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Idols of the Heart: Learning to Long for God Alone
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Idols of the Heart: Learning to Long for God Alone

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  935 Ratings  ·  70 Reviews
Why do we desire to live godly lives yet often find ourselves trapped in habitual sin? Fitzpatrick reveals that idolatry lies at the heart of every besetting sin, and helps us uncover hidden idols in our lives by moving us to ask: Why does the Bible warn about the deceitfulness of sin? What must I have for my life to be meaningful and happy? Do I love God whole-heartedly o ...more
Paperback, 239 pages
Published January 1st 2002 by P & R Publishing (first published February 2001)
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Natalie Vellacott
May 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian-living
Excellent book explaining how idols creep into our hearts and how they effect our Christian lives. What is an idol? Anything that obscures our vision of/takes the place of God; money, material possessions, relationships, worldly hopes, dreams or desires, vices...and many other things. This book helps us to examine our own hearts for idols and to purge them from our lives so that we can maintain our proper focus on God in all circumstances. It explains how idols are formed in the mind and move to ...more
I read a lot of books . . . and by a lot I mean about 70 to 80 books a year. So what I'm about to say comes from many years of immersing myself in all sort of books (almost exclusively non-fiction). Every once in a while a book comes a long that grips my attention in the first chapter. These are rare gems. Even rarer are the scarce books that accomplish this same effect in the introduction. Idols of the Heart distinguishes itself as the only book I have read that has ever gripped my heart before ...more
Emma Juday
Dec 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Elyse Fitzpatrick is a godly woman with great insight. However, I struggle reading her books. They are dense and I get bogged down. In this book she heavily relied on quotes from the pilgrims. Sure, some were great quotes, but I prefer variety in cited sources. I did love her chapter comparing Adam and Jesus; what it might look like living into our sin nature vs. leaning into redemption. There is a recent rerelease of this book and I wish I had read that instead. I don't think I have the energy ...more
Oct 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a really good book, convicting me about the idols in my life and helping to change my thinking and therefore actions to worship God better.
Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Powerfully convicting!
"Whom am I worshipping?"
"Who is functioning as my god?"
"What do I want more than I want to be holy?"
Dec 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
***Reread in 2017 - Still relevant, still amazing

"After days of fighting and warring with Satan's temptations, which included the fear of pain or death and the pleasures that just one puff of opium would bring, [Pastor Hsi] said 'Devil, what can you do against me? My life is in the hands of God. And truly I am willing to break off opium and die, but not willing to continue in sin and live'...That's the kind of repentance that you'll need to put on in order to crush your idols...You must be able
Per Gina Robertson:

The answer to the question 'what must I have for life to be meaningful or to be happy?' can reveal what our idols are. Anything other than God is a cheap substitute. Book centered on obbedience to first commandment (no other gods before me). Idol can be misplaced priority, or anything that causes us to sin or not obey God. Focuses on heart transformation, discerning our underlying reasons for sinful behavior = usually comes down to the fact that we don't believe God can make u
This was a 3-star book for me personally, but it has so much good truth in it that I thought it was only fair to give it four stars.

For some reason, I had a hard time getting into this. The material is good and has a ton of great teaching, but whether it's the presentation style or just where I am spiritually right now, it just didn't hit me as hard as some other books I've read lately. Even though the matter could hardly be contemplated too much, there was some redundancy that I think make it
Jun 11, 2012 rated it liked it
I like the book, but sometimes wonder if all the introspecting is completely healthy? We are already so self-centered. The goal of the book is to move us away from this and all things that compete with the place meant for God alone in our hearts--- THAT is something with which I have no quarrel. I only wonder at the methods we employ. Is this really what it takes and what God would have us work through to resolution of our heart's idolatries? Maybe so. I am considering a Bible study using this b ...more
Summer Vespestad
Apr 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a very good book. I took my time working through it because the material challenged me to take an honest look at myself and my relationship with God. I completed (in writing) all the questions at the end of the chapters which further challenged me. I heartily recommend "Idols of the Heart" for anyone who genuinely seeks to love God with their whole heart, mind and strength. You'll be challenged.
Feb 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
One of the most convicting books (besides the Bible.) Mrs. Fitzpatrick uses Scripture, life experience, and many godly commentators to help anyone overcome an idol. Defiantly recommend this to all my family and friends!
Jun 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Good concept and convicting, but there were times when I thought the author stayed surface level on an issue rather than going into the deep questions that I thought were obvious. Therefore many of the chapters ran together for me because it didn't seem that the author was saying anything new.
Oct 30, 2012 rated it liked it
Idols of the Heart is not a riveting read, but it is very informative and has many useful takeaways. I don’t agree with every statement in the book, but it does a good enough job at tackling a topic that is convicting, and necessary.

