Item description for The Slumber of Christianity: Awakening a Passion for Heaven on Earth by Ted Dekker...
Overview In this new work, bestselling novelist Dekker urges readers to escape a mundane, powerless existence and passionately pursue God's highest pleasures.
As believers, our walk with God is motivated by hope-not the bland, vague notion most people have, but the expectation of an exotic, pleasurable inheritance that guides us and fires our passion...or, at least, should.
Ted Dekker has written an expose on the death of pleasure within the Church. Because many of us have set aside hope and the inspired imagination that drives it, Dekker says we have been lulled into a slumber of boredom, even despondency. Our faith wanes, the joy at having been liberated fades, and we feel powerless. The Slumber of Christianity explores what robs us of happiness and how we can rediscover it and live lives that rekindle hope. The pursuit of pleasure is a gift to all humans-a function of the Creator himself, who is bent upon our happiness.
It's time for Christians to reclaim our inheritance of pleasure. The Slumber of Christianity will inflame hearts toward full-fledged, mind-expanding encounters with hope, through the imagination.
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Studio: Thomas Nelson
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.2" Width: 5.24" Height: 0.8" Weight: 0.6 lbs.
Release Date Jul 1, 2005
Publisher Thomas Nelson
ISBN 078521223X ISBN13 9780785212232
Availability 0 units.
More About Ted Dekker
Ted Dekker (born October 24, 1962) is a New York Times best-selling author of more than twenty novels. He is best known for stories which could be broadly described as suspense thrillers with major twists and unforgettable characters, though he has also made a name for himself among fantasy fans.
Dekker was born to missionaries who lived among the headhunter tribes of Indonesia. Because his parents’ work often included extended periods of time away from their children, Dekker describes his early life in a culture to which he was a stranger as both fascinating and lonely. It is this unique upbringing that forced him to rely on his own imagination to create a world in which he belonged.
After leaving Indonesia, Dekker graduated from a multi-cultural high school and took up permanent residence in the United States to study Philosophy and Religion. Upon earning his Bachelor’s Degree, he entered the corporate world and proceeded to climb the proverbial ladder. But his personal drive left him restless and, after many successful years, he traded corporate life for wide range of entrepreneurial pursuits that included buying and selling businesses, healthcare services, and marketing.
In the early nineties while visiting a friend who had just written a book, Dekker decided to pursue a long held desire to be a novelist. Over the course of two years he wrote two full length novels before starting from scratch and rewriting both. Now fully enamored by the the process and the stories, he realized that storytelling was in his blood and a new obsession to explore truth through story gripped him anew.
He sold his business, moved his family to the mountains of Western Colorado and began writing full-time on his third novel. Two years and three novels later his first novel was published.
Dekker’s novels have sold over 5 million copies worldwide. Two of his novels, Thr3e and House, have been made into movies with more in production. Dekker resides in Austin, Texas with his wife Lee Ann and two of their daughters.
Spanish Bio: Ted Dekker, autor de mas de veinticinco novelas, es un autor de mayor venta del "New York Times". Es reconocido por novelas que combinan historias llenas de adrenalina con increibles confrontaciones entre el bien y el mal. Vive en Texas con su esposa y sus hijos. Twitter @TedDekker, facebook.com/#!/teddekker.
Ted Dekker currently resides in the state of Colorado. Ted Dekker was born in 1962.
Ted Dekker has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about The Slumber of Christianity: Awakening a Passion for Heaven on Earth?
Slipping into Slumber Nov 8, 2006
While I have thoroughly enjoyed Ted Dekker's soul stirring fiction, I was curious about this, his first non-fiction book. Here, Ted emphasizes the necessity of hope which thematically intertwines his stories. Using his own truly extraordinary testimony, he explains how hope is the key to a vibrant Christian life. I won't give into the temptation to tell you more, you should read it yourself, it is worth it.
I only disagree at the one point where Ted seems to argue that we should use our heart and intuition more to the exclusion of our intellect. Of course he does use the `intellect' to argue his case which is an inconsistency. Throughout the book however, it is obvious that he stands against the post modern flimsy view of truth, being unattainable and unknowable. It is regretfully disappointing that he seems a bit cloudy on the role of the intellect in the Christian life.
The book had only one or two slow spots. The reading was well done on the audio format.
