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Epic: The Story God Is Telling

3.97  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,842 Ratings  ·  153 Reviews
Life, for most of us, feels like a movie we've arrived to forty minutes late.

Sure, good things happen, sometimes beautiful things. But tragic things happen too. What does it mean? We find ourselves in the middle of a story that is sometimes wonderful, sometimes awful, usually a confusing mixture of both, and we haven't a clue how to make sense of it all. No wonder we keep
Paperback, 104 pages
Published March 1st 2007 by Nelson Books (first published January 1st 2004)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mark Ward
Jun 03, 2015 Mark Ward rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
I get so tired of books.

That break up paragraphs.

To make them seem.





This is a device which should be used sparingly. But I think John Eldredge read the memo backwards, because "normal" paragraphs almost seem to be the exception in his epic (but tiny) book. Epic but tiny. And that's just it: Eldredge wants to make every sentence in this small book breathless (see the last sentence on page 80). His topic justifies that desire, but his treatment of it does not.

And my complain
Something of a ripoff. Is excerpts from previous works, all of which I'd read. Not so identified. Disappointed.
Joel Mitchell
Jan 17, 2016 Joel Mitchell rated it it was amazing
John Eldredge launches his fresh look at Gospel with this quote: "I wonder what sort of tale we've fallen into" (J. R. R. Tolkien, LOTR). Christianity is not a series of rules and church attendance, but the opportunity to participate in "the story God is telling."
Eldredge draws frequent parallels with various books and movies to show that our best loved stories reflect God's great true story because "eternity is written in our hearts." This short book is both thought-provoking and beautiful.
Oct 30, 2009 Tracey rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Have you ever heard someone refer to the Bible “God’s love story”? Sure it sounds good, but what does it really mean? Eldredge does a nice job describing exactly why the Bible IS, in fact, God’s love story: how a God who was already in perfect relationship chose to create people who are free to rebel against Him and through time God continues to love, pursue, and rescue these rebellious people.

However, the full book title is “Epic: The Story God Is Telling and the Role That Is Yours to Play,” an
Jacob Seymour
To get the most out of this book, the reader needs to be familiar, but not an expert on, pop culture and classic literature. Without this familiarity, the book will make frequent references that will not be understood. That's what happened to me. I'm sure if I were more well read on The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, and even Paradise Lost that this book would have been spellbinding.

It was short... but DENSE. I did appreciate, however, his uncanny ability to make connections betwee
Allyssa Bloomfield
I bought it a month ago and my jaw dropped. First deception? In the site looked bigger. 100 pages in a tiny lil book. Second? Its a religious book, not a historic novel as they kinda sell it. Giving it a chance tho. Its really short

Update: Pure crap. If i could put zero stars id do it
Walt Walkowski
I enjoyed this book. Nice that it's short. Not sure I entirely agree that the Gospel is the entire story Eldredge points to, but I get his point. Also, I don't think I'm his target audience, but it was a decent read anyway.
Ryan Wirsing
Jun 19, 2015 Ryan Wirsing rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Short read, literally read it in about 90 minutes. Overall, it was an inspiring and encouraging reminder that God does have a plan and a purpose for all of us. That we are a part of His Story. Yes there are some issues I have with Eldredge's theology. (He almost seems to advocate open theism which is a big no no. However I cannot say with certainty that he believes or adheres to that. And as such I cannot judge. I would have to read more of his works to make an informed decision.)

Hopefully you
Instead of reading this book watch the Lord of the Rings, Gladiator, and Apollo 13. Then read Donald Miller's Million Miles in a Thousand Years. It will take longer, but you'll be better for it.
Nov 22, 2014 Jenna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My thoughts while reading this poignant, life-changing book:

1. I am starting to begin to understand why I feel I deeply align myself with/relate to Daenerys Targaryen ('Game of Thrones') and Aragorn ('Lord of the Rings').

2. "Is it socially acceptable to give your posterity names from aforementioned series?" Yes. Always, yes. XD

3. This book is kicking my ass, opening my eyes, and encouraging me in the most incredibly profound ways. <3 We are so very loved, friends.

Moreover, the following quo
May 30, 2014 Pattib rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We are in the middle of a story that is sometimes wonderful, sometimes awful.

