Epic: The Story God Is Telling
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Epic: The Story God Is Telling

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  1,410 ratings  ·  120 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...more
Paperback, 104 pages
Published March 1st 2007 by Nelson Books (first published January 1st 2004)
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Mark Ward
I get so tired of books.

That break up paragraphs.

To make them seem.

That.

Much.

More.

Dramatic.

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...more
Ron
Something of a ripoff. Is excerpts from previous works, all of which I'd read. Not so identified. Disappointed.
Tracey
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...more
Jase
I absolutely loved this book. I'm a huge John Eldredge fan and this book was right in line with what I expected from him. His style of writing always draws me in and captivates me. I only wish it had been longer!
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...more
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.
Nicolas
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.
Holly
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
Jason
"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...more
Kate
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
Andrew
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...more
Jolayne Morneau
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.
Shirley
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...more
Jonathan Minnick
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
Stephanie
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...more
Liz Gibbs
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.
Larry Stones
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...more
Ellen
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
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
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.
Ann Thomas
What a brilliant book! since it's only slim, it's not daunting either, nor is the tone in which it's written. I got this in a charity shop, but will be buying copies to give away. It's perfect for Christians and non-Christians alike.

If you ever wondered what Christianity is all about once you take away the religious trappings, this is the book for you. If you're already a Christian, it will thrill you and help you understand why the story is so important. Non-preachy, uses modern films as exampl...more
Chelsie
John Eldredge does a marvelous job of showing us how each of lives is an adventure and a story, with villains, heroes, glory, battles and victories. The book beautifully shows us how each of our stories(and lives) is connected and intertwined with God. Enclosed is wonderful references to well loved books, authors and movies, including Lord of the Rings, C.S Lewis, Apollo 13, Braveheart, Titanic, John Milton and many more. John Eldredge's theories of why these books and movies are so well loved i...more
Pattib
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.
James
Jul 27, 2011 James added it
It would be best to read Epic before Eldredge's other books. Great ideas fill this book, but they are elaborated upon in his other books, and seem repetitive if one has already read them elsewhere.



Epic is geared to both the Christian and non-Christian, with references to popular secular media alongside Lewis and Tolkien, though with a decidedly evangelistic aura.



I enjoyed it because it functions as an elementary primer on writing a compelling story. So if you are interested in becoming an autho...more
Nathan Good
In approximately 100 pages John lays out the story of the world from before creation through the restoration of all things. This is a very moving book which causes you to see the larger story within which you live. John effectively shows how this story is woven into every other story we tell and how we long for the essential elements of this story to be true. This book contains compelling evidence of the claims of Christianity for those who may be struggling with doubt as well as motivational ma...more
Robert Michael
I am so glad I read this book. It reminded me that God created me in love, by love, and for love.

Every movie reference and book reference were familiar and applicable. Archetypes are powerful because they speak directly to our humanity. Our humanity derives from God, therefore the stories that impact our lives are echoes of THE STORY.

The mark of any great book is the inspiration of "I wish I had written this." I can highly recommend this short, inspirational read to all my nerdy friends for sure...more
Peter Krol
Eldredge is a pretty vivid writer, and he manages the Gospel well - as a story that we fit into. He has an interesting take, where two acts of the play - God's relationship within the Trinity, and the fall of Satan and his angels - take place before the creation of the world. Usually I think of the Gospel story as beginning at creation.

Eldredge never does make clear what it means for us practically to take our part in this story. Yet, that seems to be his climax, as the book ends with "This is t...more
Charlene Mathe
I love the author's perspective on our life -- "a few pages or at best chapters torn from a book" (my paraphase). So how do we make sense of it? The author is a great story-teller, and I slipped comfortably into his narrative. I felt understood and validated. He sees life through a Christian lense, and sometimes that gets in the way. Despite this complaint, "Epic: the Story God is Telling" is still one of my very favorite books. It is pocket-size and just over 100 pages. Many copies on Amazon.co...more
Amy
My first year on a theatre ministry team, we read this as a Bible study. Obviously it was applicable because it talks in terms of a play and our roles in it...and we acted in sketches and plays all the time.

This book makes you feel so small--which is the point--but also makes you feel honored to be a part of what God's doing. Eldredge is a gifted story teller who wraps you up into the glory of God's continuing story.

If you're looking for something that's a little lighter but will still impact yo...more
Eric
I read "Wild at Heart" last Christmas and thought that it was one of the most important books I would read in a while. This book, however, makes me see a few faults in Eldredge's style. The repetitive nature of his writing gets old once you notice it, and he likes to use scripture liberally to fit his means. My big problem is that he didn't tell me anything I didn't already know. In fact, I wrote a paper for Ethics and talked about the story of God's plan.
A good devotion book but nothing to bas...more
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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...
Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul The Sacred Romance: Drawing Closer to the Heart of God Waking the Dead: The Glory of a Heart Fully Alive The Journey of Desire: Searching for the Life We Always Dreamed of

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