This book begins with a quote from Saint Irenaeus: "The Glory of God is Man Fully Alive." And that is really the key message of this book. God wants us to be fully alive - to live from our renewed hearts, to live from his plan for our lives. Eldredge always impresses me by the breadth and variety of sources he quotes to support his arguments and prove his points. He draws from the writings of the saints, church fathers, and from much material throughout Christian traditions. These varied sources help make the book appealing to a wider audience. Eldredge draws from such authors as: G.K. Chesterton, A.W. Tozer, William Gurnall, George Herbert, George MacDonald and many more.
The Chapters in this volume are:
Part 1: Seeing Our Way Clearly1. Arm Yourself
2. The Eyes of the Heart
3. The Heart of all Things
Part 2: The Ransomed Heart4. Ransomed And restored
5. The Glory Hidden in Your Heart
Part 3: The Four Streams6. Walking with God
7. Receiving God's Intimate Counsel
8. Deep Restoration
9. Spiritual Warfare: Fighting for Your Heart
10. Setting Hearts Free: Integrating the Four Streams
Part 4: The Way of The Heart11. Fellowships of the Heart
12. Like the Treasures of the Kingdom
I wore out a paperback edition of this book and now have the hard cover. I have read it at least 5 times and every time I read it I get more out of it.
Near the beginning, Eldredge, states: "There are few things more crucial to us than our own lives. And there are few things we are less clear about." p.1, then he goes on to say, "We're not fully convinced that God's offer to us is life. We have forgotten that the heart is central. And we had no idea that we were born into a world at war." p.2 The book only gets better from there.
Eldredge takes us on a tour through our life as it is, and as it could be with Jesus as both our Lord and Savior, with Jesus as our friend. The book will take you through your past to see your heart and how it got the way it is, and how to heal it and move forward and grow in Christ.
This book is an excellent read, and the Guidebook will only help you get more out of it. Eldredge declares: "Friends, we are now in the midst of an epic battle, a brutal and vicious war against an Enemy who knows his time is short. Open war is upon you, whether you would risk it or not." p.181. After reading this book, I spent months praying a new Jesus Prayer: 'Lord Jesus Christ, bring me fully alive, Lord Jesus Christ, restore me to glory!' It has transformed how I see the world. There are still times when I do not catch on right away that something is spiritual warfare, but I do so quicker and pray more for my family, my friends and myself. This book really deepened and widened my prayer life.
Eldredge ends this book with a sample chapter of his earlier book Journey of Desire, and much like Celtic spirituality, his writings seem to be taking a cyclical nature. Wild at Heart shows us what a Man's heart can be, Waking the Dead shows us how to come fully alive and live in community, and leads back to Journey of Desire. Now that we have learned to live in this battle we need to know what our heart really desires.
Many people do not like Eldredge's writings; he is accused of open theology, and of not being Christian and many other things. Yet from my reading of his writings and knowing many of the sources he draws from, I would disagree, and say, give his words a try. You can find the gem in any book even if you don't agree with it all. And I say there are more gems in Eldredge's writings than chaff.
Review of Waking the Dead
Review of A Guidebook to Waking the Dead