Waking the Dead: The Glory of a Heart Fully Alive
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Waking the Dead: The Glory of a Heart Fully Alive

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  3,786 ratings  ·  204 reviews
There is a glory to life that most people-including believers-never see. In this insightful new book, John Eldredge presents the heart as central to life. Not only is the heart essential; the heart God has ransomed is also good. Building on these foundational truths, Eldredge shows readers why real Christianity is a process of restoration, where the broken parts of our hea...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published July 22nd 2003 by Thomas Nelson Publishers (first published February 29th 2000)
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Andi
Recognizing Goodness - A Review of Eldredge’s Waking the Dead

Something happened with children of my generation (people some call Generation X) and those kids that followed mine. Somehow, through no one’s intention or desire, we became people who were taught both that self-esteem was absolutely essential for help AND that we are not really worth that much in the scheme of things. Somehow, when we started teaching kids that they were valuable and worthy and then started allowing them to act like a...more
Hannah
This book spoke to me. It was like the words were jumping off the page as I read. Everything made sense.

'Waking the Dead' will always hold a special place in my heart because it is the book that helped me find my feet again when I had been down and who-knows-where for a long time. Nothing made sense, I was reluctantly giving up my faith, desperate for something to cling on to. Then I found this book on a friend's bookshelf - my interest was piqued by the title. I read the intro and knew I had to...more
fleegan
This was a God book. It was pretty clever. The author uses a lot of literary and movie examples to make his points and that's kinda neat, so instead of it being all, "hey! we should be like David and slay giants and pray and write songs!" the author is more, "hey! remember the part in the Matrix where Neo..."
Frank
Book Review: Waking the Dead by John Eldredge

"Waking the Dead" is a title that grabs your attention. It's even more of an eye-opener when you realize the author is not talking about the unsaved who have not yet found Christ. He's talking about us Christians.

"How can this be? " you may wonder. Even though we have Christ in us, all too often we're swallowed up by the events of our day to day lives so that to a large degree we're oblivious to spiritual reality. So much so that Christ, in his love...more
Selena
This book makes you feel like your veins are filled with sunshine, and that every thought your brain has blossoms like huge white flowers. John Eldredge uses references from movies, quotes from book, and a fresh perspective to show his reader that the only way we can feel like we're living a worthwhile life is recognize that by being one with God, we have pure and precious hearts. But Eldredge doesn't merely say: Jesus loves you, he pries away the cover of that, and allows you climb into the bon...more
JJ Vancil
This book is about the heart & it connects with the heart. John Eldredge is a master of telling stories and this book is proof. Countless personal stories & pictures from epic tales litter this book and add to its truth an emotional connection that moves the heart. The core truth and theme of this book is that the heart is good and needs to be set free & guarded. Moreover, we are at war and our heart is the goal. He attacks the false doctrine that we are wicked (after receiving Chris...more
Meredith
The good insights are buried in a continuously meandering style. John Eldredge tends to ramble, and with so many analogies, I think he sometimes forgets to return to his thesis.

The thesis itself is a mixed bag (man's heart created good). I found a couple of his points questionable (our parents taught us lies about our hearts??), but some of his insights were really outstanding (chapter 11: "Fellowships of the Heart" was a gem).

In this book are hidden snippets of his life story, and I kept want...more
Laura
I started this book about three years ago and skipped around and kept putting it down...probably because it was hitting too close to home.

We all have broken places in our hearts that need healing and this book explained why healing my heart matters (not only to me, but to everyone in my family, church and beyond) and how to get there. The journey is painful but simple and as a result of reading this book I am leaping over pitfalls in my life that used to trip me up every time.
Ron
Great idea; incomplete development.
Scott
Dec 20, 2013 Scott rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
Although I can appreciate what Eldredge is seeking to communicate to the Body of Christ I'm not at all impressed with his book.

On a positive note, I do appreciate the emphasis Eldredge places on the heart as the wellspring of life, and rightly so. God redeems these broken hearts of ours so that He can indwell us and meet us there.

