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Breaking the Idols of Your Heart: How to Navigate the Temptations of Life [Kindle Edition]

Dan B. Allender , Tremper Longman III

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We all want to know our lives matter.

So did the Teacher in Ecclesiastes. He invested time and energy in every activity he could think of that might bring meaning and purpose to his life but found only disappointment, frustration, hopelessness.

In our thirst for significance we, like the Teacher, give our lives--our time, talents, strength, heart--to anything we think will give us worth and purpose: Power. Relationships. Money. Pleasure. Work. But worshiping these idols has a high cost--and still doesn't bring the fulfillment we long for.

In Breaking the Idols of Your Heart Dan Allender and Tremper Longman illuminate for us the Teacher's warnings and, after all his activities, his final radiant conclusion: Meaning and purpose come only when God is truly the center of our life and the object of our hope. Using a compelling fictional narrative at the start of each chapter to encourage reflection on our own life and the lives of family and friends, the authors lead us through Ecclesiastes to help us recognize and exchange cheap pursuits for the only One worth pursuing.

Ecclesiastes is not an easy book to read, because transferring our worship from money, power and fame to God is not an easy road to travel. But as the Teacher discovered and wrote down for us, it leads to one conclusion: life lived abundantly, in freedom, hope, purpose, meaning.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 1344 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 191 Seiten
  • Verlag: IVP Books (20. August 2009)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B001NMSP4C
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Nicht aktiviert
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #704.593 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.8 von 5 Sternen  13 Rezensionen
49 von 50 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen The Idol Buster 5. September 2007
Von A. Omelianchuk - Veröffentlicht auf
Dan B. Allender and Tremper Longman III have put together one of the most unique devotional books I've come across in Breaking the Idols of Your Heart. Allender, a professor of counseling, and Longman, a first-rate Old Testament scholar, combine fictional narrative with biblical exposition as well as pastoral wisdom to introduce the reader to the subtleties and complexities of perhaps the most puzzling book in the Old Testament. Each chapter is divided up in two sections. Allender creates a narrative in which the reader can relate to the troubled lives of the characters in the first, and Longman interprets and applies the "teaching" of Ecclesiastes in the second. Some of the story line is tedious and Longman's ideas don't quite fit with it (or even make sense), but the tag-team approach brings the wandering pontifications of Ecclesiastes to life and poses good questions for self-examination and the end of each chapter. Their conclusion: the book of Ecclesiastes is an "idol buster."

In it they examine the following "idols"--those material goods of creation--that are pursued in "life under the sun:"

-Chasing after power: we never are fully in control
-Chasing after relationships: they always disappoint
-Chasing after work and money: it will always leave us frustrated and wanting more
-Chasing after pleasure: it is always fleeting
-Chasing after wisdom: never an adequate guide
-Chasing after spirituality: usually ends in legalism and condemnation
-Chasing after health and wellness: life ends in decay and death

It is important to note that each of these "idols" are good things in of and themselves. Being on top of life, living in community, working hard, saving money, enjoying the pleasures of life, obtaining wisdom, cultivating spiritual discipline, and living healthy are all very good and wonderful things that everyone should pursue. Yet the dark point of Ecclesiastes is that our pursuit of these things "under the sun"--that is without the fear of God--ends in futility.

There are many ways to interpret Ecclesiastes, but Longman takes the view that there are two authors at work, not just one. Many believe Solomon at the end of his life penned the book, but that is unlikely because the style of Hebrew writing is from a time long after he passed. Interestingly enough, Solomon's name is never mentioned in the book. The consensus is that a wise editor, who in admiration for Solomon collected his sayings and ideas and organized them under the name of "the Teacher" who muses on the futility of life. The editor's voice is found in chapters 1:1-11 and 12:9-14, which functions as bookends to the Teacher's gloomy reflections. Verses 12:13-14 capture the point of the book:

13 Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the [duty] of every human being.

14 For God will bring every deed into judgment,
including every hidden thing,
whether it is good or evil.

Longman makes the astute observation that Ecclesiastes is a reflection on the Curse. In fact, the Hebrew words for "meaningless" translated into the Greek Bible of Paul's time are the same ones that are used in Romans 8:20 where Paul says the created order was subjected to "frustration." Longman uses Romans 8:18-28 as the principlizing bridge between the Old and New Testaments for his application of New Testament themes to what he calls "life above the sun." In each chapter he shows how life above the sun transforms our pursuits of the created order:

-Control leads to surrendering to God's authority
-Relationships lead to trust in God's love
-Work leads to laboring and giving to God's kingdom
-Pleasure points to the eternal reality of God's presence
-Wisdom creates a humble curiosity to know God
-Spirituality embraces a God who transcends our systems of merit
-Healthy living celebrates life and alleviates fear of death through the hope of resurrection

I heartily recommend this title to anyone who is struggling to reconcile the experience of day to day drudgery with Jesus' promise of abundant life.
14 von 15 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Great for Bible study or small group 7. Dezember 2007
Von John Coley - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
I highly recommend this book. It is broken up in 7 chapters. Each chapter has a fiction vignette style intro to ease you into the subject. The chapters then dive into scripture. Questions at the end of each chapter are very thought and discussion provoking. Not your common boilerplate factual questions. The chapters are not too long to read, maybe 15 pages a piece. We meet once a week for 45 minutes, and are taking 2 or 3 weeks to cover each chapter because the discussion is so good, not because prep time is high. I imagine if you wanted to go faster you could. Title is apt - it's highly focused on breaking false idols.
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Outstanding. Deeply theological. Deeply practical. 13. August 2008
Von Shane Fookes - Veröffentlicht auf
Drs Allender and Longman have a long history of co-authoring compelling and deep-thinking books on a variety of topics. This repackaged version of "Bold Purpose" from the late 1990's is no exception. However, where as some of Allender's and Longman's books are difficult to digest (due to their headiness), this one is very accessible to the average reader. Allender writes a chapter-to-chapter story line that illustrates the biblical content from Longman that is based on the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible. It is a very effective combination. The discussion questions at the end of each chapter are well written and make for good small group fodder.
5.0 von 5 Sternen New perspective in life 22. Juni 2014
Von Hudson Cheng - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
A very practical guide and teaching to everyday struggle in relation to daily struggles, frustrations and temptations. Analysis of deep human thoughts from view point of bible is included. Strongly recommended.
5.0 von 5 Sternen Ecclesiastes like you have never heard of before 23. April 2014
Von Alan Ludwick - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
The two authors, Dan Allender and Tremper Longman, do a masterful job of giving life to a book of the old testament often ignored or thought of as too depressing. In combing a fiction narrative with theological explanations to each chapter, they mix everyday living and real life with words from the "Teacher" author of Ecclesiastes, assumed to be King Solomon. A unique approach to give life to
the idea that idols today are not necessarily the ones made of stone, but instead the very structures of our daily lives. The idea that ones employment may be one of the toughest idols to see, and/or overcome, gives one pause to review and revisit the "idols" which so easily creep into our lives, or at least mine. Highly recommend for the man or woman chasing the pinnacles of their professions, while letting slide the true essence of what it means to live upright and true before his God.
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