Jul 26, 2011

Enemies of the Heart - A Book Review

Enemies of the Heart: Breaking Free from the Four Emotions That Control YouRecently I received a copy of Andy Stanley's new book Enemies of the Heart to review.  This is an updated release of a previous book by Stanley called "It Came From Within".  While I had never read the previous release, I had used the DVD of Andy's sermons on this subject in my small group a couple of years ago.  This was one of the most helpful series of sermons I had ever seen.  Stanley's premise of the book is helping Christians to break free from four deadly emotions that we can inadvertently give control to our lives over.  These four emotions are guilt, anger, greed, and jealousy.  Stanley does an awesome job in this book showing the dangerous effects of these four emotions on the human heart and how destructive they can be to our relationships.

Andy Stanley is a masterful communicator and it shows in this book.  It was developed from a power series of sermons he did on these topics several years ago.  He writes with the heart of a pastor and the wisdom of someone who has walked through these four emotions with a lot of people.  As you read through this book, you can relate to the stories that Stanley shows about the deadly effects of harboring these four emotions.  Stanley also provides very solid, practical advice on a cure.  He shows how each of these emotions can be cured by intentional decisions on our part to release ourselves from their power.  The book is supported throughout by a smattering of Scriptures.  One of the weaknesses of the book is that it is not strong in biblical exposition.  I wish that Andy would do a better job of pointing readers to the sufficiency of God's word and the wealth of wisdom it provides for each of these areas.  There are times where the book reads a little too much like a Christian "self-help" book, something that there is far too much of in the Christian retailing market.  However, while the book has some Scriptural weakness, none of the principles that Stanley suggests are unbiblical.  He draws much of his information from Scriptural principles and years of experience walking through these subjects as a pastor.  As I read this book I found myself several times wishing I had this advice much earlier in my life.  I also had a mental list of at least a dozen people I know that would benefit from reading this book right now.  At the end of the day, Enemies of the Heart is a great book of practical advice that should be followed up by a diet of God's word to help solidify its principles into the new heart of salvation.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.