart's redeemed state. Waking readers from the dead is about lifting them from the mire or status quo of their lives up to the level of the Spirit-filled life illustrated in the lives of believers in the New Testament.
Throughout this book, Eldredge expands on a quote by the early Christian writer Irenaeus, "the glory of God is man fully alive." The problem, Eldredge says, is that Christians succumb to the pressures and emotions of this world and to the lies of Satan and fail to experience the abundant life.
Through a plethora of references to scriptures, quotes, and to stories and movies such as The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Wizard of Oz, The Matrix, The Perfect Storm, and The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, Eldredge shares eternal truths of redemption and glory to illustrate the state of Christians in this world. He also shares many personal stories that relate how God has worked in his life and through his ministry.
The emphasis of Waking the Dead is on four streams that Eldredge believes bring Christians to the abundant life to which God has called them. These streams are Walking with God, Receiving his Intimate Counsel, Deep Restoration and Spiritual Warfare. He expands the discussion of the four streams with a chapter focusing on the needs and blessings of Christian fellowship.
Eldredge is trying to show readers that a closer relationship with God is available--a relationship bringing deep healing and freedom. In this relationship, the Christian can finally reach his or her full potential, becoming fully alive and bringing glory to God.
Waking the Dead also includes a chapter offering specific prayers designed to help the reader experience the four streams.
In Waking the Dead, Eldredge reaches deep into his soul and spiritual reservoir to share insights and references that will help the reader see his or her place in the heart of God. He comes to his points from so many different angles that he is sure to hit his mark with most readers.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Heart of Scripture, Nov. 10 2003
By 
Eric Wilson "author" (Nashville, TN United States) - See all my reviews
Is this book biblical? Should we be using "The Matrix" to learn lessons of the Christian life? Are our hearts "good," as Eldredge asserts, or has he bought into a humanistic spirituality?
The answers, for those who choose to read to the end of this short work, are within. Yes, this book is biblical. Although it's no masterpiece of homiletics or exegesis, it does hold to the heart and spirit of Christianity. Yes, it uses lessons from popular movies and novels to convey spritual truths--and quite effectively, I might add! Eldredge makes it clear "The Matrix" will not save us. He does, however, use it to highlight ideas.
In regards to the goodness of the human heart, it's true that I started to wonder how far he would take the concept. Was he suggesting that sin is no longer a struggle for us? Was he trying to say that the human condition is not seditious and in need of redemption?
Quite the opposite. Eldredge makes it clear further on that we must be in relationships of accountability, that we must be confessing our sin and dealing with it on an ongoing basis. What he does want to communicate is that Jesus came to purchase our freedom, yet we still live with slave mentalities. God reached out to cleanse that which he made pure in the beginning, yet we walk around with self-deprecating words and expressions instead of moving forward in God's kingdom.
By the end of this book, I was convinced that the ideas were true to the heart of Scripture and that we could all benefit by the honesty and openness of living with hearts that are good, while never hiding from the impurities and assaults of life that try to drag us back into darkness.
Easier said than done. But we have to start somewhere. Why not start by "Waking the Dead."
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5.0 out of 5 stars awesome book about God's love and Grace, Nov. 8 2003
By 
"jeromedtv1" (Phoenix, Arizona) - See all my reviews
This book really packs a powerful messages about spiritual warfare and how we are under attack and do not even know it. Like they say in the Two Towers movie when the King does not want to risk open war: open war is already upon you whether you wish it or not! John really shows how true this is for Christians. Please do not pay attention to some of the people who reviewed this book especially in fact one person who apparently only read the first chapter and so doesn't even say what the author says in the book. John is a great writer who really has a gift to sift through the surface dialog and get to the heart and our hearts and what we really struggle with and why. I think his message is one hundred percent what Jesus and the Bible say, he just uses some examples which people don't understand how they could be Christian. But don't be swayed by them, focus on how aligned John is to God and Christ, and you will see past the shallow people who are afraid of looking at themselves the way John does. Read this book and all his books for how great they are at showing the real side of faith and how great God is and what he has done for us. God Bless.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Too deep and too close to home for most, Nov. 4 2003
This is a powerful book, and not one that avoids controversy. Let's start with perhaps the most debated premise of this book: "The heart is good". The first reaction of many I know is to quickly exclaim that this is heresy. Well, perhaps not. Lets look at what he means when he says the "heart is good".
First, he is referring to the "redeemed heart" specifically. Using the backing of Scripture (Romans 10:9-10, Ezek 26:36, John 3:7, Gal 6:15, Luke 8:15, Luke 6:44-45, and more) he claims that our hearts are transformed through Christ. This is an entirely Biblical concept.
