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Showing 1-7 of 7 reviews(4 star). Show all reviews
on November 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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on December 3, 2003
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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on November 13, 2003
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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on November 10, 2003
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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on November 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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on November 26, 2003
Except for a theological difference in Jesus going to hell. This book packs a whallop of insight into what it means to live bringing God with you as you learn, get entertained and live. John supports his image bearer theme much more intently in this latest book about recognizing false humility and has a great quote from Nelson Mandela that will knock you into the truth. Many quotes from movies and books like the Wizard of Oz, and Cinderella. If there is book man that understands and explains the heart scripturally it is this book. For those who previously didn't support John's books due to lack of biblical reference, he is quoting more often. I am only halfway through the book and it was worth every penny for the first 4 chapters already. If any book can show you a different perspective about what the Bible is for John can do it. Jesus was called Wonderful Councelor yet we don't often look at scripture as a counsel for there heart issues. ...
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on February 28, 2014
I have gave this book to two Christian friends that are searching, One found it wonderful and one found she could not get into it and brought it back, personally I enjoyed it.
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