Item description for Feel: The Power of Listening to Your Heart by Matthew Elliott & Kelly Dolan...
Overview Many Christians simply aren't experiencing the abundant life. A focus on "doing your duty" and living by reason can leave us feeling dead. Our passion needs to be restored to live the life that Jesus came to give us. Matthew Elliott takes a critical look at what we've been taught by our culture and churches about controlling and ignoring our emotions and how some of the great thinkers of our modern world got it all wrong. The Bible shows something completely different - how God intended that we live in and through our emotions, which are good things that God created for us to feel. Along the way, Matthew Elliott provides tools to help readers understand their emotions and equip them to grow healthy feelings rather than destructive ones.
Can you trust your feelings?
Matthew Elliott has been on a lifelong quest to find the true role of feelings in one's spiritual life. In Feel, he reveals his startling conclusions:
+ Emotions were given by God to drive us to our best.
+ Emotions are among the most logical and dependable things in our lives.
+ The true health of our spiritual lives is measured by how we feel.
Discover with Matthew why your spiritual life doesn't have to be dull and uninspiring. Explore why God created emotions, and why you can have permission to feel.
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Format: Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
Studio: Oasis Audio
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 6.4" Width: 5.5" Height: 0.7" Weight: 0.2 lbs.
Release Date Apr 1, 2008
Publisher OASIS AUDIO #514
ISBN 1598593714 ISBN13 9781598593716
Availability 0 units.
More About Matthew Elliott & Kelly Dolan
Matthew Elliott has a PhD in New Testament studies from the University of Aberdeen and serves as president of Oasis International Ltd., an interdenominational publisher and distributor of Bibles and Christian books. Oasis exists to make Christian literature available at very low prices in English-speaking Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean through local business owners. Matthew and his wife, Laura, live in Geneva, Illinois, with their three children. Find out more about Oasis at www.oasisint.net and Matthew Elliott at www.faithfulfeelings.com.
Reviews - What do customers think about Feel: The Power of Listening to Your Heart?
Balancing logic and emotions Sep 12, 2008
This was a bright spot in the latest round of review material. Honestly, this is one that I'm going to go back through with a fine-toothed comb for my own reading and learning pleasure because I felt I really just skimmed the surface for review purposes. As someone who grew up in a church tradition that downplayed the emotional side of faith, Feel was a very affirming read. I grew up in a culture that seemed scared of emotional displays in the context of faith, and I love Elliot's thesis (my own words here) that we are denying ourselves from a full life in Christ when we make our faith an intellectual/logical one and suppress our feelings.
The book is not a call to become hyper-sensitive and throw all critical thinking and logic out the window. There is a balance between reason and emotion that a healthy Christ-follower attains. The key is discernment as to whether or not a felt emotion is the correct emotion. Rather than use logic and reason as an instrument to squash emotions, use them to judge whether an emotional response is a godly one, and if it is don't impede it.
The author, Matthew Elliot, has a running blog here on the this site site and there is a special website set up for the book with extras here. Overall, I thought the book was a great read, thoughtfully put together. I would recommend it to anyone with questions regarding the relationship between faith and emotions.
Reason and Passion Jul 15, 2008
"Philosophy, psychology, our scientific culture, and the church have taught us that logic and reason must reign supreme, while feelings are trivialized and seen as something to be suppressed or ignored." ~ pg. 3
Matthew Elliott presents a very personal account of what it means to acknowledge your feelings and allow them to flourish in a safe environment. Currently I've been feeling some kind of awakening where I feel love for God like I never did before. So this book could not have found me at a better time. This book is about living a more fulfilled Christian life.
While emotions can take over your mind and body for days at a time it is important to know when a feeling is right and when it is wrong. Just think about how jealousy can at times drown out all other feelings. Then there is the emotion of love which is highly desired and appreciated as much when it is given as received.
Negative emotions can seems destructive except in cases where you feel righteous anger or hate sin as God does. Can a truly spiritual person allow themselves to feel anger, jealousy and hatred? When we love God, is it a feeling or an action? Do we show our love by following God's commandments or is it a feeling? I believe it is both. Matthew Elliott seeks a balanced approach and shows how fear, worry, anxiety, bitterness, rage, love of money and jealousy have a dark side, while anger and hate can have a positive side in the right context.
