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Eternity in Their Hearts: Startling Evidence of Belief in the One True God in Hundreds of Cultures Throughout the World

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  3,154 ratings  ·  146 reviews
Fascinating accounts of how God enabled the people of different pagan cultures to understand the meaning of the Gospel.
Paperback, 224 pages
Published December 3rd 2005 by Regal Books (first published November 30th 1980)
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4.28  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,154 ratings  ·  146 reviews

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Natalie Vellacott
Sep 14, 2016 rated it it was ok
Summing up in one word--disappointing. I was recommended, and really enjoyed, Peace Child and Lords of the Earth by this author. I had thought that, of his other titles, this book would be most similar in style. It was not.

The author continues his attempts to prove his theory that God has left redemptive analogies in most, if not all, remote people groups. The idea being that sharing the Gospel is part using Scripture and part connecting it with the existing cultural ideas. In his previous books
Apr 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Christians, "Atheists", Missionaries, and all others
Shelves: non-fiction
What a wonderful act of God! This book explains the providential wisdom our Heavenly Father displayed by preparing the Gospel for certain tribes and peoples in extraordinary ways. For example, a tribe in Asia had been waiting for a certain Holy book from their God that would show them the way to Heaven. When missionaries came, with the Bible, these people readily and happily embraced the Salvation through Jesus Christ, and countless thousands were saved! Every Christian ought to read this. It is ...more
anca dc
Jun 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2008-2009
Sintetizata foarte intelept in doua parti, "Vesnicia din inimile lor" atinge doua fete ale aceleiasi monede: revelatia lui Dumnezeu, pe de o parte, generala, pe de alta parte, speciala.
Foarte bine documentat, Don Richardson prezinta in prima parte popoare incepind cu sec.VI ale caror credinte si obiceiuri releva cunoasterea lor a existentei unui singur Dumnezeu adevarat, Creatorul tuturor lucrurilor. De asemenea, au fost descoperite scrieri poetice adresate lui Dumnezeu, acestea fiind foarte as
Sep 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Very interesting book on the spread of the gospel from the old testament up to today. Richardson listed different peoples, nations, that at one time were monotheistic and then went into polytheism at later times because of Satan's influence. He mentions that many nations only worshipped one god at one time. I have experienced this in Taiwan (Republic of China). The Chinese, before Buddha worshipped only one God. They had a written language (or characters). When the Bible was translated into Chin ...more
Apryl Anderson
Jul 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an excellent counterpoint to Joseph Campbell's 'the Power of Myth.'
As we are created in the image of God, each of us carries a divine spark and a memory of the eternal. No matter how far one can wander, we recognize the essential truth, and it's carried from generation to generation, transcending cultures and societies, by way of myth.
I find that absolutely thrilling!
May 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: apologetics
Fascinating. I am very much in favor of social sciences as apologetics. I think there is a relatively untapped well of insight to be found by observing people and their ways, that points to the existence and need for a Supreme and Good God.
Aug 01, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shows the many threads of the story of the kingdom of God. One of my favorite books.
Bryan Kim
Jul 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
I read this when I was much younger than now... I remember tears flowing down my face as I caught a glimpse of God's "big-ness". I have my students read this, it's mandatory.
RE de Leon
Jan 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: missionaries, evangelists, Christians interested in culture
Recommended to RE by: Danny and Angie Narciso
Don Richardson's Eternity in their Hearts plays an important role in my bookshelf - it, along with a handful of CS Lewis' works, the primary bridge between the "Christian" shelf and the "Cultural Studies, Anthropology, and Anthropology" shelf.