Second, the heart is not the same as the flesh. Eldridge acknowledges that "part of me doesn't want to love my neighbor..and it is that part I must crucify daily" (page 130) and "Yes, we still have to crucify the flesh on a daily basis" (page 76), and even "I take up my cross and crucify my flesh with all its pride, unbelief, and idolatry" (page 224). Obviously, Eldridge understands and acknowledges that the flesh is sinful, so what does he mean by the "heart is good"? One example is found in Romans where Paul speaks to this very issue: "It is no longer I myself who do it, but sin living within me..For in my inner being I delight in God's law." Romans 7:17-22. (page 76) If it is "no longer I myself" who sin, and my "inner being" delights in God's law, then what exactly is his "inner being", and who is "no longer I myself"? Paul speaks of his redeemed heart and the battle with the flesh. It is critical to note this distinction.
The third element is that our heart reflects God's glory. On page 75 he states that "we were created to reflect God's glory, born to bear his image, and He ransomed us to reflect that glory again". See Romans 8:30, Romans 2:29, 2 Cor 2:4-6, and the discussion in Chapter 4. Nothing in this book would indicate Eldridge is speaking of human glory, or some sort of humanistic agenda as he has been accused. In fact in a prayer he uses (page 176) he states that "I confess here and now that it is all about you God, and not about me", and "I surrender every aspect of my life totally and completely to you" (page 174). He states that "every morning we bring our lives fully back to Christ and under His Lordship." (page 174).
The fourth element of his claim that the "heart is good" is one we have to look at subjectively. Eldridge is speaking of brokenness and its profound impact on our walk with God. The examples of brokenness found in his own life and the lives of others (pages 136, 144, etc) give us some insight into the lie we come to believe: namely that even after redemption we are not capable of being transformed. So deep is this lie that we are bad and unworthy that it keeps us from really living for God. In fact CS Lewis acknowledged (page 212) that "when Jesus told us to love others as we love ourselves it would be a horrible command if the self were simply to be hated."
This is a powerful book, though his writing style may not be for everyone. Eldridge wants to really get close to the heart of the matter, and in doing so uses some often radical concepts as illustrations. However, a deep read here shows a solid Biblical foundation and humility, not humanism.
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2.0 out of 5 stars provocative, engaging but highly problematic in places, Oct. 24 2003
By 
I had some real concerns with Eldredge's last book "Wild at Heart" which deals with being real men before God. (see the various reviews of that work along with the review at pcanews.com). His current work is geared for both genders and is centered around the notion of the heart and its importance as we live as ones "fully alive" "from the heart".
It contains lively, interesting prose, but some of his concepts raise a few serious red flags to this Christian, seminary-trained reader. He repeats like a mantra that as a Christian "your heart is good". The evidence he offers is a bit dubious and tenuous at best. He often makes categorical, assumed statements offering no Scriptural proof for his position. To me, it often has the ring of a humanistic, motivational speaker with Christian verbage.
I think some of the ideas he is trying to communicate are good but his means of getting there are a bit spurious with respect to biblical and philosophical proof. His quote from Irenaeus is powerful but I wish he would've just once completed it to give us a fully picture of the church father as well as the biblical worldview. He says "the glory of God is man fully alive" as he says but he leaves out what Irenaeus goes on to say "the vision of God is man".
We are always "coram deo" (under the gaze of God). That puts the passions of our "hearts" in proper perspective when our affections get distorted or misplaced as they so often do even as believers in Christ Jesus. We should seek to "delight ourselves in the Lord and he will give us the desires of our heart"
Eldredge does seek to base his premise of the goodness of our hearts on the new covenant promise of a new heart. This reveals a partial truth. As believers, we are a new creation and given new hearts, but to truly have "good hearts" we await the parousia (the Lord's return in glory) to completely restore our fallen hearts to be completely good. Now, I'm not saying Eldredge is explicitly teaching perfectionism but he steers too close to that edge; at the least he seems to deny the biblical truth that "our hearts are deceitful and wicked" often even as believers. We must not trust our own hearts but the revealed Scripture and the power of the Holy Spirit to illumine that Word to our weak, often fallible hearts and minds. We need to always have our hearts and minds renewed (Romans 12:2).
Once again, I appreciate John Eldredge and his heart to help others live "full" lives. However, I wish he would base more of what he says on clear Biblical exegesis or at least get some quality scholars to review his material and give some much needed critical input. Also, is it just me, ut can we please stop having these books without at least some proper citations and footnotes? It fits with the general "dumbing down" so prevalent in our mass culture.
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Waking The Dead
Waking The Dead by John Eldredge (Paperback - Oct. 18 2006)
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