However, the reason this book didn't speak to me as much as I had hoped is because of three main assumptions which undergird Eldredge's whole argument: 1. The glory of...more
Trevor
Twenty clear days a year-that sounds about like my life. I think I see what's really going on about that often. The rest of the time, it feels like fog, like the bathroom mirror after a hot shower. You know what I mean. What exactly are you perfectly clear on these days? How about your life? Why have things gone the way they have? Where was God in all that? And do you know what you ought to do next, with a deep, settled confidence that it will work out? Neither do I. Oh, I'd love to wake each mo...more
MannyO

The glory of God is man fully alive. The heart is not fully alive until a person sees their way clearly, with God walking with them in stride. Waking the Dead helps you “see with the eyes of your heart” instead of just wanting to get through each day, and awakens your own relationship with God. By overcoming society’s preconceptions of what life is supposed to be and how to get there, this book explains that there is deeper meaning to life when its true purpose is found.
This book is set up in
...more
Davidson Evans
In this book Eldredge emphasizes the fact that the heart is the core to our being. Nowadays it seems that we forget it in the sea of our jobs, families, and responsibilities; this should not be a reality. Yet, sadly, it is. So, we must fight for our hearts. We are at war, and it is far from easy. We must especially fight of the Father of Lies, whose name proves most true in this war. We must never make "agreements" with him. Never tell yourself that you're ugly, worthless, powerless, or stupid,...more
Jackson
Tremendous book. Brother John presents a new view of humanity and Christian living in Waking the Dead, one that is deeply rooted in our hearts. He points to a great swath of scriptures that really illuminate the heart and it's true power, especially as it is filled with the Holy Spirit and its full potential is realized. I have to say, I track with him. There are a lot of living dead in our churches, on our TVs, and on radio stations. As he says, it's easy to forget we're in a war. Out of all of...more
Robert
"We live in a far more dramatic, far more dangerous story than we ever imagined. The reason we love The Chronicles of Narnia or Star Wars or The Matrix or The Lord of the Rings is that they are telling us something about our lives that we never, ever get on the evening news. Or from most pulpits. This is our most desperate hour. Without this burning in our hearts, we lose the meaning of our days. It all withers down to fast food and bills and voice mail and who really cares anyway? Do you see wh...more
Mark
Sep 09, 2008 Mark rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Mark by: found it myself
This book can be life altering! Eldredge is one of my favorite author's - and he doesn't disappoint in this book.

Eldredge uses myth, and movies, to illustrate what we instinctively feel in our hearts: there is more going on around us than we can see. Not only are we living in a physical reality - but also in a spiritual reality, or what we might call a mythic reality - we can't see it with our eyes, but we know it in our hearts.

And our heart is the ultimate focus of this book. Eldredge challenge...more
Danny
Enjoyed this book very much with its emphasis on mythical thinking. Some of my favorite thoughts:
"wisdom is not cramming our heads with principles. It is developing a discerning heart."
"You will not think clearly about your life until you think mythically. Until you see with the eyes of your heart."
3 Eternal Truths, things are not what they seem, this is a world at war, we have a crucial role to play.
“The glory of God is man fully alive” St. Irenaeus.
"How would you live differently if you belie...more
Libbydale
Oct 03, 2009 Libbydale rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Lisa
This is excellent. I am rereading it more slowly and digesting it's message because I read it so quickly at first. Eldredge is getting to the heart of the matter, literally, and speaking to our hearts about our hearts-- that they are good, that they can choose to do wrong, but that God created them good. That we too easily believe lies. That we make agreements with the Enemy too often, and that we need to learn to walk with God, we need deep healing, we need God's counsel, and we need to go to w...more
Kimberlynn
“Waking the Dead”, by John Eldredge is an excellent read, and I would advise everyone to take the time and read it. This book is about cultivating a heart that is fully alive for Christ and confronting the lies that the world tries to put into our minds about where our true identity lies. “Waking the Dead” is completely scriptural based and provides a great way to engage the reader in his or her own spiritual life by examining the passages John talks about for themselves. Johns book is engaging,...more
Daniel Jones
Jul 26, 2007 Daniel Jones rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Christians
Shelves: religion
I find that once you've read one of Eldredge's books, you've read them all. But, since this was my first, I found it very inspiring. However, some of the illustrations he uses sound a little cliche. Really, do we need an epic movie for every point about Christianity? Maybe this book just hit the right chords at the right time but I would definitely recommend it over Sacred Romance or Wild at Heart. He's a little less...I'm trying to think of a better word than chauvanistic...he has less testoste...more
Rachel
I highly recommend this book to any Christian, man or woman, who wants to be jolted awake to a "heart fully alive." We need to have hearts fully alive in and through Christ, aimed ever toward Christ, because we live in a spiritual world at war. This book is short, and though nonfiction it reads very easily and well. It is well worth your time!
VocalBillity - the Voice of one crying in the Bewilderness (tm)
About the only thing I did not like or care for in this book was the use (over use?) of contemporary stories, themes, and actual script from movie scenes. These all were tactfully used, but there just seemed to be too many... like something comparitive could not be located in the Bible.