-A Dekker Fan
Remembering heaven Oct 31, 2006
Best known for his fast-paced, thought-provoking fiction, Dekker scores a touchdown with his first non-fiction book. In _The Slumber of Christianity_ Dekker reminds us all that we are only passing through this life. Real life awaits us on the other side. The blessings and thrills of this world? Only a foretaste of eternity. The hurts and pains of this world? Nothing compared to the glory that is waiting. I've read almost all of Dekker's novels, but this one book stands out as my favorite of his works.
4 1/2 Stars...All About Attitude Oct 27, 2006
A great title. An eye-popping cover. A renowned writer. I picked up "The Slumber of Christianity" secure in the knowledge that Dekker can communicate spiritual ideas, but wondering if these ideas would be meaty enough to warrant 200 pages. The answer is yes--and no.
Since the beginning of his meteoric fiction career, Dekker has shown an amazing capacity for couching biblical truths in page-turning stories. He tells parables in a modern form, driving home truths that speak to the heart while entertaining his readers. Dekker's writing voice is suited for non-fiction, unpretentious and direct. I particularly enjoyed the sections where he shared glimpses of his past, snippets that provide a foundation for understanding his purpose as a writer.
The question he poses right up front is relevant, emergent, post-modern--and all those other catch phrases. It speaks to the struggle most Christians face daily: Why am I not satisfied, though I have Christ living in me? In a sentence, the answer Dekker offers is that we have lost sight of our hope in a heavenly future. He makes thought-provoking points about the enjoyment of pleasure on earth as a spiritual foretaste of heaven. He underlines the ways we have wandered from the hope of glory. In a few places, he distracted me with simplistic logical jumps, expecting me to follow without question. I could never disagree with his arrival point, though. He wants to say something, and he wants to get us there quickly.
On a conceptual level, I loved the book. I think Dekker does a superb job of communicating clearly, without turning the book into a theological exercise. He wants this to be practical, applicable. Which is where he lost me just a tad. I would've liked to see more real-life examples of how to apply this hope to the rent that comes due the same day the car blows a head gasket. We are spiritual and physical beings. Dekker makes a good point that our emotions and physical side are part of God's good creation, not results of the Fall. Yet we must negotiate this world, with its turmoils all around. In a sense, he says, it's all about an attitude.
Ultimately, "The Slumber of Christianity" shakes us. It speaks to our heads and hearts, demanding that we break away from hopelessness and fix our eyes ahead, that we move through life with vision and hope. These are valid and vital concerns. Applying these to everyday life requires an active relationship with the Author of that Hope. There are no easy answers, no quick fixes here, but in a world full of spiritual sleeping pills this is a strident call to rise from our slumber with focused purpose.
The Slumber of Christianity Aug 14, 2006
"The Slumber of Christianity" begins with a truth. We Christians are not happier than secular people. Much as we may hate to admit it, we're getting sucked into the secular culture around us. We're earning money, spending money, focusing on our jobs, on economics, on politics, on family issues. Bit by bit, we lose sight of the goal, and we end up in the same mire as everyone else. That much is true, and I don't think any intellectually honest Christian would deny that it's happening to many people in America today.
However correct his analysis may be, Dekker's proposed cure is, to my mind, simplistic and off the mark. The basic tenet of his book is that we should focus on--obsess over, in fact--the life to come. He wants us devoted to yearning for the day of our death when we are truly reunited with God. There is no true happiness on Earth, only in Heaven.
This might at first look like an updating of Augustine, who said that earthly life is suffering and our only hope is Heaven. In the second half of his book, he explains that we can find partial happiness here by focusing our minds on the glories to come. He suggests meditating, reading about the coming glories, and creating rituals or centering our celebrations around thoughts of Heaven. In that way, Dekker's viewpoint may be closer to Aquinas than Augustine. Aquinas, of course, carefully built a theological case around the fact that God created the universe with a purpose and that we achieve happiness on Earth by joining with that purpose.
The biggest problem with "The Slumber of Christianity" is that Dekker never builds that case. Consequently, his vision remains highly abstract and the specifics we get feel rather shallow. Aquinas, by contrast, gives us a much broader range in which to find happiness. His vision allows us to find our purpose in numerous ways: through service, through ritual, through intellectual study, through family. Dekker, at first appearance, seems to believe that everyone must do it his way. He doesn't tackle the questions of how the variety of well-known approaches to a Christian life would fit into his grand scheme.