Feb 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Nov 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was soaked in the truth of the Gospel and full of rich insights from the Puritans and other theological writers.

I’m only beginning to truly understand the pervasiveness of our hearts’ tendencies to idolatry. This problem is central to every battle against sin in the Christian life, but this book points toward the solution. Even on the days I am driven to despair over the sin and idolatry in my heart, beautiful, life-giving hope remains. And His name is Jesus.

“All the idolatry you have
May 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Elyse wrote an amazing work that exposes mankind's hopeless predicament of idolatry: their hearts want to worship everything in creation above the Creator in Christ Jesus! Thus, the source of all mankind’s frustrations lies in the truth that we as creation do not have a default setting that operates in submission to the sovereign, loving, and benevolent rule of their Creator for optimal performance and enjoyment of life. Thankfully what is hopeless in the power of man, is possible with God throu ...more
Jarm Del Boccio
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A thoughtful read . . .

This book is needed, especially in our culture. So many things take the place of God in our hearts. The reason? We are selfishly human. But more than that, we don’t understand who our mighty and loving God is- otherwise, we would fall down in an instant to worship Him. Well documented appendix, but I would have liked more everyday practical descriptions of what a divided heart looks like, although I did see myself- which is the point!
Meridan Gordillo
Ídolos del Corazón:aprendiendo a anhelar solo a Dios

Un libro que te reta a poner a Dios en su Justo lugar, el primero! Nada merece ese lugar en mi corazón por importante que parezca a mi criterio! Deléitate a sí mismo en Jehová...
Evandro Lemes
Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teologia
Livro muito prático que nos leva a julgar nossos atos e analisar se são resultados da idolatria. A autora - como conselheira - conduz a leitura como se estivesse nos aconselhando. Recomendado, aos casais, a fazer a leitura com sua esposa/o.
Theron St. John
Aug 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A comprehensive, biblical, and practical work. Fitzpatrick not only helps you identify the idols you may have in your life but she also directs you on how to overcome them. See my complete review on my blog:
Feb 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5. What a fantastic and challenging read. Highly recommend. .5 off because it did get a little repetitive/hard to get through in the middle, but still totally awesome.
Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Fantastic book! Great book for thought provocation and growth in the Lord. Can't recommend it highly enough!
Lucas Page
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the best books on idolatry I have ever read. I highly recommend it!
Chola Mukanga
The book is interesting and Elyse is always an interesting author. But this book has too much content. It should be half the size.
Heather Reynolds
Apr 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Eyeopening and instructive! Must read for any Christian woman. So helpful and enlightening.
May 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic read! Highly recommend this book for serious study.
Mar 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Worth re-reading, taking notes and applying.
Apr 26, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
This was read in spurts since the beginning of the year as part of a weekly women's group. I wanted to like it, but I really struggled to engage with the book; when you look at reviews on Amazon and GoodReads, though, it appears I'm in the minority with my reaction, so I've tried to articulate why it fell flat for me.

First off, it is clear the author loves scholarship - each chapter is filled with numerous footnotes and frequent quotations from other authors. I struggled to find Fitzpatrick's vo
Feb 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read a few of Elyse Fitzpatrick's books now and when I saw that she was updating one I had NOT previously read I willingly volunteered to read an Advance Reader's Copy (ARC) of the new version.

Idolatry continues to be a key challenge for believers. Anything that limits our love for God is an idol and from her years counselling people and in her own life Fitzpatrick is able to see how idols can take root in our hearts and weave their way through our everyday thoughts and actions.

For many of
May 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Calvin has said that the human heart is an idol making factory. In the latest edition of Idols of the Heart Elyse Fitzpatrick draws explores the biblical teaching regarding idolatry and the remedy for it.

Elyse traces the patterns of idolatry found in Scripture in the New and Old Testaments. She clearly demonstrates that idolatry is a heart issue more than it is an issue of external actions. She provides clear and probing questions to help any reader to discern what their idols are, what serves a
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Author of 20+ books on the Christian life and the gospel's impact on everyday living, Elyse is a frequent speaker at women's conferences nationally and internationally.

Elyse's ministry is summed up in these simple words: No fluff, No bricks, just the good news of a crucified and risen Christ.

In 1971 she married her sweetheart Phil and together they raised three children and are enjoying six real
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“If you wonder why you choose to worship other gods rather than wholeheartedly devote yourself to the Lord you love, examine the thought and desires that captivate your heart. That’s where you’ll fin the answer to every sin and failure in your life. Don’t be deceived into thinking that you need to develop more willpower. We need to develop godly thoughts and desires.” 8 likes
“Let us be so taken up with the knowledge of God's goodness and the desire to fellowship with Him that our emotions are warmed and our outer man reflects great love. Although we must not seek emotional experiences for their own sake, we must not shun them merely because others misuse them or ignore God's instructions on worship.” 7 likes
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