Breaking the Idols of Your Heart

Breaking the Idols of Your Heart

How to Navigate the Temptations of Life

by Dan B. Allender and Tremper Longman III

Breaking the Idols of Your Heart
  • Length: 191 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 × 8.25 in
  • Published: June 07, 2007
  • Item Code: 3441
  • ISBN: 978-0-8308-3441-9

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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.

"This book uses the category of 'idols' as a creative way to understand not only a difficult biblical book (Ecclesiastes) but also the very way our hearts work. It brings a great deal of clarity where there has been confusion. Recommended."

Tim Keller, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York City

"Dan and Tremper and ancient wisdom are a winning team! This book dethrones idols and points us toward what is worth giving our life to."

John Ortberg, author and pastor, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church

"A gripping story with much helpful biblical insight."

Brian Borgeman, Southern Baptist Journal of Theology, 2008

"This book possesses high quality, depth, and practicality. I am impressed with its sound biblical approachs, its contemporary handling of Scripture, and its faithfulness in interpreting and applying the Word. Both writers have unusual insights into the postmodern mind because of their sound biblical and theological ability to bring the Scripture to bear on our setting."

equip magazine, issue three 07

"What makes Breaking the Idols of Your Heart exceptional is the mix of psychological depth and biblical insight. In the end, readers know change is possible if they?ll honestly face their own idols."

CBA Retailers Resources, September 2007

"Both writers have unusual insights into the postmodern mind because of their sound biblical and theological ability to bring the Scripture to bear on our setting."

Equip, Issue 3, 2007



Introduction: Searching for Meaning

1. Chasing After Power: "I Can Control My World"
2. Chasing After Relationships: "Relationships Bring Me Fulfillment"
3. Chasing After Work and Money: "Money Brings Me Freedom"
4. Chasing After Pleasure: "Pleasure Will Satisfy Me"
5. Chasing After Wisdom: "Knowledge Will Put Me on Top"
6. Chasing After Spirituality: "My Spiritual Life Will Save Me"
7. Chasing After Immortality: "I Will Have a Long Life if I Take Care of My Body"

Conclusion: Finding Abundant Life


About the Authors


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Dan B. Allender

Dan B. Allender (PhD, counseling psychology, Michigan State University) is professor of counseling at The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology. He taught previously at Grace Theological Seminary and Colorado Christian University. A speaker and writer, his books include The Healing Path, To Be Told, How Children Raise Parents, The Wounded Heart, and Leading with a Limp. With Tremper Longman, he wrote Bold Love, Cry of the Soul, Intimate Allies, and the Intimate Marriage Bible studies.

Tremper Longman III

Tremper Longman III (PhD, Yale University) is Distinguished Scholar of Biblical Studies at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California. He is also visiting professor of Old Testament at Seattle School of Theology and Psychology and adjunct of Old Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary. He lectures regularly at Regent College in Vancouver and the Canadian Theological Seminary in Calgary.

Longman is the author or coauthor of over twenty books, including How to Read Genesis, How to Read the Psalms, How to Read Proverbs, Literary Approaches to Biblical Interpretation, Old Testament Essentials, and coeditor of A Complete Literary Guide to the Bible. He and Dan Allender have coauthored Bold Love, Cry of the Soul, Intimate Allies, The Intimate Mystery, and the Intimate Marriage Bible studies.