"The Slumber of Christianity" is not a well-written book, I must say. The writing is often trite and repetitious to the point of self-parody; I lost count of the uses of the phrase "groaning for the day". Bad writing can be superceded by great ideas. Where this book truly comes up lacking is in exploring a vision of earthly life broad enough to include the real lives of all good Christians. In "Orthodoxy", G. K. Chesterton remarked that we should be dazzled by the fact that a rhinoceros exists. The dazzlement would be worth less, I think, if we bash ourselves with the fact that it's only a crude parody of the rhinoceroses in the world to come.
(Incidentally the best parts of "The Slumber of Christianity" are two long exerpts from Dekker's own fantasy novels. Based on those, I'd say that that he handles words in a fictional context much better than in a nonfiction one. Perhaps I'll check out those novels some day.)
Good Diagnosis, Poor Prescription May 12, 2006
I wonder if you have ever visited a doctor who correctly diagnosed your ailment and then prescribed an ineffective cure. Perhaps he or she returned to your examination room after a fair absence and, looking over the rims of doctorly spectacles said, "I believe you have contracted condition X. Have you experienced any of the following symptoms?" And as that list is read, your hopes soar because you realize that the good doc has correctly recognized exactly what has kept you under the weather. How frustrated would you be when, after paying for the visit and the prescription copay, the medicine was largely impotent to restore your health? I daresay you might even doubt whether the doctor correctly diagnosed the problem after all. Such is the danger of "The Slumber of Christianity." I originally picked the title off of a shelf in a book liquidator's store at an outlet mall, primarily because I have heard of Ted Dekker but never read anything he has written. As I read chapter after chapter my hopes soared. Dekker correctly and winsomely diagnosed the malady with which I have been struggling for quite awhile now, and the more I read about him the more I appreciated this kindly figure who had spent so much time researching my ailment. And then came chapter seven. If you are intent on buying the book regardless of what I have to say, then at least tear out the chapters after chapter six. The last half of the book suffers from a major flaw in chapter seven. Dekker has recommended that we rely on emotion, even stoke our emotional furnaces, that we might all the more ardently feel the hope we have in heaven. Even this is not such a bad prescription, except for his disparaging comments on reason, which must be a fundamental element in the solution to our despair and indifference toward heaven. Reason is how we humans apprehend truth. It is the strength by which we grasp what is real. And hope is the sensation we feel at having finally got our mental hands around something solid. Admonishing a person to stoke hope while rejecting reason is equal to encouraging them to make the RPM needle on their tachometer dance after removing the auto's engine. Reason grasps truth. Truth inspires hope. Hope is what we need. Therefore, we must keep reason. At first, I thought Dekker was going to settle for disparaging godless reason, "do-it-yourself spirituality" apart from God's grace. But he didn't stop there. "The hope we have," writes Dekker, "...is based on emotion, not reason." (118) This is the false dichotomy that wrecks the latter half of his work. The hope we have is rooted in both. Reason offers us something in which to find hope. Emotion is the stuff our hope is made of. Prescribing hope without reason is like handing someone an ice cream cone without the cone: messy and impossible to enjoy. A reasonable faith devoid of hope, which is what Dekker (and I) experienced, is equally undesirable; ice cream cones aren't all that great by themselves. Perhaps what is most disturbing is his misuse of scripture to support his point. His misinterpretation/misquotation on page 120 of Colossians 1:5 leaves the reader with the impression that the verse only speaks of hope. But the same verse implies that this hope is the result of the Colossians' understanding and response to "the word of truth." Again, truth is only apprehended through reason. Feelings aren't true or false; statements and propositions are. In the same vein, Dekker has egregiously misquoted Hebrews 11:1:
Dekker: "Faith is the substance of things HOPED for, not the substance of things proven." (Emphasis his.) NIV: "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." NLT: "What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see."
Dekker's variation is spun. There are more ways to prove things than through the senses. I have REASONED that if God is real, personal, and perfect and if the Bible is His word, then what the Bible says He will do, He will do. The Bible says He will redeem us and bring us into an eternal dwelling in His presence. Therefore, He will bring us into an eternal dwelling in His presence. The reasoning is flawless, and not entirely based on what I can see. Nevertheless, if this syllogism holds and if its premises are true, then the conclusion is proven and Dekker's rendering of Hebrews 11:1 is misleading. Moreover, he's promoted his either/or mentality, when Hebrews favors a both/and approach. This never works out well. Sorry Ted. Sadly, because of this crucial misstep, the prescription is lacking. I have an idea, though. Rather than encouraging you to avoid the book altogether, I'd say buy it and read it up through chapter six.