Its premise is that, within the fabric of each of the world's cultures are embedded threads -clues in the form of stories and traditions - that point the way to the Gospel message. If a missionary is senstive to such stories and traditions, it becomes easie
Ryan Rindels
Jun 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Eternity in their Hearts is written by missionary Don Richardson who spent time in Papua New Guinea beginning in the early 60's. His research has shown many cultures throughout the world are prepped for the gospel message due to promises and entrenched prophecies that bear striking resemblance to biblical ones. For instance, the ancient Greeks experienced a destructive plague in the 6th century B.C. and after sacrificing to every god in the pantheon experienced no relief. The men of Athens sent ...more
Oct 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I read this book years ago, and I enjoyed it so much I shared it with my wife. And I think it should be shared with all Christians, especially those pursuing foreign missions. The author, a missionary and missiologist, shares his research of how God has left evidence of Himself throughout so many different cultures of the world -- often preparing these peoples for Christians to come to them and share with them the good news.

The evidence is startling. For example, here's an excerpt I found onlin
Dec 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gifts
Fascinating, faith-building, and perspective-challenging! The first half is saturated with examples of how the Lord has revealed Himself to all people, and the second half effectively demonstrates how God's purpose throughout Scripture and throughout history has been to draw all people unto Himself. It encouraged me in sharing the Gospel, to see how God has indeed places eternity in the hearts of men; and it challenged me to share the Gospel - to all people - realizing afresh the importance that ...more
May 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the key formational books for my outlook to how other religions should be viewed by Christians. I encourage everyone to read it.
Feb 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
God is at work through the centuries, preparing peoples and nations to know him. This book brings this out VERY clearly, a good read for anyone interested in God and history.
S.G. Willoughby
Sep 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was very interesting. I wish I'd had the time to read it more slowly. (The chapters were long, though there were only seven of them, and school demanded a short deadline.) Not because it was hard to understand, but because it was stressful to read in the short amount of time I had and also because I would love to read it with a Bible in hand to look up context and references. There were some parts where I suspect the author took creative freedom or speculation and portrayed things as more s ...more
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, favorites
Marcante. Ele realmente nos estimula a pensar e repensar a grande comissão desde a fundação do mundo. Uma pesquisa robusta e ao mesmo tempo agradável. A primeira metade do livro flui de um jeito avassalador: simplesmente é dificil de parar! Conteúdo relacionado a missões e apologética.
Henk-Jan van der Klis
Jun 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Published in several languages since its first release in 1981, Eternity in Their Hearts was reprinted in 2005. I finally discovered this book in 2011 while reading Vishal Mangalwadi – The Book That Made Your World. The book that we call Bible is expected all over the world. Remote people with impressing languages and customs testify of the general revelation God gave. Acoording to Don Richardson (1935) former missionary and author of books like Peace Child (1975) and Lords of the Earth (2003) G ...more
Daniel Ligon
May 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian
Few books that I read anymore require me to think deeply about whether or not I agree with their theses. "Eternity in Their Hearts" certainly does that. For starters, this book is both informative and hard to put down due to its fascinating subject material. Richardson, a longtime missionary in Papua New Guinea, makes the case that many cultures display so-called "redemptive analogies," truths hidden within the myths and legends of their traditions and religions that point to the gospel of Chris ...more
Jan 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Eternity in Their Hearts" by Don Richardson is a good book but very different in places to what I expected. Yes, this effort looks at 'startling evidence of belief in the one true God in cultures throughout the world', but certainly not in hundreds of cultures. Maybe thirty of them, if you're lucky. So, right off the bat the subtitle is misleading.

Herein, Richardson first looks at Epimenides and 'the Unknown God' and how he laid the groundwork for what the apostle Paul did at Mars Hill, in Ath
Johnny Brooks
"Startling evidence of belief in the one true God in hundreds of cultures throughout the world," is what Don Richardson's book claims to be. In fact it is not. Which is a shame as I am really interested in this subject.

Unfortunately Don makes a very poor argument, and goes way off topic for the second half of the book. The first part of the book is full of stories about animistic cultures that seem to have strangely similar beliefs to the Christian set of beliefs. Too bad he doesn't expound on
Jul 13, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: history, spiritual
This book was an overall good read, but the author writes about some pretty heady stuff, making frequent references back to many different verses in the Bible that make it sometimes difficult to follow, and often bogs down under the weight of having so much of it crammed into certain sections of chapters. His style is good, but not necessarily compelling, making it a little difficult to gather the gumption to finish the book.

