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Waking the Dead: The Glory of a Heart Fully Alive

4.17  ·  Rating Details ·  5,253 Ratings  ·  246 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 20th 2003 by Thomas Nelson (first published February 29th 2000)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mar 23, 2009 Andi rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 04, 2012 Hannah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: i-own-hard-copy
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
Nov 25, 2011 Frank rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 13, 2007 fleegan rated it really liked it
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..."
May 10, 2010 Meredith rated it liked it
Shelves: christianity
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
Apr 11, 2010 Selena rated it really liked it
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
Jan 17, 2012 JJ Vancil rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spiritual-growth
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
Nov 02, 2014 Matthew rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. Good book.

I read one of his other books, Wild at Heart, with a small group of guys in my freshman year of college. In retrospect, I don't think all of my friends understood the purpose of that book. They'd dress up in armor and beat on each other. It's unfair but true, my friends at the time gave me a negative sense of that book and the author.

Now, years later, I finally get around to reading Waking the Dead and I'm pleased. This book is engaging and full of good wisdom. If you're a b
Jan 01, 2010 Thomas rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 09, 2016 Jonathan rated it liked it
I am not a fan of this author. This is one of his better books. I read it through in college, and I am thinking about skimming it again someday. The final chapters are an intricately written example prayer.
Neil Geisel
Jan 14, 2015 Neil Geisel rated it it was amazing
This book is intense and gave me some great advice to apply immediately. Walking a life of faith is never easy, like many think it will be when starting out on that journey. Oh, but it is a journey and experiencing a daily, hourly, sometimes every second barrage of attacks from satan is discouraging and ultimately a test of our commitment to Christ. I love how John Eldredge illustrates the battle of war and gives rich imagery to help us, who think along the lines of artistic impressions, think a ...more
Mike Graham
Apr 28, 2016 Mike Graham rated it it was amazing
If I am sent to the proverbial desert island and am only allowed two books, I would choose the Bible and Waking the Dead. From John Eldredge I have understood the only interpretation of the biblical story that makes sense to me and that thrills me. I know why I love books and stories -- it is because God has placed The Story in me -- a Story that has all the elements we love: adventure, battle, romance, enemies and a life or death mission. He has taught me to think and see life mythically (a lar ...more
Jul 07, 2012 Laura rated it it was amazing
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.
Mar 13, 2015 Jamie rated it it was amazing
This book changed my husband and I's lives. I saw a 180 degree heart change in him after he read this. He lost his father at a young age, and Jesus healed his heart from that loss through this words of this book.
Feb 28, 2016 Naomi rated it really liked it
"Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." - Proverbs 4:23

I can't recall who recommended this book to me or why I ended up buying a used copy, but I'm glad I did. Waking the Dead made me consider why it's important to care for myself. I do have a tendency to wear myself out, constantly going and doing things with and for others, and while I still believe these are important and life-giving things, I am also finding that I feel exhausted more often. How can I care for o
Niel Knoblauch
Nov 29, 2013 Niel Knoblauch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a glass of ice cold water on a hot day. Really enjoyed it and I take so much away with me...
Jeff Davis
Aug 12, 2015 Jeff Davis rated it it was amazing
I could not recommend an Eldredge book more than I already do. He writes of spiritual battle, which Christian or not, everyone experiences in their life. This book reads like a daily devotional, yet ties together in every chapter as John Eldredge drives the message home about the process of restoration and the need for a perspective change within the church-and ultimately within ourselves--life is a constant battle between God and the Enemy, that we need to not ignore, sidestep, or otherwise pre ...more
Jenny Elizabeth
Jun 10, 2015 Jenny Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
Shelves: re-read
Oh John Eldredge, you sooth my aching soul.
Mar 04, 2015 Barry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian-living
I think Mr. Eldredge is onto something. This is such an encouraging and at times inspiring book that it is a joy to read. However, I'm not sure how much of this book I will remember. Mr. Eldredge has some good thoughts and speaks to the importance of taking time to nourish our heart. Though he doesn't develop the application part of his idea as much as he could have, he still presents some good ideas. Still, after having finished the book and walked away, it is difficult to remember much of anyt ...more
Sep 17, 2008 Ron rated it liked it
Great idea; incomplete development.
Dec 20, 2013 Scott rated it it was ok
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
Caroline Abbott
Jul 15, 2015 Caroline Abbott rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this book! It changed my view of myself, God and the Christian church. One of the best parts about it is that once we become Christians, our hearts become good - like the heart of Jesus, because the Holy Spirit comes to live in our hearts! WOW! Mind bending. Also, reopened my eyes to the spiritual warfare that is going on all around us, and the need for serious prayer. Finally, I loved its focus on following Jesus, not some person, not some program or specific church. Can't say enough. I ...more
Jan 06, 2009 Trevor rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio, 2008
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
May 05, 2009 MannyO rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed-books

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
Davidson Evans
Jul 29, 2013 Davidson Evans rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian
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
Mar 26, 2008 Jackson rated it really liked it
Shelves: theological
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
Sep 17, 2007 Robert rated it it was amazing
"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
Joel Wentz
Dec 16, 2015 Joel Wentz rated it really liked it
John Eldredge takes a lot of flak for over-generalizing (especially with statements regarding gender) and for a prose that is almost overly accessible, possibly a little too "dumbed down." And while I can't say I disagree with either of those criticisms, I also believe he is on to something radically important here. The "warfare worldview" he advocates for has a massive impact on how one understands life's struggles and the role of God. His assessment of the human heart hit me in a powerful way, ...more
Buddy Draper
Apr 10, 2016 Buddy Draper rated it it was amazing
This book is as great if not greater than Wild at Heart. In this book Eldredge talks about how the heart of a Xn is good and how so many Xns are living a lifeless existence because they believe that their hearts are evil. When we are made into a new creation that includes our heart, which is why we need to guard our hearts above all things. I found this book to be encouraging and thrilling.
Sep 09, 2008 Mark rated it it was amazing
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
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useful insight 1 29 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...

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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.”
“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.” 6 likes
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