Reading this book gave me deeper insights into what it means to be human and what it means to reach for the divine. By weeding out the negative emotions you can come to a place of more peace and allow feelings like love to flourish in your soul's garden. When you strive for a balanced life and your feelings come naturally (vs. suppressing them) then I think you can be happier and more fulfilled. If you feel emotionally dead then this book can help to awaken feelings you have denied yourself. If you want to love God more then this book may also show you a way to a more pleasing and peaceful relationship with our Creator.
~The Rebecca Review
important topic of discussion Jul 7, 2008
At first glance, Feel looks like every other up and coming post modern book on the Christian market. The orange cover with the scrawly stylized art; the unusual font and line spacing and interactive pages complete with quotes from the comments section of the blog. Even the theme of the book seems to scream "warning! liberal post modern ahead!" (which for me is more of a welcome than a warning but you get the picture).
Which is why I was very confused when I saw the host of evangelical and reformed names recommending the book. A guy who positively quotes Piper is writing about reclaiming our feelings? Surely you jest.
Which is exactly Elliott's point - for too long in Christianity, emotions have been branded as the things that draw good Christians away from solid Biblical holiness. Emotions lead us astray, they are tools of the enemy, nurturing emotions is what ooey-gooey shady liberals do.
Read the rest here [...]
My Reading of Feel Jun 30, 2008
A few weeks ago I finished a book titled Feel by Matthew Elliott. Essentially the book is about debunking the myth that psychologists and now churches have put out that we need to follow reason or logic and not our emotions or feelings. The book was challenging for me. My entire life I had always thought back on my big mistakes as ones driven by emotions rather than a logical thought process. I have no doubt most of you have done the same. We think that it is because of our "heat in the moment" emotions that we make mistakes. Elliott has changed my thinking.
If I were to try and summarize how Elliott goes about changing my thinking I am sure I would do a poor job. Elliott uses scientific data, psychological studies, and Biblical studies on how emotions are viewed in the Bible. These things were more than convincing to me that I am ruining my relationship with Christ by living strictly through reason and logic. I am a very organizational person, I do not color outside of the lines. But I think I've been missing God's ability to speak to me through my emotions.
One interesting thing to note about the book is that it tries to incorporate blogging. At the end of each chapter their a section of personal responses and then include a link of where to join in the conversation. Often we think of blogging and books as two very separate things, but this book is trying to bridge the gap. I'm not sure if it liked it or not. Often, I found myself just skipping to the next chapter.
Overall: Great book, recommend it to anyone who feels like they are living an emotionless life.
An essential book for recovering Christians and those who love them Jun 26, 2008
I'm happy to say that for what it's worth I thoroughly, happily, and enthusiastically endorse this book.
The basic gist of the book is the following: Western Christians have been taught, in line with some of the basic assumptions of Western philosophy and science, that reason and the emotions are two separate things, in faith as well as in the rest of life... maybe particularly in faith. However, this is not supported by the way the Bible teaches or talks about emotion, and it is a point of view that is being eroded by brain research, psychology and sociological studies that show how emotions are crucial in how we make decisions and in our ability to function socially.
Matthew Elliott did his Ph.D. in New Testament studies from the University of Aberdeen on the topic of the role of emotion in religion, so homeboy knows what he's talking about. He demonstrates in the book a grasp not only of scripture, but of a wide variety of literature on emotions from sociology, literature and cognitive psychology, to name a few areas. He manages to do this without turning the book into a textbook, and he includes quotes at the end from folks who have responded on the blog for the book, which makes reading the book feel more like a discussion group. I think the quotes are a little distracting, but they also make you feel more comfortable with your own reactions, since there are a variety of perspectives represented.
I should probably say that once I realized what the book was about, I decided a) I would like it and b) I probably didn't have much to learn from it, since I've known for a very long time that I was in the Pro-Emotion camp. I was right about a), but I think I was wrong about b). In particular, I think I've forgotten how much of my anger and isolation from the church is about exactly this.
I remember a well-meaning PCA friend who said to me in a moment of frustration, shaking her head sadly "you're intelligent, but your heart and your head are just so connected". That friend is now a fairly unhappy missionary who sends letters to just a few of her trusted supporters (emotional me among them) asking for prayer about panic attacks, broken relationships, the dryness of her faith. If she were the only one to shake her head at me in my faith journey, maybe I wouldn't feel that this book is so important. It's written for her and the others along the way who have made me and others like me feel that we are immature Christians at best and non-Christian at worst for the way we experience the world and our faith.