The only realy contention I have with that is that it requires the reader to be aware of the story being referenced. Typically, they were mostly 'American' type stories, but there was a spattering of German, or Eu...more
Ginny
Eldredge seeks to remind (or teach) the reader that their heart is valuable and loved and worthy, and that they will live more fully and at peace if they realize this. He also seeks to bring to light the importance of spiritual warfare in our lives. This could be quite moving for someone who is new to these concepts. However, having read several Eldredge books, I feel like there is a lot of recycled information. I was hoping he would have gone a little deeper into the practical aspects of guardi...more
Thomas
Jan 01, 2010 Thomas rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: All Christians
Excellent work. John Eldredge is a gifted writer. He had a way of putting my secret thoughts on paper, in a way that made me say, “Hey, that’s just how I felt.” This is a must read for Christians in particular, because he deals with our core issues – our heart and the relationship we need to have with the Creator.

One aspect that stood out to me in the book was that everyone has a part to play. Each of us can contribute something. And each one of us can be used of God. The book brought to life t...more
Jane Wheeler
I have read this book numerous times. This book changed my whole outlook on life and the meaning of it. A must read for anyone looking for lifes answers. Be prepared to do some emotional work along the way.
Laurie
I loved this book! From start to finish, it held my interest and got me thinking about the way I view my heart and what that means for my relationship with God. This book also really appealed to me because of its numerous Lord of the Rings references (don't worry - he references The Wizard of Oz, The Chronicles of Narnia, and even The Matrix) that show examples of how God's message has penetrated popular culture and yet we still don't open the eyes of heart. And that's what we have to do in orde...more
Ginger
John and his wife, Stasi wrote this book together and share some personal stories and spiritual insights from their ministry that made me say, "Right, that's what's REALLY been going on." This book re-kindled my desire, period. It also stirred in me to pray for my husband to really discover and live out of his heart. So many of us aren't and this book helps you understand why and wonder what the world would be like if more of us were living fully from fully alive hearts. Easy to read, though I f...more
Mike
This book far surpasses Wild At Heart. In this book, he gets down to the core of mankind's problem: We can't seem to live in Truth...we believe anything other people shove under our noses. As one commentator said "We don't trust official spokesmen any more, but we'll accept anything an anonymous source says." We will often listen to the assessment our enemies make of us and ignore what God might say to our hearts. This book does a good job of focusing back on what can wake up our sleepy souls.
Sandra
Cinderella sang
Not some dust girl's dirge
Her song was oh so eloquent
Her cheerful ballad rang
Beyond the confines of her room
Bound by duty, not by gloom

She sang
Before her magic moment
Before her fantastic gown
While battling the 'uglies'
That tried to drag her down
She sang

A song of hope and freedom
A song that rivalled birds
Her spirit soared within her
Her glory could be heard

The prince knew when he found her
In the tattered rags she wore
That she was still the lady
That he'd danced with once before

He did...more
Jon Mills
An important topic. I agreed with most of John's points, but there was a lot of rambling, repetition, and lengthy illustrations which required much work to understand how they related to the topic at hand. This made the book very tedious for me to read and stay connected with.
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useful insight 1 24 Jun 28, 2007 06:16AM  
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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 The Journey of Desire: Searching for the Life We Always Dreamed of Walking with God: Talk to Him. Hear from Him. Really.

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“somehow we have overlooked the fact this treasured called the heart can also be broken, has been broken, and now lies in pieces down under the surface. When it comes to habits we cannot quit or patterns we cannot stop, anger that flies out of nowhere, fears we cannot overcome, or weaknesses we hate to admit--much of what troubles us comes out of the broken places in our hearts crying out for relief.

Jesus speaks as if we are all brokenhearted. We would do well to trust His perspective on this.”
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“Part of me knows that prayer is essential; another part of me would rather turn on the TV and check out. And that whole bit about being long-suffering-no way. Part of me wants to just get drunk.” 4 likes
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