We have a crucial role to play in the larger story.
Nov 25, 2011 Holly rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spiritual
John Eldredge's little, but profound book shows us that life is a story, but our part in that story is no accident. We are part of THE story. Eldredge writes that we have all the great and tragic stories that we have because we have embedded in our soul the one true epic - the story of the Trinity - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I love all the references to great stories in this book - The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, The Chronicles of Narnia, Wrinkle in Time, Gladiator, the Matrix, Braveheart, ...more
Jul 06, 2009 Jason rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"We find ourselves in the middle of a story that is sometimes wonderful, sometimes awful, usually a confusing mixture of both, and we haven't a clue how to make sense of it all."

John Eldredge starts this short book with the premise that Life is a Story and that our personal story wraps around the larger story of God, humanity, Christ and eternity. That the reason that we all are drawn to epic stories and battles, good versus bad, right versus wrong, and the hero coming to save the day is that ea
Nov 15, 2011 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After reading “Epic” I immediately went in search of more books written by John Eldredge and now have an entire collection. This book is the one that started it all and remains my favorite; I can read it over and over and still learn something new. Eldredge offers a unique and invigorating way to explore Christianity by using the epic movies we love to illustrate Biblical understanding about humanity. His tone is inviting and honest, the structure of each chapter is easy to follow and every poin ...more
Jan 14, 2014 Andrew rated it liked it
I do not typically enjoy John Eldredge's work but this book was ok. At times the language seemed clumsy and almost intentionally vernacular, as if he was purposefully writing for an audience of grammar-starved teenagers. I think the book earned its third star purely for the content. It was almost a 'modernised' version of Lewis or Chesterton... in fact Eldredge borrows heavily from these authors throughout - though they're placed on the same level as Titanic and Star Wars :)
It's a good evening r
Dawn Alexander moyer
Dec 11, 2014 Dawn Alexander moyer rated it really liked it
This was required reading for a college course I took this semester. It was an interesting spin on the core of our human spirit is woven into all of pop culture. Everything around us is proof of God's love and our desire to be loved. Great read - but if you are not familiar with classic literature and pop culture you may not get as much out of it as John makes many references to other works.
Not a whole lot of new ideas, but it was inspiring/intriguing. Not sure how many times he can talk about LOTR, Titanic, Last of the Mohicans, and his other favorite movies, but true to form they are all mentioned plenty of times in this book, just as in all of his others. Not that I mind hearing his perspectives again, they are always refreshing, but it has definitely been said before, by him, many times over now, with slight variations.
I did feel encouraged to pursue my dreams after reading it,
Jolayne Morneau
Jul 01, 2014 Jolayne Morneau rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh my heart. Truly epic. Thanks dad, for introducing me to this author.

Eldredge paints pictures with his words and I like his use of scripture throughout.

Although some reviews give it a thumbs down for referencing pop culture, I think Eldredge uses the references wisely in tying in with the Story. I think the book flows smoothly and I would recommend it to anyone.
This is like a printed sermon, the thesis of which is that life is an epic story in which we must strive to find our part. It points out universal dreams and desires that seem to be true for all great stories and posits that they resonate with us because they echo God's plan for our lives. It references movies like Braveheart, Star Wars, and The Lord of the Rings to show the grand, yet human scale of the story.
Nov 28, 2010 Shirley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Because I like to read a good story, watch a good movie, study good authors, and write things myself I enjoyed (not exactly the right word but can't think of the one I want) this book. It answers some of the questions about why I like those things - and it is a hopeful, powerful and reasonable explanation. Some of my favorite things to think on from the book:

"God's problem is not that God is not able to do certain things. God's problem is that God loves. Love complicates the life of God as it co
Jonathan Minnick
Sep 20, 2011 Jonathan Minnick rated it liked it
The reason I gave this book 3 stars is because it is short and because he uses the NLT version of the Bible. I don't usually mind when writers use versions other than the KJV in their books, but he used Psalm 8:5 in his book, which apparently in the NLT says: "Yet you made them only a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor". I believe my Bible is pretty clear on the fact that NONE compares to God: "To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be l ...more
Aug 30, 2012 Stephanie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The central message of this book is really good: we are living out an Epic tale of Good vs. Evil and we need to be aware that our little lives matter, that we are part of a master plan. There is a larger battle being fought in the unseen realm that started before the creation of the world. All that is great stuff and a good reminder.