However, the subject matter is really important, and it is put in conte
Mar 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
One of the most unique books I've ever read. So neat to read how God has prepared several people groups all over the world to hear the gospel. The author shows how several people groups had in their ancient folklore a knowledge of a one supreme creator who cannot be made an idol and is completely righteous. The historic record shows a move away from monotheism, where many evolutionist ( now discredited) still believe that monotheism was an upward progression away from animism, pantheism, polythe ...more
Dec 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book, carefully documented, is the account of dozens of incredible cases of peoples untouched by the West and Christianity who, whether buried deep within their own religious myths and culture, or by some other way, knew about the God of Heaven as told in the Bible, and sometimes were even waiting for their own copy to arrive!Thias is a living testament to Romans Chapter 1. Evidence exists that the Judeo-Christian God reveals Himself to all mankind...enough to surprise missionaries who arri ...more
Dad Bowers
Jun 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone seeking to understand missions
Recommended to Dad by: college professors
Shelves: favorites
Richardson, long time mis'y in Irian Jaya (author of Peace Child) develops further his hypothesis that God left in ancient peoples a way of knowing God thru general revelation, the ‘Melchizedek factor,’ or thru special revelation, the ‘Abraham factor.’ Some rejected what they knew, the 'Sodom factor,' and were rightly judged. He cites several examples including Epimenides in Athens, Pachuti king of the Incas, and the Santal of India, etc. I’ve wanted to read this for some time, and am glad to ha ...more
Mar 04, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
This is a fascinating book. It raised new questions about how God has worked in history apart from Israel to save sinners. Richardson doesn't really address that question--but he does demonstrate how God has prepared many people groups to hear the good news about Jesus Christ. Many peoples have anticipated the Christian gospel and received the news about Christ with joy, because God had left a witness with them over the centuries.

I don't agree with some of his theology, and some of his arguments
Jun 11, 2010 rated it it was ok
If a book ever needed an editor it was this one. Some of the data is fascinating, but the hundreds- no lie- of exclamation points coupled with occasionally insulting phrasing when discussing other cultures has made this book almost impossible for me to get through.

I'm going to keep on plugging along because the data is worth keeping, but the overall writing quality is so poor I'm almost afraid to recommend this book to anyone for fear they'll think I approve of this sort of thing.

Good God. I don
John Avery
May 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A fascinating book. Don Richardson is a veteran missionary with amazing stories (in other books) about what he has seen God do in unreached tribes. This book brings together his expertise in the field of missions. He points to patterns in the religions of people groups around the world and relates those patterns to Scripture. Christians will gain a vital perspective on the purposes of God throughout history -- drawing the nations to Himself. Anyone (even unbelievers) with the remotest interest i ...more
Mar 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This has been on my to read shelf for far too long. On chapter two and it is rocking my world view! I need to completely revamp how I teach comparative mythology. If you have thought about reading this and have not, get it immediately! If you have never heard of it, GET IT. No friend of Jesus should go another day without reminding it.
Lianne Simon
Oct 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
I read this while studying with Wycliffe Bible Translators. Richardson weaves together a string of amazing stories into a coherent whole that examines the common thread that runs through ancient cultures--the belief in a Creator who reveals himself. Especially interesting where the stories of the people of the lost book.
Aug 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
MUST READ!! Amazing how God prepared the Gospel message in the hearts of people in far away places, and then prepared his servants to communicate the message.
Interesting to read about different cultures and how they interact.
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DON RICHARDSON, author of Secrets of the Koran, Lords of the Earth and Eternity in Their Hearts, has been studying the Muslim world for more than 30 years.

He and his wife, Carol, spent 15 years among the Sawi, a Stone Age tribe of Irian Jaya. Don designed an alphabet suited to the Sawi language, authored 19 primers, taught the tribesmen to read in their native tongue and translated the entire New