However, the book is peppered with way too many pop-culture (mainly movie) references. I think we all know what an Epic is, and if you'd like to point out that Star
Oct 06, 2014 Brittany rated it it was ok
I was disappointed with this book. As a Christian, I understand the points he was making. I understand the references. I do not, however, believe it should be portrayed as a mere "story." For believers, what the bible says is FACT not just some story written. Our lives aren't a story but reality. I found the comparisons rather disrespectful at points. It's a representation but all in all... Eh.
Dec 31, 2015 Heather rated it really liked it
a short and quick read but good none the less. I actually chose this book because I was one book away from completing my goodreads challenge for the year and it was a short book.This is the second book I have read from this author and I think I really like John Eldredge. I look forward to finding more books by him.
May 04, 2014 Liz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: five-star
This is a quick read about the story God has put us in. John Eldredge uses stories from the movies we have grown up loving to explain how God has placed eternity in our hearts. The romances, the villains, the heroes, and the fairy tale endings all point to the REAL story. I highly recommend this book for everyone.
Oct 01, 2014 Rhonda rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2014
"We find ourselves in the middle of a story that is sometimes wonderful, sometimes awful, usually a confusing mixture of both, and we haven't a clue how to make sense of it all. No wonder we keep losing heart.
We need to know the rest of the story."
Larry Stones
Mar 30, 2012 Larry Stones rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
This is an interesting view of what is essentially the plan of salvation. The author is not LDS, and his views show the admonition of President Hinkley when he says that others have truth but we could share more of the picture with them.
He talks about a war in heaven before this life, but he thinks it was just between the angels - nto that we were involved.
He talks about the atonement, but he explains that to fully participate - in other words be saved - one must only accept Christ - not that th
Aug 02, 2011 Ellen rated it really liked it
Why does the entire world seem taken with Epic stories such as Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, or The Matrix? Could it be that there is something universal in each of us longing to understand our own role in THE epic story of life? Eldredge seeks to explain a Christian worldview through a very accessible lense of popular media, showing how even our movies show a paradise lost, a rescue, a hero, and an important role for us all to play in the biggest story of them all. I think this short book could ...more
Chris McKenzie
Jan 17, 2010 Chris McKenzie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I keep this book with me as much as possible, to remind me every day that I am on a journey, that my life is a story and I have a part in the grandest,most glorious Epic of all. John Eldredge has found Truth reflected in the tales that we all love, from "Lord of the Rings" to "Braveheart" to "Titanic." This is one of the books that truly changed my life and made me see things in a different way. I am not a fan of how-to books that give ultimately useless advice about how to improve yourself. Thi ...more
Katie Axelson
Jul 18, 2014 Katie Axelson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this coffee table book at my house’s house and devoured it one quiet afternoon. Being fascinated with the idea of story, I love how Eldgredge crafted the Gospel using the mentality of a literary epic.
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John Eldredge is an author (you probably figured that out), a counselor, and teacher. He is also president of Ransomed Heart, a ministry devoted to helping people discover the heart of God, recover their own heart in his love, and learn to live in his Kingdom. John grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles (which he hated), and spent his boyhood summers on his grandfather’s cattle ranch in eastern Ore ...more
More about John Eldredge...

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“It is a world of magic and mystery, of deep darkness and flickering starlight. It is a world where terrible things happen and wonderful things too. It is a world where goodness is pitted against evil, love against hate, order against chaos, in a great struggle where often it is hard to be sure who belongs to which side because appearances are endlessly deceptive. Yet for all its confusion and wildness, it is a world where the battle goes ultimately to the good, who live happily ever after, and where in the long run everybody, good and evil alike, becomes known by his true name . . . That is the fairy tale of the Gospel with, of course, one crucial difference from all other fairy tales, which is that the claim made for it is that it is true, that it not only happened once upon a time but has kept on happening ever since and is happening still. (Frederick Buechner, Telling the Truth)” 3 likes
“How wonderful to discover that God has never been alone. He has always been Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God has always been a fellowship. This whole Story began with something relational.” 3 likes
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